At my wits end! 3yo won't stay in his bed!!(23 Posts)
Currently 7months pregnant with DD (2nd child) and 3yo DS is doing my bleeding head in!! I love DS more than life itself like all of us do but he literally ends up in our bed every night. Every. Night. We've tried gates, we've tried incentives, we've tried repeatedly putting him back in his own bed and none of it works!! I've even tried taking things away from him (like a trip to the park) saying if he's going to behave like a baby then I'll have to treat him like one!! At my wits end am getting no rest and constantly got an achey neck and back from being so cramped in my bed someone- please help me I cried my eyes out this morning out of frustration!!
I just wanted to give you a handhold!
DD is 2 and the same. Nearly lost it this morning entirely - was up 8 times in the night with her 😭
I have DS1 (3.5) and DS2 (5 months). DS1 usually wakes at some point in the night. We've tried all manner of different things but ultimately we can't stop him waking up, and we can't stop him wanting a cuddle when he does. If we put him back in his own room he'll settle fine but there's a good chance he'll wake again (or wake up very early). We handle it by DH sleeping in the spare room and DS1 joining him if we wakes (about 6 nights out of 7). It's not great but we all get a good amount of sleep that way. I'm hoping DS1 will grow out of it. They will be sharing a room when older to try and avoid this situation with DS2!
Have you got a gro clock? Its the only thing that worked with ds who was up through the night constantly! We had a gro clock and a sleep chart, if he got up through the night he lost his bedtime story the next night.
If he stayed in bed he got a sticker on his chart, if he managed a full weeks worth of stickers he got a special treat (which was usually a kinder egg which he can have anytime but because he felt he'd earned it he was happy!) Its also helped him to go from waking at half 5 to 7 now. Sorry if you've tried all this, can completely feel where you're coming from as I was part of the up al night club too... If he's cold try fleecy pyjamas from matalan, they also helped ds sleep a bit longer on his own.
Have you asked him why he does it? We found a night light and some toys/teddies helped. Is he in a toddler bed still? As we've also found our 3 year old sleeps much better in a full sized bed as the cover doesn't fall off as much.
Thanks HmmHaa it's so not easy is it 😔 Don't get me wrong I totally understand why they do it- us adults get to sleep in a room together but he's out on his own so I do understand and feel bad about not letting him stay in with us but it's just the lack of sleep and cramped space just kills me 😔 Furry & Jazzy both great ideas thank you i will try these, perhaps start with the chart and see how well this works and then if still no hope when DD arrives will have to go into seperate rooms! (DP and I) LightCola yes we never bothered with a toddler bed! Went straight to full size, he also has a large duvet a quilt topper and a fleece blanket with tons of toys and extra pillows down the end of the bed (obviously this is all in there now it's colder) I think it's just the act of he always wakes in the night and honestly just wants to see us (and the cat because obviously every living thing in our house wants to sleep in our bloody bed!) and he just wants to have cuddles and it breaks my heart to come across like a big meany but I'm just breaking being pregnant on top of it all! Thanks so much for your responses ladies it's not easy is it
Get yourself a bigger bed! You don't sleep alone, but you expect him to. He's probably lonely in his own bed at night and just wants the comfort of being with you. One day he won't want to do it anymore and you'll be wistful for the days your little boy wanted to sleep with his mummy. Don't call him a baby, as if being a baby is some kind of insult! Especially if you about to introduce him to a new baby.
Give it a bit more time. He's three. He's not ready to separate from you in this way yet. You might be ready, but he's not.
Perhaps the new baby about to be born is making him feel a bit needy.
Sorry if this isn't helpful, as you just wanted advice as to how to stop this, I'm just wondering if you could instead change the way you feel about
Although another idea is, when he gets into your bed, you go back to his bed and get in it with him. Then gradually you start to take up all the room, so he ends up pushing you out of the way and possibly asking you to go back to your own bed!
A gro clock has helped our reluctant sleeper a lot, as well as associated bribes! We were co sleepers but reached a point where neither she or us were sleeping properly because we were disturbing each other, and we have a ridiculously big bed, so that's not always the easy answer. Good luck, it is really hard work isn't it! Must be really tough with another on the way as well
I should add, everyone I know with a 3-4 year gap has had a period of disturbed nights from the 3 year old in late pregnancy/early days with newborn. It's a lot to process for them.
We went for the separate rooms for DH and I because I just couldn't hack the idea of being disturbed by both DCs. I'm a really light sleeper and can struggle sharing a bed at the best of times. Also I knew the likelihood was I'd have a period of co- sleeping with DS2 (I did) and I didn't think co-sleeping with a toddler and a newborn was a great idea.
Oh you're me! 40+5 here so baby will be here any day. My nearly 3yo jumps in with me every night. She goes to her bed on her own around 8pm and runs in to my room around 11pm/midnight. We tried sleep training, GroClock, incentives etc. It got worse during this pregnancy as I physically couldn't get up fast enough to resettle her (back and pelvic problems) so she went from running in at 5am to running in at 11pm knowing mummy couldn't stop her .
I can't do anything now without it looking like the baby's fault. My solution is just to roll with it. She likes night time snuggles and it keeps her happy. Hopefully she'll sleep through the baby crying....My head is firmly in the sand there.
Sorry, that's not very helpful....
I'm 38 weeks pregnant and we just cracked this with my 4 year old by putting a cot mattress on the floor next to our bed. He can wander in and get in that whenever he pleases but I will not let him in our bed. I just can't and we have a super king! I was a grumpy short tempered mess. He protested it for a few weeks but I would not give in. I just very calmly said you can sleep there or in your room. He is right bloody next to me but not kicking me and keeping me up all night. We made it his special bed and talked a lot about it for a few days. Once that transition was made we did a reward chart for staying in his own bed all night and it worked. He needed an interim step. The cot mattress still lives under my bed and I can just slide it out if he needs it. Might be worth a go.
Fantastic I hear what you're saying, sorry I didn't mean I name call him a baby I mean he likes to pick and choose if he's 'only a little boy' or he is a 'big boy' based on what ever the situation is (eg he's a little boy when he does not want to do a chore but he's a big boy when he wants to have a privilege relating to older kids) so I just let him know if that's how he's going to choose how to be he'll be treated accordingly- simple. Yes he is only three years old and yes one day I will be wistful but if I'm at the end of my tether then I can't really do anything about it. Wish I could! We used to have a bigger bed and it literally didn't change anything but like I said it's because I'm pregnant I'm really struggling- but I do agree with it being because me and his dad get to share a room and he doesn't and I feel bad about that.
isuppose & furry It is hard- to be honest now we've been up for awhile I just sort of crack on despite having a headache most days and this baby likes to comfy transverse style and it makes me feel even worse! I also understand this is mostly a complaining rant to let off the steam!
milkshake & huffa glad you understand haha! It wouldn't be so bad if he peacefully got in bed for a cuddle but he gets in with ten different teddies and slaps and kicks me and his dad whilst we're both half awake and cramped up the edge 😫 Haha this is the thick of parenting though don't know what I expect 🤗
A lightbulb has just gone on with that idea about the mattress by the bed, huffa!
Will try this!
Hats off to you all doing this whilst being pregnant. There does reach a point with co-sleeping for some people where it just stops working. Defo has for me otherwise I would just roll with it.
Good luck - I am watching with interest.
I would get a small spare mattress and let him sleep on it next to your bed for a while
I felt like I could be more consistent and firm knowing that I was meeting his need to be near me and meeting my own need to actually sleep. Really it's all about being consistent. It worked for everyone as a great interim step. It's also good for when he's poorly now and I'm happy to have him near me but now actually breathing in my face!
huffa haha! Glad something is working for you!! But definetly agreeing on the breath thing 😅 Woke up to DS in with us again last night but felt bad about being so annoyed with him last night! DP often goes in DS's bed and leaves us in our bed- perhaps that will have to be done so everyone can get some rest!!
It certainly isn't easy and I totally feel your frustration. But at least know that there will definitely be a solution - even if that is waiting for him to grow out of it! I'm pretty sure he won't want to bunk in with you when he is 15!
It kinda depends why he is doing it, what you want and how much you want it. If you're set on him sleeping/staying in his own bed through the night then it would be better to pick a method and see it through - it sounds like you've tried several. Given you'll have another baby soon and if you're already not getting enough sleep, it could be tricky in a few months' time either to encourage better sleeping habits for your son or allow him to continue to sleep with you.
My DD was a great sleeper until DS came along and it was a similar situation to yours. We eventually tried the controlled cry it out method, it took a week and worked like a charm, although requires some tough love to get through it! What does he do when you put him back into his own bed? Do you say anything to him when you do it?
It seems that the trick is to be completely non-emotional about it. Saying nothing after the first time and repeating until he stays, regardless of how he reacts or how many times that may be. I'm sure it's not for everyone, it definitely got worse before it got better. But with a newborn to care for on top, we were literally getting no sleep at night at all. Whatever you decide, good luck!
What about putting an inflatable mattress on the floor in your room.
Hadn't finished! Then if he comes in while you're asleep he can go there.
I have the same age gap, though we're many years on. Yeah, it's rubbish isn't it?! My husband coslept with him while I got into the kids bed ha ha! Or put a mattress on the floor in our room, so he could join us but leave me and belly space.
I think that you have to make the waking up no fun. Not answering any requests. No cuddles.
Put back to bed. On the first return tell them it is nighttime and you'll talk in the morning and then return to bed. Then return without eye contact or talking until they give up.
Gro clock to reinforce nighttime.
Be consistent. Do not falter and they'll get the message. That's the most difficult bit. My SIL has done the same so many times but one night of letting them bed share and back to square one
Had the same problem, 3yo DD and I'm 8 months pregnant (started my own thread about this a while back!). We've also put a cot mattress on the floor next to our bed & she comes in most nights with her teddies
and dummies and I flick a blanket over her. Far less stressful than trying to return her to bed. Have always said she can't be in our bed though, unless it's nearly getting up time and we have a cuddle. Not sure what'll happen when the baby is lined up alongside us as well though
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