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I still want to co-sleep, DH doesnt;(

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

DD is 2 yrs next week and still co-sleeping.  We've been going through a hard phase where she is not only nursing frequently, but crying (only shortly, but long enough to wake up DH), and kicking/moving around a lot.  Its frustrating and tiring for me, but usually i can take a nap with her if we've had a really hard night.  I still feel co-sleeping is whats best for and that the extra comfort is really important to her development.  DH on the other hand is protesting loudly that he is done co-sleeping.  The waking him up thing is only part of the issue, mostly I think he feels left out and really misses affection and attention form me.  He's used to me being very cuddly and since we had a baby I've been way less touchy and need more space.  I'm fine with putting a bed next to ours for her to transition into, but I honestly think I'll just end up sleeping with her in it and DH will still feel left out and lonely;(  He's been making it seem like I'm crazy for having a 2 yr old in bed with me still and even crazier that I'm willing to wait until she's ready to transition to her own bed even its 1, 2, or 3 yrs from now.  I really thought we were on the same page about the importance of co-sleeping and am trying to find the right way to talk with him more about it.  I'm curious if others have been in this situation and what ended up working for you? 

post #2 of 10
A two year old is just old enough to get REALLY excited about a little toddler bed placed next to mama's bed. I've got 5 living sons...and this was the way it worked: We had a co-sleeper, but it was mostly used as a safety spot in case baby was to roll too far. A baby catcher...if you will... Around the age of two, we would introduce "TAH DAH!" a lovely little wooden toddler bed with a mobile at the top and some cuddly stuffed animals as bed mates. It was a gradual shift. We would do "bedtime" with our little man in his bed, so proud and cuddly, and we would read stories and sing songs. And then, we would nurse to sleep. Some nights, he would be in our bed, and some nights, he would settle in his bed. He would often come into our bed in the wee hours of morning to nurse more. And that was always allowed. As the year went by, the nursing at night was less an issue, and he would sleep longer and longer in his own bed.

Because our boys have always, with the exception of the eldest who is now 21 and on his own, had big brothers, the appeal of the "boys room" loomed in the future. We have two bunk beds pressed together at the heads to make an awesome sleeping fort. It was appealing....and soon....we would have all the boys in their room. The youngest, nursing for "just a sip" and then, joining the others for stories and laughter.

Now, I remember that crowded feeling...so, it is with that memory that I say to you, this too shall pass. You are wise to nurture your little one when the clingy stage indicates that she is torn between the reality of growing older, and the yearning to stay a baby. To push away now would be really negative in my opinion...so strike that happy medium...get a toddler bed. A toddler bed isn't one that you will sleep in too. It is HER bed. She will like it. Your husband will like it...and because the rule of allowing her to choose is there, YOU will like it too.

This shift does happen. It will work. Your on the right track. A simple modification will help. And in time....she will choose space too. GOOD LUCK!!! joy.gif
post #3 of 10

I completely agree with Emerging Butterly's post.  Your DS is at a perfect age for a toddler bed by your side.  She will still get snuggles, comfort, nursing, etc. if she is in her own bed next to yours, and you will still comfort her at night.  Sleeping in her bed isn't really a good idea, as it's her bed and those beds aren't made for adults to lie in them.  You can't tell when she's ready to transition to her own bed unless you have her own bed for her.  She doesn't know any different, but if you introduce the idea with excitement about her growing up, she is likely to adore the idea, even if she protests a bit at first.  If you lie next to her, in your bed, while she goes to sleep, and she's not otherwise changing much of her routine except in ways she will like, she will likely transition much earlier than you think.


I suspect you are the one who doesn't really want to lose your little snuggle bug.  It's hard to think about how they grow up and won't want to sleep with you or give much cuddle time, that nursing will slow down and that she will soon be falling asleep without you and without fussing about it.  That's a hard transition.  With my first babe, that was a hard transition for me too.  I was pregnant with # 2, so I had added motivation, but it was still hard.  My husband was just like yours too, feeling left out and a bit resentful that someone else was in "our" bed and taking away so much of "his" cuddle time.  I resented him for it, which wasn't the right way to look at it.  


It's a good idea to feel for him, even if you feel more like clinging to all that cuddle time with your little one who won't be there to snuggle with forever.  After all, he needs snuggles and cuddles too, and it doesn't much convince him to feel okay about the little bed-mate when he feels like you're the one holding onto the situation the way it is, which involves lots of mommy-baby snuggles and very little mommy-daddy snuggles.  My husband was resentful of his missed snuggle time and encouraged DS1 to climb into our bed in the morning on the outside of the bed, so he wouldn't be between us.  This ended up actually being more "fair," after all, since he was getting more snuggle time now, essentially making up for all the missed snuggles with me and with his babe, but it ended up leaving me with absolutely no night/morning snuggle time with my little one.  Better to talk to your husband about it and really TRY to establish the importance of affectionate time with just the two of you than to let him get too resentful and end up resenting him too.  It just might backfire.


With DS2, it was much better.  We recognized from the beginning each other's needs for affection and our baby's need to be with/near me.  When we moved DS2 to his own bed, we put it right next to ours instead of in another room, giving us mommy-daddy snuggle time as well as giving our son the comfort and closeness he needed by being near us.  And now, at 4 years old, our first son does still climb into our bed in the morning for snuggles, and hubby is okay with him being in the middle, most of the time.  So I did get my first snuggle-bug back eventually, after I made some realistic adjustments to my perception of my husband's emotional needs as well as mine and my children's.  DS2 (who is now 20 months) sometimes climbs into our bed in the morning, but not always.  He sleeps next to us, in his much-loved big-boy bed.  Hubby and I get lots of snuggle time, and we're looking forward to having a new little baby in our bed in a few months.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your responses and for sharing your stories.  I think getting the bed, even if she doesn't use it right away, will relieve a lot of the tension. That way we are at least moving in that direction and warming her up to the idea.  I am trying to understand his side more and be empathic.  In the past I've felt annoyed by his complaining because after all I was the one doing all the night time parenting, while he got to sleep.  If I think about it I guess I will appreciate the space to move more freely and relax at night, although,yes I will also miss snuggling her as well. 

post #5 of 10

I think all husbands go through that lonely feeling.  I totally sympathize with them.  I will share my story and see if it gives you any other ideas.  My oldest son will be 9 in July.  From the day he came home from the hospital, my husband and I have never been alone in bed.  I went through the same issue as you when I only had DS.  I wholeheartedly (although sometimes were harder than others), tried to be sure I was giving my DH the attention he needed when the baby was asleep.  I was dead set against moving my son out of the bed mainly because he was still nursing (and he did until he was 2 yrs, 9months).  And secondly because I wanted the family bed, period.  When  my 2nd baby, my DD, was born, she  moved in our bed.  DS when 2 1/2.  Then there was really no chance for shuffling. I tandem nursed them and knew I would never get a wink of sleep unless they were next to me.  So my DH to lose a few minutes of sleep felt minor to me.  I am a working parent too, albeit from home.  But I have a daycare and there is no daytime rest for me.  So we sympathized with each other on the waking issue.  When my son was in preschool and turned about 3 1/2 he knew and loved his room.  He made the choice to move in there, but frequently returned in the middle of the night.  I honestly don't remember when he stopped that.  I vowed to do the same with my DD.  However, she was 6 in Jan. and just made the transition to her bed.  And does return in the middle of the nightstill.  Then came my 3rd, DS.  He too was in our bed.  But when he realized that he had a big boy bed like his big brother, he ditched me LOL!!!  So at about 2 1/2 he trasitioned himself.  Although my two DS's sleep in the same bed (even though there are 2 beds in there).  And that is just fine with me.  So for now (until about 1am when my girl comes crawling in) my DH and I finally have a big king bed to ourselves.  It feels weird and empty to me.  But that's the cycle of life and I am proud that my children were by my side every night for as long as they were. 

post #6 of 10

Thank you for starting this thread.  It always helps me to read other people's stories in a forum like this.  


My daughter just turned 2 yesterday.  About 2 months ago we moved her out of our bed (queen sized bed was getting REALLY tight and my husband has honestly never really wanted to cosleep but went along with it) and into her own "big girl" bed.  We have a small place and everytime I mentioned a matress next to our bed for her, my husband would throw a fit because, well, there is really no room!  I was nervous, but I felt ready (as I was not sleeping well anymore in our tiny bed and I don't think my daughter was either with no room to roll around).  


So, for Valentine's Day, we put an old full-sized mattress on the floor of her own little room.  To my surprise, my high needs nursling daughter LOVED it.  From the day she saw her new bed in her new room, she only wants to sleep in there and gets upset if I even try to nurse her to sleep in our room.  Now, of course, I spend most of the night in there with her.  Honestly, I am getting less sleep going back and forth, but when I'm totally exhausted I just tell my hubby that I'll be sleeping with her in there the whole night.


Usually I nurse her to sleep and then DH and I get to hang out, talk in bed, get intimate, or whatever in our own room if we like until she wakes up and I end up going in her room.  Some nights I put her back to sleep and come back to our bed, but most nights I just hunker down in her room.  It has actually helped my relationship for three reasons:  1.  DH sees that we are moving in the direction of her sleeping on her own,  2.  DH and I get our own space most nights, and 3.  DH can go to sleep whenever he wants without worrying about waking up DD.  My daughter has been waking up every 2-4 hours since she was 4 months old (yeah, she slept well between 3 and 4 months and then it all went down hill).  Recently she has been going longer stretches at the beginning of the night, up to 6 hours once!  I know some of you out there can relate.


I too loved cosleeping and did not want to part with it, but I see the benefits now of us having our own space, especially since the move to the big girl bed was easy.  Easy because Mommy sleeps with her most of the night still, but it's a step!


Anyway, I'm hoping that weaning and sleeping on her own will happen naturally over the next 6 months or so, and pray that DH has the patience and compassion to allow that to happen.  I find that the more we feel connected, the less the details matter.  Husbands want to be heard and they want attention, the rest is really minor compared to those biggies.  The hardest part is not judging them when we feel so strongly otherwise.  Working on it!


Let us know how the toddler bed goes!

post #7 of 10

We put a twin next to our queen bed when my DD turned one. It was just too crowded. My DH ended up sleeping in it most of the time. When our DD was almost 3 we moved and she got her own room and bed. Right after turning 4 she decided she wanted to sleep in her own bed and she hasn't been back in ours since. Looking back at when my DD was two, it seems like she was really still a baby then. She was nursing several times a night until all her teeth were in. And emotionally she was still very much a baby.  My DH was always patient about the co-sleeping, but was really happy when she decided her bed and new nights lights were more fun. We were expecting DD to co-sleep until 5 or 6.  She's 5 now and we both wake if she makes any noises during the night even though she's down the hall in another room, but she sleeps a solid 10 or 11 hours with no issues.

post #8 of 10
I think 2 is a great time to start the transition when one or both parents are tiring of cosleeping. 2 years cosleeping is awesome but your husband's feelings must come to the forefront now, I think and given due consideration. Our DD is 2.5 and we just moved her out. She was getting disruptive, kicking a lot at night, and really just feeling like a 3rd person in the bed (rather than an extension of me). The transition has been wonderful. She sleeps SO much better alone.

This wasn't true of my 4.5 year old who is an awesome cosleeper and still would rather sleep with us. But he had to go, too. For me anyway cosleeping is a 'nice to have' after a certain age and daddy's opinion is given a lot of weight.

A toddler bed in the room is an idea if you have room and if it meets your DH's needs (which it might not). For us the transition was a bed in a separate room with 'open bed' access after a certain point. My son availed of that for years. My DD has only come in twice since we moved her out.
post #9 of 10

Get DH his own room.  That is what we did.  Our 4 year old sleeps with one or the other of us and the baby always sleeps with me.  Works great.

post #10 of 10
I feel like it is very important to find a happy medium so your husband doesn't feel any resentment toward you or the child. I never wanted my strong cosleeping feelings to possibly hurt my relationship with my dh. I like the toddler bed next to your bed. I did things the way dancinganya described. Around two my dd wanted to be a big girl. So we made her her very own big girl room and big girl bed. She wanted to sleep in there every night...as long as I was in there too. So, i nursed her to sleep and then went to my bed. Every time she woke i would quickly run in to her big girl bed and nurse her back to sleep...very tiring for me. When i married DH we agreed that we would always sleep together even if we were mad at each other. For some reason it has always been important to us to sleep in the same room and same bed. We just felt like it's good for our marriage to have that standard. Anyway, i was pretty exhausted bed hopping from our room to her room and eventually got lazy about it. DD ended up back in our bed in our room. This is why i say I like the toddler bed idea. There is no way i could fit in a toddler bed. If i had it to do over, i'd try it the way emerging butterfly did it. At least your dh would see that you are doing something to help his feelings in the matter. It is very true that around age two, children get the I want to be a 'big' girl/boy phase. This is when i potty trained and tried the bed transition.
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