Hi, I've been here before and I'll be here again!
We are getting desperate to get our DS sleeping on his own. DH was actually tearing up today describing how he feels about having to stay in bed with our DS, aged 3. He feels like he is in an abusive relationship at night, being held hostage. He can't get up to pee, can't move or shift position, can't get under the blanket, often has to sleep with a pretty bright night light and music playing- all so DS will stay in bed and sleep. And even then, he still wakes screaming sometimes. We need to change this- it's gotten out of hand! I want my husband back and I don't want him feeling this way.
DH started sleeping with DS to get him out of our bed when I was pregnant and DS was crowding and kicking my belly. Now I have the baby in a sidecarred crib. We want DH back in bed with me and DS sleeping in his room.
Right now, DH (sometimes me) will lay with DS for up to an hour to get him to sleep then sneak out for a couple of hours of adult time in the evenings. This takes less time when DS hasn't napped so we try to not nap him as often as possible but some days he needs it or he is just a mess. DS will sometimes sleep for a number of hours until DH goes in with him for the night or sometimes he will barge out of his room screaming and DH will go in. Sometimes he throws a huge fit, sometimes he will go instantly back to sleep.
When DH sleeps with him, as I said, DS demands that he stay in the same position, they can't use a blanket and DH can't leave or he'll wake and freak out and potentially have an hour long tantrum.
We just can't continue this way. I really feel like what was once a genuine need has turned into a controlling manipulative behaviour and I'm at a loss as to how to end it. It is totally ridiculous and unacceptable that we let our DS treat my DH this way- I'm embarrassed and so sad about it. We're just at a loss as to how to start making a change- no doubt it will be the start of many sleepless nights, tantrums, tears, frustration and anger. For EVERYONE.
Anyone been through anything like this? How do we get out of this mess?
(I should add that DS has very mild autism with symptoms and behaviours that seem to be present one day and absent the next and generally are getting better with time. We've tried to figure out if his behaviour at night is related- sensory problems, etc- but I really don't think it is.)