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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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:

1 Like

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.