The night walker

So…the boy has always been a restless sleeper. Always. He only sleeps well when touching another person. His father can cope with that…I can’t. I just can’t sleep with someone else’s head on my pillow. And it was fine when he was a baby. Even aged three. But the boy is six now, and big. The cuddles aren’t that sweet anymore. Neither are the feet in my face.

So he goes to sleep by himself just fine. Then he wakes up (presumably to pee). Instead of heading back to his bed, he detours to ours. And we get up and put him back in bed (not always nicely). Then the problem starts. He can’t put himself back to sleep without someone there. If we tell him to lie down and try, he’ll wake us up again in about ten minutes with a “Mommy! I can’t sleep!”. This has been known to happen four times in a row, with us putting him back every time. This whole episode is usually repeated at least twice a night (around eleven, and around two or three). I’m not getting enough sleep. He’s not getting enough sleep. No one is happy.

We can solve the problem by one of us (Daddy!!!) lying in bed with him until he falls asleep. If he has someone next to him, he doesn’t even wake up. BUT…Daddy doesn’t wake up after he lays down. I’m okay with that…it means I’ve got the king sized bed to myself. But it’s not really helping the boy learn to put himself back to sleep!!!

Any bright ideas? It’s not like “cry it out” works at age six. And getting up and down to put him back to bed gets really old after about the eighth time. I’ve tried bribery. No luck. He just says “It doesn’t matter how much I want to…I just can’t get back to sleep.” I’ve tried punishment. That has NEVER worked on the boy…he just gets more stubborn. His sister sleeps by herself just fine. She even manages to climb back into the top of a loft bed and go back to sleep (I’d struggle with that!). This is just something about him…he likes contact.

A friend said that her boy was the same at six, and that he’s grown out of it (he’s fifteen now, so I’m glad to hear it!!!). But the interrupted sleep is really not good for me, or for him.

Clues, wise mammas?

September 3, 2012