Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bedtime Issues

Brayden is going through a phase right now that is not working out for me. I'm not even sure that you could call it a phase yet because it's only been happening since Thursday.

He is having issues being scared at bedtime. I have no idea what triggered it. I honestly have no idea if it's real or if it started out being an excuse to get out of bed and he's figured out that it works like a charm every night.

But Thursday night, he kept getting out of bed and saying that he was scared to sleep in his room. I normally put Brayden in bed for the night around 8:30. Well, he was still up at my normal bedtime of 10:00 saying he was scared. (Oh yeah, this was going on that night I was writing that post and he kept getting up) Soooo, by that point, Tyler & I just wanted to be able to go to sleep so we gave in and let Brayden sleep in our bed. Oh, the humanity!

[Let me interject here with a little bit of important info: Brayden has never slept in our bed or our room. It's just not something we wanted to deal with. As a baby he slept in a pack & play, then he moved to his crib, then to his big boy bed. We've never had issues with him wanting to sleep in our bed because his entire life has consisted of him sleeping in his own room. So, now that we're having this issue I've realized some things: when I'm falling asleep at night and when I wake up in the morning, I love him being in our bed. I love feeling his little body right up against me as I'm falling asleep and I love waking up to his sweet face every morning. However, I do not love waking up several times a night because I'm about to fall off the bed or because his leg is propped up on my side like I'm only there to serve as his prop. This is why I need a solution!! I work people - I need sleep!]
This is not us, obviously :)

Friday night we went to the Halloween store and there was a spider there that jumped out at you if you stepped on a button. It scared Brayden to death every time, but he kept stepping on the button so obviously he really loved it or he has other issues. When we got home, I opened my door of the car and this bug came flying in that I couldn't see. But I could hear it. And I promise it sounded like a raptor. Yes it sounded like a dinosaur. I promise. I screamed bloody murder and jumped out of the car. You can imagine what effect this had on Brayden. He too started screaming and when I ran around to get him out of his seat, the bug flew in the back seat making that awful noise. At this point, I saw the bug and it was only about 3 inches long, but still. Brayden was crying and shaking and he had his legs clenched together so hard I couldn't even unbuckle his car seat. I finally got him out and we got in the house, but at this point, I knew there was no way he was sleeping in his bed that night. I attempted to put him in his bed but when he came out 30 seconds after I walked out, I gave in and let him sleep in our bed again. It was a traumatic experience, ok?!
Saturday night, he fell asleep on the way home from Shelby so I carried him to his bed and he woke up, but went back to sleep on his own. However, he woke up about 1:30 and came in our room saying he was scared. (One thing I should mention: if he ever comes in our room after I'm asleep he pretty much climbs into it without a fight from me because I just.want.to.sleep.)

Sunday night, we had more of the same thing. 8:30 to 10:00 up numerous times saying he was scared. Scared of the shadows, scared of his playroom because it was dark, scared of the bug (yeah, the same bug from 2 nights before). By 10, his daddy caved in and let him get in our bed. This has to stop!

But here's the thing: I am not ok with him really being scared and us just forcing him to sit in his room and try to get over it. We are his protectors. As he grows up, I want him to know that no matter how scared he is, his mom & dad will always be there to comfort him and be in his corner. I will not allow him to sit in his room in fear just so we can sleep soundly.

But at the same time, I don't want to be taken for a fool by a 3 year old who has figured out how to work the system. You see my dilemma here?

I've already decided I'm going to cut the shows that have even a little violence that he's been watching. He has a light in his room so it's not like he's trying to go to sleep in the pitch dark. I've tried to explain to him that God created the dark so He's not scared of the dark and He will be watching over him while he tries to fall asleep - that didn't work.

I'm at my wits end and I need advice! I am hoping this passes as quickly as the rest of time seems to pass around here, but any suggestions in the mean time would be greatly appreciated!


  1. Could you go lay with him in his room when he wakes up scared? That way he is still in his room and you are still getting sleep. Kind of sounds like he is scared of being alone... Although as someone scared of bugs I understand that fear too.

    1. That's a good idea! I actually laid down with him last night and he eventually told me I could go do stuff (basically get out of my bed, Mom). He still didn't go right to sleep after that, but he slept in his own bed all night!

  2. Caleb went through a phase like this when he was about this age. We talked a lot about what was pretend, that God will protect him and he doesn't have to be afraid (their memory verse in school this month is Isaiah 43:5), and prayed together. It was at this point that we got a night light and quit closing his door all the way. With much encouragement and reassurance from us, he got over it pretty quickly. Since you work, I know you need sleep and just let him in your bed out of desperation. Maybe over the weekend, you can work on making him stay in his bed.

    1. Thanks for reassuring me! We left an even brighter light on last night and left his door cracked open and he FINALLY fell asleep in his bed and stayed there all night. We had to be very consistent about him staying in his bed for that hour and a half, but it worked! :)