How Can I Get My Son to Stay in His Bed at Night.

Updated on March 07, 2011
J.G. asks from Greenwood Lake, NY
8 answers

My almost 3 year old son has had a rough winter to say the least. In the beginning of December he had pneumonia. Then the day after Christmas was diagnosed with double ear and sinus infection. Then from the antibiotics he got a nasty yeast rash on his butt. After all that he was then diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome. Type of kidney disease. The docs think it was the pneumonia that caused it. Either way, he is doing great right now and luckily we caught it early and got him on treatment.

Since he was sick, if he wanted to come into bed with us we would let him. I am NOT a co sleeper. But if the kids are sick I do let them. I hate co sleeping because I am a horrible sleeper myself and the kids seem to leave my husband alone and glue themselves to me. So now he won't leave. About 2 weeks ago we said we have to put a stop to it and started walking him back to bed when he came in or telling him to get back in bed. But it seems an hour later he's back. And now he's able to sneak in un-noticed now. He used to get up by crawling over me but now he comes to the foot of the bed so he doesn't wake me. Saturday morning my husband goes "I walked him back to his bed 3 times last night." And I looked at him and was like "That's funny, because I walked him back twice!" So obviously no one's getting any sleep here but my daughter in her own bedroom. I want to get in shape but I am SO tired that I can barely keep my eyes open anymore. We both work a full time job so we both need sleep. I will take and and all suggestions. Thanks!

FYI - He was on 45mg of Prednisone/day for 6 weeks. We are now in week 2 of the tapering process (which is now 27mg, every other day) and I find the sleep is worse now than it was before.

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answers from Cincinnati on

Give him a special stuffed animal to keep him company at night. Let him know that if he wakes up at night, all he has to do is hug his animal and close his eyes. If that doesn't work you could always try bribing him. That's how I got my DD to stay in her bed. She started in a twin bed when she was about 18 months (kept climbing out of the crib & falling). Anyhoo, we hit a rough patch with her where she was sick & sleeping with me. When it was over getting her to stay in bed was a bear. I bribed her with fruit snacks. "If you stay in bed ALL NIGHT LONG, I will let you have these fruit snacks tomorrow after breakfast." It worked like a champ! After a few weeks it was the routine & there was no need to bribe anymore. It just got the ball rolling for us. Good luck & nighty-night!

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answers from Erie on

Not sure if this would work but how about a compromise? After an illness like this, we set out a sleeping bag on the mbedroom floor and if my kids wake in the middle of the night they are allowed to come in and sleep in/on the sleeping bag but not allowed to wake us up. That way they are close to you, but not on top of you kicking you and bugging the heck out of you.

I just keep thinking pretty soon they will be grown and move out of the house and it will be so quiet at night. I have to tell my self this because last night at 4 am my 7yo came in and needed a drink of water so he took the cup off my nightstand filled it in our bathroom brought it back and tried to set it on the night stand but dropped it and ended up spilling 18oz of water all over my bedroom floor. arrgg. good thing he's cute.

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answers from Lincoln on

I don't have any medical issues to make the problem that much harder to handle, but I did have a lot of trouble with my son getting out of bed ALL the time. Only his excuse was that he had to go to the bathroom. He does have a feeding tube at night and is on a night drip, but there has to be a limit! To do this I decided that I could live with him having 5 times that he could get up. (That later got shortened to 3 b/c 5 was too much, but choose your own magic number). He had 3 "tickets" that he had to give me to get out of bed. Then he had 1 emergency ticket. He is 5 so there was a lot of bargaining that was done. If he had any tickets left in the morning he could put that many stickers on a chart. When his chart was full he got a prize such as a McDonalds trip. I think there were 10 stickers on his first chart. Anyway, it really worked well and now he does not even need the ticket system anymore. I know yours is younger and has had some other medical issues, but that is what worked for us. GOOD LUCK with everything; sleepless nights are so hard!



answers from New York on

my daughter had frequent night wakings (and we were a co-sleeping family). when we decided it was time to move her to her own room, we put an air mattress on the floor next to our bed, and told her if she wanted to be near us, she could sleep on that (it was a toddler inflatable bed with her favorite character on the sleeping bag), but she could not get in bed with us--and she had to start the night out in her own room. It took a couple of times of us redirecting her back to the air mattress but she got the hang of it quickly, and in a short time she stopped waking at night and coming to our room (for the most part). Now, every so often she will come in our room and put herself on her mattress (we actually went ahead and put a toddler bed in our room for convenience's sake) and she doesn't even wake us when she does it, most of the time. I think just knowing that she can do it when she wants to gives her a lot of comfort and has taken the power struggle out of things. (She's 4 1/2, and this system works well for her 3 year old sister as well).



answers from Charlotte on




answers from New York on

My daughter was waking up at 6 am, calling me and saying it's daytime! I decided to buy her this:

It is fabulous! You set the clock for what time you want your child to wake up and it will turn green. It is also a regular alarm clock and has a teach me feature that tells the time verbally when a button is pushed. You might want to check it out.....btw-my daughter is 2 1/2 and she gets it, so your son should be able to understand that he needs to stay in bed until the clock turns green....



answers from Honolulu on

For us, we have a floor futon in our room.
THAT is where our kids can go and sleep, if and when need be.
It works for us and them.
We have no night time battles.

For me, as a child... I would leave my room at night, and walk down our dark and scary hallway at night, just to go sleep with my parents.
They let me.
I grew out of it.
I simply, missed them and was scared in my room by myself at night.
I have said this before, but it is my most FONDEST memories, of my parents, of when I was a child. How they handled it and made it no big deal, and let me be with them, is very special to me. Still. I remember that part of my childhood.
I grew out of it.
It being childhood.
One day, your child will not need you.

Also at this age, it is developmental based, that night time 'fears' and general fears develops. It being normal.
Their cognition is changing, and their imaginations.. and we cannot turn off their imaginations.
They are so young... and changing...

If you are willing, you can just let him sleep someplace on the floor of your room. Then, it is not co-sleeping per say. And well at least for us, it causes NO wakings or sleep disturbances for us. We all get sleep.
It is not disruptive.

And medications, can affect a person's sleep.
I have Asthma, and have been on Prednisone before. It can affect your sleep.
And your child is sick....

all the best,



answers from Fort Wayne on

I would try and give him an earlier nap (if he takes one) and keep him up a little later so that he will be more tired than usual. Try letting him sleep next to your bed, but on the floor on his mattress (or an air mattress or blankets). Then in a few days (don't rush it too quickly) move him to the opposite side of the room (where he is still with you, but not RIGHT NEXT to you). Do that for a week or so...and then discuss how he is getting so big! After this I would try and get him to sleep in his bed with the tv on and a documentary (NOT a cartoon) that will relax him...leave his bedroom door open and yours as well. Let him know that you can hear him if he were to need something. Also let him know that if he gets up that he will lose his movie...and make sure to follow through. We have a 4 year old that takes albuterol for his asthma and went through this same exact situation. It may sound silly but it worked like a charm for us... We rent ocean movies, animal movies, etc. from the library and it is the calm speaking of the documentaries that will relax him and help him to fall asleep. Just a thought. You will have to do your own modifications, I am sure! Just remember that consistency is the key -- and there will be some upsets. Just stay strong and follow through! You will see a difference! Good luck!!! :) P.S. It may work better when the predisone is completely out of his system...steroids can do weird things!

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