I have one of these who leaves his bed somewhere in the early hours simply because he would prefer to be in our bed.
Mostly we do try and take him back to his bed and:
• reassure him if he is scared
• tell him we can hear him and to call us if there is a problem
• make sure he has his favourite toy with him …frog, cow or monkey and in some cases all three
• remind him it is still night time and that he has his lovely bed.
In the winter I did wonder if he was cold and thought about putting a warm wheat bag or water bottle in bed with him as we went up. However, as we were moving into spring, I thought no more of it.
Occasionally, I get in with him for a cuddle but always say I will stay for a bit and then go back to my bed. This has worked really well after a few minutes he is nodding off and I say Mummy is going back to her bed and will see you in the morning. He has never asked me to stay longer or not to go.
There can be times when children have bad dreams and, in fact, my eldest son had night terrors when he would wake at the same time every night beside himself not really knowing where he was and not able to snap out of it like you would from a dream. That took quite a bit of reassuring, talking, calming down and a heap of patience. But he didn’t get out of bed.
Back to the bed leavers…..as I, or even we, (if I include my husband) are not perfect parents it does sometimes get too much and one of us will vacate the bed and go to our son’s bed or roll over and let him in. This can however, can lead to more long term problems and we try not to do it.
If the children are ill then this might be different.
It’s good to talk
We also talk before bedtime about what has gone on that day. That helps work out if anything is bothering a child, and helps younger ones just put the day behind them (my youngest would talk through his day once the light was out every night from when he was quite little). We also talk about the next day in case anything about that is worrying. Here, rewards can be used particularly if it has been a run of nights when a child has stayed in their own bed.
Just a phase
A friend was talking about the same issues yesterday and said well by the time they are teenagers they won’t want to do it, which at least made us laugh and reminded ourselves that lots of these childhood phases are just that, phases, and although they seem huge when we are in the midst of them the majority of them simply pass.
Do you have a child who likes to leave their bed at night? How do you deal with it. As usual, we would love to hear your stories so please do leave a comment in the box below.