A waking preschooler

A waking preschooler

I have three kids who are all great sleepers. They’ve all slept in their own space from birth and in their own rooms from about 3 or 4 months on.
Lately, our youngest (3 years old) has been getting up to come into bed with us. At first it was shortly before we had to get up anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal, but now it’s in the middle of the night. Last night she came in at 11:30, so I put her back in her room, but she woke up a few more times after that. I’ve told her she needs to wait until she sees light before she can get in bed with us, but it’s not working.
I’m inclined to think this is just a phase because we’ve been through enough different little parenting issues to know that these things usually pass, but in the meantime, is there a way we can help her start sleeping better in her own bed again? When she comes in with us, she keeps us both awake with her kicking feet and flailing arms 🙂

Comments

  1. If you treat it like a phase that will pass, you could inadvertently create a longer-standing habit. I would gently take her back to her bed every time so she doesn’t continue coming to your bed after the phase ends for the comfort. The trouble is that it’s so much easier to just stay in bed and it takes commitment to get up every time!

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    1. That was my worry too. Last night I got up a few times before finally letting her stay with us around 4 am. I will say that after she got up the first time, she stayed in bed and called for us the next couple of times until getting up again that last time. I suppose it’ll only take a few nights of consistency to get her back in the habit of staying in her own bed. Thanks!

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  2. Is there anything different? Maybe her brothers going to school? We like the MY TOT CLOCK, our kids have to stay in their beds until their clock is yellow!

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    1. We’ve talked about getting one of those off and on for months! We really should. The past couple of nights have been better. Yesterday she stayed in her bed the entire night. This morning she came in our bed, but it was already 6:00 and my alarm was going off, so it wasn’t a big deal.

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    2. I love these clocks and recommend them all the time for kids who are early risers, as well as those who tend to wake up in the middle of the night. Of course when they do get out of their beds, consistency in calmly walking them back to their own bed is the key to getting them to stay there!

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  3. I also love the clocks that turn color when it is “time to wake up”. I find them very useful as 11PM feels just like 4AM to a toddler. Gently walking her back (over and over) will give her the message that she is safe while also sending the clue that she needs to sleep in her own bed. Takes time, in my experience! Maybe also offering a new cuddly or letting her sleep with one of your well-worn t-shirts will give her something to reach for when she awakens in the middle of the night, instead of wandering into your room?

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  4. I think all are great ideas. I would follow up with asking her why she is getting out of bed? Sometimes sleep gets all nutty when kids go through changes or miss us because our schedules change and we get to spend less time with our kids. If these are some of the issues, then talking to her about it would help. If she misses you, try to recap all of the fun things you did together that day and the great things you can do together tomorrow. Also acknowledge her feelings and let her know it’s okay to feel that way but we each sleep in our designated bed. With consistency, patience, and loving kindness you guys will get through it. Good luck!

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