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Any suggestions on getting a 3 y/o to sleep independentally? (vent-y)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

My ODS is 3y3m. He has coslept from birth. It was a decision I made because it allowed me more sleep. He was in his twos when I became pregnant with ds2. Hubby and I were apprehensive about a toddler who moved around a lot and a newborn in the same bed. I asked my hubby to make a plan to get our ds1 sleeping on his own with the exception of leaving him to CIO. (Okay some of this is guessing as my hubby has not fully articulated his side to me but basically he bristled against being told that crying is bad because "everyone" leaves their kids to cry so he decided that my condition made the task impossible and didn't try anything.) When the birth of ds2 happened, ds1 was still cosleeping with myself and my hubby. Hubby took ds1 into another bedroom and while I coslept with the newborn. (Still our sleeping arrangements.) Again and again I've mentioned making a plan to follow to have our ds1 sleeping independentally. Hubby does bedtime with ds1 and he claims this can only be accomplished by them falling asleep together. Hubby and I get no one-on-one time. (Although when he wants to be intimate, he manages to come back down after ds1 falls asleep.) Hubby complains that he is tired because of ds1 sleeping closely to him. (I think it's actually in large part because he has sleep apnea.)


I can see that telling hubby to make a plan is not going to happen. He is unhappy with his sleeping arrangements. He is blaming me because I make all the parenting decisions. All of this is complicated because we recently visited friends who let their slightly older child CIO in her room. We stayed at their place overnight and their daughter started crying late in the evening and woke up our kids in the next room (us adults were watching a movie). I went in to take care of the baby but the friends didn't even realize their child was crying. Hubby made a comment recently about how the friends get plenty of sleep.


Anyway. Are there any plans out there not based on CIO? You know, like there's Dr Gordon's nightweaning plan.

post #2 of 5

I was in your exact position when i had ODD!   DS is now 7 and sleeps all by himself ('cept for my old childhood teddybear and the occasional visit from him.)  He always had his own bed and room, but we mostly co slept.   he climbed out of his crib a few times at 18 mos and we moved him to the matress on the floor.   He wouldn't sleep alone.   I started out laying with him on the floor till he fell asleep (and yes, he would wake in the night and be with us come morning).   Then I moved to sitting next to his bed for a few weeks.   Then i would tuck him in, and sit in the doorway for a few weeks, then outside the bedroom door (open).  Then I got to where I could close the door.   Once he finally fell asleep on his own, he still would wake up in our bed.   I made up bed pass coupons when I got pg w/ODD.   DS was 3.  I started telling him he couldn't sleep in out bed b/c the baby would be in our bed and she would wake him up b/c babies don't always sleep at night, they cry and eat.  lol  The bed passes were fun slips of paper he decorated and was supposed to give to me in the middle of the night and he'd get 15 mins of snuggle time and he had only 2 passes a night.   Well it didn't work b/c the smart guy would lay the pass on my dresser and make himself a nice little bed with the decorative throw pillows from the bedding set I would toss on the floor at night and bring in his little blanket.   He would never wake me up.  I even told him he could have ice cream for breakfast if he stayed in his bed.   It didn't work.   One day it just clicked............and he's been in his bed ever since.  Including while he shared a room w/his sister for a year.  


maybe try the phasing out like I did?  Or create a sticker chart for him.   Sleeping in his bed, falling asleep...etc.   Positive "start" behaviors that you want him to continue....reward them.   A certain amount of stickers gets a prize.  A trip for ice cream or small toy or what ever motivates him.  

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Jenni - Thanks for the suggestions.


Looking at what is coming up in our life, I think it is best to wait until the New Year to work on this issue. We will be visiting family for a week then will have a guest in our home. There will just be too much going on to try to change behaviors. Meanwhile, I'd love to hear any suggestions people have. :)

Edited by allisonrose - 12/12/11 at 8:45am
post #4 of 5

I feel for you.  We are going through the same thing in our house!  My DH is in my DD's room right now with her screaming and crying because she wants to come sleep in our bed.  It was ok before DS arrived, but now it just really doesn't work.  We tried briefly putting a sleeping bag on the floor and she just climbed in bed with us.  She doesn't always wake me up, but sometimes she does, and it is very annoying because that is on top of the 3-4 times a night that DS wakes me up!  DH doesn't really understand this.  He would like her to keep coming in our bed.  I think that she's almost 4, and she would be okay in her bed or in a sleeping bag on the floor.  Maybe you could try that?  When I went in there tonight because she went back in her bed after she saw we hadn't gone to bed yet, she said "sleeping in my room isn't fun."  UGH.  It's not fun.  No, it isn't.  It's SLEEP!!! Can you tell I'm at my wits end with her?  I hope we both get some suggestions!!!

post #5 of 5

I just tonight made DS a sticker chart. He gets a sticker for falling asleep in his room alone and staying in his bed until his music turns on in the morning (unless he has to pee of course). If he gets 5 stickers in a row (sun-thurs nights) then he can sleep in my bed on friday or saturday (sometimes we will probably need friday to get to 5).

You could do a "stay up" night instead (aka choose your own bedtime). 

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