Shoot...didn't realize this was a resurrected post.
Can you move him to an air mattress on the floor next to your bed? Tell him it's his bed or the air mattress and move him down to the air mattress if he crawls into bed in the night. Then you could progress to having him start out the night in his own bed, with the option of coming into your room to the air mattress if he wakes in the night (as long as he comes in quietly). My son was in his own bed all the time by 5, but prior to that, he wasn't in our bed (he was too much of a kicker for that)--he was next to our bed on a mattress on the floor.
hi i was in thesame position as you my son slept with dad and me until he became to big he was 6 when he went into his own room but i would have to stay in the room with him until he fell asleep,like your son he said he was scared. when he eventually fell asleep i would go back to my own room but hed waken in the night screaming for me never his dad. i gave up eventually and ended sleeping in the other single bed with him until just 3 weeks ago. he decided that he wanted to sleep in the small room with all his stuff around him (toys and games). he then said he will sleep by himself i didnt ever think this would happen but there you go miracles do happen. just like you i was demented looking up sites in case he would get affected later on in years. but the responses i got were good there is loads of children out there sleeping with there parents. im sure you and your partner canfind a way for now to get close together, we managed its awkward but what choice do we have we only have a one way ticket with our children and the last thing we want is them experiencing fear even if they are petty. they dont be long growing up. i know this because i have 3 grown up sons with children of there own i really know the years fly by to quickly and yes every one of them crept into my bed and they turned out fine. WISH YOU LUCK DONT WORRY TOO MUCH
How about a radio or cd player on in his room at night, plus a night light? I was an anxious child and every noise was sinister to me, but once I had my radio on I didn't hear the noises and was comforted by the voices on the radio.
I know a lot of people do share the marital bed with their children but the quality of sleep you get is poor and needless to say it isn't the kid who wakes up cold or with knots in their back from lying awkwardly!
For your family, it seems like it isn't a question of whether he is too old, but a question of the disruption it is causing. Three kids, but one demanding all of your time and energy over bedtime issues, and now you say you are having problems with the 5 year old. You must feel like you are being pulled in every direction at the moment....how big is that bed! I know that in my house I sometimes feel like my arms and legs are going to come off with everyone vying for my attention during daylight hours and I sometimes long to shut my bedroom door at night-luckily nobody follows me over the threshold or I'd crack up, so I don't know how you and your fiancee are coping with being on call 24 hours a day. I think you might have to get a strict bedtime regime going, at least at 7 he is now old enough to understand that he must stay in his own room if you insist, even if you can't force him to sleep. Good luck.
I'm not a psychologist but I too grew up sleeping with my mom b/c my dad was away alot, I'd say until I was 12 or so. We had so much fun and my memories are fond. I've never had any issues sleeping alone so personally don't think sleeping with your kids is wrong. I think, contrarily, that it provides a nice bond. On the same note, I would try to allay his fear just to provide him the confidence to know that he can overcome his fear if he wants to. Probably easier said than done.
I'm guilty of letting my son sleep with me too... but he does go to sleep in his bed, he just ends up in mine at some point. One way to get him to sleep in his bed is to read him to sleep. I've read up to an hour before. It gets them laying down in their bed and still have that tie to you. Also I good night light does wonders, not the one that you plug in but the ones that stick on the walls, my boys love those ones. They can turn them on and off themselves. My husband will sometimes go thru the room with them and explain any noises that they may have heard. And if all else fails, I do let them cry themselves to sleep, it does get better.
Can you get him a night light? I think that he is too old to be sleeping with you. He needs to start growing up, and not being afraid of "monsters and the dark" You are lucky to have such a wonderful and understanding fiance, but this will not last forever. Please remember this is just my opinion. He should be falling asleep in his bed, not on the couch, not in your bed. If he has a nightmare or something, he can have snuggles for a while, then go back to bed. His own bed.
When I was a little girl my dad worked out of town every week and I slept with my mom every night. I've never had issues over this ever. Even when my dad was home on the weekends and I had a nightmare my mom would scoot over and let me sleep beside her. I now have 4 boys of my own and anytime they are scared they sleep with me and my husband. Sometimes it gets uncomfortable and crowded, but if that gives them comfort then its worth it. It's great you have a supportive spouse, that means a lot. Have you tried laying down with him in his bed at night until he falls asleep? This worked with my 6 year old. He had slept with my husband and I for a long time and when I became pregnant with my youngest I started that routine with him until he was used to sleeping in his own bed. My three oldest boys sleep in bunkbeds together. The top is a twin size and the bottom bunk is a full size bed and it works out great. My boys are aged 9 years to 9 months. I don't know if I've been any help or not, but I wish you the best luck!!