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Anonymous asks:
Q:

HOW DO I GET MY 6YR OLD NOT TO SLEEP ON MY BED

I HAVE A 6YR-OLD BOY THAT'S A BIG TIME MAMAS BOY HE SLEEP ON MY BED I TAKE TO HIS ROOM AND 2HR LATTER HIS BACK IN MY ROOM SO I GIVE UP AND LET HIM STAY THERE BUT HE MOVIES SO MUCH I END UP IN HIS ROOM WONT MY ROOM BACK
In Topics: Sleep and rest
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Mar 4, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Dear MaLJ Johnson:

hold your ground.  Read Dr. Ferber's book on Sleep.  Start by telling him he cant do this anymore. He is six so don't reason--just do it.  Give him a card or a "pass" which he can use once.  Set a timer and when the timer is up he can use the "pass" to have you come into his room.  If he does not understand, then take away a favorite toy and say "I am putting this away now and when you learn to stay in your room, you may have it back."  It may be unrealistic to assume he will stay out all night, but get started.  Lock your door. If he falls asleep out side it in the hall, so what? Just be careful opening the door in the am.

Don't ever give up or in. Stay the course. Some parents have resorted to sleeping bags on the floor and gradually moving them closer to the door and out.  Do what works in your home.

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

bob
bob , Parent writes:
A lot of parents have this issue - I did and a neighbor did.  We used the basic technique Dr. Yankus describes above and it worked.  It may have been more stressful for the parents than the kids, but we *should* be able to handle it.
> 60 days ago

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Batmom
Batmom writes:
I am having the SAME problem! 6yr old Mama's boy (single child), who is afraid to sleep in the dark (even with nightlights galore), and says he doesn't like being alone. It hurts my mommy heart when he says "you get to sleep with daddy, why can't I sleep with you too so I'm not alone?" I've tried it all to get him to stay in his bed all night - stuffed animals, reward charts, prizes, praises, etc. Recently he has been asking me if he can his bed in our room so he isn't alone? Well...not a bad suggestion, he seems to think this will comfort him. I'm just worried if I start it will it be a lonnnggg transition from the sleeping bag to his bed? Has anyone out there done this? How did it work? What other ideas could you share please.
> 60 days ago

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KCOLLINS6
KCOLLINS6 writes:
I’m going through this now and am having some success!! I lay down with him (6yr) in his bed until he falls asleep and if he comes to my bed in the middle of the night I put him back. It’s time consuming but it seems to be working (glad I don't need a lot of sleep myself) stick with it. It’ll work. Good luck
> 60 days ago

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lms1949
lms1949 , Teacher writes:
As if finding quality time with your spouse after the kiddies come isn't difficult enough, children wanting or needing to sleep in their parents' bed can add layers of stress to daily life.

My wife and I didn't have this problem. I am such a terrible sleeper that when the first blessing came along it scared the 'daylights' out of me the couple of times we allowed this to happen. I had this fantasy that I'd wake up some night having rolled on top of our baby or, worse yet, tossed him across the room as I have been known to do with a pillow!

We have had relatives and friends who have lived through this difficult issue. Some have done well resolving the problem, others haven't been so fortunate.

What has been abundantly clear is that this issue is not easily resolved. It takes effort and lots of support to make this change.

The WebMD article I listed below is quite good at providing some concrete advice on how to go about doing it. The idea of 'taking little steps' is really good advice. Children sleeping in the parents' bed did not magically happen. It developed over time until it became a habituated behavior, and habituated behaviors are not easy to extinguish.

I'd add to the advice you'll find on the Internet. Enlist some understanding friend(s) and/or relatives to help support you and your child. They can provide support as your cheerleader, confessor, and/or coach. A favorite aunt or uncle can be the neutral person your child may need as she/he works through this complex behavioral pattern.

Best wishes for success in this area. You aren't alone in dealing with this, but hopefully one day you and your spouse will find yourselves 'alone' at last.

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