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Has anyone got any Mother's Wisdom to pass on? am Desperate!

Hi all - not a cambridge question but any tips from anyone out there who has any advice to offer..

Can anyone offer any advice on how to make a 4yr old (previous brilliant sleeper) stay in his bed in the middle of the night?? I am at my wits end, have tried phenergen which worked for the last couple of nights but dont really want to use drugs - he flatly refuses, has major 3am tantrums and doesn't want to sleep on his own and I have ended up on a matress in his room and last night he ended up in our bed which I really wanted to avoid... I feel like a walking zombie!! :cry:
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Hi Nicola,

My 2 year old Daughter was doing this and unfortunately you have to be quite tough with him.

If he comes into your room, after going to bed ok, just take him back to his room and put him back in bed, say good night and just repeat it until he gets the message.
Has the routine changed leading up to bedtime at all?
Stick religiously to the same time, wether he has a bath or not, story, tv etc. Calmly take him to bed and say goodnight.
What about calming music??
You have to find a routine and stick to it.
You have to be firm and do not have him in your bed - the easy option I know, but that will make things worse.

Email me if you need further advice or help. I was a Children's Nanny for 13 years and had the same thing recently with my Daughter, but she has grown out of it now.
Many thanks Mrs V for your reply. I have always stuck to a strict regime at bed time and up until recently he has always been a brilliant sleeper, going to sleep like a breeze and sleeping 12 hours. He has recently changed rooms (to a bigger one next to his old one), started school in sept (wondered whether he has separation anxiety) and we think he got spooked by watching spiderman with his big brother a few weeks ago. He is a confident little boy and am wondering whether its just a sign of him growing up, i.e. recognizing fear as an emotion.. HOWEVER he is also a very controlling little so and so, always pushes the boundaries and I think initially he was scared of the dark etc (have since spent a fortune on nightlights) but now feel he has found a way to get under my skin. have tried reasoning with him, reward stickers/treats (it worked when I was trying to get him dry at night and he was creating about going back to bed after a nighttime wee) and it worked but it doesn't seem to be working this time. Its affecting the whole family as we are all being disturbed by him kicking off in the middle of the night, even my neighbours have heard him! I have 2 boys and he is the youngest and has had the worst tantrums out of the 2 of them. Think I am rambling now! Just dashing off to pick up the little angel from school so would welcome any further advice/expertise you may have to offer x
Hi Nicola,

I agree with Mrs V, you need to be tough with him. He's not a baby so there is no physical need to be awake during the night. If like you say he can be controlling (what 4 year old isn't!) he'll have cottoned on to the fact that it's much nicer to be snuggled up in your bed during the night, and all he has to do is have a tantrum and he's got his own way.

I'm a big believer of Supernanny's method of when he wakes up, just taking him straight back to bed, the first couple of times just saying "it's bedtime, goodnight", the next times say nothing at all, so he's not getting any attention.

The first few nights will be hell as it'll be a battle of wills, but he'll soon learn that you mean it, and he will be staying in his bed no matter how much he tantrums!

My daughter is nearly 10 now but I have friends with children your son's age going through the same thing who think it is cruel to try this method, but (in my opinion :)) I think it's a few nights of tears that will help you and your son get the sleep you both need, which can only improve family life!

Good luck
Corinne x
Corinne, I completely agree with you but as I am not a Mum I didn't want to post in case people think I am talking about something I have no clue about - Supernanny is firm but fair, minimal attention given to children when they are angry, disruptive or controlling is a battle of wills at first but seems to quickly pay dividends, it's definately not cruel!
My suggestion would be first to stop sleeping in his room or taking him into your bedroom, a child quickly learns exactly what buttons to press and in the short term it can seem like a solution but long term it can be a nightmare to break. When he gets up take him back to his bed, explain its bedtime and he is a big boy and has to sleep in his own bed, if he gets up again take him back if he throws a tantrum ignore it (hard i know) to start with he might get up 20 times but once he knows mummy means business he will stay put and the times over the week will get less.

Do not under any ciurcumstance break what you are doing even if you have been up all night as you will be back to square one again, i promise if you persevere it will get better, i tried everything over the time with my 6 children and this works but can be tough at times.

good luck and hope things get better soon

Definitely agree with being firm but fair!!

It does work....yes, he will kick off and create to begin with, because he will realise that he doesn't have the upper hand anymore, but it will stop if you continue with it. You have to be strong to and not give in for an easier and quiet night's sleep!!!
Lol - a friend of mine tried that and unfortunately it comes under something to do with human trafficking!
Those last 2 threads made me chuckle!!! All your advice has been brilliant and thank you to all. I think Supernanny is brilliant and we have used her methods before. He has a stacker bed with a matress underneath his bed so of course it makes it the quick and easy solution at 3am but after me losing my rag the other night I have now taken it out of his room so it is no longer an option. But after last night I dont want him to think the alternative is sleeping in my bed! The weekend was a vast improvement but last night was a step back again and as one of you quite rightly pointed out he is 4 (5in May) so he knows what he is doing and is old enough to be sleeping on his own. I will endeavour to return him to bed if it happens again and ignore the tantrums which will be hard as he wakes the whole house up! When he was creating about going to bed at bed time a couple of weeks ago, he must have got up 40 times and I thought I was going to wear the carpet out! But being that consistent at 2/3am is tough so wish me luck!!

And good luck to you all with your cambridge diet endeavours! my weigh in is tomorrow morning .... xxx

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