DH doesn't want to co-sleep anymore.... (long-ish) - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > DH doesn't want to co-sleep anymore.... (long-ish)
MayasMama88's Avatar MayasMama88 01:05 PM 12-14-2011

DD is 26 months old, and we've been co-sleeping since we brought her home from the hospital. We have been back and forth with loving it, and finding it tiring and frustrating (usually due to her waking up frequently to nurse and crying for a loooong time if I try to tell her "no"). All the time, however, I never wanted to put her in her own bed. As frustrating as it can be, I love having her beside me, snuggling, and giggling when we wake up in the morning.

 

I won't go into everything, but over the past two+ years we've had our share of difficulty. My husband hurt his back at work and had to have two surgeries (the first one came only months after giving birth to Maya), and so for the first year of her life I was pretty much caring for her AND him. He struggled with insomnia, drug dependency (from pain management prescriptions and pain-killers after the surgeries), and later he was diagnosed with PTSD.

 

Now, he is not taking any of the drugs, he isn't experiencing nearly as many PTSD-related symptoms, and he got a job a few weeks ago! Up until he found employment, the three of us were together pretty much 24/7 (I work from home part-time, so I never had to put DD in daycare).

 

I'm wondering if DH going back to work has affected Maya in a way that has caused her to regress a bit as far as frequency of nursing. I felt like we had been making good progress with partial night-weaning (I didn't want to do it originally, but it was too much... every two hours!), but right around the time he started working, she started nursing more. I noticed it more during the day at first, but after a week she was nursing frequently at night again, too.

 

This causes some stress between DH and I, because we have gone back and forth with him sleeping in a different room, and Maya and I sleeping together in our bed because of DH's sleep issues. I miss all of us sleeping together, and the other night I told him so... he said that honestly he was done with co-sleeping and he wants Maya to have her own bed. He gets frustrated with how often she wakes up in the middle of night (which wakes HIM up), and he doesn't handle it very well when she starts crying if I try to tell her it's not time to nurse.

 

I am not ready to give up co-sleeping! The thought of trying to put her in her own bed makes me so sad, and I KNOW she isn't ready yet. DH's attitude towards it makes me a bit resentful, and the fact that he sometimes gets up out of bed (or just sleeps on the couch instead of coming to bed at all) makes me upset. I feel as though it forces me to take care of Maya solely during the night, if she happens to have a potty accident, or if she's crying because I want her to try to go back to sleep without nursing, or if I have to go to the bathroom (which is downstairs... where DH sleeps) and she's upset because I have to leave the room to do so... I end up having to get her up out of bed and taking her with me.

 

I just don't know what to do! Has anyone else ever been in this situation? What did you do? Are there any suggestions for ways that we could make this work in the most loving and fair manner possible???



crayfishgirl's Avatar crayfishgirl 09:42 AM 12-15-2011

We coslept with our daughter (and now with our son).  I can't help you on the sleep location aspect of it because our daughter just decided that she wanted to sleep in her own bed when she was ~26 months (which we were ready for because we had our son in the bed too, and he would wake her up, although she's always welcome in the bed if she wakes in the night). 

 

It sounds like a big part of the issue is that your daughter waking disrupts your husband's sleep?  I night weaned our daughter when she was ~19 months.  I was pregnant and tired, and having some serious nursing aversions as well.  It was a tough few nights (I told her boobies were sleeping and that we could snuggle instead), but once she was night weaned she didn't wake during the night at all.  I know that there would have been no way that I could partially night wean our daughter....she would not understand "less booby" at night (it would have had to be all or nothing).  Perhaps if night weaning results in her sleeping better, you might be able to continue family cosleeping?


**mom2one**'s Avatar **mom2one** 09:51 AM 12-15-2011

I agree - neither of DDs would have accepted partial night weaning - my 2yo DD was still nursing every 2 hours at night as well so I know where you are coming from.  My DH slept on the couch for a long time too and then he finally decided he had had enough of that.  So we night weaned her - well I night weaned her.  I was pregnant also and was not getting enough sleep and it just hurt! lol  Once we night weaned things were much better.  It just took a few hard nights and then she accepted it.  I also have a DH who does not do night time parenting.  So it was all me during those rough nights - and now it is all me with a new baby and with DD who still wakes up sometimes in the night.  Now if she comes in to our room I let her get in our bed me, DS and DH.  He doesn't like it - but I figure if he isn't going to help me then I get to decide what to do! 


mamandedeux's Avatar mamandedeux 10:20 AM 12-15-2011

Could your DH sleep somewhere else? Our current sleep arrangement is that I sleep with DS2 (who is 25 months and nursing all night long, after a few failed attempts at night weaning) and DH either sleeps by himself in a separate room, or with DS1 in DS1's room. DS1 is 5, and pretty random about whether he wants to sleep alone or with daddy (DS1 sometimes sleeps with DS2 and me as well).

 

It sounds to me like you'd be happier still co-sleeping, and DH would be happier with uninterrupted sleep. It doesn't mean you and DH are doomed to have separate beds forever. For now, it might just make more sense.


MayasMama88's Avatar MayasMama88 11:05 AM 12-15-2011

Thank you all for your helpful experiences and suggestions! I suppose it's not such a horrible thing that DH sleeps by himself... I mean it is his choice after all. And "mamandedeux" you are right: it doesn't mean we'll be sleeping in separate beds forever. I guess I just envisioned ALL of us sharing the family bed happily and lovingly, and this doesn't exactly fit that image.

 

I really WANT to try night-weaning fully, because God knows we could all use a good night's sleep (DD included), but it breaks my heart to hear her cry "Mommy beee! Mommy, bee!! (bee = milk) with those desperate eyes! And I think "Should I stand my ground, say "no" and then listen to her beg and cry and work herself up for the next hour or so, or should I just let her nurse for a few minutes and have her go back to sleep?"

 

Arrrgh, sometimes this stuff is so CHALLENGING!! And to make things more frustrating, I feel like I'm caring for her most of the time (since DH works outside of the home part-time now), and when DH tries to tell her she can't do something that I've already told her she can, and I say something about it, he gets angry or frustrated and accuses me of trying to tell him he's not parenting properly. And it's not that, it's just that I've done a lot of work to read and experiment with what methods of parenting are the most beneficial to the child, and he doesn't. I could go on... I really need more mama-friends to talk to!! :(

 

 


Faither's Avatar Faither 06:13 PM 12-15-2011

This is kinda where we are now. DD (24months) has always slept with us in some way. When we bought our house about a year ago, DH started sleeping on the couch. If DD wakes in the middle of the night for almost the past year, I have been bringing her out to DH on the couch where the two of them will happily sleep the rest of the night. I am currently 7 months pregnant and DD is still nursing to sleep at night. There's no milk so she doesn't wake as frequently to nurse. I want her to gradually wean herself, and since she's only nursing a couple of times at night, I think we're getting somewhere. But when she's up all night nursing and I'm done, or I realize that she's not going back to sleep, I offer her ice water and that seems to calm her down. I've always kept some sort of water near me at night but a friend recommended cold drinks when she's teething. It works sometimes. Then we snuggle and she goes back to sleep. About a month or so ago, DH decided he wanted back into our bed and at first I was leery of it. It had been a v. long time and DD moves around a lot in her sleep. But so far so good. DD only wants me now when she wakes up at night but at least I have DH there too just in case. DD doesn't seem to mind losing some of her bed space too (we have a queen and she takes up half most nights!).

 

I don't think it's out of the question for DH to sleep somewhere else if that's how everyone will get a good nights sleep. DH has always said I hate sleeping on the couch but if I didn't we'd be up all night. We both have nights when we wish that DD slept in her own space but in the end, we have always slept so good that that trumps everything else. Especially after hearing sleep horror stories from a few friends. I think you have to do what's right for you in that situation and at that time. And realize that it's not permanent. They're only little and needy for a short part of their lives.


justKate's Avatar justKate 07:15 AM 12-16-2011

Just to offer a different perspective, FWIW.

 

For us, bedsharing became INTOLERABLE for DH when DD was about 22 mos.  She's a kicker, and rolls all night.  She was between us from birth, and she got in the habit of snuggling up against DH and kicking his kidneys all night. For us, moving her to a toddler bed in our room, right next to my side, was a great improvement.  She didn't wake as easily, and DH got better sleep.  Yes, it sucked for me for a while, but I could easily get in her toddler bed with her to snuggle if I needed it, and she will get in our bed every morning around 5.  So it wasn't what I wanted, but for the family, it was best.

 

You could also try putting DD on the outside if she's presently sleeping between you--get a bed rail or put the bed against a wall.  Just a thought.  DH wanted to stay in the bed with me, and like everything else, its a balancing act.  And your DH might feel comforted or relieved if it seems to him like you're making an effort to accommodate him, at least on a trial basis.  I hope that doesn't come across wrong--its just that we mamas have a tendency to put our babies first (of course!) and sometimes the partner feels like his/her needs become secondary....  And of course you're still right there if baby needs you, just not constantly touching.  I hope you find a solution that works for all of you!

 

 


MayasMama88's Avatar MayasMama88 08:09 AM 12-16-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by justKate View Post

Just to offer a different perspective, FWIW.

 

For us, bedsharing became INTOLERABLE for DH when DD was about 22 mos.  She's a kicker, and rolls all night.  She was between us from birth, and she got in the habit of snuggling up against DH and kicking his kidneys all night. For us, moving her to a toddler bed in our room, right next to my side, was a great improvement.  She didn't wake as easily, and DH got better sleep.  Yes, it sucked for me for a while, but I could easily get in her toddler bed with her to snuggle if I needed it, and she will get in our bed every morning around 5.  So it wasn't what I wanted, but for the family, it was best.

 

You could also try putting DD on the outside if she's presently sleeping between you--get a bed rail or put the bed against a wall.  Just a thought.  DH wanted to stay in the bed with me, and like everything else, its a balancing act.  And your DH might feel comforted or relieved if it seems to him like you're making an effort to accommodate him, at least on a trial basis.  I hope that doesn't come across wrong--its just that we mamas have a tendency to put our babies first (of course!) and sometimes the partner feels like his/her needs become secondary....  And of course you're still right there if baby needs you, just not constantly touching.  I hope you find a solution that works for all of you!

 

 




Thank you for this! I had thought of putting a toddler bed in our room, but the bedroom is fairly small and I didn't think there would be room. However, it might work if we tried to put a small bed next to ours... Maybe then DH would feel better about everything!

 

You're right in that sometimes it's hard to think of how our partners feel about certain situations when we feel like we have to choose between them and our child(ren). I'm always tring to improve on my Self as a mother, but I also need (and want, of course) to improve as a partner as well.

 

I love you guys! :)


cristeen's Avatar cristeen 09:49 AM 12-16-2011

Well, we have a different sleep arrangement, and our guy is the same age.  I'm glad to hear that it's not only my guy that's having difficulty with night-weaning.

 

DS and I have slept together in a separate bedroom from the beginning.  Our bed was never going to be safe for an infant (too soft and too small), and DH is a difficult sleeper, so couldn't handle the night-wakings.  When DS hit 2 years, I night-weaned him.  It lasted maybe 3 weeks until he figured out that instead of screaming for milk, if he asked verbally for milk I'd give it to him (based on the fact that if I asked DH to get me a drink in the night and he refused I'd be pissed - possibly not the most cogent of reasons, but still...).  I also tried moving him to his own bed so I could rejoin DH around the same time.  I'm pg and wanted to spend some time next to my DH before the next one arrives.  It hasn't worked out so well.  So our pattern right now is that I'll lay down with DS in his room at bedtime, and usually fall asleep.  DH will wake me when he's sure DS is asleep so we can have some adult time (usually involving thrilling things like chores).  I go to bed with DH until DS wakes up (we have a monitor on), usually around 2.  When DS wakes up, I either lay down next to him (on the floor) and get him (and me) back to sleep, or I ask him to snuggle on the couch and we drag blankets and pillows out onto the couch and sleep there the rest of the night.  DS is typically up for the day by 5. 

 

So, while it's a bit hard on my body, and I'm definitely not getting enough sleep (my MW berated me for it yesterday), this situation kinda gives us each what we need right now - it lets me sleep in my own bed part of the night next to DH, it lets DH sleep next to me and still get his rest, it lets DS sleep next to me when he needs me without disturbing DH too much. 

 

So just another perspective here - that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. 

 

As far as feeling like you're the only one to take care of the LO, in effect that's the way it is.  And for many SAHM, that's the way it is.  I know that for me, with DH working FT and going to school FT while I SAH, I regularly get 3 hours a week when I'm not "on" - and those hours are the time I spend doing the grocery shopping.  I have never had help at night unless something catastrophic was going on (so we were both on duty), or DH and I negotiated a night off for me so he would deal with DS while I got 8 hours.  There have been a handful of times in the last 2 years where DH has told me to go take some time out of the house for myself, and the rest of the time I have been the one responsible for DS.  24/7/365.  And that's the way it's going to be with this new LO also.  Thankfully DS will be going to preschool at 3, so I'll get some relief, but I honestly don't know how other people get through this. 

 

And as for the discipline issue, that sounds like the 2 of you need to sit down at a calm time and work out some ground rules, since it's not sounding like you guys are able to do it on the fly.  For us, for the most part DH defers to me for most things - he knows I've done the research and I'm the one spending the time with DS.  But when he's playing/spending time with DS, I do my best not to interfere.  Even if that means Daddy has some different rules than Mommy does.  Kids will eventually figure those things out.  There are very few things that get him interfering, and the big one for us is screeching while he's doing homework.  We're still working that one out.  There are certain things that are non-negotiable (like hitting), but most everything else can be negotiated between us. 

 

HTH


voca's Avatar voca 05:11 PM 12-16-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by MayasMama88 View Post

This causes some stress between DH and I, because we have gone back and forth with him sleeping in a different room, and Maya and I sleeping together in our bed because of DH's sleep issues. I miss all of us sleeping together, and the other night I told him so... he said that honestly he was done with co-sleeping and he wants Maya to have her own bed. He gets frustrated with how often she wakes up in the middle of night (which wakes HIM up), and he doesn't handle it very well when she starts crying if I try to tell her it's not time to nurse.

 


Does he want her to have her own bed, or her own room? Because it doesn't seem to me that her own room is going to make it better. She is going to wake up more fully, cry more, and be harder to settle. Either he will be up and down doing some night time parenting, or you will be up and down even more than you are now, which will wake him up more (plus the crying).

 

Her own bed however seems a workable idea. We have a 'bed' for our daughter right up against ours. Since we sleep on a low Queen sized futon her bed is just a chair cushion sized futon on the floor. About the same size as a side-car-ed crib, but the extra space makes a huge difference. I'd see if you can squeeze a 'bed' of some sort in.


justKate's Avatar justKate 08:06 PM 12-16-2011

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayasMama88 View Post


Thank you for this! I had thought of putting a toddler bed in our room, but the bedroom is fairly small and I didn't think there would be room. However, it might work if we tried to put a small bed next to ours... Maybe then DH would feel better about everything!

 

You're right in that sometimes it's hard to think of how our partners feel about certain situations when we feel like we have to choose between them and our child(ren). I'm always tring to improve on my Self as a mother, but I also need (and want, of course) to improve as a partner as well.

 

I love you guys! :)


How about sliding a mattress part way under your bed on your side, or an inexpensive toddler mattress on the floor along side? We have this folding cot at Grandma's house, and DD sleeps WONDERFULLY in it.


MayasMama88's Avatar MayasMama88 12:08 PM 12-21-2011

I think DH would rather she have her own room, but I think he might settle on getting her her own bed as a start to that eventual transition. I've actually posted a want ad in our local Freecycle, so we'll see what happens!


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