When our youngest was born, we didn't have an extra room, and the age gap with his sister and the difference in their sleeping patterns was too big to let them sleep together, so he slept in our room from the start and stayed there.
Until now, we managed to build an extension to our home with new bed rooms for both our children. He finally has his own room. He is six, almost seven.
The problem is that he is quite easily scared (also doesn't look to be on one floor of our house when everybody else is on the other, during the day). Also he never learned to fall asleep on his own, always one of us has to stay besides him until he has fallen asleep. This is slowly getting better, I think he will soon accept that we leave when he is still somewhat awake. When he used to wake up during the night, he knew we were there and would fall asleep again.
But now he has to sleep alone. In a new room. The first two nights he was unlucky, it turned out he was allergic to one of new bed sheets and he was moved back to his old bed, but now that is solved.
When he wakes up, he is alone, gets out of bed crying and asks us to be there. This happens four times or so and then it is the middle of the night, we give up and sleep in his room on a mattress until it is the morning. We are 46 and 51 with jobs and can't be awake that much during the night. This happened the last three nights and is probably going to be the pattern for a while.
Any ideas on how we could solve this? It's obviously going to take some time -- he has to learn to fall asleep alone when he wakes up, in a new bed room, on his own, and he has related fears. And we don't have the energy to try some cold turkey way. But we don't want to get stuck having one of us sleeping on a mattress there long term... Which order should we try do things?
He is motivated and enthusiastic about his new room, and he tries, he just can't quite do it yet.