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Will they EVER sleep on their own? Help

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I need advice from other parents of older children practicing attachment parenting and co-sleeping. Our nine year old daughter cannot sleep thru the night independently, and she has developed such a pattern of night waking, without also developing any abilities to self soothe, that I am beginning to be concerned that we are setting her up for long term sleep difficulties. She will not stay alseep unless physically next to me, and seems unable/unwilling to fall back to sleep 'on her own.' I am no longer able to sleep well (or at all, sometimes)with this arrangement, so it has become an issue. I see hundreds of items on babies and toddlers on this topic, but when/how can we help her be independent at this age without being punitive. Our six year old boy has had periods of independence, but has returned to our bed during a time intense imagination and fears, but I am worried for the future with him as well. please give me hope...
post #2 of 9
This is probably completely unhelpful, as my dd is 2.5- but she just started sleeping on her own. She still needs me next to her to fall asleep, though. And I fully assume she'll be back now and again. I just say this because every child is different- so I wouldn't assume your son will be just like your dd.

One idea- my dd is totally infatuated with her bed. Does you dd have a nice bed with bedding she likes? Maybe she could help you pick out a bed or bedding that she would like and think of as "hers."

Second thought- she's getting pretty close to puberty, or at least the start of it. So this is a self limiting problem. I'm guessing that soon enough she'll want her own space. Maybe she just won't want to sleep with daddy, though, in which case I would be firm that you sleep in your bed with daddy. If she is ready to sleep elsewhere you will not be joining her.

Anyway- that's my opinion based on what little experience I have.

Good luck!
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

thanks for feedback

i hope you are right when you say self limiting problem. part of me remembers to cherish this time when she still wants me so close, but the other part of me is afraid she will simply hit puberty, be horrible to me during the day and STILL expect all night cuddling.

oh, and we have tried every conceivable arrnagment and new bed etc.--she is a night waker, even when she will sleep to start in her own bed, and can't seem to self-soothe back to sleep
post #4 of 9
Does your daughter need you specifically, or a warm body? Could you try putting the kids to bed together, maybe telling daughter that she is in charge of keeping son company? Have you tried a floor bed next to yours where you can reach out and touch her if she wakes without full-fledged cuddling? My co-sleeper is only 3.5 so I can't say btdt, but growing up in a big family the kids kept each other company alot when mom couldn't. My parents only had a double bed so there wasn't room for anyone but them and the baby, but they had a floor bed next to it for whoever. I think the oldest any of us were when we still slept in their room was 6 or 7 but moved in with siblings, not alone in a room afterwards. Good luck. Make sure she applies to out of state colleges
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

would any warm body work...

thanks for the supportive feedback! I would go with the suggestion of putting kids together (two birds with one stone! but son has habit from nursing/infancy of prodding the nearest warm body with his toes, which his sister (not surprisingly) finds annoying. Our current 'solution' is that I am sleeping elsewhere. this is working, but sadly reminscient of nearly two years that dad slept alone. (who needs birth control!)
if it boils down to a question of either just hanging in there until she's ready, or using a more hardline approach than i am comfortable with, as i do believe that our children deserve the same respect and attention to their needs in the middle of the night that they do during the day, then i guess what i really need is some ideas on how to not be resentful and angry...hmm
post #6 of 9
My ds has "curious" feet, too. I have one patch of stretch marks under my rib cage where he used to push them in utero. I was glad when he grew long enough that they stopped getting tangled inside my underpants during the night. Now, he sleeps with his leg hooked over mine.
post #7 of 9
I slept either in my mom's bed or on a mattress on the floor of her bedroom at that age. My brother who is 15 months younger would alternate with me on who would get the bed. When I was about 11 or 12 I moved to my own bedroom. It took several weeks to adjust but I went out on my own about the time I hit puberty. My brother followed soon after. This whole period must have been very difficult for my mom. Both my brother and I turned out just fine and I actually think we have more self esteem and became more independent as a result of being able to sleep with my mom when we needed it.
post #8 of 9
My oldest is almost four. He is still in our bed and I was starting to feel like that was old. I love him with me but just feel like I need a break from laying down with him nightly. My dh is home most nights and puts the baby to sleep when I put #1 down.

He isn't motivated by a new bed either. NOT AT ALL! I think moving them at the same time is the best choice for us too. Must wait until #2 is old enought to go. He of course would probably be fine.

Wish I had more advice.
post #9 of 9


No sound advice, but I wanted to praise you for meeting your child(ren)'s needs. You are an inspiration, and as my 20 month old shows no signs of leaving the bed (or the booby!) anytime soon, I can put my resentment (infrequent, but an occassionally present emotion!) aside a bit easier.

I have to truly believe that responding to child-led needs (within reason!) eventually leads to fulfilled needs, and not unattended issues that resurface later in the child's life.

Sorry if this rambling is completely irrelevant!

Mom to Dylan, born 01 June 2003
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