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Shantilly
Shantilly asks:
Q:

My 6 year old won't settle at bedtime??

I have a 6 year old son who has never been an easy one to settle or much of a sleeper, I would like to know how to get him to sleep at bedtime,he is up out of bed every 2 min at least 5-6 times,takes about an hour to settle. This is after a bath a story and a very busy day. He insists on us leaving the light on and asks about 10 times if he'll have enough sleep,how many hours is it until morning,have I locked everything and then he starts on his nose is blocked,his eyes are sticking together etc I reassure him all the time,tuck him back in each time kiss him tell him he's safe and has enough sleep,he is a very easy going child and I have already approched his teacher to find out if she thought there was something at school or if she thought he was an axious child and her responce was not at all and acctually the opposite.
Not sure what has brought this on and what to do.

Please help!
In Topics: Sleep and rest
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Jan 17, 2014
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What the Expert Says:

re-assess your bedtime routine.  Although the  bath, story and bedtime might be fine, are you settled and fine?  If a parent is "just trying to get it done" the child will sense the hurry in your voice. Be firm and reassuring. Just don't over do it and watch what he hears and sees on the news or TV. Have a "ticket" or "pass" system.  he gets two passes at bedtime for your attention or appearance. Once used, he has to stay in bed.  Lights on or off doesn't matter but room temp and shading the light will help.

Best

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
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Additional Answers (4)

Safioleas
Safioleas writes:
It could just be a phase - especially if he's new to school.  Little ones pick up all kinds of ideas from other children.  My son went through a similar phase around kindergarten, and I found out that one of the other students in his class had sleep issues and was talking about it at school.  We have a very specific regimen that we follow at night, including bath, prayers, and reading.  I will read a chapter book now, not a picture book.  He has to be laying down and settled before I begin.  My reading lasts about twenty minutes.  He can't speak during bedtime reading, or else it ends.  I had to fight him on it, but I didn't allow a night light as he kept looking at the clock.  I told him that he can lay quietly in bed and imagine all he wants, but that he's not allowed to get up until the sun is up.  It took some time for the weird habits he picked up at school to wear off.  Now he's 8 and sleeps like a champ.  In just a few years, he's been through all manner of phases that he's picked up at school.  I always wonder if I'm too strict in dealing with them, or if I'm too lenient.  At the end of the day, these years are short and we all do our best!  Good luck!
> 60 days ago

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TeacherandParent
TeacherandP... writes:
Maybe let him go around with you as you lock up for the night and let him see that you do indeed lock the doors. Some children just don't like the dark - there's nothing wrong with leaving a light on. Does he have a nightlight? Does he have a special toy or a stuffed animal? Taking a special toy or stuffed animal to bed with him can help a child to settle. Would he listen to music? I used to softly play a tape of children's songs for my own son to listen to as he lay in bed.
You could also tell him right out - you can't fall asleep if you're not in bed... Tell him that he has to give it 5 minutes before he gets up or 10 minutes. In that 5 minutes or 10 minutes he might fall asleep.
There are other tricks too - people used to 'count sheep' - the old expression. Something like that for children would be to encourage him to tell himself a story or close his eyes and try to picture the stars in the sky and count them one by one.
> 60 days ago

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ghammett
ghammett , Student writes:
when he gets done with his bath just let him watch a movie till he goes to sleep. I did this for my child and it worked! after my little girl fell asleep I carried her off to bed and she stayed asleep for the rest of the night! note that my daughter is the same age as your little boy! let me know how it goes.
> 60 days ago

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Wayne Yankus
Wayne Yankus writes:
Approach his pediatrician with this situation and set up some bedtime rules.  Use the pass system.  he gets two passes to get out of bed for whatever reason or to have you appear.  Once those are used, no one goes in or out of the room.  the other that works is to have your partner take over bedtime and remove you from the equation.  The room should be as dark as he will tolerate, cool, and uncluttered.  No tv before and not electronics in the room of any kind.  

Best.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
> 60 days ago

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