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My almost 4yo lost his sleep mojo

(8 Posts)
Stevie77 Tue 13-Feb-18 15:50:22

And I’ve no idea how to help him and us get more sleep - any advice appreciated as we’re at breaking point!

His room was decorated with new furniture and bed just before Christmas. He eas ill a few weeks back, so much so we needed to keep an eye on him so took turns to sleep in his bed with him. So now he will only go to sleep if one of us is there. And not only that, he’ll wake up at night and demand (loudly- shouting, crying) one of us sits with him until he falls asleep. Feels like a bad habit but he says he’s scared, probably of the dark. He has a night light on and when I’ve tried a slightly brighter one that seemed to get in the way of him falling asleep.

In the past we’ve used a star chart and treats to get him to stay in bed/go to sleep on his own (he got into bad habits before). But it’s not working at the moment. We’ve chatted about it but he forgets everything in the middle of the night, as can be expected.

I’ve no idea what else to do. We’re knackered. He’s knackered. DH and I are arguing about it because of the resulting stress.


Stevie77 Wed 14-Feb-18 15:35:38


Realise most of the woes on here are baby-related but...anyone?

HerbsAndStewedRabbit Wed 14-Feb-18 15:49:01

I’m mainly just bumping for you but my just turned four year old has always needed someone there to fall asleep and if he wakes in the night. I’ve lost all perspective on it and don’t really know whether to keep on pandering to it or get tougher 🤔

Stevie77 Thu 22-Feb-18 11:39:58

Bumping one more time...

keepitgoing Thu 22-Feb-18 16:51:17

Hmm I have a 4 year old, and that is well old enough to understand that everyone needs their sleep. Mine sometimes tells me she's had bad dreams, I don't always believe her. I think after all the explaining in the day, I'd then go in to him at night, kiss and cuddle then leave and tell him he doesn't have to sleep but just stay quiet and rest. I'd probably do some good bribery too to help end the habit... Good luck

FATEdestiny Thu 22-Feb-18 19:25:59

His room was decorated with new furniture and bed just before Christmas

Is this when he moved from a cot to a bed? Or was the transition from a cot done earlier?

he says he’s scared, probably of the dark

There is no reason not to believe this, aged 3 is the average age to suddenly develop bring scared of the dark.

I wouldn't pander though, just solve it in a no-fuss way. If the night light isn't bright enough, try a lamp.

I installed dimmer switches in bedrooms for my children (very easy, I DIYed it). The headset slept with the main light on, but dimmed right down. It then stops the fuss while being fully compassionate to being scared of the dark. "Woke scared in the night"? No problem, we'll put the light up a bit. Nan night now. And back to bed for me. = no big fuss or hassle.

Stevie77 Thu 01-Mar-18 20:21:11

He was in a toddler bed previously. So not hugely different from a single bed which is only a bit bigger. He does occasionally say he doesn’t like his bed, but no reason for it. It’s really comfy!

I do believe him that he’s scared and I wouldn’t normally pander either, it’s the ferocity of his nightly tantrums if he’s returned to his bed or left to go back to sleep alone that’s making me go along with it. Partly because it’s quicker and easier and partly because otherwise he wakes up his older sister. It’s impossible to reason, talk or distract him in the middle of the night as he’s so upset.

mellongoose Tue 06-Mar-18 18:39:47

Am bumping for you, @Stevie77

My 3.5 yo is now back in our bed because of a similar pattern. I therefore have no useful advice for you but am feeling grateful for your thread and for the advice given! 😳

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