My 4-year-old son gets up every night to go to the bathroom. When he goes back to bed, he has trouble falling back asleep and will either talk, sing or play until he does and that sometimes takes hours.

I'm glad he knows when to get up to go to the bathroom and doesn't wet the bed, but I am worried he is not getting enough sleep. It has started to affect his behavior during the day and this has now been going on for weeks.

Does anyone have some suggestions on how I can help him get back to sleep better?

2 Answers 2


Teach him that bedtime is quiet time. This is going to be very similar to getting him to go to sleep in the first place.

  • Stay in bed
  • sshhhh! No noise
  • No playing with toys
  • He may have a sip of water, but no food
  • Lights out, no tv, mobile, or other electronics

Try to come up with one thing he can have (one time), like a few pages in whatever book you are reading. And that's it. It will take a little while for him to become accustomed to it, but he will.

  • 2
    This is right - you have to teach him what is appropriate and how to sleep, by setting up the proper rules and boundaries that he is not allowed to cross. Then when he's older he will know by himself what to do in order to sleep, because you used to require it as a rule.
    – Demis
    Mar 14, 2019 at 6:28
  • Routine. Here is a sip of water. Let's say prayers again, turn out light.
    – ggb667
    Mar 18, 2019 at 13:01
  • I agree this answer fits the situation best (unless this has already been tried) I sometimes have to shush my daughter, tell her to keep still, tell her to close her eyes, make her put her arms down, etc when she's restless at bed time. If she is up in the night we usually give her a cuddle for 5 mins before going back to bed and she's usually asleep by that time.
    – Smock
    Mar 22, 2019 at 14:26

Honestly, this sounds normal to me at this age. I recall when my then-4-year-old would wake up occasionally, and take what seemed like hours to go back to sleep.

A couple of things to look into:

  • Does he drink a lot of fluids too close to bedtime? This is worth adjusting.
  • Do you encourage him to visit the potty prior to getting into bed?

On the bright side, this sounds a lot better than others I've heard of wherein the child runs into the parents' bedroom in the middle of the night whereas your boy sounds self-sufficient.

Other things to ensure if possible:

  • there aren't any noises that might be waking him up in the middle of the night
  • the room is sufficiently dark (use blackout curtains if necessary)
  • use an Echo Dot (say "Alexa, play rain sounds", "Loop") or a similar device to get a sound machine in the environment to black out noises
  • Not sure about the Echo Dot - my 4 yr old knows how to operate Alexa!
    – Smock
    Mar 22, 2019 at 14:20
  • 1
    You can use the app to put it in "kid mode" so it won't respond to commands within the hours you set. Mar 22, 2019 at 22:49

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