3 year old sleeping habit - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 05-08-2013, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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My son turned 3 in January and generally speaking he's a relatively good night sleeper.  My 'problem' is, that I have always stayed beside him in his bed or on the floor beside his bed, until he falls asleep.  (Obviously when he was an infant, he slept in my arms)  I don't actually mind, but I do want him to be able to sleep on his own without myself or my husband beside him.  I mean, I don't want it to continue too far.  We're thinking of trying for baby #2 in the next 6 months, and I just fear if I do get pregnant, my son will feel deprived of my attention at bedtime.  Any gently suggestions?  I don't want him to be scared or feel abandoned.  Any suggestions would be appreciated!  Thanks.

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#2 of 4 Old 05-09-2013, 02:02 AM
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haha my son is the exact opposite. (he's 2 and a half) and already he enjoys his independence. he will even close the door in his room to sleep and sometimes I wonder what he's doing in there, if he's setting up some kind of elaborate mad science experiment like that baby Stewie from Family Guy..but no seriously, I think 3 is the optimal age where he needs to start sleeping alone by himself without question. 
It's definitely something that I consider a huge "no no" regarding kids sleeping with parents at that age. (unless the child is traumatized by something like a lightning storm or whatever: something sensible like that) occasionally it is fine. 
Start off gradually..a good bedtime story is probably a good place to start. maybe some milk and cookies before bed, accompanied by a stuffed animal so he doesn't feel too alone. I'm sure he will cry the first few times and feel abandoned, but he will get used to it. 
What I think needs to happen is have a: "yeah, I'm a big boy now and this is what big boys do. they don't sleep with mommy or daddy, that's for babies!" thought in his head. Good luck with this, I'm sure he will be fine :)

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#3 of 4 Old 05-09-2013, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't think it's a no-no to want to sleep beside someone, naturally as humans we need the warmth and comfort of another body.  That being said, i just want a 'gentle' approach as to how to approcah it.  I also don't believe in letting kids 'cry it out' especially at this age, where he will remember...feeling abandoned is never a good thing in my book. 

Has anyone else had a similar experience where you had to stay WITH them WHILE they fell asleep? 

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#4 of 4 Old 05-09-2013, 09:41 AM
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Did you try this in the nighttime parenting forum? Might get some more tips there.

I'm a big devotee of the "I'll be right back" method. At this age your son should be able to handle a brief absence without getting really upset. Make it a normal part of your routine, then increase the time you're out of the room. With my DD, I put her to bed and check on her every "five" minutes. It's actually much more than that now, but I always make sure to go in before she starts shouting for me. I want her to trust that I'll come back, that she doesn't need to call because she can count on me.
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