Occasional Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-03-2014

Getting my 5 yr old to sleep thru the night

Am I fighting a losing battle?  My 5 year old son will only sleep thru the night IF he sleeps in my bed. 

He kept promising me when he turned 5 he would sleep in his own bed, but two weeks later he is still fighting the issue.  He typically sneaks into my room during the night -- doesn't matter how late I stay up, he still sneaks in. 

Last night we had a battle of the wills, I was up till 3:30 am trying to get him to sleep in his own bed. 

This whole issues started nearly 2 years ago when we moved to our new house.  In addition to moving to the new house, my mother passed away in the house during our first week there.  And my son was the one who discovered her.  I initially thought his desire to sleep with me stemmed from all the change and turmoil.  Before we moved, he actually slept alone in his room in his own toddler bed.

Just looking for some advice.. should I force him to sleep in his own bed?  Just allow him to figure this out on his own and let him continue to sneak into my room?

For sure we need to have as few nights as possible like last night.. little sleep makes for tired cranky mom and kiddo.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 245
Registered: ‎05-28-2013

Re: Getting my 5 yr old to sleep thru the night

First, I am so sorry for your loss and I am sad to hear that your sweet son is shaken up over all this.


My first instinct says, do what you can to get some sleep because when no one gets sleep everyone gets grumpy and its hard to function when no one is getting enough sleep.


Now, even though I said do what you can to get by, we all know that you can't get different results by trying the same thing. Time to try something else? Maybe make bedtime amazing? Bath, bedtime story and snuggle on his bed?


I had a hard time with my son who is now 8. We made a super nice bedtime ritual, bath, story, spray monster be gone (room spray with a special label) snuggle time. I would stay in his bed with him and go to mine once he had fallen asleep. After we did that for a while I would sit in a bean bag chair instead of in his bed and then leave once he feel asleep. From there I started to tuck him in, give him a kiss and leave the light on and tell him I would be right back, by the time I returned he would be asleep and I would turn the light off. I always leave a night light on for him. I also just try to be super understanding and loving because I know that this is something that was really hard for my son for one reson or another.


Instead of monster be gone spray, you could make a sweet dreams spray or brave boy spray.


I really feel your pain on this one and I sure hope that things start to turn around so everyone can get some good sleep and get rid of the grumpies :smileyhappy:





Regular Contributor
Posts: 223
Registered: ‎08-20-2013

Re: Getting my 5 yr old to sleep thru the night

Could he still be having some unresolved issues from when his grandma died and he found her that is making him still scared (at least on some level) to go to bed?


I know it isn't always the case, but when I was finishing my undergrad in psych my last quarter we spent a lot of time on moving through loss, especially for kids. Sometimes the wrong words are used to describe death to kids and at their age they aren't able to fully grasp it. Things like saying an animal or person has passed away, or that they are sleeping or have gone to sleep, can really negatively impact kids for a long time afterwards and literally terrify them surrounding bedtime. I absolutely LOVE the book Good Night, Sleep Tight, but I really think that working with a professional one on one (someone who specializes in cognitive-behavioral methods would probably be best) is what is needed here, especially considering there was a quite possibly negative trigger event to it and it has been something going on for a long time.


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