Big Brother, 4 1/2 years old, the one who talks non-stop when he is not asleep, is afraid to sleep in his room. I was going to type that he is afraid of the dark, but I don't think that is completely true. It might be some elaborate dreams/nightmares too.
This isn't necessarily 'new' for us. He goes through various phases of sleeping 'all night long in his big boy bed' to needing to sleep in our 'big boy bed'. He is one of those kids who would sleep with us each and every night if we'd let him. He just loves to snuggle bless his little heart. I think most nights I'd just snuggle him right in, but I know the habit will form. So, rather than having him join us, one of us puts him back into his bed.
Let me clarify one more thing. He goes to sleep in his bed. He pretty much always goes to bed easily. It's the middle of the night when he comes in--midnight, 3 am, 4:30, you name it.
I'm not saying he never sleeps with us. When he is sick he is in our bed. I don't play when it comes to being sick. I don't mean the runny nose kind of sick, I mean the fever kind.
This time is different. Before he'd just say he wanted to sleep with us. Now he is saying he is afraid of the dark. We have done several things to fix this:
1. Gone beyond the nightlight and put a 15 watt bulb in his lamb on his dresser. It stays on (not sure how I feel about that--fire hazard?)
2. The bathroom light stays on. We have 2 lights in our bathroom--one right above the sink and then a dimmer one that is above our shower. We just use the dimmer one. (Maybe we should use the brighter one?)
3. He sleeps with a small flashlight that stays on.
4. He has 493743 stuffed animals or cars or helicopters or whatever the newest toy is in his bed.
5. Daddy put a force field around our home to protect us and nobody can get in unless we LET them in.
6. He still has a fan on in his room.
7. Sleeps with 'blankie'.
I do have a minor concern that his imagination is getting the best of him. He is talking about eels coming into his room with an 'eggtoof' that sneaks into his room. I think he has been having some elaborate dreams/nightmares. Then I worry that I'm letting him watch stuff that might scare him on TV. But it seems everything/anything can be scary if you let it! Seriously, I found a way to make Max and Ruby somewhat frightening the last time I watched it. Come to think of it, we've not watched anything new these days.
What is next? All I can tell you is that when he comes in for the 3rd time in the night I don't care where he sleeps just as long as he leaves me alone. He also comes to my side of the bed and tries to sneak in. He's gotten in our bed a time or two when Daddy didn't even know he was there....smart boy comes to his mommy's side of the bed.
I feel for him. I remember being afraid as a child that someone would get me. I did go to my parents room and sleep in there sometimes. I don't remember how much, but I cherished those times I got to be snuggled next to my mommy!
It's just that he would be in there every night and that is not healthy for our family. Some kids sleep with their parents for a long time. That is what is right for their family, but it isn't right for ours. So .... help!
If anyone has anymore helpful advice, I'd love to hear it. Could this just be another phase?