Laying in Bed with Kids

  • Our older kids have gotten used to us laying with them after story time to help them fall asleep. We have created a problem however, as now they are very clingy if we wish to leave before they are asleep. With a third child almost ready to exit the crib, we need to change this behavior. How do we do this? --Chris, Strongmoms facilitator

  • This suggestion is not coming from any experience at all (I only have a 6 month old), just so you know, but this is what I would personally try to do.

    Transition from laying in bed and reading them a story, to you sitting in a chair readying a story. This way, it's not like you're cutting them off completely. They still have the comfort of you being in the room, but are weaned from the need to have you right next to them. *(if they are really restless with you not in bed with them, try reading right next to the bed and slowly move the chair back. That way it's not a huge shock, but if they feel comfortable with you reading a couple feet away from the start, I'd do that. UNLESS you want to read closer.)

    I'm not sure how clingy they are outside of bedtime, but if they are clingy and not trying to do things on their own during the day, you could also start developing independence their as well. Doing both would help a lot.

    Hope it helps (:

  •  tWell i have a similar issue with my daughter where she will not go to sleep unless I am holding her... It can't be anyone else.. she wants mommy. anyway i was watching super nanny with Jo Frost and she basically says you have to be firm and consistent. you have to first let them know that you are going to change the routine and then stick to it. No matter how many times they get out of bed you need to walk them back to their own bed and leave. The first time calmly say goodnight i love you and walk out, the second time do the same, and from there just put them in bed and walk away. it may be hard for a few nights but they will get use to it... If need be maybe even make them a sticker chart where if they go to bed without any problems then they get to put a sticker on the chart for that night... Hopefully something here helps.

  • Brinny that's a good idea too! and Super Nanny is so educational, I wonder if It's on Netflix. A chart could help even more! (:

  • That's a hard one. Like takes patience and a little creativity. Try getting some fun bedtime stories on CD and play those on a CD player while your girls go to sleep. Tell them that you will come back in and lay with them after you "clean the kitchen"...then maybe they fall asleep while they are listening to bedtime stories. This helps a bit. If they are still awake when you finish the kitchen, go lay with them and tell them how good they were. Gradually increase the time you are gone..

    Good luck

  • I think you are right MommyRN4, you have a very nice idea. Hope that would really help. 

  • I will try to apply that to my kid as will MommyRN4. I know that's a big help for me also.

  • I think a bedtime cd is a great idea.  If you want to do music there is tons of that available now too.  Kenny Loggins has an album "Return to Pooh Corner" that has great songs on it.


  • Great ideas! We have begun the transition to the chair and some days, we read to them all together in bed and then let them scatter to their own rooms.

  • It is a hard transition to make, but in time it should work! I still have a 5 year old that tests my limits---though the other 4 are perfect. I guess 4/5 isn't bad! LOL!

  • That's great I'm glad to hear everything is working out (:

  • Read to them while they are in their beds instead and be consistent. It will be hard to break, but keep at it!

  • Great suggestions!  I especially love reading time with kiddos.  Smile