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How can I get my kids to sleep in their own beds at night?

Both my 7 year old and my almost-3-year old sleep with me at night. I absolutely DREAD bed time because niether one of them sleep in their own beds. My oldest will sleep in her bed fine -- after she whines and cries and screams about it. My youngest WILL NOT sleep in his bed; the few times I have tried, he will get up and down for hours. I eventually give up for 3 reasons: first, it turns into a game. He knows that I am going to put him right back down as soon as he steps out of his room, and before I know it, he's turned it into peek-a-boo. I also have to get up early for work, so I cannot afford to lose sleep because I was up all night trying to put my son down, and finally, he shares a room with his sister who has to get up early for school - I don't want for his rambunciousness to keep her up. Anyone have any suggestions as to what I should to to make bed time smoother (& get kids to sleep in their own beds!)?

Answer Question

Asked by nappeal at 1:20 PM on Dec. 19, 2008 in General Parenting

Level 14 (1,369 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • Cold turkey.

    You made this bed (ha!) so now you've got to get them out of it.

    No matter what, they sleep in their own beds. Just be a robot if you have to - dont' give them any more attention than necessary - put them back in their own beds.

    Drink lots of coffee or use a vacation day or whatever you need to do to get through the next day!

    Answer by Wimsey at 1:52 PM on Dec. 19, 2008

  • Consistency is the KEY.

    Answer by Wimsey at 1:52 PM on Dec. 19, 2008

  • Make a plan and stick to it, set a routine.
    I will give you an example of our bedtime routine (I have a 12yr old, 6 yrold and a 5 yr old) this mainly pertains to the 5 and 6 yr old. Our 12 yr old takes a shower at 8pm and its off to bed for him.
    7pm bath/shower time,pick out clothes for the next day, 7:30 room cleanup time, they get 15 minutes to get it done
    7:45 story time, and they take turns choosing the book...
    8pm LIGHTS OUT.
    It doesn't go by the minute but you get the idea... A routine is the key and like the other Mom said Consistency!!!

    Answer by cheryl4martin at 2:34 PM on Dec. 19, 2008

  • You know what? I told my 4 kids one morning that it was ridiculous that all of them where in my bed the night before. (ages 4,3,and2) . I told them from now on, no one will be in my bed at all. And if they crept in in the middle of the night, I would send them back to bed, and not go with them to tuck them in. That night, I repeated the speech as I tucked them in, and told them very sternly that they were not allowed in my bed any more. When they did try, I did just what I told them. I told them to go back to bed, and they weren't coming in mine.

    I think it was my 4 year old who ended up on the floor, but he was so uncomfortable, that didn't last many nights. Good Luck!

    Answer by my4lads at 4:03 PM on Dec. 19, 2008

  • I went through this for a little while with my youngest so what I did was put her to bed, kissed her goodnight and told her I was going to set the timer for 5 minutes and when the timer beeped I would come back in and check on her and give her another kiss goodnight (but she wasn't allowed to get out of bed) and then we would start all over. Each time I would increase the time by one minute until she was asleep, after a couple of weeks we stopped using the timer.

    Answer by sammiesmom2000 at 4:08 PM on Dec. 19, 2008

  • I tried to put into use the new "rules" on Friday night since there was no work or school the next day.  My daughter went to sleep with minimal problems, but my son was up and down, and crying or asking for things for a good 2 hours.  He finally conked out, and it was great to have the night - and my bed - back to myself!

    The problem really came to be when I woke up the nest morning, and somehow the both of them were back in my bed!


    Answer by nappeal at 11:58 AM on Dec. 22, 2008

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