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My 5 Year Old Still Sleeps with My Husband and I

My 5 year old still sleeps in bed with my husband and myself, he always has, he is a big boy, he weighs 80 lbs, so its really hard for three people to fit in one bed, i know its unhealthy for him to sleep with us still, and he is getting WAY to big, any ideas how i can get him to start sleeping in his own bed?

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My daughter sleeps with us still off and on depending on how she is. I personally dont think its a bad thing, I do feel safe with her next to me. Feel free to email if you ever want to talk.

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My almost 5-yr-old still comes into my room at least 3 nights a week, sometimes more. He will be 5 in a couple of weeks, and once he hits that number, we aren't going to let him in anymore. He already starts off every night in his own bed. My plan is to take him back to his room, and lay in his bed til he's back to sleep, then go back to my room. (I say me, because I know my hubby won't participate.) I'll keep doing that, and just not let him sleep in my room anymore, and hopefully, it will stop. Some people say to let them sleep on the floor, and that may work for some kids, maybe yours, but my son has no intrest in sleeping on the floor, so I'll try it this way. I don't know it if will work; I just wanted to share my plan, and wish you luck!

J.

I had the same problem with my daughter, she started sleeping in bed with us, then finally I moved her to the floor, she didn't like it at first but she slept on the floor on my side of the bed and I would hold her hand. We finally got to the point that she is just too old to be doing this and would let her fall asleep on the floor but then move her to her own bed, she would wake up in the middle of the night for a while and come in and sleep on our floor then she just started staying in her room and finally she just would go at bedtime to her room, we would read stories, rub her back and tummy and she would go to sleep. Now I got in read 2 stories a night and then I leave the room and she goes to sleep on her own, we had to get night lights for her room and sometimes have to leave the hall light on until she falls asleep. She does sleep with us on occasion, if she is not feeling well or if she has had a bad dream, but she always starts out in her own bed and it's really not very often she comes in anymore.

Dr. William Sears is a proponent of what he calls "co-sleeping" or the family bed for some kids. He also has some good advice on how to wean them from it. I think you'd be surprised how many parents let their kids sleep with them at least a few times a week especially if both parents are working and its the only way to really get a good night's sleep. http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/t071000.asp

You may want to consider the timing with the new baby recently coming into the mix. It may not be the best time to make drastic changes if your son is already feeling uneasy about the changes around the house with his new sibling and how he figures into it.

My daughter was raised co-sleeping and I was successful in slowly transitioning her to her room by giving her room a "makeover." I got some fun lava lamps and new bedding and talked about how she was growing up. I let her pick out the color and even repainted. She was excited about her "new room" and started sleeping there. It wasn't easy and we had many setbacks. For a long time I had to stay in the room with her until she fell asleep but after a while she got used to it.

I agree with the other mom's answers. Start gradually and just work with him. Being 5 he is probably pretty set in his ways so it may take some coaxing, but just stay consistant and it will work out.

C.:

I am always so surprised about these requests......(wanting to know how to break a child of the habit of sleeping with their parents). As I am sure you know, if you don't start (ci\o-sleeping).......it won't be a problem 3, 4 and even 5! years later. Your son is also off to Kindergarten and you and your husband haven't had your own bed for five years!! I would say, it's time. Sit him down and let him know that starting "tomorrow" he will be sleeping in his own bed. Praise him on what a "big" boy he is and let him pick something special to sleep with. NO, this won't be easy as you have fostered the dependence for so long. He will be resistive and upset. You may even need to go to a sticker chart, for each time he stays in his own bed, put a sticker on his chart (draw a picture of a bed on it). If he earns three stickers in a row, he gets a treat. I hope this response does not seem stern, it is more a matter-of-fact tone.

A. L

my aunt and uncle let their kids sleep with them until just recently...their oldest is in 2nd grade and their youngest just started kindergarten. it was a little eaiser to stop that habbit with them because the boys started sharing a room...2 diff beds pushed togehter at first then eventually pulled them apart. but you cant do that just yet lol!! lil bit of adivce though and no matter how hard it is going to be...dont start this habbit with your lil one!! i didnt do this with either of my children because i was seeing what my aunt and uncle did and boy...i didnt want to do that lol!!! when my first was born, i did let him sleep with me for the first 3 months but he took his naps in the bassinet and was only in bed with me at night...i switched him over to his crib at 3 months and thats when he stayed out of my bed! with my youngest...he cried non stop for the first month of his life so he ended up sleeping where ever he fell alseep pretty much lol..now he is all better and we just got him into his crib at 2 months...i keep my babies in their cribs in my room for about a month and then put the crib in their own room and then they do just fine ;)!!! good luck and i hope all goes well! also if you get your son to sleep in his own bed in his own room...try giving him a reward or something in the like of your choice...see if he will continue it!

C., i reently wrote a request my two kids weren't sleeping in their rooms so i.. gave them a snack bfor they went to bed nothing to sugary though i also gave them a small amount of water in their dixie cups.. which i think i got a 4 oz cup! so that kinda limits their liquids so they are less likely to get up to potty in the middle of the night.. mine were ready to move into their own beds is he afraid of the dark? if so makesure you ave a night light or something to kinda keep a little light in the room. you can start by sitting in there with him till he falls asleep i was told to do that but at 4 and 5 they are not babys and should not be treated like one!! so i simply told them they were big kids now and needed to be in their own rooms! my son who's 5 has always slept with me and he was so used to it the first two nights were rough but now they are pros!! i hope some of thi information helps you and i hope you getto rest better, and just know that it is ok for you to co sleep i know your child is older but don't feel bad i got one rude response and i felt awful! i'd also like to let you know you are doing a woderful job as a parent and this is in the best interest for both u and your husband and your son! and you will all rest better!!! have a great day

Yes, it is unhealthy for not only your son, but your marriage to have him still sleeping in your bed.

I would recommend going to either your public library or book store and picking up a copy of Nanny 9-1-1's book as well as the SuperNanny Book. They cover this topic in there I believe.

We have a four year old (almost five) that we have had a similar issue with. He has trouble with nightmares and being afraid of the dark. We tried the pallet by the side of the bed approach but he resisted it as soon as he realized that we were moving it out of the room over time. Amazingly the thing that has work has been letting him decorate his room with Christmas lights so it feels more like his space and the lights take care of the darkness. Then my husband and I slept on a pallet outside of his room and gradually moved it until he couldn't see us anymore. It took about two weeks but now we are all in our own beds and he loves sleeping under his colorful lights.

First of all, it's only unhealthy for him to sleep with you if YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND are uncomfortable with it, for any reason. Cosleeping is a healthy and loving thing and is a beautiful picture of parent child bonding. People get grossed out thinking that if your kids sleep with you they must see you have sex! Well, there are lots of other places for that to happen, and the kid isn't always in the bed...anyway, there are many families who continue to cosleep even longer than five years! But, if you do need him out of your bed, do it in stages. Start with a pallet on the floor next to your bed and slowly move him into his room. You may even need to sleep in his room for a little while with him, and slowly move yourself out. Reassure him that you love him and you love being close to him, but that mom and dad need their rest and there's just not enought room! That he'll have so much more room in his own bed. You can even do things like let him read books in there and play, and show him how fun it can be for him to have his very own space all to himself!

My daughter sleeps with us still off and on depending on how she is. I personally dont think its a bad thing, I do feel safe with her next to me. Feel free to email if you ever want to talk.

My just-turned 6 year old still comes into our bed at some point during most nights. He does it to feel more secure--he's prone to nightmares and a bit afraid of the dark.

I don't think there's anything intrinsically unhealthy about a 5 year old sharing the bed with his parents. In fact, it is done for considerably longer in most non-Western cultures. However, if you and your husband aren't happy with the arrangement and it isn't working for you any longer, then it is time for a change.

My advice would be to not just kick him out suddenly. Maybe start first by talking about it. Then maybe by laying with him in his own bed until he falls asleep, and then gradually working to sitting in his room with him while he falls asleep, with the eventual goal of him being able to fall asleep on his own. It will probably take a longer time than if you just stuck him suddenly in his own bed & forced him to stay there, but it is also a much less traumatic method for him.

Good luck!

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