To continue co-sleeping or not? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-17-2012, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone. I am the mother of one spirited 17-month old boy and have really hit a bit of a "dilemma" here. My question for all you wise mamas out there is, do we continue to co-sleep with our son or move him into his room with a toddler bed? Here is a short run-down of our situation: 1. Our son has slept in bed with us sice day 1 (mostly due to breastfeeding and attachment). 2. In order for our son to fall asleep, we must lay with him until he nods off to sleep (note: our bed has been taken off the bed frame and is currently on the floor). After he falls asleep, we sneak away.....but, he wakes within 20 min. (nap, night time) and one of us must either scurry up to get him to fall back asleep or just declare defeat and hunker in with him (during the day this trying, as I would love to have a bit if time to accomplish tasks without him and also in the night we would enjoy a bit of time together as a couple prior to going to bed). So, he does not know how to "self-soothe" and I am curious if we might be leading him (and us) into rough waters in the future. 3. I currently sleep in the guest room at night and my husband sleep with our seems the three of in the bed together offers little sleep. SO (lots of info there!), do I transition him into his own room with a toddler bed? If so, what is a calm approach? We of course want the best for him, but we are uncertain if the co-sleeping approach will lead to the benefits many have spoken about. I guess what I am asking here, is what would you do in this situation. Or thoughts and advice on co-sleeping or a better approach to co-sleeping.

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#2 of 7 Old 02-17-2012, 07:42 PM
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I'm sure interested to hear the replies to this! I'm hunkered down with 18mo DS as I type I am for all his napping/sleeping.
We tried a full size mattress on the floor in his room and snuggling him to sleep then leaving but, like you said, that only works for 20 minutes to an hour.

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#3 of 7 Old 02-17-2012, 11:43 PM
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Is he still nursing?  I wouldn't consider not co-sleeping with a child who's still nursing.  But it doesn't sound like you're co-sleeping with him?


I think if I was in your shoes, I'd find a way to all co-sleep together, but I'm not sure what's making it hard for you guys to do that now.  Is it that your bed is too small?  If so I'd get a larger one.  


Both of my children needed some attention to stay asleep at that age.  I wouldn't say that they routinely needed me after 20 minutes, but my older one would almost always wake up and want me with him at some point before I was ready to go to bed and sometimes it would be more than once before I was ready to go to bed, which could be pretty frustrating.  But both of them got steadily better at it.  My now 8 year never wakes up needing me and my just-turned-3 year old rarely does only once or twice a week now.  I don't think you're setting him up to have trouble.  I think he'll progress towards sleeping better on his own.  And if you're having this trouble, I would think that not co-sleeping would probably just lead to co-sleeping in a toddler bed rather than sleeping through the night and self-soothing.  But I've never gone that route.  Both of my boys are still in our bed.  I am a co-sleeping fanatic, I suppose, so maybe take this with a grain of salt, but to me 17 months is too young a child in their own room or even their own bed unless they're asking for it.  

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#4 of 7 Old 02-18-2012, 05:36 AM
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Is there a way that you could start backing off of whatever you do to soothe him when you go in at night?  Maybe lie a little further away from him on the bed while he's falling asleep, get up a few times to fuss with the curtains, etc., just to get him going to sleep a bit more independently?  My daughter is 22 months, and I recently "weaned" her from being "patted" to go to sleep.  I still lie right next to her on the bed, but it's amazing not to have to touch her to get her to sleep.  (Okay, I confess, we've had a setback from this due to illness...but it's still clear that she learned something about getting herself to sleep without me.  She doesn't even WANT to be patted anymore.  And before this illness struck, she definitely seemed better able to self-soothe at night.)

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#5 of 7 Old 02-18-2012, 09:01 AM
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Co-sleeping has become an issue in our house, much to my dismay!  My husband doesn't support it and wants our boys to be in their own beds.  My 20 month old falls asleep much better (and faster!) when he is in their bedroom in his crib w/a sound spa and a night light.  However, he when he wakes in the middle of the night I bring him into our bed and he falls right to sleep next to me.  If my husband gets up in the middle of the night when he wakes he soothes him and leaves him in his bed.  My 3 1/2 year old can't fall asleep unless he is in our bed next to me.  My husband doesn't want him in our bed.  Side note: my first son in from a previous relationship, my husband has really stepped in on the "dad" role, the biological father sees my son usually once or twice a month for a very short period of time.


I am also pregnant with #3 and my husband says that all of the passion is gone and having the kids in bed with us is why.  He says that bringing #3 into the situation without getting both of the boys in their own bed every night, all night will cause more problems between us. I want him to be as supportive of them sleeping with us as I am! 


I am new to this website and would love feedback and links to co-sleeping supportive websites =)

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#6 of 7 Old 02-20-2012, 06:53 PM
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We didn't move our DD out of our bed until about 28months. (Now she is in a toddler bed in our room)

But she used to wake quite frequently when we were not in bed with her.

What helped for us was to put one of our pillows beside her. She rolled around a lot looking for us in her sleep. If she didn't find one of us to cuddle up to, she would wake and cry for us. Putting the pillow there helped to some degree. She would find the pillow to snuggle in her sleep and I guess it smelled like us so was fine. It didn;t help 100% of the time...but enough to give us some sanity.

She was quite a roller in her sleep though...and attached to us like a magnet in her sleep.

Does you LO sleep up against you?


But for us, everything we did to transition our LO to where we are at now worked when it was ready for her. If she wasn;t ready she let us know.

You can always try. You never know what you little guy will tolerate until you try stuff out.

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#7 of 7 Old 02-20-2012, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for your thoughts and time. I think my first direction is to buy a larger bed (king)....perhaps this will aid in giving us more room in general. In truth, I do believe he is too young to be in a room by himself - I do love knowing he is so close. I guess it is those nights where he is waking every 20-30 minutes (after he has fallen asleep and try to sneak down and either tidy the house or hang out with my husband prior to bed) that I become frustrated by the whole co-sleeping way of life. Or, the fact that we cannot have a close friend come over and watch him for an hour after he goes to sleep... so we can have a dinner out. I know the benefits and I see them though. I realize he is still young and with time he will become a better sleeper (hopefully!). I guess the hardest frustration (and I use that word loosely) is the daytime nap. I would love to not have to may with him for (sometimes/most times) the whole nap. I would love to be able to scoot around the house and get a few things done. (note: colxsjack, we have tried the pillow scenario, but it does not work with him - you are correct about needing to touch us while sleeping). Oh, motherhood :)

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