My 4-year-old goes to sleep in his own bed but then sneaks into our room in the middle of the night.
When a child prefers sleeping next to his parents, it's a sign of his trust and love. But once you get in the habit of letting him into your bed, it's a difficult pattern to break, and he may become dependent on your proximity to fall back to sleep.
Sleep Solution To help your child stay in his own bed, there are a number of approaches you can take. "Going cold turkey (locking your door at bedtime and not opening it until the next morning) can be an effective method," says Parents advisor Judith Owens, M.D., director of Pediatric Sleep Medicine at Children's National Medical Center, in Washington, D.C. If you'd prefer a more gradual approach, put a sleeping bag in your room. Tell your child this is his space to sleep if he wants to be near you during the night but that he can't come into your bed. If he does climb in bed, take him back to his own room (or his sleeping bag) every time. Be ready for a challenge. "Your child will protest and cry to test how serious you are," says Dr. Owens. Don't give up.