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Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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Since the birth of his sibling my six year old wakes up in

Customer Question

Since the birth of his sibling my six year old wakes up in the middle of the night and wanders through the house. Is there anything that can be done?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for consulting JA,

Does he seem to be sleep walking or is he awake? How old is the baby? Does the 6 year old have any health or developmental problems? Is the baby's crying waking him?

Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience: and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
Bonnie and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
I owe you an answer. Are you able to reply to my questions?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My six year old is above average in intelligence. He reads at a second grade level and does math at third grade. He is not sleep walking, but is wide awake. The other night at 4 am he took my blackberry from the night stand and was texing people. I do not know if my 2 month old is waking him or not. Their bedroom is on the secon floor. Ours is on the first. When I go to get the baby, when she wakes up (we have a baby monitor) my six year old seems to be asleep.
Expert:  Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
Hello again and thank you for the additional information,
This could certainly be a reaction to the new baby albeit unconscious (some resentment about all the attention baby gets). But, no matter the cause, it is going to require a clear behavior management strategy.

Make the rule clear: no getting out of bed (except to bathroom and back);
Use positive reinforcement first: If you stay in bed all night (no wandering), you will get a sticker to be used towards a bigger reward on weekend. Five stickers = motivating reward.
If this does not work, add a consequence for each infraction: take a favorite toy or activity away for a few days (i.e. can't watch favorite show or play screen game for a few days).

Your dilemma is knowing if he is wondering since he is on a different floor. Consider having him sleep on your level or you sleeping on his until this behavior ceases.

I hope you will find that this strategy work. Warm regards...
Expert:  KaterB1270 replied 5 years ago.

In reading the information request above my thoughts would be as follows.


If the child is just walking around at night once they are awake you need to make a clear expectation that it is not OK to do this. You must make them live up to this expectation. I suggest if the child is just wandering to place a gate with a lock in the door way. If the child would be able to get over the gate then install another gate on top. I would also suggest a simple rewards chart. Have your child pick some small reward they would like to work for. I think doing things like going to the park with mom/dad or going to ______________ with a friend. I also suggest having he/she help set up the chart before using it. By having the child take ownership they will work harder to meet your expectations.


Hope this helps with your situation.

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Thanks, Kate