Need help with a 4 year old issue.

  1. Well my son who always slept well in his bed has decided since we moved to a new state and new house that he is afraid of the dark and won't sleep in his bed. We live in a 1 level house and his room is on the other side of the house. He will get up in the middle of the night and sneak into our room either wake up daddy or sleep on our floor. It has been going on 4 months now. He throws anxiety panic like fits when we put him in his bed at night. Any suggestions???
     
  2. I think maybe his room is too isolated if its on the other side of the house from yours. Maybe move him closer to your room. Also, try lying with him until he gets sleepy, night light, a good bedtime routine that's calming. I think he is just not secure yet in his new house and needs to be closer to you.
     
  3. Maybe you can make him a little blanket bed on the floor for when he comes to your room, and over time he'll get more comfortable in his room and want to stay there? You could try carrying him back to his room after he has fallen asleep in your room. He still young, don't worry that he will never go back to his room. I think not making it a big deal will be a good tactic in the long run for this. Good luck :smile:
     
  4. I wouldn't make a habit out of allowing him to sleep on your floor....
    Does he have a night light? Perhaps he might need some fairly decent light in his room to feel more comfortable. When my son when through an "I'm scared" phase, he had 3 night lights in his room:P Are there any strange sounds that could be causing him to be scared? If you're in a new house, there could be a sound that he's not used to (like when we moved and the heating/air conditioning unit was located right outside our son's bedroom window and it took some getting used to). Some lullaby music or a sound machine (with white noise or other relaxing sounds) could block out any noise. They also make all sorts of things that could serve as night time distractions. My daughter has this thing called "Rainbow in my Room" and it shines a rainbow across her wall in the dark (I think the same company makes "Moon in my Room"). There are also plush toys or other things that project images or stars on the ceiling. The bottom line is that while all of these things are not ideal, they might work to temporarily make him feel more comfortable in his own room, which is where he need to be. Also, think about if something could have caused the fears. A friend of mine had a DD who was suddenly terrified at night (it got to the point where she was waking up the whole family all night long). They found out that her older brother was watching Scooby Doo and she saw it too, which gave her nightmares and created anxiety.
     
  5. My son has a plush seahorse that lights up and plays classical music when his stomach is pressed. That helps my 3.5 year old when he thinks his room is too dark
     
  6. Totally agree with the nightlight suggestions. My 3.5 old son decided a couple of months ago that there were monsters in his room because it was too dark (and he has been sleeping all of this time just fine in his room without a nightlight--so never had problems before). We turn on the nightlight when he goes to bed, and typically I try to turn it off a couple hours after he falls asleep, and that has worked out fine.

    I also think that whatever causes them to start going to your room, to try to work on that right away because it will become a habit. In our case a while back it worked to start a sticker calendar where he earns a sticker for staying in bed, and after 7 days, he gets a treat of his choice. Mainly it put him back in the habit of staying, and it really helped.

    Other times in the past when it was driven by being scared of something we just had to be reassuring but put him back to his bed right away...if he got back up we just kept placing him back in--because even though they are scared they still need to break the habit.

    good luck!
     
  7. I think that he is too far away from you in a new house - try moving him closer, small kids feel scared quickly when alone, and especially in a new house. my kids always have the door open a little bit and we have light on outside the rooms, so they are not in the dark alone.
     
  8. I think the rooms in a house are where they are, and children adapt quite well to things (meaning in some situations it wouldn't be realistic to move someone closer if there is not a closer bedroom). My son is across the house on the 1st floor and it has never been an issue--he has been that way since he was born. We used a monitor until age 2 or early 3, and stopped at that point as he could easily come get us if there was something he really needed.

    Given this is a new home to you, it makes a lot of sense that he is adapting....JMHO that changing rooms/locations seems a bit extreme before trying other things.
     
  9. I guess different points of view:

    I generally don't force my children into something they are scared off - there are always tough phases but so far they have outgrown everything 'annoying' like wanting to co-sleep because they are scared etc. I find it more beneficial for their self-esteem to not force them into uncomfortable situations, if I can help it.
     
  10. You are right...everyone has different preferences, and I honestly didn't mean my response as a criticism. I guess I was just thinking that if I had asked the original question and had no means to move my son to a closer room (in that there wasn't any other room in the house), I would want suggestions that would help with the current situation. And also want to give him time to adapt in the current room in the new house.

    But yes, we all have different approaches and though I am not one for co-sleeping I respect that others are okay with that. Thanks :smile:
     
  11. kcf: tell us more about his new room.

    Does he have a night light? Is there a tree outside his window that might make scary shadows?
     
  12. Oh my gosh the room is lit up like a Christmas tree. So is the hall way. It is blue boys room. We have plushy toys that light up. We have a small room enough for a Office attached to our room {it was a nursery at one time I believe}. It is about 3000 square ft house. His stuff won't fit in there plus it doesn't have a closet. I put in his bed after he falls asleep and he is always back in our room by morning?????
     
  13. This sounds like my little boys room. He still won't sleep in it. I have tried everything too..
     
  14. Is it possible to set him up a temporary room in the room attached to your room? Maybe just a toddler bed, etc. I know it's not ideal, but it's not co-sleeping and he's not "in" your room per se. It might help just to keep the peace for a while until he's not afraid any more.
     
  15. My home is very similar. I have my 3.5 year old in the office/nursery next to our room. Ineviablty, he wakes up screaming with fear - I don't know why as he has been in that room since the day we brought him home from the hospital. It started around the age if 18 months. I ask him what frightens him but he just keeps telling me he wants to sleep with mummy.