21 answers

How to Get Our 5 Year Old Out of Our Bed.

My 5 year old daughter (soon to be 6) comes in our bed everynight. We tried putting her back in her bed she is always back a few minutes later. We tried rewarding, taking away, grounding nothing works. Everynight she runs through her list of why she can not sleep in her bed. What if there is a fire, what if someone breaks in, it is too dark, my belly hurts, bad dreams. My husband and I need to sleep. We want our bed back. Any advice?

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Featured Answers

You may think this is crazy but there is a T.V show called Super Nanny who deals with many of these same problems. I have only seen it a few times but she really gives some good advice.

My sister had the same problem and they never were able to solve the problem. My brother in law ended up sleeping in bed with their son until he was in 5th or 6th grade.

When i saw this show super nanny I said My sister never tried that. They may have worked. I think the show is on ABC (?)
Just an idea.


We were having the same issue in the middle of the night...I made watching a tv show a priveledge only available to one who wakes up in their own bed...works great for my 4 almost 5 year old, the 2.5 year, not so much :)...good luck!

More Answers

Maybe you can try to have a mattress or sleeping bag at the side or foot of your bed that she can quietly sneak into to be near you.

also, my 3 year old who has always been my good sleeper, started doing this also recently. so the last few nights he has slept with my 5 year old in his queen bed, (we sleep them sideways so they have even more room) and they've both slept peacefully all night long!!!

My son saw a really cool batman alarm clock he wanted. But he had to stay in his own bed for a week to 'earn' it. And once he got the clock, he had to remain in his own bed to keep it.

If you figure this out, let me know. I have a 4 year old who does the same thing. I am happy to report that 2 nights this week she stayed in her own bed all night long, though. I let her fall asleep in our bed at night and carry her to her bed once she is alseep. She comes back every night, but like I said, she is starting to stay in every once and awhile. I have two other children and they sleep in their own beds every night. My oldest used to be like my 4 year old and she stays in her room, unless there is a storm or something major going on in school. Then I have to lay in her double bed with her. I guess it is my cross to bare, but I know my 4 year old will grow out of this, and since she is my last child, I don't let it bug me too much. They grow up so fast! Good luck!

Sounds like all her reasons are "bad dream" caused. Figure out what really scared her so she can get thru this.

Ha ha. No advice, just glad we are not the only ones with this problem. I will keep an eye out on answers to see if it can help us also. My daughter will be 6 in Oct. and has never slept a day in her own bed!!! You are not alone!!!!

Hi! I have the EXACT same problem!! Can get annoying on some nights. I do let her fall asleep in my bed, then carry her to her's. Then without fail, sometime between midnight and 2 am she is back! I have not found anything to help...so I hope SOMEONE has some good ideas!! lol. But I remember as a baby my daughter always wanted to be held when she slept as opposed to be put down anywhere....and being my first, I know I spoiled her by cuddling with her and letting her sleep with me. So maybe I created this mess...?? But I also read a cute article about this problem. The author asked her son why he kept coming into her room and didn't want to sleep in his room. He said because there was nobody to cuddle with in his room. So I think of that when I am shifting over to make room for my daughter at night! And I am hopeful that a teenage girl will not like to sleep in moms room...so I guess I have about 6 more years LOL!!!
Good luck and I hope you do find some tricks so I can try them out too

Now I'm nervous after reading your post and all the responses!!! We started having this problem a few months ago, after my 3 year old daughter got sick. She was throwing up so we kept her in our bed for the night. After that she didn't want to sleep in her bed, but I could NOT have her in my bed (too much kicking and squirming)!!! So I set up a comforter on the floor with a pillow and blanket... now here we are months later, she'll go to bed in her room but usually ends up coming into my room sometime during the night (sometimes not until 5 or 6 am though). The good thing is that she comes in and goes right to her spot without waking me up, the bad thing is that I have no idea how to get her to stop. Perhaps you could set up her own spot on your floor, maybe even an inflatable bed. I do hope that you get your bed back soon!!!

Hi there,
I have the SAME exact problem with my 5 yo son. He starts off in his bed and always ends up in ours. We have not used any discipline bc I don't think it is that kind of issue, however we do need our bed back. I fear he will be 12yo and still sleeping with us!

I saw on some show- cant remember to put 3 pennies outside the bedroom door and take one away each time they get out- if they lose all 3 they lose a privelege- if theres pennies left they get to keep it and do something special- play a game of there choice etc..

I totally know what you mean! My daughter just turned 6 two days ago. She goes to sleep in her room and always ends up with us in the night. I try putting her back at night and it just doesn't seem to work where she keeps coming back and then I am exhausted. I thought when we moved to a new house and she had the best room in the house and picked out all her decorations that would help. That hasn't, I think it is just a sleep habit almost now as she almost sleep walks to our bed or wherever we fall asleep. Good luck, I am figuring by the time she is 21 she won't want to anymore and then I will miss it!

You may think this is crazy but there is a T.V show called Super Nanny who deals with many of these same problems. I have only seen it a few times but she really gives some good advice.

My sister had the same problem and they never were able to solve the problem. My brother in law ended up sleeping in bed with their son until he was in 5th or 6th grade.

When i saw this show super nanny I said My sister never tried that. They may have worked. I think the show is on ABC (?)
Just an idea.


We set up sleep over night. One night a week, usually Friday or Saturday, was sleepover night, where Lucca (now 7) would be able to come and sleep in our bed, we'd stay up a little later and watch a kids show or movie. We made sleep over night so much fun that if he came in the other nights, he wouldn't get sleepover night. Now we also have a clock in his room, and he's not allowed to come in before 6:30 am. The hardest part is still that sometimes he comes in at night==with the tummy ache, bad dream, etc. reason, and it's up to my husband and me to consistently get up and march him back to his room (where I usually lay for a minute before leaving.). So in writing this, I don't remember how we got it to work, but it did. Maybe we told him his options were sleepover night or never at all? Good luck. Lucca still gets up too much during the night, but this worked for a couple of years. Oh, and for a few weeks, telling him to count to 3,226 or 10,002 or some outrageous number, and then to come get me if still couldn't sleep, also seemed to work!

I am not at this stage yet as I barely have a 4 month old. But he co-slept with us for 2 months and now sleeps in his crib. WIth the exception of recent travel which has really confused his internal clock and sleeping habits, he sleeps in his crib, wakes up once to feed and then wakes up early 6-7ish. I have usually made it our little ritual that I nurse him in my bed and then we go back to sleep together for 1 hour in the morning in my bed (when there is more room because my husband has left for work).

I really enjoy this and wonder if this will then develop into a "habit" as other mothers mention. However sleeping together for me is really special and I wonder if there has been any discussion on this site or among moms about how our societies, compared to others where whole families sleep in the same room for most of their lives, discourage cuddling, co-dependence, bonding time in bed, etc. I am just interested in knowing what the greater consequences are, if any, of also living in this society which pushes individualism and independence. Would like to hear any thoughts (or perhaps open another subject theme?)

Hi, we have the same issue as well. My five yr old is allowed to come in our room at night, if he needs to (whatever that reason is) and he can pull his 'special' sleeping bag out from under our bed and make himself comfy on our floor. He can do it until he is 12 as far as I am concerned. I don't see this as a discipline issue for our house, he is clearly not being naughty, he is only 5 and wants some comfort in the middle of the night.
Now, I also have a 2 1/2 yr old and also gave her a special bed on the floor next to our bed, but she is still too young and I make exceptions for her.
I haven't ever punished them for coming in (they ALWAYS start in thier own bed) but I do tell me how big I think they are when they have managed to stay in thier own rooms all night.
good luck!

Hi M.,

I had the same problem. My son was born with a heart defect and when we brought him home from the hospital he slept in the bassinet next to our bed. Well we got him into his crib but then he had his 2nd open heart at 20 months olds and when I brought him home from the hospital again I was constantly up checking on him. My husband finally said "Just bring him in here". Well he stayed until he was 6 years old. I started telling him about 2 months before his 6th birthday that he was a Big Boy now and had to start sleeping in his bed on his birthday. It worked. He has been in his bed everynight ever since. He is now 8 years old. I don't know if this will help but I think forwarning him everynight helped.

K. L.

If you want her to sleep in her bed then you have to stand your ground and no matter what she says keep putting her back in. You will loose sleep for a few days but in the end you'll sleep better. Use a little tough love or a lot if necessary, but don't give in!!!!

We have the same exact problem. Some nights our 5 year old son does sleep all night in his bed, but most nights he sneaks into our bed. He does fall asleep by himself in his own bed. I have a two year old too. So I put them in their beds after the routine(teeth brushed, books, prayers etc.) and then I sit in the hallway in a chair and wait until they are both asleep. If I did not sit in the hall, my 5 year old would come downstairs about 100 times. Some nights it does not take very long...but other nights it takes a while. I really am totally to blame for him wanting to be next to someone at night. When he was a baby, I nursed him so he began his life sleeping by me. Some nights I don't even hear him come in. Luckily we have a king size bed(haha). I am not sure there is anything we can do at this point. I am hoping that when my two year old is ready to come out of the crib(which will be soon because he is starting to climb out)I will put them in bed together because my 5 year old has a queen size bed. Maybe they can snuggle with each other then and sleep all night in their room. We'll see! A lot of the other moms with similar stories really need to let their kids fall asleep by themselves in their own beds. Falling asleep is totally a learned behavior that usually happens when they are babies. I am one of the quilty moms who rocked,nursed, layed down with my baby to fall asleep and now this is my pay back for that I quess. Plus, once they get older...they totally now how to play us to get what they want. Good luck to everyone!

put her to bed in her bed at bedtime. Tell her she needs to be in her big girl bed now. Let her pick out cool sheets and comfortor to make it her own. Then every time she comes in your room, you need to take her back with no conversation. It seems harsh, but she knows what to say and do in order to get in your bed. It might take a week of you and your husband repeating this over and over again. You will be tired and ready to give in. Do Not. It will work, just be strong and consistent. As parents we need to set some boundries, and kids need to know who sets the rules. They will respect you for it. Remember, no conversation. For kids, any talk is better than no talk. Good luck, and please see it through. Everyone deserves a restful place to sleep and dream, including your daughter.

sahm in Illinois
(mom of 3)

We were having the same issue in the middle of the night...I made watching a tv show a priveledge only available to one who wakes up in their own bed...works great for my 4 almost 5 year old, the 2.5 year, not so much :)...good luck!

Hi M. - both of mine did this, and there are all kinds of reasons why kids do --- my approach was to empower the situation - with my son we used a mini flashlight under the pillow. ( these days they have these great wind up ones ) it's beam of light was stronger and more powerful than any flashlight known to man, i framed it by saying to him that i have a concern about him not sleeping in his bed and that it's important to me that he big a big boy about staying there, I saw this super dooper flashlight and thought this might be exactly what you need to make you feel safe and powerful. I then asked him - Would you like to something like this to help you stay in your bed?? My son could hardly wait. The additional layer I added was dog gate - it was 4 ft high and I put it in the door and said you can get out of your bed, you just can't leave your room. Often I'd find my kids at the gate assleep. This also worked for time outs and naps - it drew the line so to speak! With my daughter the flashlight waan't going to work so I got her this very glittery magic wand. She'd hold onto it very tightly as she fell asleep but she never got out of her bed after that.

Hope that helps

~ K.

Hi! Glad to see that I'm not alone here! My 5 year old son comes in my room every night at least 2-3 times. I DO NOT let him fall asleep in my bed though! I think that makes the problem worse. He tells me he doesn't like to sleep in his bed because he wants someone to snuggle with. Breaks my heart to bring him back in his room after that, but I do. They (dr.'s, books, etc.) that it will only take 10 days to break this habit, but I've been dealing with it for 5 years, and really intensely for the past two months, and he's not budging on this one. Some kids just don't like to be alone. My brother is 31 and still asks my mom to spend the night at his house when his wife is out of town! Please let me know if you get any great ideas!


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