5yo has a hard time falling asleep - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 10-16-2012, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
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We cosleep with our 5.5yo. While it would be nice if he wanted to sleep in his own bed, I am actually okay with him still sleeping in our bed. I just want him to fall asleep on his own. After I stopped nursing him to sleep at 3.5yo, I used to lie in bed with him until he fell asleep. But often it would take a long time for him to fall asleep, and I got antsy and agitated lying there for so long. In the last half year or so, I've been staying nearby (in the room, in the hall, in the office down the hall) while he fell asleep. Initially, this actually worked well. At one point, I was even able to go downstairs and watch tv with DH before DS had fallen asleep! But he has since regressed, and now I have to sit in the bedroom, with a light in the bathroom on, and often times he still doesn't fall asleep for at least an hour. I end up getting frustrated. He has to get up for school in the morning, he needs his sleep.

Any tips for improving this situation? I don't mind staying nearby if he'll fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time (10-15 minutes). Ideally, I'd like to be able to kiss him goodnight and go downstairs and spend time with DH, knowing that DS will go to sleep on his own.

Our current evening/bedtime routine is bath at 7pm or so, spending time with Daddy, and then 8pm he comes upstairs to brush teeth, go to the bathroom, read a story to me, I read a story to him, lights out and a few lullabies with me lying in bed with him, and then I kiss him goodnight and sit by the door, surfing on my iPad while I wait for him to go to sleep. He's never really had a lovey, but he does get to choose which stuffed toy he wants to hold in bed.

Loving mommy to DS, born April 2007.  Trying for baby #2 since December 2008. 
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#2 of 3 Old 10-16-2012, 10:41 PM
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My DD is only 7 months but I was a nanny for years. Being able to look at books after you leave helped the best with some kids.

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DD Seraphina born at home on 2/21/2012! 

"Childbirth is more admirable than conquest, more amazing than self-defense, and as courageous as either one."
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#3 of 3 Old 10-24-2012, 07:05 PM
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Thank you for this thread.  It sounds like your child is going through something.  Has he started kindergarten recently?  I would give in with a little TLC and then gently back off again as he gets through it.  Wow, I should listen to my own advice.  My daughter just started preschool and may be dealing with that herself.


My daughter is 3.5 and she fully weaned just a few months ago.  She is no longer napping, which initially helped in getting her to sleep in a shorter period of time when I was still nursing her to sleep, but now it is quite difficult.  Most nights I lie in the bed with her until we both fall asleep (often up to an hour).  It is driving me insane.  I am desperately trying to find a way for me to exit the room and come back to check on her but my spirited daughter is not having it.


So, I like the books idea, but how do you allow them to read books with the light on and be able to get to sleep?  Do I need a smaller lamp for reading time?  Or is it that you just give them 10 minutes to read on their own before lights out?  I can't imagine my daughter falling asleep with the lights on (or without me there for that matter).  I wouldn't mind laying with her if I knew it would be 20 minutes or less.


I have also thought of initiating a routine "special time" with Mommy, but haven't yet.  I think that may help to make something besides bedtime her special time with Mommy.  Especially if the preschool separation for us seems to be a factor.

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