DS is three and has only gone to bed a handful of times, since he was born with anyone other than me. Going to bed with someone else, like DH, usually means that he is up hours past his bedtime and he fell asleep in the car and then DH brings him in. I feel like I should have let DH put him to bed more when he was younger, but that was always me nursing him to sleep, he would NOT go any other way. Once we stopped nursing at night, about 6 months ago, I was so relieved not to nurse him to sleep anymore that at first I didn't mind laying next to him in order for him to fall asleep. But now I am still the only one who can do this. Tonight we had DH try to lay with him, everything else was the same and we had talked about it for a couple of days prior, and it ended with DS crying hysterically for 45 min and me finally going in and laying with him, he then fell asleep within 2 min... He typically does fall asleep pretty fast, but I am newly pregnant and realize that at least DH needs to be able to put him down sometimes. Any suggestions? I do feel really bad that he is so upset, but I also think it hurts DH's feelings. TIA
3 year old won't go to bed without me...
The only thing I can really suggest is the little bit of experience I have with ds. I nursed him to sleep for a long time & then when that was no longer working transitioned to lying with him but the lying with him was taking hours some nights & I just couldn't take it anymore - it was really ruining our evenings.
To start with warned ds there was a change coming for a little over a week (he was about 26 months when we started). Every night I'd count down "in two more nights mommy won't be lying with you anymore at night".
The night we started I got everything set up in the hallway for myself ahead of time. We kept the rest of the bedtime routine exactly the same but after books & tucking him up we cuddled for only a few minutes & I left the room. I sat on a chair in the hall where he could see me. For the most part I stayed quiet (reading or playing on my laptop) but when he got out of bed I would remind him he had to stay in bed or go in & put him back in bed. I reassured quite a bit that I was right there & he was ok. We did this for almost 2 weeks (he got sick in the middle of this). The 2nd & 3rd nights were the hardest. He did cry but for the most part it was just whiny/uncomfortable crying. When he got really upset I would go in give him some hugs & kisses & tell him how proud I was of him & that I understood that changes are hard but I knew he could do it.
The next 2 weeks I left the hall but dh stayed in his office (which at the time was right beside ds' room so he could here dh in there). This was quicker & I think we did it for only 1.5 weeks.
Finally we were able to both be downstairs. This meant sometimes one of us had to go up & retuck him in & reassure him we were there but for the most part it went really well.
We waited until we felt ds could handle it (for us that meant he was finally verbal enough for us to know he understood what was going on & tell us if he was having troubles) but it was well worth waiting. He still takes hours to fall asleep some nights but me not having to lie there for it makes life better for all of us.
I will admit I do lie with him occasionally if he is sick, has a had a rough day or we are sleeping somewhere unfamiliar.
Oh boy! I can relate to this one. When we finally got my DS to be willing to go to sleep in his own bed/room when he was almost 4, I was so excited I didn't mind laying with him. But then one day, I was just done. I needed him to be able to fall asleep on his own. As well, like you, he was resistant to DH having any part of it. What worked for us was telling him that I would lay with him for 10 minutes and then I'd be right in the living room. I was still close to his room and he insisted the door be wide open so he could hear me moving around and didn't feel so alone. It took a few weeks and he didn't like it, but it wasn't traumatic. Interestingly enough, once he knew that I wouldn't stay more than ten minutes he was more open to DH laying with him. Somewhere along the way, I stopped laying with him altogether. He still asks from time to time, but I remind him that we snuggle in the morning when he wakes up and that I'm with him all day and mommy has things I need to do. It is so nice to be able to tuck him in and go about my evening. Good luck mama!