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Help my 4.5 year old sleep in her bed all night?? Hope for the future??

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I haven't visited MDC in a long time, but I came back for help.  My 4.5 year old DD just doesn't sleep through the night.  I cuddle her to sleep in her bed in her room, but around 1am every night she wakes up, and then comes to our bed for the rest of the night. 

 

I usually spend about 15 - 30 min cuddling her to sleep..  I'm okay with that for now, but would like to eventually get to the point where I can read her a story and say good night...  I'm not sure how to make a transition to that??   Anyone BTDT??  Advice?? Will it EVER happen like that??  lol   Anyhow, that's for the future..

 

Right now, I'd just like to help her sleep in her bed through the night.  My plan as of now, is to just try comforting her back to sleep in her bed. It will be harder for me for a while, but if we could get our bed back at least 1/2 the time, it would be worth it.   LOL    Any advice??  Please!!

 

I guess I need reassurance that this is the right thing to do.  My DD is very attached, and I find it hard to draw the right lines..  My friend keeps telling me she'll never learn how to "self-sooth" and fall asleep on her own, and I admit it does make me worried about doing the right thing.   My daughter also still loves for me to help her get dressed, put her shoes on and all...   I worry that my good intentions are making her too dependent on me.   I have to say, I wouldn't call her clingy or insecure, but she can be a little shy.   IDK  - I just don't want to be that parent of an 8 year old who still can't/won't put on their own shoes.  I was hoping that one day she'd want to be a "big girl" and WANT to do that stuff on her own, but she hasn't gotten there yet.

 

Sorry about the long post...   Thanks for reading!  Any response will be appreciated!!

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDNemo View Post

I guess I need reassurance that this is the right thing to do.  My DD is very attached, and I find it hard to draw the right lines..  My friend keeps telling me she'll never learn how to "self-sooth" and fall asleep on her own, and I admit it does make me worried about doing the right thing.   My daughter also still loves for me to help her get dressed, put her shoes on and all...   I worry that my good intentions are making her too dependent on me.   I have to say, I wouldn't call her clingy or insecure, but she can be a little shy.   IDK  - I just don't want to be that parent of an 8 year old who still can't/won't put on their own shoes.  I was hoping that one day she'd want to be a "big girl" and WANT to do that stuff on her own, but she hasn't gotten there yet.

 

Well, maybe just to counter your friend (who I completely disagree with) I am going to say that I think you're doing the wrong thing.  I don't really get why you wouldn't want to be cuddling her in your bed.  At four and a half, does she really have to be so grown up and self-reliant?  

 

Do you really know any 8 year olds that won't put their own shoes on?  If that's what you're worried about, don't!  I have never even heard of it.  My older son has never been one of those children who wants to do things for himself.  He'd be happiest if I waited on him for the rest of time.  I can't tell you how many times I hear him yell from another room, "water, please!"  And this is after me making a real point to make him get his own water for like three years now!  lol  My three year old, on the other hand, will get up and go in the kitchen and dig through the fridge till he finds something good to eat.  Kids are just different, some wanting to do for themselves and some just not.  I have had friends who's children have demanded to do it all themselves, which means it takes ten times as long and they can't ever get out of the house.  I think it's a grass is greener kind of thing.  BUT NEVER have I EVER seen an 8 year old who doesn't put on his or her own shoes.  It just does not happen.  You should not be trying to get your four year old to be self-sufficient or sleep alone through the night because you're having such a silly fear.  She hasn't gotten there yet because she is only four, she is very young.

post #3 of 6

My experience of life is that it is hard to predict what will happen in the future. Being afraid of what might happen doesn't help. That said you have a few choices about sleep. At 4.5 I would be willing to sit a kid down and say, "The sleep interruption is really bad for my body and it needs to stop. I can't be a nice person without sleep. Humans need sleep. I understand that you wake up in the night. What can we put in your room--a water bottle, a teddy, a picture of mommy--to help you feel ok about going back to sleep. I have to sleep. Really."

 

I don't think it is inappropriate to push a kid that old towards sleep (they are *not* babies with the same kind of intense need anymore) but I also think it is reasonable that a kid that age needs night time parenting. Sometimes that night time parenting can mean, "Let's set up a station so you can take care of yourself." Parenting doesn't always mean that your hands have to do every single thing they need.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you rubidoux!   I think I needed to hear it from some other mammas that "It's okay" for DD to still need this.  And while I haven't actually met any 8 year olds who won't put their own shoes on, I've read about it in some places as an example of how we're making our kids too dependent. Being a mother can be hard sometimes.  I hear stuff, and begin to worry and doubt!!  

 

I'm okay with her cuddling in our bed, but my husband is missing some morning "activities" though.    (yes, on occasion we have gotten up and gone to spare bedroom, but NOT the same!)  lol    You are right, she's only 4.5!     I don't want to rush her, but I am hoping for some gentle ways to get her back to sleep in her bed, at least some times...

 

Thank you RightKindofMe!!   It's also nice to hear that I'm not completely out of line for wanting to help my DD sleep in her bed ALL night, sometimes.   I like your suggestions!!  I think having a talk with her will help!   And I like the idea of the Night time station!       I might wait til she's closer to 5 for that though.     I'm feeling less anxious about it,I think my friend was stressing me out about it.

 

THANK YOU mamma's here at MDC!!  What would I do without a place to check in and get reassurance?   Seriously, Friends, Family, the Media, they can all start creeping in on me, and make me doubt myself.  

post #5 of 6

Aww, I'm a nightowl, myself, and not prone to want to do anything that takes energy in the morning when I could be sleeping.  lol  We were happy to have a little adult time in our bed after the kids started sleeping in their own room.  They are almost always back in our bed by 2 am, but by then we're usually ready to bed-share again.  Morning may be a lot harder to swing...

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Ya, It is nice I can get her to sleep fine, in her own bed.  We do enjoy our adult time before she wakes up, so that is nice!   But after so long, hubby is missing the mornings too!

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