5Yr Old REFUSES to Sleep in His Own Room

Updated on December 15, 2008
L.S. asks from Calimesa, CA
5 answers

I need some help moms, my son is 5 and flat out refuses to sleep in his room. I get him to start the night there but between 2 and 5 am he ends up on the floor in my room. My husband and I have tried taking away toys, no TV, even going so far as to making him sleep on the floor. Nothing works! I even stooped to bribery, we offered toys and money. Nothing is appealing enough to get him to stay in his room. He says he is scared and doesn't like to be alone.

He is an only child and hates it. He tells us all the time he wants a brother or sister to play with and has to have someone with him at all times. He even went through a phase of not going to the bathroom alone.

Is there any way to stop this now or do I chalk it up to being a phase he will grow out of someday?

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions! My hubby and I decided to just let him sleep in our room on the floor (on a pile of blankets) for now. We figure he will grow out of it soon enough and if not we will work on it during the spring. Right now where we live the heater is a floor one that takes up the entire hallway in front of our bedroom and I don't want him stepping on it in the middle of the night and burning himself. Also I figure no kid ever went to college and was still sleeping in the room with mom and dad. =)

More Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

Why not let him sleep on the floor in your room when he wakes up. My son is almost 6 and still wakes up and comes in our room. We have a small fold out wiggles couch that I put next to my side of the bed and when he wakes he comes in lays down and goes right back to sleep or if my husband is gone to work already I let him in the bed(otherwise there isn't enough room). They won't be little forever make him feel secure. It sounds like you are very busy he probally misses you and if sleeping near you makes him feel close let him. All three of my kids did this they will out grow it. If that isn't an option go lay with him in his bed until he goes back to sleep. You could try getting him a special sleep toy but he probally just wants his mommy. Treasure those nights instead of regretting them. Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

This is common.
At this age, they DO have fears, develop fears, have imaginations that affect them etc.
It is a phase. You cannot "stop" their imaginations.... and as you've seen, all the "techniques" in books will not work.

His sleeping on the floor is fine. After-all, isn't that better than having him SQUEEZE into bed with you both?

My daughter just made 6... she too goes through this. It's okay. She says she sees shadows and shapes outside, hears things, any creak or noise gets her "fear" going... my Hubby will even go outside and "check" on things... just to give her solace...but still, they go through this at this age. She sleeps on our floor too! No kidding. Almost every night. We don't mind. It's okay to us. Kids at this age are just "afraid" of the bogey-man or what have you. Normal. Bribery and other mechanisms to "change them" will not always work... because this is not something they can "control" or stop at will... it's their imagination and developmental based.

He will grow out of it. NO worries.

My daughter always wanted a sibling too... and now we do. She loves her brother so much. But, it was not just because of "her" that we had another child... we wanted 2 children in the first place... but also did not want our girl to be "alone" when we were long and gone. So many things and reasons why...its a very personal journey and choice.

All the best to your son, he's a-okay. Don't worry. Just let him be and he will grow out of it. Just my take on it, and the way we handle our kids with those night-time "fears."

Take care,

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Hey L.,

My daughter does the same thing. She started sleeping in her own room at 4 months old. Then we when moved into our new house she slept in her own room for about a year. then wham... she stopped just like that. She is 4 yrs old and she sleeps in our room in our bed or in her toddler bed in our room. we have tried EVERYTHING! but so far no luck. I just think that if this is the worst thing that can be happening right now.... well its not to bad.
Enjoy it because before we know it they are going to be trying to sneak out of the house instead of sneaking into our beds! lol


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Oh boy, my daughter has been going through the exact same thing. For a while, we would find her sleeping on the couch or floor of the living room. Sometimes she would come into our room and sleep on the floor. Problem is she talks in her sleep, loudly too. She finally told us she didn't think her bed was comfortable and liked the floor better. So we laid blankets out on the floor of her room (or you can try a sleeping bag, my daughter doesn't have a sleeping bag yet.) AND we started a sicker chart to ensure she stays in her room. After 7 nights in a row, she would get a prize...new toy or something. If she slept less then 7 nights in a row, the "7 nights" would start all over. We only had to do that twice. It's been working. However, with the holidays and her birthday coming, we told her no more prizes until the new year. I think by then, she'll just be so used to staying in her room, she'll forget about the "prizes." If she brings it up, I might get her something. Prize/Sticker charts seem so old fashioned but still work wonders for getting kids to change behavior. You must stick to your side of the bargain too in order for it to work.
Good Luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

If your child has a fav stuffed animal or blanket it might comfort him. My son has his "blanky" and can't sleep without it.

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