or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Co-sleeping and the Family Bed › You swore this wouldn't happen...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

You swore this wouldn't happen...

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I have  a 9 year old who will not sleep alone. All the sleep gurus swore that by sleeping with her in infancy and toddlerhood, she would gain independence and would sleep more confidently when it was time...well, the time never came. 

 

There was always a reason we would move her out later, a move, then giving up her paci, then a couple a surgeries and another big move...but now, here we are. She is 9 for heavens sake! If we do force her to lay in her own bed, she is literally awake until 1 am but if she goes to sleep with one of us, she is asleep by 8:30.

 

So how do we do this??? It was never supposed to be this way. Everyone swore she would sleep independently. This is not what I signed up for!

post #2 of 22
Well, how long will she be able to maintain staying up until 1am and then having to get up at a normal morning time? A few days? A week? It might mean a grumpy kid, but it can't last forever.

You could just see what happens

My kids get timed book lights and they read in bed for a set amount of time before having to go to sleep. Maybe something like that would help her wind down before bed, in her own bed.
post #3 of 22

I don't have any advice for you.  I don't think this is necessarily *caused* by sleeping together--some kids are simply harder to transition and you have one of them.  Make yourself feel better by thinking that she could have been a terrible sleeper all these years if not for your sleeping arrangements.

 

That doesn't get her out of your bed however.  I think it is harder to want to continue because you see no end in sight.  She still might be capable of transitioning easily later-- many kids wait until they are 11 or even 12 to willingly leave the family bed (my girls are 6 and 8, BTW).

 

When you say she "lays in her own bed", do you mean her own room?  This might be your key to transitioning--keep her in your bedroom.  I sympathize with you-- I have 2 kids, one on either side of me and it is getting squeezy.  I would love if we had the extra bedroom to start moving them to a bed of their own.  I *adore* cuddling with my kids BUT I would sleep better if I had more space.  And  would love to have the *option* of sleeping where I wanted to without their being upset.

 

Good luck!

post #4 of 22

What happens if you stay with her in her bedroom until she falls asleep, then go to your bedroom?
 

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

How long could her staying up last?

 

We've tried for several days and she eventually becomes hysterical and is unable to function at school or at home. 

 

Timed lights, etc

 

We have tried this as well, but she will just roll around and keep herself awake long after the light is off.

 

Sitting in her room

 

We have tried this before, and it actually works, IF one of us actually lays in the bed with her. But we aren't able to transition to not spending an hour sitting in bed with her, every night.

 

 

We love cuddling with her most of the time too, but NEVER having the option for anything else is the problem. Actually, what REALLY bothers me is the expectation. The idea that she believes she is fully entitled to sleep in our bed, without asking, without even being polite about it, and if we even try to ask her to sleep alone, (even in our bed) she cries and says "Its just because I love you"....

post #6 of 22
It is very entitled. I would be unwilling to sustain that, myself. I am a big fan of co-sleeping, I've done it will all 3. I have always started to transition them out of my bed in toddlerhood though. My bed, bed next mine, bed across the room, bed in your own room. My kids sleep in the same room. Dd3 is about to join them. She will sleep in the same bed as dd2 for a while. Can/do your kids share a room?

This is going to sound harsh maybe, and you certainly should do what works for your family, but I would just stop. Fwiw, I have an almost 9 year old daughter. I think she's pulling in your strings. You dont need to sleep with her to show her you love her. Hysteria about sleeping without you at 9?! In the absence of sensory issues, or some kind of AS issues, or abuse recovery, etc, this is self-crontrolled. Part of parenting is teaching our kids that the world does not revolve around their desires. Other people (including you!) matter.

I would come up with a plan that works for YOU and offers a fair transition for her (personally for me, at her age, it wouldn't be baby steps). She gets a bed in your room for 3 nights a week, she goes to bed on her own. She gets to sleep with you one night a week, she goes to bed on her own-whatever you decide, with a time frame to whatever the end goal is. (her own room or bed all the time?) Then lay it out for her. She's not going to like it, but she's old enough to deal with it. If she doesn't get a part in the school play, or a present she was hoping for, does she get hysterical? Probably not. self control is a learned behavior, but it takes practice. And at 9 she's capable.

As I said, that's just me. And whatever transition you decide on, it has to work for your own family. But I do think a 9 year old is capable of better than your dd is giving you on this.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana731 View Post

It is very entitled. I would be unwilling to sustain that, myself. I am a big fan of co-sleeping, I've done it will all 3. I have always started to transition them out of my bed in toddlerhood though. My bed, bed next mine, bed across the room, bed in your own room. My kids sleep in the same room. Dd3 is about to join them. She will sleep in the same bed as dd2 for a while. Can/do your kids share a room?

This is going to sound harsh maybe, and you certainly should do what works for your family, but I would just stop. Fwiw, I have an almost 9 year old daughter. I think she's pulling in your strings. You dont need to sleep with her to show her you love her. Hysteria about sleeping without you at 9?! In the absence of sensory issues, or some kind of AS issues, or abuse recovery, etc, this is self-crontrolled. Part of parenting is teaching our kids that the world does not revolve around their desires. Other people (including you!) matter.

I would come up with a plan that works for YOU and offers a fair transition for her (personally for me, at her age, it wouldn't be baby steps). She gets a bed in your room for 3 nights a week, she goes to bed on her own. She gets to sleep with you one night a week, she goes to bed on her own-whatever you decide, with a time frame to whatever the end goal is. (her own room or bed all the time?) Then lay it out for her. She's not going to like it, but she's old enough to deal with it. If she doesn't get a part in the school play, or a present she was hoping for, does she get hysterical? Probably not. self control is a learned behavior, but it takes practice. And at 9 she's capable.

As I said, that's just me. And whatever transition you decide on, it has to work for your own family. But I do think a 9 year old is capable of better than your dd is giving you on this.

She is our only, and I think that is part of the problem. She feels like she is getting sent to bed alone, while Daddy and I get to cuddle together and have fun.

 

The reason it has managed to get this far is complicated, but worth mentioning.

 

Every time we try to transition her out something huge shows up. We moved when she transitioning the first time, and then we were working on giving up the pacifier. Then she had surgery. Then another surgery. Then we moved halfway across the country, away from all her family...until here we are.

 

There are periods when she sleeps in her room, and then we will hit a wall, a transition or illness, or vacation, and suddenly she is back in our bed.

 

She does have sensory issues, as well as being a little developmentally (emotionally and lingustically) behind due to her deafness. I just get sick of her behaving like she owns me. 

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairejour View Post

She is our only, and I think that is part of the problem. She feels like she is getting sent to bed alone, while Daddy and I get to cuddle together and have fun.

 

The reason it has managed to get this far is complicated, but worth mentioning.

 

Every time we try to transition her out something huge shows up. We moved when she transitioning the first time, and then we were working on giving up the pacifier. Then she had surgery. Then another surgery. Then we moved halfway across the country, away from all her family...until here we are.

 

There are periods when she sleeps in her room, and then we will hit a wall, a transition or illness, or vacation, and suddenly she is back in our bed.

 

She does have sensory issues, as well as being a little developmentally (emotionally and lingustically) behind due to her deafness. I just get sick of her behaving like she owns me. 

 

you are, seriously, getting no judgment from me :) I totally understand how sometimes you just do the easy thing at the time and then you feel kind of irritated about it, because it's hard to change it. But of course if you complain, the world at large is going to say, "it's your own fault!" Like we don't know that (and didn't know that going in), thanks irked.gif And sometimes it's not even an issue of this has to completely go away. It sounds like it's that way for you, like maybe you just want things to be slightly different.

 

And that's fair! You get to have a say. It sounds as though it's been more difficult for your family to transition out of co-sleeping than for your average family, and you have obviously been really sensitive to your dd's needs. It's okay to be sensitive to your needs too.

 

There are lots of gentle ways that you can change things to slowly get to whatever your end goal is. and even doing things gently, your dd might be less than happy. I don't think we can or should make our kids happy all the time. As they get older, they have to learn to deal with unpleasant feelings.

 

If you were to sit and have conversation about it, could she understand the fairness for all involved, with a plan like: You get a bed in our room, we will sit/lie in there with you for 15 minutes at night and then you have to go to sleep?  (or whatever you come up with) While when it comes to implementing that, she may not be as understanding, she probably could understand the idea quite well.

 

And I think if she is well, and her issues are at their baseline, it's okay for her to not be thrilled with it. it doesn't make you a bad parent or person to want some space. and it's certainly not all or nothing. i still end up with a room full of kids when they're sick, or a toddler on my chest in the middle of the night (often!). but because i have boundaries that i have set for myself and that they have learned to respect, it doesn't bother me when the kids are doing the stuff i mentioned above.  

post #9 of 22

My son is only two, so take this with a grain of salt.

 

Perhaps her room and bed need to be more fun than yours? Does she have special bedding that she chose? Did she decorate her room all special as a kind of ceremony for becoming a big kid? Does she hope to go to sleep-overs with friends, where she will need to be able to fall asleep on her own?

 

I didn't co-sleep as a child, but I had severe separation anxiety to the point where I would throw up when left alone. I think it is something that needs to be practised, but in a totally fun, posititve way.
 

Although my son is only two, he has not taken the transition to his own room too well and I foresee co-sleeping in some form well into our future too. I look forward to reading the advice you get! Good luck!

post #10 of 22

If she's 9, then she can tell time, right?  What if you get a clock in her room, and tell her you need her to sleep in her own bed until such-and-such time (could be 2am, 5am, whatever works for you), but until that time, it's Mommy and Daddy time, which all married couples need to be happy, healthy couples, and she needs to stay in her own bed during Mommy and Daddy time and she can join you at whatever time YOU as a parent prefers?

 

My fiance and I am currently working on two of our children's sleep issues.  My two year old has been cosleeping since day one, but no longer sleeps well at all, and my fiance's 5 year old was a crib baby, but has become dependant on sleeping either with her Dad or with her big sister, not just WITH them, but literally ON them, so we've been trying working with both children (who can't yet tell time) that they need to sleep in their own beds until "the sun wakes up".  It's somewhat working for the 5 year old, not so much the 2 year old.  I'm thinking a 9 year old would "get it" more than my little ones?  Good luck- I know how sleep deprivation can feel.

post #11 of 22
I have an only and co-slept.

If she will go to sleep and stay asleep in her own room if one of you lays with her to start, then that is a part of the transition process.

If you are looking for a way for there to be no process, then you will have to wait longer. With no sibling to share with, she simply is acting reasonable. Humans historically slept in groups. Sleeping alone goes against hardwiring. It is natural for her to resist.

However, there will come a day when she either wants privacy or has the maturity to sleep alone.
post #12 of 22

All of my kids ended up sleeping with us simply because I couldn't function staying up all night with them. It was a horrible mistake. I am not one to take medical advice but the first pediatrician was right in telling me that at 6 months you should be able to put them in their crib and let them cry a little. Most of the harsh critics out there only have babies or toddlers and no experience with the effects. My older kids only ended up staying in their room because their sibling was there. Even still they beg to sleep in my bed. I am getting older and more tired and hate sleepless nights with people crowding me. I have one that falls asleep as soon as her head hits the pillow so the other in that room ends up staying up all night. I let her watch a movie to calm her down and have found that a constant noise such as a fan calms the mind. Also, getting involved in a sport or physical activity should help alot. Good luck.

post #13 of 22
A friend of mine had this problem. When she was eight, they moved her.

First, they put her bed next to her parents' bed. When that was okay, they moved it. Six inches at a time. If she had a bad night, they left it where it was until she had a good night.

Yeah. Not pleasant. But, maybe, I hope, a workable plan.
post #14 of 22

I have the same issue with my 10 year old son, he is actually getting worse. I bought him a bunk bed and he was able to sleep on the top bunk for about 3 months last year but now needs to be right beside me all night every night. I also have a 6 and 3 year old in the room/bed and they all want me beside them all the time. So i move from spot to spot all night, but the 10 year old is the most panicked and demanding, he has anxiety. At a loss as to what to do? but I'm getting done with this. 15 weeks pregnant and worried about when there are 4 that need constant attention.....

post #15 of 22

I agree that having someone lay with her in her bed until she goes to sleep is a reasonable transitional move. I remember my parents doing that! One of them would be elected for the night, and they'd stay with us and tell stories and lie down with us until we went to sleep. It would be, like, from 7:30-8:30 or something like that. May be she'll need you to do that for months until she is used to sleeping in her own bed.

 

Also, what about if she had a book to read in her room? I have pleasant memories of reading myself to sleep.

post #16 of 22

I like kblackstone's idea of giving her a certain time when it's ok to come to your bed. 9 is plenty old enough to understand that adults need alone time.

 

And it is not true that most of the harsh critics of cio only have littles...many of moms on here have grown children and teenagers. We've been through it without leaving tiny babies in cribs crying. I coslept with all of mine at some point, some kids end up sleeping better than others! This website is against promoting CIO.

post #17 of 22

We always start the transition at around 2 years old.  We start patting, instead of rocking. Then we stop patting and sit next to the bed until they fall asleep. After a week or so of that, changed to just reading a story, turning off light and sitting for 10 minutes, then 5 then none.

post #18 of 22

I have two children.  My first moved to her own bed around 3, and was sleeping through the night regularly by the age of 4, although I still had to lie with her for a long time.  I'm not sure when that stopped, honestly.  I know that by the time my second daughter was 3, my older daughter was 7, and the two of them started sleeping together one night.  This went on for many years, and then in 2012, right around the time my younger one was turning 9, my older one decided she was done.  There was some petty argument where she got thrown out of the bedroom, and she said it wasn't worth it.  And now she really hates her sister's room.

 

I've had a lot of issues with my 9 year old not wanting to sleep alone, but her issue honestly is that she becomes afraid.  For months she would regularly wake at night and come in and wake me up to take her back to bed and tuck her in.  One night she was so upset I told her she could sleep on the floor next to my bed, so she made up a little pallet on the floor with pillows and blankets, and slept there.  She has a double bed, so I could sleep with her, but there was so much stuff on the other side of her bed that it would be difficult, but one night I did sleep with her, and she really liked that and wanted me to sleep there again.

 

After she turned 9, we took her to a therapist because she seemed to have a lot of anger issues, and was having major meltdowns related to homework.  The doctor involved gave her a prescription of Concerta to see if it helped, thinking this could be ADHD, but we also had therapy to deal with her behavior issues.  During the time she was taking the Concerta, we didn't notice much of anything changing in relation to her behavior, but her night fears became worse, which I had heard could happen, so we eventually discontinued it.  And it seems since then, things have gotten better.  She does sleep with her light on all night most nights, unless I can turn it off when I go to bed, but that may wake her up. Sometimes she gets up and turns the bathroom light on too, but she's really cut down on coming to my room.  That really hasn't happened for awhile. She isn't supposed to do this, but sometimes she finds ways to sneak electronics into her room so she can entertain herself until she falls asleep, but she needs more sleep than she gets, so we take away her electronics if we notice she's taken them with her, and she loses the use of them for the next day. Our dog sleeps on her bed, so this is always comforting to her.  

For awhile it was really bad with her crying about the after-images she was seeing when she closed her eyes, but a lot of this anxiety is gone now. Of course, as a baby, she was the good sleeper.  My older daughter was the clingy one who wouldn't sleep through the night. 

 

My only suggestion is to see if there is something more going on with her and not wanting to sleep in her room at night.  I was also a very anxious child, and I often slept in the same room with my sisters, but around 12 or 13 I wanted to be alone more often.  My daughter knows it's not really possible for her to sleep in my bed at night, but when things are bad, there is the option for her to sleep on our floor. So maybe put strict limits on what she cannot do, but have a little more leeway with what she can do.

post #19 of 22
Some general sleep information.

Some folks, including children, are very sensitive to electronics. Remove all electrical devices from the bedroom for these people. Use a battery operated travel clock instead of an electric clock. Keep only one lamp in the room, and put it as far from the bed as possible.

Some folks are sensitive to light. White and blue light tends to keep them awake. If you need nightlight, use a strand of red LED lights in the hall.

Adrenaline responses to foods keep the brain alert, making sleep difficult or impossible. Heightened fears may also be due to adrenaline. Keep a food-sleep diary to see if there is a connection between food and sleep.

Cherry juice is reputed to aid sleep.

Reduce or eliminate sugar, which has a tendency to keep some folks awake at night.

Children naturally feel safer when sleeping with others. It is normal, and as a previous poster mentioned, they generally prefer sleeping alone in the teen years.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairejour View Post

 

She does have sensory issues, as well as being a little developmentally (emotionally and lingustically) behind due to her deafness. I just get sick of her behaving like she owns me. 

This slipped by me.  Can you explain her deafness?

 

I also feel disgruntled that, even though my girls are 6 and 8, they still feel like they "own me", as you say.  I keep thinking, is this old enough--finally??  But then I think, maybe we have skewed expectations in our society because we have had many decades of children being separated from parents at a young age, sometimes out of necessity, but sometimes out of whatever conventional wisdom said.  We no longer know what really is natural or normal by looking at kids as a demographic.  But we do have our own feelings about things.  If we examine these carefully, we can conclude with fair accuracy whether these feelings come from what we were raised to expect and what our gut tells us.  And just because we were raised to expect something doesn't mean it should automatically be disregarded-- just that if it clashes with our gut feelings, we need to take note.

 

My girls like me in bed because I am warm, dd1 can prop her legs on me, and dd2 can cuddle.  Night noises (electronics, house settling) are easier to deal with (which is why I ask about her hearing).  Touch is comforting.  And, yes, especially with my 8yo there is that sense of justice. 

 

My niece slept with my sister for many years.  Life threw her difficulties as well that made the transition to her own bed difficult-- separation, divorce, eventual relocation, siblings much older than her moving out and away.  She slept in her mother's bed until she was 11, stayed in a different bed within arm's reach for over a year, then finally into her own room just shy of 13yo.  Her mother made no issue with it, except to ask her to transfer to her own bed for space reasons.  Being divorced, she didn't have to deal with the possibility that her husband had different expectations than she had.  Her daughter had frequent, stressful night wakings that were eased by their physical closeness.  

 

It seems like this is not just a simple matter of a difficult transition.  If it were, I would certainly follow the advice others have posted, but in your case, I would focus on finding underlying, complicating issues before pushing the transition.  

 

ETA: If she does spend some nights, or parts of nights, in her room, that is already a transition that is happening.  Big, emotionally charged transitions like this are often 2 steps forward, one step back.  You might need to give this some time and summon all the patience you can muster.


Edited by SweetSilver - 3/23/13 at 11:10am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Co-sleeping and the Family Bed
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Co-sleeping and the Family Bed › You swore this wouldn't happen...