10 year old won't sleep alone

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-11-2003
10 year old won't sleep alone
Tue, 11-11-2003 - 12:38pm
My mother and I are raising my 10 year old nephew. We have had him since he was 5 years old. He will be 11 in February and we cannot seem to get him to sleep alone. He goes to bed by himself, but my mother must stay in the room with him till he falls asleep and then he wakes up about 3 or so in the morning and crawls in bed with her. We cannot seem to change this.

Please help.

Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Wed, 11-12-2003 - 6:14pm

Welcome! You have uncanny timing for this question. My dd, who is 11, for the first time in a year, is finding her way to our bed at night! I do have some suggestions, though. For falling asleep at bedtime - have you tried reading time in bed, then lights out with music set on a sleep timer? My son used to listen to various types of story tapes. My dd prefers music. They both have clock radios with "nature sounds" and sometimes use the ocean. My rule at bedtime is, if you can't fall asleep after lights out for a while, you can read again. You can listen to music, the radio, the nature sounds as long as you like, but you have to stay in bed. For a time, my dd needed one of us to stay upstairs, but we didn't stay in her room. After a while, we would only stay upstairs for 10 minutes, then go downstairs.

It's wonderful you've taken in your nephew. I'm assuming he must have had some type of trauma to be living with you and your mother now. Let us know what you've already tried. My suggestion is some type of routine that requires him to stay in bed, and gets you both out of his room so he learns to fall asleep by himself. Once he can do that, work on the 3AM problem. We find that one tougher ourselves!

I'm glad you found our board and posted. We hope to see you often. (Sorry it took a day to get a reply. Sherrie and/or I are usually quicker, but I guess yesterday was as busy for her as it was for me!)


Jewish Family Life

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-11-2003
Wed, 11-12-2003 - 7:29pm
Thank you so much for your response. If nothing else it is wonderful to know that there are other children doing this too. We were beginning to think there was some psychological problem.

We read a story to him every night before he falls asleep and we play music for him to fall asleep to. I suppose we have not been as consistent as we should with telling him to read or listen to music when he wakes up in the night, requiring that he stay in bed. We will try that. We have also thought about a reward system for staying in his own bed all night, but hesitate to do the reward system too much because you want them to do things on their own, not just to get something out of it.

I'll try both and see how it goes. Thank you so much for your response.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
Thu, 11-13-2003 - 1:34am

Sorry I dropped the ball Basketball 2

Sherrie Rainbow