My son (6.5) has always been a bad sleeper. Doesn’t ever want to go to sleep (melatonin helps), wakes up early (thankfully he’s old enough to do his own thing on weekend mornings), and recently started waking me up in the middle of the night for whatever random thing he can think of. I was recently talking to some co workers about this and they responded with “no kids in the bedroom” to which I explained that I don’t let him sleep in my room but if he’s complaining of leg pain or a tummy ache I’ll help him and sometimes lay with him. My coworker said “nope leave a note at the door”
How do you all handle middle of the night wake ups with older ones? Am I too much of a pushover??
eggplant / 11716 posts
@Portboston: maybe this is parenting style, but I would personally feel like an extremely shitty parent, bordering on abusive, if I had a strict “no kids in the bedroom” policy. But hey, I just had my 6 year old go through a 48 hour stomach bug, and she was in our bedroom the entire time.
And she needed to be—she threw up 6 times. Are your coworkers kids supposed to handle illnesses and nightmares alone?
Our kids know they are welcome to come get us for any real reason, but yeah if it becomes a thing they do often, we incentivize then staying in their own beds. Like I say if they make it the whole week, on Saturday they get to pick out a new book to buy, or we all go for pancakes, or whatever.
When I was growing up, I also was not really welcome in my parents room, but I have had lifelong insomnia and it all started in 2nd or 3rd grade—I couldn’t sleep, and I had to handle it alone. Or sometimes my older high school sister would help. But my parents definitely never helped. So I frequently went to school with only 2-3 hours sleep, or I bothered my sister. It’s really no surprise that I have a friendly relationship with my mom BUT we are not all that close. I know I can’t go to her with real issues and it all starts with that parenting style when I couldn’t go to her as a kid either.
persimmon / 1281 posts
@Anagram: I’m so sorry you went through that at such a young age! That’s terrible. And I agree, I would feel terrible not allowing my child to come to me if they needed something, even if it’s in the middle of the night! I hope they were over exaggerating.
I can usually tell when my son is doing something for attention but even then, he’s doing it because he needs attention, which is a totally normal thing for kids to need from their parents!
cantaloupe / 6085 posts
I couldn’t do it! I agree incentives are probably worth trying … try to break the habit if that is what it is. You could even brainstorm together at that age … like what happens / what do you feel when you wake up and how could we help you stay in bed so you can rest for a good school day? Or whatever is relevant. I always like the idea of solving something together and having them name the obstacle(s) and create their own solutions.
nectarine / 2010 posts
DD is 7. Our upstairs has a really bizarre layout - our bedroom is part of an addition and DD’s room is from the original house. We can’t easily hear her, especially with her sound machine, so we still have an audio monitor set up. She would be welcome to come get us if she needed something but she doesn’t like dealing with the hallways and stairs. So normally she will say something over the monitor.
That said, we don’t let her sleep in our room. If something is wrong one of us will go to her. Asses what her needs are and handle it. Sometimes that means a quick cuddle, a glass of water, or fixing covers but sometimes it means one of us stays with her for a bit.
I want her to always feel comfortable getting us or asking us to come to her if she needs us. But we also talk a lot about how everyone in the house needs sleep to have good days. We make sure to do lots of cuddles throughout the day and before bedtime. We discuss ways she can handle small issues on her own.
cantaloupe / 6171 posts
My 5yo frequently wakes in the middle of the night and asks for me to fix her blankets. Both kids rarely wake us up otherwise now that they're older (lo1 is turning 8 soon), and we joke that they shouldn't bother us unless there is blood or fire lol-- but we'd definitely want them to come to us if they're distressed. Sometimes they'll have a bad nightmare or something and just need a hug. But we're in and out of their room quickly (or they're in and out of ours).
grape / 94 posts
I agree with others that it’s a parenting style choice. That’s not our personal parenting style. Haha. I wouldn’t do that personally. We also have a six and a half year old who has had sleep issues since birth. There are several diagnoses that have physical and neurological explanations, but even in those circumstances (like ours) sleep is very much a behavior thing too. Sleep association is a big one. What’s going on in his room when he falls asleep? Is he in there alone or is a parent with him? Does the lighting look the same or different at sleep onset than it does when he has his wakeup in the middle of the night? Any differences and getting curious about those is helpful too! There are sleep psychologists that can help with tougher cases but obviously there are so many varying degrees of severity. Basically if the family is able to function it’s a win.
pomelo / 5620 posts
We obviously prefer that our kids sleep in their own rooms but if they need us in the night it is what it is. My oldest who is now 9 hasn’t come to our room in the night in a long time but if he did we would welcome him. Our 3.5 year old climbs into our bed around 4:30 most mornings and sleeps until the morning. Sometimes he will call or come get us because he needs his blankets back on.
I think part of being a parent is being there at night too. If it gets kind of crazy like calling for no reason then I think it is good to have an age appropriate talk and some sort of incentive to stay in bed.
nectarine / 2797 posts
Definitely a parenting style difference. My kids (almost 6 and 9) still come into our room (the 6 yo about 50% of time and the 9 year old maybe 20%). They won't still be doing in in high school I'm guessing, so for now I just go with it because I get more sleep with them there than engaging in a battle of wills to get them back in their own rooms.
persimmon / 1365 posts
We generally don't let our kids sleep in our bed. If someone is sick then one of us will sleep with them in their room so that way the other person can get some sleep. My four year old has started getting in the habit of waking us up in the middle of the night but he doesn't ask to sleep with us, he usually just wants us to tuck him back in. But. he's pretty good at realizing situations he can take advantage of. It started off as him coming in because he had a bad dream every once in awhile, then it turned into every night, then a couple of times a night, then it was him skipping into our room at 3am shouting "I HAD A DREAM ABOUT PAW PATROL." At that point DH started dealing with him aka doesn't give him the kisses and the cuddles that I do. Once he realized he wasn't getting my attention he started staying in bed most nights.