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My 7yo son is shit at sleeping.

(5 Posts)
jobnockey Fri 04-Nov-16 09:47:40

I know this is a problem of my own making but I also know I can’t be the only one… Any advice please on how to encourage my 7 to DS to stay in his own bed all night and improve sleep habits?

He is just rubbish at sleeping on his own . He goes to bed between 8-9pm and we either read together or he reads to himself. If I leave him to it he will invariably keep getting up saying he can’t sleep, until one of us goes and lies next to him when he’ll then go to sleep quite quickly. He then will wake up later in the night (between midnight and 3am usually)and either come through to our room on his own or shout for me until I go to him where I either have to settle him again by lying next to him (and I obviously end up falling asleep by accident and waking up really uncomfortable and disorientated) or just let him come and sleep with us (I usually go for the easier option tbh)

WRT bedtime I’ve been trying to wean him off my presence by leaving before he goes to sleep, or by not lying next to him but just sitting outside his room so he knows I’m there.... this works but it doesn’t stop him from still waking and needing me later.

I feel like we haven’t made much progress since he was a baby! It’s a bit embarrassing really. I babysat for a friend the other night and couldn’t believe how easily and quickly her children went to sleep, lights out, kiss goodnight, snuggle down and that was that! That’s probably normal isn’t it but definitely not my normal.

As I said at the beginning - I am aware it is our fault for indulging the behaviour for so long and if he wasn’t a pfb and an only child I am sure it would have been sorted long ago! Truth is I haven’t minded co-sleeping that much as I know once he stops that’s it. But tbh I expected him to have stopped by now, he’s almost 8 and obviously quite big and wriggly. And I haven’t had an unbroken night’s sleep for 8 years. And it would be nice to sleep in a normal position now.

So… I know we need to do something, and I will probably need to get stricter, but I need a plan. Any ideas?

jobnockey Mon 07-Nov-16 16:16:41

Maybe I am the only one after all!!


FrozenAteMyDaughter Mon 07-Nov-16 16:23:36

No you're not the only one. I could have written your post for you only DD is 6 but not far off 7. She does to sleep if we stay with her, we get an evening, and then she too will be in our bed sometime between midnight and not long after. I sleep okay but DH is like you and hasn't had an unbroken night for years.

Not really sure how to deal with it - we have tried various things over the years but none have worked.

Sorry to be absolutely no help but didn't want you to think you were the only one with this problem. DD is an only too and there is no doubt that that has contributed to the problem. No way we could have put up with more than one in our bed.

Introvertedbuthappy Mon 07-Nov-16 16:24:32

My brother was indulged similarly (I mean that in a kind way). What my parents did was give him a big talk about growing up and being a 'big boy' and that the end of the next week he would be sleeping by himself in his bed. They made a big deal of going out and buying new comfy bedding, new pillows 'like Mummy and Daddy's' and said if he stayed in his bed for the whole week he could choose a 'big boy' you're to mark the transition. First night = tears, but they held firm; end of the week he got his toy and never looked back! Good luck flowers

jobnockey Tue 08-Nov-16 10:35:37

Hi both and thanks for your replies. It’s always good to know you’re not on your own!

I’ve had a big chat with DS about how now he’s nearly 8 he’s a big boy now, and needs to be able to sleep on his own like all of his friends do. I think he wants to, he just likes the company. Interestingly he has never had any problems at all at sleepovers, either at friends or relatives houses and doesn’t seem to miss us during the night at all then. His argument has always been that ‘ you and daddy have a bed together, why am I on my own?’ I couldn’t really argue with this when he was little tbh!

He went to sleep on his own last night anyway, he read to himself and then settled himself so I know he can do it.

He woke at around 1am and shouted for me but stayed in his own bed (I had to wait in his room until he’d fallen asleep again, but at least he stayed put) and then ended up coming through to us at around 4am – so it was a bit of an improvement. I made a fuss of him this morning that he’d nearly stayed the whole night in his room, and have also now offered bribery – if he can start sleeping by himself he gets a new duvet set which he’s been coveting. We’ll see what happens!

Just in case anyone else Is reading this who is worried about long term problems of co-sleeping – I actually wouldn’t do anything differently despite our current issues. I think on balance it’s been lovely and worked so well when he was younger. We just need a bigger bed now! I think we should all just do whatever we need to get us through with the most sleep and the least stress, whatever method works best at the time.

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