Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bedtime Shuffle

X-man has trouble calming down to go to sleep. He's had this issue since he was 27 months or so. It was at that time he developed the ability to imagine things in his room like monsters and ghosts. Before then, we'd put him in his bed and he'd roll over and drift off to sleep happily. Almost two years later, one of us still has to lie next to him in bed for him to fall asleep. Some days he's out in five minutes. Most days it take 30 minutes. On rare occasions, we're in there for 2 hours.

Then around 3:30 a.m., when X-man gets up to pee, he runs into our room and climbs into our bed. He's always been a very mobile sleeper. So this isn't restful for anyone.

MacTroll started talking to some other folks about their near 4 year olds. Not very many other kids in our parenting social group appear to have this issue unless they're sick or have had a bad dream. We decided we wanted X-man out of our bed, so we could rest better. Even with my weight loss, a horizontal 42" child that kicks, a 45lb dog and MacTroll and I fill up the king-sized bed pretty quickly.

Earlier in the week, I started the bedtime show down. My child was like a rhino on fire about it. So we worked out a negotiation on both points. He could either sleep in his bed by himself or he could sleep on the floor of our room on a sleeping bag. BUT he had to go to sleep right away. The first two nights were rough. He'd say he wasn't comfortable on the floor (he has a mat under him). I reminded him that he has a big comfy bed in his room, if he'd rather use it. I also offered to tuck him in and give him a kiss and a hug if he needed them, but I would not lay with him.

In response, he rolled over in his sleeping bag and fell asleep. The last two nights he's been really good about coming in, lying down, getting tucked into his sleeping bag and just going to sleep. At some point in the next few months we'll work on getting him solely in his bed. But right now, it feels really good to not have him in ours. I've gone 4 days without waking up to body bruises or a kinked neck or a sore back. It's been heavenly.

If anyone has some ideas on how to get a child to sleep in his or her own bed, I'll take some recommendations.

1 comment:

Debra said...

I don't know if this works... but I have heard you can start moving his bed in your room slowly further and further from where it is. Toward the door, into the hallway, into his bedroom... Not sure about it but I have heard of it. Do you have a room that is maybe closer to yours than his? Maybe you could put the sleeping bag in a closer room and still give him the two options?