P.K. asks from Escondido, CA on April 23, 2008
How Can I Stop My 7 Year Old from Climbing into Our Bed at Night?
Almost every night I find our cute little munchkin sound asleep in our bed. Originally we said friday nights only...the rest of the week the master bed is mom & dads. They are too heavy for me to carry them back to their room...how can I stop this?
L.H. answers from San Diego on April 24, 2008
All 3 of my boys slept with us until they were a little over a year. Then we just said, ok, this is it. It's hard because it is such a comforting thing for both us and them but at some point it has to end right? You get to the point where you aren't sleeping as comfortably as you could and they just get too big! I think you just have to end it all together, no Friday nights-nothing. When he comes into your room you just need to walk him back to his and tuck him in and let him know that this is how it is going to be from now on. You will have to prob do this over and over for a few nights but it will be worth it in the end because after a few nights, he will get it and it will be routine. It's like anything else-getting them off bottles, pacifiers, potting training...it stinks for a bit, but it has to be done and you will end up surprised at how quickly it can happen. Good luck! Stay strong!!!
S.S. answers from San Diego on April 24, 2008
I've been through the same thing with my 6 year old from time to time...Don't know how serious your problem is..If it's every night, you should probably start with a conversation that explains why it shouldn't happen and what you're going to do about it. Mine would like to "sneak" in about twice a week or so. I simply wake her up, take her back to her bed, and explain that it's important that she sleeps in her bed so that I can sleep in mine. It's just too crowded with all of us in one bed...She grumbles, and sometimes has cried. I've returned her to her room up to 3 times in one night! It's important not to get angry, and I try to comfort her after I tuck her back into her bed. Believe me, it's not fun to have your sleep interupted in this way over and over, but consistancy is the key...After a few nights, I think you'll see your child sleeping better in their own room.
My daughter sleeps in her own room about 95% of the time..She only comes in now if she's had a bad dream or wakes up and can't go back to sleep. Same rules apply as above. If you give in once, you're right back to where you started..
T.D. answers from San Diego on April 24, 2008
Your 7 year old is old enough to sleep in his owe bed full time. It confuses a child to have one night they can sleep with Mom and Dad. Two things: Close your bedroom door at night so you can hear him come in and immediately take him back to bed. Secondly, I spend 5 minutes of cuddle time with my daughter prior to bed. This "fills her up with love" for the night.
D.B. answers from San Diego on April 24, 2008
I agree with Lisete's advice that it will just take consistency from you and your husband of walking your child back to his/her room for a while. You also need to make sure to tell your child that this is going to be changing, talk about it during the day, before bedtime. Also, you can spend time cuddling together on the couch before bed, reading books, listening to quiet music, etc. Just reinforce the idea that the couch is where you all cuddle together now, beds are for the people who's rooms they are in. You may also want to try a star chart or other reward system-Stay in your own bed all night, get a star; Get stars all week, we do something fun-ice cream, rent a movie, stay up an extra 15 minutes, etc.
I think all in all, it takes time and patience, and finding what works for your family. Hopefully some of the suggestions you get here will help! :)