Setting a bed-time for a co-sleeping baby - Mothering Forums
Co-sleeping and the Family Bed > Setting a bed-time for a co-sleeping baby
Mirichka's Avatar Mirichka 12:39 PM 12-18-2009
While the co-sleeping seems to be working overall for us, I would like to have some alone time for me and DH before we go to sleep. The trouble is my fifteen month old son will not go to sleep before we do. I've tried putting him down earlier--8-9 pm, and even if he dozes off, he will wake up about a half hour later, and won't stay asleep, unless I decide I am going to go to bed then. We usually go to bed around 11-11:30 as a family. Any ideas? His naptimes might have something to do with it--with his latest nap usually ending around 5. But, I need to figure out how to get him to sleep, up until now I've been letting him decide--by indicating that he is tired...I also want to be able to rely on several hours when he is asleep so we might be able to go out in the evening on a date--even if its just for an hour at the beginning. There must be some cosleepers on schedules out there!

Mirichka's Avatar Mirichka 03:01 AM 12-19-2009
I haven't heard any replies...and I wonder if it's remotely possible I am the only one with this issue. I've tried searching the forum to see if this has been discussed and could not find a good answer. Any suggestions, please?
texaspeach's Avatar texaspeach 03:48 AM 12-19-2009
we have the same issue though ds is younger. no solutions yet
lucifugous's Avatar lucifugous 04:53 AM 12-19-2009
My 16 month old has been going to bed at a nice early hour for several months ... now that I have no partner with whom to share that time! We were so bad about making a routine when she was younger, and if we did she would throw a wrench in the works every so often... but some time before she was 1 (and after I was single) I decided to put her down at eight. I stuck with it for a while and it got a little easier... then we went down to seven as the days started getting shorter. That sort of clicked and she is really ready for bed by that time. On a good day when we've had enough active play, a long bath after dinner and low indoor lighting throughout the evening, she will finish nursing and give me a kiss and willingly go to sleep in our bed. Other times I nurse her until she falls completely asleep. She wakes up every few hours (seemingly in 50-minute cycles- usually she wakes up after one to four cycles) But my problem is I spend several hours after she goes to sleep, tidying or preparing food or doing my own thing (since I spend all day every day with her). And then I still get woken up to nurse at least a couple times after I join her in bed ... so I am a tired mama who should really get to bed earlier. But it sounds like you won't have that problem.
Maluhia's Avatar Maluhia 06:17 AM 12-19-2009
DH and I traded off going to bed early with her at that's just often too young to sleep alone for many kidlets.

Now, at 4, DD is content to have story time and stay in the family bed (or her bed, wherever she wants to be that night) on her own and can understand when we tell her that we need "grown up time now."
buttercups.nest's Avatar buttercups.nest 07:10 AM 12-19-2009
What about establishing a bedtime routine?

Up from nap no later than 3:30-4.
6:30 brush teeth
6:35 bath time
7:00 pajamas and story
7:15 final nurse (i've heard if you do it in the rocker or outside the bedroom it might be easier)
7:30 hugs and kisses

My daughter has her Piggy, Pooh, and Bunny, as well as blankie that she won't go to bed without. We did a bedtime CD for the first year...that might be something to think about. Start playing it when you're nursing him.

Good luck! Keep us posted...I am curious to see how things turn out for you.
Mirichka's Avatar Mirichka 10:10 AM 12-19-2009
I dont know if he would go to sleep with my husband. We have long given up on that idea. He can do baths, stories, teeth, PJs, but I've always just nursed him to sleep. I like the suggestion to keep the lights low after a certain time, maybe that will induce a sleepier environment. I will keep you posted on how it goes. Thanks.
Baby_Cakes's Avatar Baby_Cakes 10:15 AM 12-19-2009
No suggestions here either, but definitely struggling w/the same problem! DD will conk right out at 10:30 pm, no fussing no problems. I've been trying to move her bedtime earlier -- even by 15 min -- and haven't figured it out yet. I'd love some time with DH before bed. Keep us posted if you figure anything out.

Oh, and we do have a great bedtime routine - she settles down after a nice bath, we read 1 or 2 books, then nurse. If it's 10:30, she conks right out. Any earlier...she wants to get down, won't tolerate being rocked, cries, etc. It's difficult.
ChristyL's Avatar ChristyL 01:49 AM 12-20-2009
We're having the same issue - on the nights she'll sleep early she wakes up after just an hour or so. It's so frustrating!
prothyraia's Avatar prothyraia 01:56 AM 12-20-2009
I wish I had a solution. My 3 year old wouldn't stay down without us next to him until fairly recently. But my 17 month old will sleep a good three or four hours (at least) after we lay him down without so much as stirring- whether or not his brother is with him.

I will say that we did exactly what you're doing now (late family bedtime) until a month or two ago. We didn't change anything, really, the kids are just able to do it now. So, even if you don't hit upon a solution, it WILL happen eventually, I promise!
Kuba'sMama's Avatar Kuba'sMama 02:12 AM 12-20-2009
My kids have both co-slept until about 4 or so (so my daughter still frequently comes over to our bed, although she falls asleep in hers). However, we've always had a "kid bedtime". Going to sleep as a family just wasn't what we wanted, although we loved co-sleeping. The evening is for us to unwind, have some alone time, kid-free time, whatever. So, I would breastfeed my kids to sleep, and get back up when they were out. At the young toddler age it did take longer (an hour or so), but as they grew up a bit, they would fall asleep and stay asleep, usually waking up again when I came back into bed for my own bedtime. I think the idea of co-sleeping, breastfeeding or any other parenting thing really is "if you resent it, change it". Well, that worked for me!