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Unwanted visitor in the night

(13 Posts)
GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 14-Jun-11 18:21:53

(This is another Ask a gran question posed by readers of The Radio Times.)

Our five year old wakes and comes into bed with us most nights at about 1am. We have tried every tactic to get him back to bed, but are often so exhausted we give in and one of us goes and sleeps in hisroom. What can we do? I keep telling myself it won’t go on for ever!

mollie Tue 14-Jun-11 20:38:03

My son did the same thing from the age of 2 until 4 (so he's younger than your son). This coincided with my marriage ending so there was often just the two of us in the bed and sometimes I tried to get him back in his own and sometimes, when I was too tired or just liked having him there, I let him lie. Eventually he stopped doing it by himself but I have no idea if this will be the case for you. Do you know why he has started this trick? Is he anxious about anything?

HildaW Tue 14-Jun-11 21:33:39

As long as he knows you will eventually give in....he will continue.

harrigran Tue 14-Jun-11 22:55:51

When our child tried to get into our bed we just picked her up and carried her back to her own bed. The first night it was several times but it got less and less until she got tired of trying and stayed in her own bed. You can not function the next day if you have broken nights and tots are terrible wrigglers.

absentgrana Wed 15-Jun-11 12:35:56

The good thing – and the sad thing – is that nothing in childhood lasts.

Poppygran Wed 15-Jun-11 12:50:26

I think I'm in the minority here but I just used to cuddle mine in and we went back to sleep. It was never encouraged but never forbidden either so it fizzled out in it's own time.

susiecb Wed 15-Jun-11 13:55:14

My mother told me that most thngs with children are phases and just about as soon as you think you can stand it no longer it changes. Dont fret!

lucid Wed 15-Jun-11 14:34:21

Whenever my son did this we just waited until he'd gone back to sleep and then carefully lifted him and put him back into his own bed. He soon grew out of wanting to be in our bed in the night. The important thing is not to make an issue of it.

BurgundyGran Wed 15-Jun-11 19:01:42

We did as harrigran did, pick them up and put them back in their own bed. At the begining it was a few times a night but eventually they got fed up with it. No engaging in conversation, just pick them up put them to bed and leave them.

My daughter's children did it after their parents split up. Soon they settled and soon they liked their own bed and when they each got their own room even better. Daughter has a new partner who the kids adore, recently he has had to go away to work and grandaughter wants to sleep with mummy the first night he went away. Every time he comes back and leaves she wants to go in with mummy so daughter has decided it has to stop.

Myfanwy Thu 16-Jun-11 17:24:26

There's nothing more natural than a child's desire to snuggle up with parents during the night. If you can sleep with a child in your bed then why not give in?; it'll stop soon enough. If you can't sleep, keep taking him back to his own room when he drops off. Do whatever you must to keep sane and get through the next day.

crimson Thu 16-Jun-11 17:33:25

If you make a hard and fast rule about your children not being able to get into bed with you, what happens if they have a nightmare or are feeling unwell or frightened? Should they not know that they can always go to their mum or dad at any time of day or night if they need to.... they won't do it forever1

janlyn44 Thu 16-Jun-11 17:55:28

With our third child who would get into our bed every night, we bought a bigger bed and we all slept peacefully.She is now 34 has her own home and bed and we still sleep in the same bed peacefully....

Lynette Thu 16-Jun-11 19:25:49

It won't go on for ever. Promise.

But make his room as attractive as possible - a personal radio maybe or cd player and a snack. Interesting books around..make it worth staying in his room. Allow hism to adjust the light to what he wants it to be. Check for noises in the night - does the boiler wake him up? Or the neighbours?