How can I get my 6-year-old to stay in his room at night?

Our six year old went through this phase where he had to sleep in our room every night. We put his little gold out couch next to our bed so he wasnt in bed with us. We then let him pick out his own big boy bed; it’s a loft bed with a slide, thinking if he was involved and got the one he wanted, he’d sleep in it. And that worked. For quite a while, at least six months. But now we’re back to him wanting to be with us again. School starts in a few weeks, and we’ve been trying to get back into their own room, but now he’s doing this thing where he wakes us up several times a night. He alternates between us. He’ll wake me up, then wake up dad, then wake me up again. I sometimes swear its every 20 minutes. Were both health care workers, I work 12s, dad gets up at 4 am, it’s draining us so much, and it’s so… infuriating. He wakes us up and asks things like if dad is leaving for work yet (bec he gets in bed with me after dad leaves), or asks us to go to the bathroom with(there are night lights all over the house it’s very lit for him.) He asks us to turn the on TV for him. Etc. He was having sleeping issues last summer; he’d go to sleep at 8, sleep for an hour, and be awake till 3 am. The doctor suggested melatonin, but that’s not helping with this issue. I’m at wit’s end with it. Idk what to do. We can’t keep being woken up over and over again throughout the night several nights a week, and we also cant keep having him sleeping in our bed/room.


We tried everything. We let him pick out a new bed, so he would promise to sleep in it. Just so happened to be a bunk bed, and for almost 2 weeks we’ve had no problem getting him to stay in his own bed.

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I k ow your pain. Mine is only 3 tho


Talk with your pediatrician. You may need a sleep study. Does he have restless leg syndrome symptoms? If so and his iron / ferritin is low that can cause them to not sleep which is our biggest issue with my 4 year old.

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I went through the same thing with my oldest. My only advice is consistently put him back in his bed. Yes it will be exhausting. Yes you will be tiered and angry but you will get through it. If both of you guys are doing it every time he gets up it should only take a few days.

My middle son who is 9 still sleeps next to our bed every night. He had horrible night terrors from 2yr to 5 yrs old. Up 8 to 10 times a night. Finally I was working for a respiratory therapist and she recommended that 20 to 30 minutes after he falls asleep to make some rustling noises in the room open a drawer open doors just to get him to toss and turn alittle and it will knock him out of that rem/deep sleep that keeps waking him up every night. It worked!!! I did that every night and also put sleep tight essential oil on his toes with socks. I have never slept so good after years of exhaustion. He does still sleep in my room but he doesn’t wake up at all. If he falls asleep in him room he is up a few times. I just keep keep telling myself it won’t be forever and he will soon not want anything to do with me in the teenage years. It drives me insane he is in there but I gave up trying lol as long as he sleeps through the night I’m happy.

I starting have insomnia when I was around 8. It is possible for kids to have insomnia. I wouldn’t wake my parents up so I didn’t even realize I had insomnia until I was in my 20’s. I thought it was normal to toss and turn all night. I would definitely ask to see a professional that can do a sleep study. Even if he is using things like melatonin they don’t always work for everyone.

as one that has the same issue good thoughts. they say they grow out of it but best that has worked for me is redirecting to his room a week with no sleep and it finally broke it. give a little more attention at bed time might help too

My 1st born had this problem when he was 3-4years old. He didn’t understand why he had to be the only family member that had to sleep alone (only child at this point). We bought him a digital clock and told him he could come get in bed with us if it was 1:00 or later, then we slowly pushed it back, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, etc. He did great with this method.


My son used to sneak in my room and he’d actually sleep on the floor sometimes! And he can still sleep anywhere LOL but, I kind of figured he would grow out of it and he did. I didn’t get too crazy about it because I think the more you draw attention to it the more they dig in.

Does he take a long nap during the day? This could be why he isn’t sleepy at night. My son is 3 and every night it takes one hour before he is in his bed. He has to poop, but never does. He will say he is scared, or wants water. He will get in bed with his sibling sometimes.

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I had the same issue with my son. His dad worked until 3am, so he would always come in my bed after I was asleep. We moved his bed in our room and he finally decided to go on his own, after a few years. Everyone needs their sleep, so just do what you have to.

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Teach him how to do some of these things and speak with him about only waking you for emergencies. You could also trade nights, you get Monday, husband gets Tuesday, etc. That way at least one of you will get full rest every other night. Something is obviously bothering him and he’s not sharing it. I would be firm with him, but not to firm. Maybe get a therapist involved, or someone he will speak with about this. I would also explain to him that you and Dad can not keep going sleep deprived. He’s old enough to start understanding if explain to him. I would definitely schedule him a dr appointment and see if the doctor can speak with him.


My daughter did this. We brought a light bulb that can do different colors. If she stays un her room all night she gets to pick the color for the following night. She also has a stuffed bear that she has to have. Good luck I hope you all get a good nights sleep soon!

I’m not a child psychiatrist but if you are stressed about this. Stop. There will come a time when he won’t want to come in your room. You will make it worse trying to keep him in his room now. When he comes in just move your covers over and snuggle him in. Tell him it’s sleeping time. Then don’t talk.


The only solid thing you can do is be CONSISTENT, loving and FIRM… when he comes in, get up, bring him back to his room, hug, kiss… mommy loves you, it’s time for sleeping… unfortunately you’ll have to do it a few times but he WILL get the picture… the minute you cave, you’re done… be STRONG mamma! :two_hearts::two_hearts::muscle::muscle:

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I’d ask for a sleep specialist referral. He may not be getting to the deep sleep stage at night at all so its easy for him to wake up. My son has had to see a sleep specialist for a bit. Until then strict routine. No electronics after 5pm (or atleast 3hrs before bed), eat at a decent time, followed by bath/shower, teeth and read a book. All at the same time every night. If he gets up take him back to his bed and tell him not to get up. May take a few times every night for a week or so but he will stop. I was scared to sleep in my room until I was like 14, I never felt safe even though I was. Talk to his Dr and see a specialist.


I have 3 boys and my guess is that he is scared or worried about something. I could be wrong of course but i went through it with all of them. It could be that summer is ending and school is starting, it could be that he misses you or it could be a mix of things. My youngest is 5 and he will be fine for months then start having nightmares. So i will often take him to his room and talk to him about whatever he wants to talk about until he falls asleep. We kind of have this understanding that if we spend this special time together that after that its bedtime. We have had the little music boxes that put stars on the ceiling since thet were born. Now occasionally he will get scared and i will cuddle with him. Then there are nights where its just simply goodnight everyone is tired. We do a lot of explaining with our boys.

My daughter did that until about 6 also. I have NO parenting hacks for you. Maybe discuss this with him? My heart goes out to you both, it’s so hard. Prayers mama!

Yea you’re just going to have to put your foot down. He knows he’ll get what he wants. Even at 6 kids are the master of manipulation. All I have to say is “if you get out of bed again I’m getting the wooden spoon”. Not a peep after that.


We had a tv on in our room when we were kids and fell asleep to watching a movie every night​:heart: I my self was a night owl as a child but we would literally fall asleep halfway through a movie instead of playing the up and down game lol(peeing,drinks,potty,snacks, and what are you doings lol) my grandparents found it just easier that way. We picked our movie out every night before bed and fell asleep half way through and to this day I have to fall asleep with the tv on at 28 years old :sweat_smile:

Put a special rope or tie on the door. Tell him he gets to use it once a night. Once he brings it to you he has to stay in his room. My youngest would sleep walk and come climb in the bed with us. I waited about 10 minutes then carried him back to bed. He outgrew it by age 6.

When dad leaves he knows he can get in the bed with you??? Lol you aare undoing everything your trying to do when you let him in your bed. Make sure he gets plenty of exercise in the day time. Put him to bed around 8 30 or 9.00. Leave a night light on in his room. Give him a book. Tell him not to come to your room unless he sees fire blood or cant breath. This child I’d playing you. He knows that he can wear you down if he keeps this behavior up. Let him know that’s hes too big to be in your bed. ANYTIME. Even when dad is gone to work. I let mine sleep with me because he had breathing problems until he started to first grade. Big mistake!


Does he have a tv in his room? If so, get that out right away! Kids should not sleep with a tv on… it disrupts the deep restful sleep they need! This might be the reason he keeps waking up!

After reading some of the comments, I agree to get wiggles out during day, restrict screen time, keep bedtime routine. If you use a spray put a couple of lavender essential oil drops in it. I would also stop him from joining you in bed after dad leaves for work. If these don’t work, THEN Dr. time! But ALWAYS try other methods first.

When he comes in your room simply take him by the hand back to his room, get him in bed, cover him up and walk out, no communication at all rather it be verbal or eye contact, even if he talks, do not respond. ( unless it is clearly a legitimate reason like he isn’t feeling well or something) It is going to be frustrating and very repetitive so expect that. That is the advice offered to me with my daughter when she was about the same age.
We also did a “stay in bed” reward chart. Every morning she stayed in bed she got a quarter to put in a jar, if she got up she had to take a quarter out…once she had $2 we would go to the store so she could buy a treat.


Best advice my Mom gave me “three days make a habit, three days break a habit “. This holds true for early childhood. Tell your son when he wakes up to call for you, sit on his bed until he falls back to sleep. It’ll take 3 nights to break his habit, just like letting him sleep in your bed for 3 nights created a bad habit. Good luck. If this fails talk to his pediatrician.

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Make up a bottle of monster spray in a spray bottle using water and a touch of something with aslight smell to it. Take a tour of the room with child just before tucking them in and spray under bed, in closet and anywhere else child ask you to. Make it small enough so you can leave the bottle where child can use it if they wake up. Did this with grandson. Told him I use to use it for his mother and it kept the monsters away. Worked real well

Is he genuinely urinating at night? Being a healthcare worker…you may know that polyuria is a symptom of blood sugar problems. Maybe take him to a doctor to get his blood tested??

When my grandkids were young my daughter got a “wake up” clock. They set it at night and couldn’t get up (except for bathroom) until the clock was smiling and lit up.

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Ourvson had a horrible time sleeping from about 3 onward…
He has very bad anxiety and ADHD .
We didnt realize when he was 3 that he had these issues. Wish we had, we would have done more to help him.
With all the craziness going on in the world right now and the virus, he may be anxiety ridden.
Our son was EXTREMELY AWARE of EVERYTHING going on around him and absorbed info even when we didnt let him watch TV etc etc. He still is that way.
Ask the pediatrician about anxiety and what to do about it. Melatonin wont help the anxiety issue which might be causing the sleeping issue.
Our son STILL has an issue sleeping.
If its anxiety, it wont just go away.


You’re giving into him and he knows it. Stop letting your child control your life and be the parent. Put your foot down and tell him he sleeps in his bed or he’s in trouble. Stop letting him get away with it.


Supper nanny, put him back in his bed, and repeat this until he stays, it might take a while but it’ll eventually work

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Both my daughters age 9 and 11 both sleep in my bed with me… my youngest is willing and has slept in her own room and bed but my 11 year old not a chance… the way I look at it and it’s just my opinion my thoughts. I love it I never really felt loved as a child and to be a mother who’s kids think so highly of me to still want to be near me is amazing I love laughing and talking with them before we fall asleep. Yes I have family members who don’t agree with it but it’s my life I decided 8 years ago I would be a 100 percent single mother to them and be the best I could be when they are grown I will have all the time in the world to date but for now they come first the have me 100 percent and I love sleeping next to them every single night. One day they will move out and my bed and my home will be empty until that day I choose to enjoy every second I can.

Try a stuffed animal or a security blanket and make him go back to bed

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Consider the type of mattress and pillow he is on. Both I snd my grandkid do not sleep well if we are not comfortable. Perhaps wearing him out with slot of exercise before bed and putting him down with stories will wear him out and soothe him. Get him books like Indian in the cupboard, Peter Pan, things to stir his imagination and once asleep you are fine. Little boys are looking for that bonding time as they may not be getting it when awake do getting a good bed routine established is key.

If a child gets use to sleeping with you then your in for it! So hard to break that habit!

My parents actually locked their door

tough one…tell him to come in quietly and reward him when he stays in his room

Put your dang foot down. And make him. Put consequences on him if he dont. Its just that simple


Maybe you can write out your work schedule where he can see it

Maybe you and dad take turns laying in his room until he falls asleep? Get him used to sleeping alone ?

Grandson was bribed for every night he stayed in bed.

If you let him get in bed after dad gets up of course he’s going to wake you up to see when dad is leaving.

Time release melatonin is supposed to help you get to sleep and stay asleep

A good bedtime routine be firm and put back in own room it will be hard as you’ll feel like a bad parent but children need a good sleep too.

Just say no get up and walk him right back to his bed after about a week MAX it should stop


Wiegned blanket, and some sort of washing brand that has lavender in it.

maybe he needs a dog who sleeps in his room

Couple good seats on the butt and put back in his bed

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I used to do that when I was about 4. I remember doing it. I thought it was hilarious because I got to just do whatever I wanted. Then my parents reversed my doorknob and started locking me in at night. I threw a tantrum the first few nights and then realized it wasnt going to get me anywhere, so I just stayed in my room and went to bed. I dont really remember when theubstopped locking the door. It wasnt an issue after that.

Maybe a nite lite. Or a baby gate…

Put a lock on the door lol. Get a baby monitor with a camera. You can hear them. Mother of 5. After a week. You wont need to lock it. Bam. Problem solved.

Put him in his own bed, tell him he has to stay. Except for the bathroom or an emergency. If he continues to wake parents, give him consequences. Loss of privileges. And when he stays in his bed all night reward good behavior, extra time on video game or computer. Or read an extra book at bedtime.

It sounds like anxiety. Unfortunately our kids pick up on the things that worry us

How about a baby camera. This way he can see u and u can see him. This might help him with any fear he might have with sleeping. Also have u asked him why he doesnt like to sleep alone? There could be emotional reasons or something else.

If hes waking you up constantly and nothing is wrong, do you put him to bed before you? Put him to bed earlier so hes asleep before you go to bed.

You could try a baby gate on his door, this way he at least stays in his room

Put him in his bed, lay down next to him on the floor.
New bed makes it feel like a new room and may be a little uncomfortable.

Not stimulated enough during the day. Kids need to get those wiggles out. Running, jumping, being outside. Makes a HUGE difference!


Don’t play into it. Lay him back in his own bed in his OWN room and walk away. Don’t talk to him. May take several attempts but if he sees you arent playing into it, he’ll stop

Is he worried about leaving you for school?