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A 7 year old refuses to sleep in her own room. She does accept to fall asleep in it and maybe stay there for a couple of hours, but in the middle of the night she walks over to the parent's bed and squeezes her body against the parent, resulting in poor sleep for the parent. She walks on auto-pilot, sometimes having no recollection in the morning of having moved.

This problem has been going on for years and attempts to stop it have been futile: After moving the child back to her bed and putting her back to sleep, she walks back to the parent shortly after. Bed-sharing in her own bed, to make her calmer in that place, does make her stay, but when the parent moves away the child follows. So what is sought after here are new strategies to try.

Now that the child is old enough to reason, she says the problem is caused by nightmares. She also says she feels safer with the parent, after having witnessed a nearby house on fire. It may also be relevant that, for medical reasons (that thanks to recovery from illness are no longer valid), the child has a history of bed-sharing with the parent.

  • It doesn’t explicitly say so but I’m guessing the question is looking for strategies to get the child to sleep in her own bed? Can you tell us what has already been tried by the (weary) parents? – Jax Nov 30 at 16:32
  • @Jax: Thanks for the feedback. I've updated the question with additional information. – Gruber Nov 30 at 17:27
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My daughter did the same at 7 - would even insist some nights that she wanted to sleep in my bed from the start.

I just kept trying gently:

  • starting her in her bed

  • getting fancy bed covers in her favorite color with designs...

  • and not being upset with her at all when I woke up to find her.

She will sort this out, mine did before she was 9 (she is a teen now)

But be happy she is comfortable with you.

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My kids often came into our bed in the middle of the night, making sleep less comfortable.

I just put mattresses on the floor and started putting them to bed in our bedroom. They seemed very content with this arrangement, and never crawled into our bed. As they got older and more self-(confident? sufficient? other?), they moved back into their rooms.

As for the adults, there were always empty bedrooms.

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