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How do I get my 4 year old to sleep by himself?

My son has always slept with me. It started because of a scare we had when he was 6 weeks old. He stopped breathing in the middle of the night. Then it continued cause we always lived in a one bedroom and he didn't have his own bed. Now it's 4 years later and I finally got a two bedroom and got him his very own bed. But as you can imagine, he isn't liking it. Any advice on how to get him to stay in his own room in his own bed????

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Asked by belange at 9:56 PM on Feb. 3, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • I coslept with my older daughter from when she was born until her 2nd bday. What helped her was letting her help her bed, sheet set, etc. After a while she wanted to come back to my bed so I would just take her back and sit with her until she fell asleep. Sometimes i'd have to sit in there for an hour but now it's so worth it!

    Answer by mychinababy at 10:01 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • I agree with the former post. I would let him help pick his bedding, let him help make his bed. Make it fun for him to have his own place to sleep. It will take a while before he is completely secure sleeping on his own, and unfortunately that may mean some sleepless nights for you, but it will pay off in the end. Think of a system of rewards for him when he sleeps in his own bed. Do like a sticker chart or something. Make sure you let him pick the sticker, and put it on the chart. If he has fun with it, maybe it will make it easier for him!! Good Luck!!!

    Answer by tishalb at 10:07 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • Go to the store with him and let him pick out whatever sheets and blankets he wants for his bed, and maybe a special night light he likes. If he's willing, let him help you make the bed, too. Then have a talk with him about how he's a big boy now and it's time he has his very own bed.... Make it sound exciting. For a little while, at least, sit by his bed until he falls asleep, moving farther away from his bed each night. It might help him to have a radio playing really low, I had to do that for my dd for about a month when we were having bedtime issues.

    Hope that helps!

    Answer by hbourne at 10:09 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • I have written a ~>~>~>JOURNAL<~<~<~ about this. Take a look. Hope that helps!!!


    Answer by RutterMama at 10:13 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • I admit, I am an over- indulgent mom in this area. I actually love having my son sleep next to me. I sleep better when he is there because I worry too much about things like the Elizabeth Smart story. Anyway, some ideas in addition to the ones above, is to put on a lullaby CD and lay on the floor next to his bed. You might just get a blow up mattress and sleep there for a few nights, so he gets used to his new bed and you are right there close by. I also got my son a lava lamp and put it high on a shelf so he can't get at it. But he loves to fall asleep looking at the bubbles too. Start a new routine. Have him drink some milk, then go read books, brush teeth, have a prayer and then tuck him and and kiss him and lay on the floor. I would even go so far as to let him sleep on the blow up mattress if he asks...a few times. Just to get used to the new schedule. Gradually move him into his bed and leave earlier and earlier.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:34 PM on Feb. 4, 2010

  • What I did with my children, I start them off in their bed. Whenever they got up in the middle of the night and try to get in bed with me, I put them back in their bed. It will take some sleep away from you but in the long run they will start sleeping in their bed.

    Answer by stormy262007 at 5:57 PM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • Hey everyone..I asked the question awhile ago and I just want to say and all out thanks to all of you. BUT my son took to it like a fish takes to water. It was amazing. I Have had no issues at all. He loves it and I didn't have to do anything. It was just like potty training. One day he just took his diaper off and refused to wear it to bed and has not wore a diaper since that day!!! I'm just getting shocked over and over again!!! WOW!!

    Answer by belange at 12:55 AM on Feb. 21, 2010

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