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Ok, so i have a 5 year old son that is about to turn 6 in may.....I am 5 months pregnant with my second child. My problem is that my son still wakes up in the middle of the night and crawls into our bed...before i got pregnant it didn't really bothered me having him there with us, but now that im getting bigger im not comfortable having him there in bed with us, im getting bigger and i need my space...The problem is that he cries everyday because we take him back to his room, we have tried explaining the situation to him, you know telling him that he is a big boy and big boys have to sleep in their own rooms. But its no use, every night is the same thing, we are getting very little sleep because he wakes up like 3 times during the night...we are desperate, and are afraid that once the baby gets here it will be worse. We dont want to make him feel like we dont want him but we do want the baby...like i said desperate parents here...any advise would be greatly appreciated...thanks..
I would go about this in two ways. First of all I would start by setting up a sleeping bag and pillow on the floor next to your bed for him to sleep in. Then, every night or two move the sleeping bag another foot-two feet closer to the door, down the hall and then eventually into his room. Then for every night that he is able to sleep in his sleeping bag give him tons of positive reinforcement AND a sticker for a sticker chart. Discuss with him what he will get (or get to do) once he earns three stickers, four or a weeks worth-whatever you want to do. Then make a big production of picking out the sticker and putting it on "monday" since he slept in his sleeping bag on "monday" night. If he is unable to stay in his sleeping bag, give him the option of "if you can go climb into your sleeping bag (at what ever location it has progressed to) then you can help pick out a sticker in the morning and "remember, that 3 stickers and you get X". Then tons of positive reinforcement for climbing into the sleeping bag, and reward, reward , reward. I would start with smaller goals-so if he can earn 2 stickers he gets x, then increase the ante as he is having more success. You want him to be able to do this successfully. It will build his confidence and that will play into his cooperation. The other thing is that the sticker chart rewards that he is working toward do not have to be major things. Kids love special time with mom or dad, trips to the part, a new book, new crayons, a special dessert, ect. I try not to reward to much with food, but every once in awhile it would be fine.
Give this is a try and let me know how it goes. I'll try to help problem solve with you if anything comes up.
If he is 5, then maybe there is something bothering him at night. Is his room too dark? or maybe it is too light? My 4 year old would wake up more when there was too much light in the room, but if it was completely dark, then he'd wake up scared. I found a fish tank and put it in his room and that is just enough light to make him feel safe when he wakes up. Talk to him about his fears and try to experiment with different solutions--i.e. lighting, sticker charts, etc. Another thing you could do is find a safety toy. My 4 year old is convinced that if he sleeps with his dinosaur, then no bad guys could get him. Good luck and let us know what works!
Hi Jess_babyRN , thanks alot for your advise, the problem is that we have tried the reward thing already, i bought him a big calendar, since lately he has been obsessed with writing down everyones b-day in the calendar, i figured i could use the calendar thing to help me with him staying in his room..for every night that he would sleep in his room, i would let him write a big smiley face and a check mark. He seemed to be getting better for a while, i promised i would buy him a cars toy that he really wanted, only if he could fill that month with smiley faces and he did but once he got the toy then it was back to waking up at night and getting in our bed...like i said it just feels like we have tried everything with him already but nothing seems to stick for long...anything else that you might sugest???? thanks alot for responding to our post we really appreciated..
Hi MommyRN4, thanks alot for your support...
The light issue is the first thing that popped into my mind when he started coming into our bedroom and i bought him a nightlight, so the room is not too bright or too dark...well at least in my opinion is not...but actually the fish tank sounds like a really good idea, he does likes fish alot so i think im going to try that probably the sound it makes will even help him stay asleep.....because the safety toy is out of the question he is not the kind of kid who has a favorite toy that would make him feel safer or better if he slept with it....which is a shame because i really think that would've helped alot...
But like i said i really like the fish tank idea...ill give it a try and let you guys know how it turned out...Thanks....
At his age he might do better with more of an "instant gratification" situation. In other words-more immediate rewards, so he does well for 2-3 nights then he gets something small but meaningful.
I know exactly what your going through. With one exception, my son is 7 years old ! He has been waking up and coming into our bedroom for quite awhile. He also is not the type of kid to have a favorite toy...I kind of think we ruined that with the pacifier. That was a nightmare to get rid of and he was 3 1/2 by the time we did. We started by letting him fall asleep with us on the couch and taking him to his room but that didn't help. Most of the time our rule is that if it's only a little while, say no more than an hour from when we get up it's fine for him to lay there but any longer than that he can't because he rolls around and kicks and I am also expecting our second child and get concerned about that. We have resorted to the tv in his room. I know that this gets a lot of skepticisim because they say it doesn't let them fall asleep completely but it works for us. The frequency at which he comes into our room is less now and we did explain to him the danger of him hitting or kicking me while we were sleeping even though we know that he wouldn't do it on purpose. So far it's only happening once or maybe twice a week so this would be my suggestion if your open to it. Just know your not alone in this battle :)
How are you doing? is your son going to bed any better? Let us know what is working for you and what isn't!