DH keeps harping on "she'll be sleeping with us when she's 10" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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So we have been accidental co-sleepers since about day 1.
We hadn't planned on it but after the first night home from the hospital when DD wouldn't sleep anywhere but next to me, it is something that just happened and evolved to where we are now. She is going to be 9 months and I absolutely love co-sleeping. I love the closeness, the warmth of her little body next to me where I know she is safe and not to mention it makes nursing a million times easier in the night.

DH was never thrilled with the idea and while I know it is supposed to be a family decision, I basically overrode him and flat out said, "if you are willing to get up and take care of her every single time she makes a peep then I will try something else". He said no of course and seemed to actually enjoy co-sleeping for awhile. Rather, I won't say he doesn't enjoy it now but he is now constantly asking me when we will stop and what happens when she is 5 and still wants to sleep with us every night.

I told him I would be agreeable to transitioning her when she turned 2 or around that time. That frankly there was no way in hell I was going to stop co-sleeping now or even until she was 2 and that this is just the way it is going to be until then. It is not up for discussion for me that we wait until she is 2.

His concern (that I sometimes wonder about as well) is what do we do when she still wants to sleep with us at 2 or 3 or 4 and so on? I don't know what will happen, I have never weaned a kid off of co-sleeping before. This is our first baby, I don't know how we will handle it. This is his argument for putting her in a crib either in our room or in a separate room sooner, like starting at 18 months. I am NOT cool with this at all but I cannot answer how she will handle at 2 and being transitioned. I just don't know! She is still a baby at 18 months!

He is getting more adamant about this issue all the times and we have actually started to fight about it. Not about her co-sleeping now but about when to transition her and what to do if she still cries to sleep with us.

To be clear, I am not interested in a "you have to do whats best for all of you" or "sometimes it is more important for the sake of the marriage or family to stop" type responses. Sorry but I am not going to stop co-sleeping at this time. Ok sorry again I am responding there to an attack that hasn't even happened yet.
I feel very defensive about it because the only person who is truly supportive in my entire family and even my best friends is my mother. She didn't even co-sleep with me or my brother but she is still entirely on board with it.

So what do I say to DH about how to transition her when she is 2, or how to handle the problems that might occur. He is getting really annoying about it because like I said I just don't know!
Sorry for the rant! I appreciate it if you actually read this far!
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#2 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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Just wanted to send a your way!

We are now bedsharing with our 10 week old. Our older three children all transitioned to their own beds at some point When the time comes to move your little one her own bed you'll find a way to make it work.

My DH and I have come to realize that they are little for such a short time. No need to rush then into being big people too quick. I hope your DH comes around to the idea of keeping her with you for a little longer.

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#3 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 12:43 PM
 
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It's normal for little kids to want to be near their parents so any age you want to transition, there will probably be some difficulties (unless she decides on her own to sleep alone). But that doesn't mean it will be impossible or torturous or miserable for the whole family to do it! I just started transitioning my DS a little before he turned 5. My first goal was to get him to sleep in a little bed next to mine. He whined for a while, but we fell asleep holding hands, him in his bed, mine in mine. He did this for a week or so. Then he'd go to his bed, but only after making sure he still wasn't allowed in my bed anymore. Sometimes he'd whine a bit, but it was never too much of a battle.

I was going to then move his bed across the room, and later into his own room, and I was SO surprised when he took the next step himself. He dragged his little mattress across the room and slept in it without even asking to sleep with me. Then a week later I had an overnight nurse for my DD so I knew she wouldn't be in bed with me at all (one of the reasons I needed him out is we just couldn't all fit anymore) so I asked him if he wanted to sleep with me. He did crawl into my bed to snuggle, but then he said, "You know what mom? I'm a big boy." and he went to his little mattress and slept there.

All he needed was a little push and he's well on his way to being completely in his own room, with no fighting, no crying, no sneaking into my bed in the middle of the night. I don't know how hard it is for other kids, but it seems if you don't push it and don't turn it into a battle, it shouldn't be too hard.

How about you compromise? Tell him you'll start attempting to put her in a toddler bed beside yours at 18 months. Take it slow and when she's comfortable sleeping there, move it away from your bed. Then when she's comfortable with that, put it in her room. She most likely won't be sleeping with you at age 5, let alone 10.

I should probably add that my kid is a CLINGY type. Nursed around the clock for 2 years. I cut him back on the nursing but didn't wean him until 3 1/2. He still sleeps in his dad's bed when he's with him, so we don't even have the same set-up at different houses. He's a very touchy-feely kid who stops playing every 10 minutes just to get a hug and a snuggle, even at age 5.

If your DH enjoys co-sleeping NOW, but is just afraid of the future battle, then he doesn't have anything to worry about. There are gentle ways to make the transition that don't involve screaming and crying and tying kids to their beds.
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#4 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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I have a 5 and a 3 year old and a 7 month old. Our oldest didn't move to his own bed until he was 3 or 4. And still sometimes he tries to get in our bed. My DH has always kind of taken issue with co sleeping too. Though he is all about not getting up and the kids not crying. For his sake I started to put the kids to sleep in their own beds around 2 years old or whenever they were able to come to our room when they needed to. Most of the time they would come in by 10 or 11 but by then DH and I had some "alone time" and DH was pretty happy with that.
Another option that we tried for a little while was putting a mattress on the floor in our room next to our bed, I would put the baby to sleep on that then when he cried I'd just pop down feed him and go back up to my bed. that only worked for a while because the dog decided that would be a great place for her to sleep. Oh and for the record my DH is a lot more relaxed about co-sleeping now than he was when we started. So there is always that hope.
Oh, and what size is your bed? We have a king size so it fits all of us quite nicely on those nights that the kids just need to be close.

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#5 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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We have a queen bed with the crib sidecarred to it so there is plenty of room and a lot of nights DD ends up half in the crib half on my side of the bed.
DH is on board with co-sleeping it is just this whole "when are we going to get her out of the bed" mantra that is stressing me out. I don't know.
I really wouldn't be upset if she still wanted to sleep with us at 4 or 5 but I know that would push him over the edge.
I was thinking of putting a mattress on the floor (no dogs here) when she turned 2 and start with that and if she did well at least move it to her own room and she would always be allowed to come sleep with us if she woke up or something...

Part of the problem is that we have a relative who has her 12 year-old daughter sleeping with with her EVERY night while the husband sleeps somewhere else, and he looks at that and freaks out! I don't blame him with that one though
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#6 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Proud2BeAnAmerican View Post
My DH and I have come to realize that they are little for such a short time. No need to rush then into being big people too quick. I hope your DH comes around to the idea of keeping her with you for a little longer.
This.

My DS transitioned out on his own when DD2 was born 3 months ago. He was 3.
He still comes in from time to time but mostly sleeps in his own room. He may be 3 but he's still SO young - it makes complete sense to me that he still wants and needs the comfort of his parents.

Good luck with everything!

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#7 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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Just wanted to chime in and say, though I don't have any answers for the OP, I am in almost the EXACT same situation. DS is 5 mos and, though he is our 4th, he is the first one we have coslept with. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who has taken the "no way am I giving this up" stance with DH!
I will be lurking to read the responses!

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#8 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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I think most children are pretty easy to encourage to move out of your bed by - and note that I said *by* age 2. Even my super attached to me 3yo is in his own bed, and he frankly started sleeping in his own space by 18months. (It was in my bed, my husband moved over to a futon pushed against ours and ds and I were in the queen, but my point is that ds wanted to be in his own, big space, not right up next to me. We then moved him over to the twin futon, and then during a recent move we moved the twin futon across the room from us.) When you co-sleep, these transitions are gradual, but they do happen - and by the way, some kids want to get into bed with you when they're 3, 4, or 5 regardless of whether they've co-slept as babies (my cousins do this with my aunt).

If your dh really wants your babe out of the bed, moving her to her own sleep space in your room - whether right next to you or not - is always an option. If you still nurse a lot at night (I'm assuming you do - this continues til around age 2 unless you nightwean), then just put her bed right up against yours or at least make sure it's big enough that you can sleep there for some portion of the night, too.

Good luck. Remember that this can be really hard for the dh's!
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#9 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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I slept in my own bed from quite young, not sure how young but when I was 5 I started out in my own bed instead of theirs since dad wasn't up for carrying me asleep into my own bed.

Anywhoo, so I was definitely in my own bed by age 5, and as a teen I'd slip into my parents' room from time to time.

Not cosleeping now, will do nothing to change where your LO sleeps at 10.

Y'know if you don't work with your LO on meal planning now, she'll need you to make sandwiches for her when she's in college.
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#10 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post
Part of the problem is that we have a relative who has her 12 year-old daughter sleeping with with her EVERY night while the husband sleeps somewhere else, and he looks at that and freaks out! I don't blame him with that one though
My guess? The dd is an excuse.
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#11 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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My guess? The dd is an excuse.
I told DH there must be something going on marriage wise besides their kid sleeping in the parent's bed...lalalala I don't know or care to know!

Thanks for all the responses. I keep trying to tell DH I don't really want DD sleeping with us when she is 10 either but for some reason I think he doesn't believe me

She is soo young still and a PP was right I am still nursing a lot at night, something I don't feel the need to stop yet.

She also has grown more independent on her own. Some nights she is quite a ways wiggled away from me on her side carred crib. She doesn't sleep smooshed against my boob anymore like when she was a newbie!
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#12 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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Sometimes one issue becomes a stand-in for another unspoken issue. If I had to guess, I would bet dh is yearning for your attention and affection and in his mind the little one, though loved, is always butting in to his alone time with you. Not just sex but the intimacy of two adults alone and focused on each other. He misses it. I heard everyone needs 12 hugs a day to be happy – it’s a good goal to shoot for.
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#13 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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Set up a second full or queen bed for your DD to sleep in later, you know when she's bigger. Put it in her room, if she has one. Then if you need to be alone with your DH you can sneak away!

My DH loves this idea, and now we've really decided that it doesn't matter who sleeps where as long as we all have the space we need. It doesn't seem to make a difference if DD (she's 3.5) is more comfortable in our room in the king bed or if she's more comfortable in the full bed in the play room because DH and I can go to the opposite bed if we feel like it!

No stress that way, and eventually if DD is ready to claim her room and her bed in there then that's fine. I seriously doubt most normal children and preteens wouldn't want their own special space at some point. The 12 year old must be an exception to the rule or like you all mentioned, an excuse!

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#14 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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It is natural for people, no matter what age to want to sleep together. In our collective past it was the way we protected ourselves and our young from danger. It is hardwired into our brains. I am speaking to you from a place of not understanding why anyone would try to have their children sleep anywhere else. DD1 (6)still sleeps with one of us every night (exdh and I live in same house, but I have my own room) and my 15 mo sleeps with me every night. I will never force any child to sleep alone again. I dated a man when dd1 was 3 and I lived on my own. He was uncomfortable with cosleeping and said he just wouldn't stay (very goodlooking casanova) . I caved and asked my 3 yo daughter to sleep alone. It devastated her and our relationship. She soon asked to live with her father (which she did for a year, I would visit her daily at his home which was a mile away) and it took me being with her 24/7 for 2 yrs to get our closeness again. When dd2 was new I did ask dd1 to sleep with dad or in her room (she was 5) because I was nervous about the new baby and her being in the same bed (dd1 is a thrasher). She did sleep in her room some. But I would let her sleep in here across the bottom of the bed, or on a pallet made on the floor beside my mattress if she wanted. Like I said I believe it is natural to sleep altogether all the time. I regret letting a man change my relationship with my child. I do not think there is anything wrong with the 12 yo still sleeping with parents either. If this is about intimacy for the men, it is easy to do. When they are very small they don't know what you are doing. And when they are older or if you are uncomfortable, you go to other areas of the house. It usually only takes 15 min or an hour if you are lucky and then you are back in the family bed before the child(ren) notice you are gone. If a dh is not on board with cosleeping, I would make a room for you and the child(ren) to sleep in and let him sleep alone. Cosleeping is an important part to raising children IMO. It is a non negotiable for me now after my lesson.

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#15 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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We transitioned my son around age 3. It went fine, we explained it all, let him pick out his own comforter and sheets and such, and read books about going to bed. I sat with him the first few nights, maybe a week or so. Then I would just sit next to the bed, and read a book of my own with a nightlight until he slept. Then I moved further from the bed and sat by the door. Then I started getting up for "just a minute" and coming back, so he got used to me not being there for a few minutes at a time, then it was nothing to say, I'm going to go in the kitchen for a few mintues, I'll check on you soon.

My issue is, even if WORST case scenario she cried to sleep with you at age 2, how is that any worse than her doing it now, as an infant? I figure at least when they are older you can explain it!
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#16 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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Sometimes one issue becomes a stand-in for another unspoken issue. If I had to guess, I would bet dh is yearning for your attention and affection and in his mind the little one, though loved, is always butting in to his alone time with you. Not just sex but the intimacy of two adults alone and focused on each other. He misses it. I heard everyone needs 12 hugs a day to be happy – it’s a good goal to shoot for.
This was my thought, exactly.
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#17 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Sometimes one issue becomes a stand-in for another unspoken issue. If I had to guess, I would bet dh is yearning for your attention and affection and in his mind the little one, though loved, is always butting in to his alone time with you. Not just sex but the intimacy of two adults alone and focused on each other. He misses it. I heard everyone needs 12 hugs a day to be happy – it’s a good goal to shoot for.
I am going to agree with that one. DH has said he thinks we would have more sex if she didn't sleep with us (don't know about that one after being a long day of baby chasing). I do empathize with the desire for some adult time and just be close together.
I have to try harder in that regard and really make sure I am giving him the affection and whole hearted attention he deserves!
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#18 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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I am going to agree with that one. DH has said he thinks we would have more sex if she didn't sleep with us (don't know about that one after being a long day of baby chasing). I do empathize with the desire for some adult time and just be close together.
I have to try harder in that regard and really make sure I am giving him the affection and whole hearted attention he deserves!
This was our problem also, and that's why setting up a second big bed worked perfectly! At least, he could no longer use co-sleeping and lack of a child-free bed as a reason for any intimacy issues...

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#19 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 11:33 PM
 
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You can't predict personality. DD at 5.5 is just now willing to sleep away from us, and any previous attempts when she was younger were AWFUL, she get frantic, cry, scream, beg, sob, and literally FIGHT to get back in bed with us...ds is barely 2 and will toddle off and sleep by himself no problem. *shrug* We plan to continue the 4-person family bed until fall, and for her birthday, dd gets a brand new bed to sleep in, she is asking for it, and seems ready, and ds will go with her, i'm sure.

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#20 of 24 Old 02-28-2010, 12:36 AM
 
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one thing my family care practitioner said to my mom when she'd freak out about things was "No adult goes down the aisle wearing a diaper, holding a bottle or blankie, or sleeping in mommy's bed"

I'm sure that at some point your DD having her own bed will be it's own new adventure for her to try out.
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#21 of 24 Old 02-28-2010, 01:11 AM
 
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Stick to your guns, mama, because co-sleeping only gets sweeter when they are older and intentionally snuggle, or wake up and hug you, etc.!

I convinced my DH about co-sleeping the same way you did, but now at 22 mos he is bringing up the he need's his own bed bit....argh. I think he caving to outside pressure. But it is great that your mom is on board. My parents think I am making a big mistake and also asserting that there way was wrong since they didn't do that with their kids. I agonized over the decision and finally went with what felt right.

Maybe you could show DH some studies about the benefits of co sleeping, such as James McKenna's, that can be found on line? Pretty impressive in my opinion.
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#22 of 24 Old 02-28-2010, 01:23 AM
 
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I probably would have stayed in bed with my mom until I was 10. I got my own bed when I was about 5, in an adjoining room to hers and I continued to ask her to sit in my room and talk to me until I fell asleep until I was about 8 when she said that I was old enough to go to sleep alone. I felt sad and lonely without her and listened to music in my room to help. So maybe some kids would stay in bed with parents until they were 10! Now I'm an adult and I still have trouble sleeping if my husband isn't in bed with me. I guess I'm a cosleeper for life

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#23 of 24 Old 02-28-2010, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Ha! I asked DH last night, after I told him I posted about my concerns (he's knows I'm addicted to this community) if he sleeps as well when I am not in the bed with him. Answer No. Does he fall asleep easily without a fan running? Answer No.
So why oh why is it so crazy that DD needs us to fall asleep easily. I told him he is an adult co-sleeper with me! He tried to shrug it off but I think I definitely got the point across.
I know that co-sleeping is something that might continue past the point where he is comfortable with it but he is an adult and I am more concerned about DD's well-being in the night because I know he will be just fine!
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#24 of 24 Old 02-28-2010, 11:34 AM
 
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I co-slept with my parents as a baby, I had sleep apnea problems and it stressed my mother out if I wasn't right where she could hear me breathe. Not sure exactly when I started sleeping in my own bed, but it was before my brother was born when I was 3.5ish. I can still remember waking up to nightmares and crawling in with my parents, but being told that I was too old for that around 5.

On the other hand, I spent every weekend with my grandmother starting around that time and slept in her bed (my grandfather spent weekends at his camp) until 14-15. It was just less hassle than setting up the fold out couch, and I really hate sleeping alone anyway. To this day I hate it. Sure I can do it, but I feel 100% better when DBF is in bed with me!

My brother was the opposite by the way, wanted his own space before he was 6 months, never slept well even with animals in his bed. He just likes his own space.

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