DS suddenly scared of sleeping alone :-(

(22 Posts)
CrispsCrispsCrisps Sat 02-Jan-16 20:07:17

DS turns 4 in a few weeks time and has always been a good sleeper. We turn out the light completely and he sleeps with his teddy and comforter in his own bed. We watch him on the monitor and it's always been this way for the last two years.

About a month ago he was quite ill so would wake up in the night and meant we would put him in bed with us. Shortly afterwards he started to get up at around 1am, sometimes later, and come into our room and get into bed. When you're so tired you give in but as I'm pregnant I'm getting bigger and can't have him in our bed as he kicks. What has happened is he's ended up being taken into the spare room by DH or we've taken it in turns sleeping in there because we can't seem to break the habit of DS getting out of bed.

One night earlier this week he slept through in his own bed, after much persuasion and we were so pleased! Since then it's gone downhill. He wakes up after a few hours crying saying he's scared (he has a night light now and has had for a few months) and saying he doesn't like the dark. We put another lamp in his room and have even left the door open. Yet every night he cries and ends up asking to sleep with us.

Tonight was really sad because at around 7pm he just started crying and getting really upset. He said it was because he didn't want to go to sleep and didn't want to be in his room alone with nobody else to sleep with. DH and I both tried to talk to him and distract him as well as reassure him but he continued to cry. We think he's genuinely scared of sleeping alone and don't know what to do. Any help would be appreciated as we are one tired family at the moment!

JoanFerguson Sat 02-Jan-16 20:11:09

Just take turns to sleep with him?

CrispsCrispsCrisps Sat 02-Jan-16 20:14:35

We have been but it means going to bed for the night at 6.45pm because when he does wake up he wants you next to him again.

Artandco Sat 02-Jan-16 20:19:30

Can you move his bed mattress into your room so he's next to your bed? That way he is comforted your both nearby, and you both get to stay in bed. Explain he can sleep there, but you need your own bed alone so you can rest properly and belly getting too big

He's probably just worried about new baby arriving so wants to be close

Artandco Sat 02-Jan-16 20:21:03

Maybe add a small nightlight also, an extra teddy, and tell him you will come back to see him

neonrainbow Sat 02-Jan-16 20:22:09

Is he scared or is he playing up to the,attention knowing now that its nicer if one if your parents will give you attention if you dont go to sleep?

myotherusernameisbetter Sat 02-Jan-16 20:22:33

Mine went through a little period of this. We appointed one of their soft toys as a guardian. While DS was in bed, we'd have a conversation with the chosen toy and explain to it that it was in charge and was to protect and look after DS and get their agreement. They'd then be sat on the end of the bed watching over DS - worked like a charm....worth a try?

CrispsCrispsCrisps Sat 02-Jan-16 20:23:42

He doesn't know about new baby yet as I'm only 4 months. He seems to be scared of the dark and we've got him a night light but it isn't very bright so the other night we put a lamp in there as well. One night we left the light on altogether. We don't know whether to be firm and insist he sleeps in there or give in. It's been going on for weeks!

We get little sleep in the bed with him and he also wakes up groggy and struggles all the next day

thisismypassword Sat 02-Jan-16 20:23:51

Would also recommend a nightlight. It sorted out dd's sleeping a treat

CrispsCrispsCrisps Sat 02-Jan-16 20:24:55

It's partly attention and partly fear. He will ask for Daddy of Mummy won't agree and vice versa

myotherusernameisbetter Sat 02-Jan-16 20:27:26

My elder DS didn't like the little gap between the top of his wardrobe sliding door and the moulding - we stuck a sheet of paper up there so he couldn't see the gap - has he said what it is that is scaring him? - could be something as simple as the angle of the door casting a shadow or something.

CrispsCrispsCrisps Sat 02-Jan-16 20:27:57

He has a teddy he sleeps with and takes everywhere and we tell him he will look after him but even that doesn't seem to comfort him at the moment.

We went out one day and he picked a new teddy to sleep with and promised he would. He lasted til 4am then walked in with a cheeky look and got into the bed so some of it is just playing up. Tonight was genuine upset though

CrispsCrispsCrisps Sat 02-Jan-16 20:29:12

Myother that's a good point, I'll ask him. He did say he didn't like his curtains before so we took them down. Now he just says he wants to sleep with us

Artandco Sat 02-Jan-16 20:30:59

Mine both went through stages they wanted to be closer at night also. They both co slept as babies and have own beds , but in between they have gone through phases of wanting to sleep in our bed. Now at 4 and 5, both usually fall asleep in our bed together, then we move them later into own beds. Probably 2-3 days a week 4 year old comes back into our bed again at some point, 5 year old now comes in only maybe one night a month.
At 3 both still ended up in our bed from about 4am onwards every night.
Some just take longer to want to sleep alone I feel

RhubarbAndMustard Sat 02-Jan-16 20:37:21

Watching with interest as DS has started doing the same. I'm 7 months pregnant so we end up utilising the spare room too which isn't ideal. Breaks my heart when he seems so scared of being alone in his room.

myotherusernameisbetter Sat 02-Jan-16 20:43:27

Apart from once or twice when they were very unwell, we didn't have them in our bed until DS1 was about 10 and was being bullied at school - it's heartbreaking when an independent 10 year old wants to sleep with his mum and dad sad

I think if they don't know it's possible they just never think of it - once it's become a habit it's hard to break it so I understand.

CrispsCrispsCrisps Sat 02-Jan-16 21:50:41

It sounds like we will just have to ride it out...

Wolfiefan Sat 02-Jan-16 21:54:22

Torch?
Special teddy to look after him?
Something of yours to cuddle?
Picture of you to look at?
Nightlight?
Door slightly open?
Groclock or ordinary alarm with instructions not to get up until x o'clock?
You say he doesn't know you are pg but could he have figured out something is up?
Sound like he's got into a comfort routine of being in your bed. May have to take the back to bed approach I'm afraid.

neonrainbow Sun 03-Jan-16 08:43:28

When he walked in at 4am did you let him in our did you take him back to bed?

CrispsCrispsCrisps Sun 03-Jan-16 12:54:58

Wolfiefan we've tried everything apart from the photo so will try that. Thanks

CrispsCrispsCrisps Sun 03-Jan-16 12:55:39

Neonrainbow we've tried both. He will cry and refuse to go back so it's a battle and we end up giving in

MissCalamity Sun 03-Jan-16 14:39:36

Oh god, sounds exactly like my DS who is 6 & has been doing this since August.
We have tried everything suggested & he still gets up, DP ends up going in his bed & DS ends up in ours.
We have tried leaving him to cry it out on occasions but he wakes up DD & then no-one gets any sleep hmm

So no advice I'm afraid but watching with interest!

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