ANSWERS: 15
  • The short answer is to prepare to lose some sleep and listen to him cry when you make him sleep in his own room. For a good discussion about how to do this without making yourself too crazy, go to http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/infant/sleep.html They talk about younger kids, but you should be able to adapt their suggestions, which revolve around letting the child cry for progressively longer periods of time each night before you go in and reassure him that everything's OK.
  • Some suggest a slow transition such as not allowing him to sleep with you in your bed but rather on a sleeping bag next to you. Then starting him off in his bed and if he needs you, he must still sleep in the sleeping bag instead of in bed with you.
  • Tell him that there is a haunted coat hanger in your room and that if he keeps sleeping in your room, it will maul him in his sleep. (Hey, it always works for me!) ^_^
  • I agree with the idea of creating a transition period. In addition, try developing bedtime rituals that include time that you spend together in his room - such as reading a book to him while he lays in bed. This will make him feel more comfortable and is a great way to say you care. Also, try to figure out why he doesn't want to sleep by himself. Is he afraid of the dark? Get him a night-light. Is he having bad dreams or scared of the boogie man? You might consider giving him a teddy bear or dream catcher to protect him. It helped me. Also, consider spending some time redecorating his room together like he wants (through in some extra comfy pillows, too). If he feels like it is a special place, he might be more excited to spend time there. Of course, he probably won't stay in his bed if you let him return to yours whenever he wants. Be prepared for some tears.
  • *Shh!* Just carry him to his own bed once he falls asleep. When he wakes up well-rested and content, he'll realize that it's not a bad idea to sleep by himself after all.
  • Don't worry about it. He will outgrow it on his own. My first son did the same with us, and around age 5-6, decided the bed was too crowded and moved into his own room voluntarily, but was "scared". So we spent a good year laying down next to him in his own bed/room until he fell asleep, then we left (that was our transitioning). WIth our younger son, we've learned from that mistake nad have taught him to go to sleep/stay asleep on his own as a baby (cry it out, ferber method) but that is very hard to do when they are older.
  • As he is getting to be a bigger boy now, would he perhaps like to choose a bed - you can get some really fun ones now - or if you can't go for a bed, maybe just some kids bedding with some characters on that he is keen on? If he chooses things for the room, he is more likely to want to be in there. Stress the 'you are a big boy' thing lots. Has he any cousins or friends that you could site as an example? I think one of the other respondents was right - gradually get him used to it by reading stories and stuff in there for a little while, then talking about sleeping in there, with lots of reassurance that he can come and get you if he needs to in the night, but do put him back in there if he does - don't let him back into your bed, not for a while anyway. Occasionally they do want to come in - a bad dream, unwell, or sometimes my little girl (5) comes in a few nights in a row, and I think it is when she is anxious about something; but most of the time he should be in his, if you can.
  • Our 4 year old starts out in our bed, when we come to bed we take him to the bathroom and then put him in his bed. Then anywhere between midnight and 6:00am he comes back into our bed. He's doing better than he was. We have a king sized bed. However, when you have 2 adults in the bed and toddler that ends up laying side ways in his sleep, therefore making a human "H" the bed feels like a cot!!! We started telling him that mommy and daddy's bed was simply too small for 3 people. He knows that if daddy is working late or on a business trip he can sleep in our bed with me. He likes knowing that. He also has a special light in his room. It's a fiberoptic scarecrow that I bought for Halloween that he fell in love with. Try having whichever parent usually doesn't put him in bed take him to bed. Our little guy will get in his own bed if daddy takes him to bed but not mommy. I think we mommy's tend to be a bit softer. My mom always tells me not to worry because he won't be doing it when he's older. Our 11 year old went through this phase until he was 6. We got to where we would let him come into our room and sleep on the floor. However, now we have a puppy and this won't work with our youngest unless he wants to get licked to death. Our 11 year old is afraid of his own shadow so there are still nights he comes into our room. Nine times out of 10 we can get him back in his own bed because we're afraid that if we let him in our room because he's afraid of the boogyman, we're teaching him that there is a boogyman and he's safe in our room - like we're helping to instill the fear. Wow, this got long winded...long story short, try letting your four year old pick out a special light for his room. Our's has 2 night lights and the scarecrow AND we turn the bathroom light on until he falls asleep. Oh - also try a white noise of some type.
  • I sit next to my 5-year-old after he is tucked in, read him stories, and promise to stay with him until he falls asleep (I do tell him that I will be going back to my own room/to living room/etc. after he falls asleep, so in case he wakes up, he doesn't wonder where I am). He is reassured when I do this, the stories calm him down, and usually he falls asleep fairly quickly, so that I don't have to sit there too long. I bring my own things to read or work on while I sit next to him, waiting for him to fall asleep.
  • Put him in his bed and make him stay there while he cries it out. It's the only way it's gonna happen. And whatever you do, DON'T GIVE IN to him. Make sure his basic needs are met before he goes to bed and then put him in and LEAVE HIM THERE. Make him DEAL WITH IT. If he complains, tell him to GET USED TO IT. If he says it's not fair, tell him life's not fair and it's time he realized it now as opposed to when he's 35 and still sleeping with mommy and/or daddy. After a few days, he'll realize he can sleep by himself. But the key here is CONSISTENCY. You have to do it the same way every night. Consistency got you into this mess and it's the only thing that can get you out. Let's face it. You created the situation when you let him sleep with you on a continual basis. You can reverse it by putting him in his bed and making him stay there on a continual basis. If he gets up, put him back in there without a word and go on back to bed. Do this every time without fail. Eventually it will work.
  • I'd suggest letting him be for now. He's still quite little and if he's sleeping through, it's not causing any problems. Both of you need your sleep. But do consider getting him a nice bed of his own if he doesn't have one already, and a night light too. I think it's cruel to make a child cry it out. My ex did that to my older daughter until I put my foot down and started going in to her for a little while at night to wait until she went to sleep. She and I were both getting extremely traumatised and she'd had me to herself for four years before he came on to the scene.
  • As a psychology student I would suggest conditioning his behaviour. Simply just offer small rewards for spending a whole night in his own bed. A good idea would be to make a star chart and put stars on it everytime he sleeps in his own bed for a night, then after getting so many stars he gets some kind of gift, it's up to you to decide on how many stars equal an reward and what the reward is. Hope I helped.
  • well u ould give him a big teddy bear and sit there with him until he goes to sleep!!!
  • :) read him a story ...tell him he has to as he is a big boy now...you created it ....be firm .....you can even lay with him at first until he falls asleep , after awhile , you won't need to...
  • Whatever you do, do not spank or punish him, as some parents do when their kids don't want to sleep alone. Then you'll teach him that loving and being close to you are punishable offenses. Instead, maybe you could offer him a special, really big stuff animal to be his "protector" at night. Do everything you can to make the transition a positive one.

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