Experienced Bedsharers/Cosleepers... Weight in please! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-10-2010, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
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DS, while an otherwise bright, alert, somewhat happy little boy, is a horrible sleeper. Night time most often involves more than an hour of trying to get him to sleep (that's not including the bedtime bath/read/sing routine). We've tried varried routines and bedtimes. We've tried many arrangements of sleeping, including having him in our bed, then our bed became his/my bed, then DS/Daddy shared a bed while I slept across the house, then DH and I tried moving into another room with me just nursing him in his own bed (too much getting up and crossing the house). Now we're at two beds in one room, and I spend part of the night in one bed with DH, and the majority in the other bed with DS. We've tried so many things, that I'm at a loss really. And I sort of wonder if it's the bedsharing.

Essentially, does anyone have children who graduated from a co-sleeping/bed-sharing arrangement to sleeping well on their own? Because, thus far, the co-sleeping/bedsharing that happens in our house only happens in our house. I have yet to meet one person IRL who shared their bed for the first few years and then successfully transitioned to a two room setup. DS sleeps worse than any kid I know, and we are the only family who has bedshared/coslept for this long. A little encouragement would be wonderful.

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#2 of 11 Old 10-10-2010, 04:36 AM
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My daughters just moved into their own bed when we bought a bunkbed this summer. It is in our room right next to our bed and after the first couple nights, they both sleep together in the bottom bunk. Oh well. They are 5 and 4 years old right now.

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#3 of 11 Old 10-10-2010, 06:28 PM
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My DD just moved into her own bed when we bought her a bed and put it in the other room, at 2.25. She was excited and liked it. I never would have guessed in a million years that she'd move out so painlessly, and truth be told we were sad she left so fast. That said I'm about to have another one and she may move back. She was a crappy sleeper too for a long long time, didn't SSTN until 21 months when my supply dried up from being pregnant and I restricted her night nursing.

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#4 of 11 Old 10-10-2010, 07:49 PM
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Okay - maybe not what you want to hear - but my experience is based on my comfort level/ laziness to change things/ AND a child who was fought sleep

She's almost 7 yo - she still likes me to lay down with her and I am happy to do that - dh is less apt to do that and if I can't be home at bed time she usually falls asleep on her own

she still gets up in the middle of the night (sometime before midnight) and I will go and sleep with her - but the one night in her whole life she spent the night at grandmas (just this past summer) she was fine...

She always fought sleep needed to be nursed to sleep until well past 2, and problems with her teeth prompted me to change that...and she adjusted ok...
there was a time there at 8 mo or so where she was up every 45 min until I went to sleep - and maybe she still was and I slept through it? I know I felt like I nursed all.night.long and she didn't eat very much during the day but obviously very healthy and gaining steady weight despite her high level of activity (so I assumed she must have been getting alot at night)

so the long and the short of it - I don't think it's the co-sleeping that makes for a difficult sleeper - but your co-sleeping may make it tolerable/bearable although far from ideal (from your perspective) .... it will get better but he may never be a good sleeper - and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that you slept with him
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#5 of 11 Old 10-10-2010, 09:31 PM
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My DS was a horrible sleeper and we coslept because it was easier on me to respond to his needs. Once his teeth came through at 14 months he started sleeping better and now does great. We continue to cosleep because we all like it and I'm still not sure how we would transition him anyway.

I know a couple of families IRL who cosleep and one whose DD at age 3 just asked to sleep in her own bed. So it happens when kids are ready. Some just need longer to figure out how to sleep and to work through developmental stuff.

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#6 of 11 Old 10-10-2010, 10:22 PM
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I had one kid who was a great sleeper -- but he was born that way. (Slept 5-6 hours regularly from birth.) We had a hard time getting him to bed from 2-3, but then it got easier. We never really coslept, because he needed his own space, and I was too paranoid. At 6-7 he began having nightmares and for about a year, he came into our room when he woke. For a while, it was every night. Then every few nights. Now at age 9, it's down to about once a month.

I had another kid who woke every two hours -- from birth. She coslept from birth as well. It would be easy to say that co-sleeping 'caused' her frequent night waking, but in reality, her frequent night waking made anything other than cosleeping impossible. It was easy for us to have ds in his own bed because he got up once during the night to nurse, and if he woke again, it was easy for dh to comfort him back to sleep. He rarely got up more than that. Dd was a different story. She woke multiple times and was impossible to comfort back to sleep without nursing. (We tried.)

We had the same pattern with night weaning. Ds night weaned at 13 months because he'd wake and fall asleep about 30 seconds after got him onto the breast. It took 3 days of dh getting up with him to comfort him back to sleep before he slept through the night. On the other hand, at 18 months dh really wanted to night wean dd -- he got up every single night with her for 2 full weeks. She would scream for an hour or two while he held her. It was horrible. We admitted defeat and simply returned to nursing.

Co-sleeping with dd evolved slowly. At about 12 months, we moved to having her start the night in her own bed, and then bringing her in when she first woke. Then at 2 1/2, she moved to a toddler bed and simply got up and crawled into bed with us when she woke. After she weaned at age 4, she slept in her own room most of the night. At 5, she started having nightmares, and being afraid of the dark. After a number of hellish weeks of trying to figure out what to do (try to get her to stay in her room? in our bed? on the floor in our room?) we reached a point where, when she wakes, she comes into our room and sleeps on the floor. For the first 6 months, she'd scream, we'd go get her, and bring her in. For the last 6 months, she simply comes in. She's 6. I'm OK with this arrangement. I expect her to be in her own room full time at 9-10.

I don't know if this answered your question, but yes, eventually we got to a point where we're all getting a decent night's sleep. It did take some transition time each time we changed things (about 2-3 weeks). We did have to sit in dd's room (and ds' room) while they feel asleep between ages 2-5. We are OK with them coming into our room.

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#7 of 11 Old 10-10-2010, 11:44 PM
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This is a great thread, especially since we're dealing with some difficulties with DD's sleep right now too. We didn't start out as a co-sleeping family but found it to work best for us when DD was about 4 MO. She was a terrible sleeper and it was the only way I could get any rest at night. She slept in our bed all night long until she was about 18 MO, when we put her old crib mattress on the floor of her room and started her out there every night. She'd usually cry out for me sometime in the night and I'd bring her in to bed with us. By 20 MO she was sleeping in a toddler bed and coming in to our room on her own in the middle of the night. We night-weaned around that time as well.

Flash forward to age 2 and she slept all night long in her own room for about six months. Then DS was born and she could no longer sleep alone. After much consternation, we finally got her to start out the night in her bed then come in to our room to lay on that same old crib mattress on the floor.

DS is now almost 1 YO and DH and I are getting frustrated with our nighttime routine. DS co-sleeps, which is fine. DD is almost 3.5 and she's turned into such a light sleeper that she wakes up for the day at the slightest noise. If DH's alarm goes off for work (5:30 a.m.) she's up for the day. If DS makes even the slightest noise after 4 a.m. she's up for the day.

Putting her back to bed is a nightmare, where she melts down into screams and tears... which of course wakes up DS even more. DH and I are exhausted, and we struggle to deal with both kids in the middle of the night.

I really want her back in her room full time, but we're both afraid of having to deal with the night time tantrums and we don't want to traumatize her. Something has to give, though...

Anyway, I wish I had some sort of solution...

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#8 of 11 Old 10-11-2010, 03:53 AM
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We transitioned at about 1 1/2 and she comes into our bed when we invite her (we miss her) but not other than that really

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#9 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 04:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
It would be easy to say that co-sleeping 'caused' her frequent night waking, but in reality, her frequent night waking made anything other than cosleeping impossible.
I have been telling myself this from the get go. And I do think it's true. But IRL the only people I know who bedshare/co-sleep are the ones who are happy to do so, rather than doing it begrudgingly because it's their only option to get any rest. And then there's everyone else I know, who followed the standard CIO method of night time parenting, and none of whom have a kiddo who sleeps as poorly as mine.

I just needed to hear from parents who are at the end of their bed-sharing/co-sleeping relationship, that it does end eventually. I remember occasionally crawling into bed with my parents STILL when I was 10 or 11. And I fully expect that to happen a few times a week until DS is that age. But I want to know that I eventually might get to spend a few, blissful, back to back hours in MY bed with DH only. No stragglers!

It just seems that all I hear about bedsharing/cosleeping is coming from folks who are in the thick of it, rather than past it. I want to know that eventually that relationship will end so I can finally sleep for more than 2 hours at a time, yk?

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#10 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 05:03 AM
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it does end. I have 4- all in their own little beds, ages 2.5 up to 7. They still try to sneak in with dh and I, but sometimes I kick them out- 33 wks preggy and all! They all stayed in our bed until they were old enough to crawl and fall off. Once they hit the floor, they were OUT! LOL.
none of them were happy to leave, all around 1 yr old. but I moved them to a crib which was good and bad- good for safety, badbecause it hurt my heart to have them cry.
1 child went from our bed to a matress on the floor- and I still slept with her, but snuck out. Each one was different and by the time they were about 3yrs, things settled down.
It will end, they will be fine- and sometimes mama needs some sleep, ya know- so you do what you need to, but this too shall pass.

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#11 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 06:30 AM
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My first son (now 11) was a difficult sleeper. I spent hours and hours of my life rocking, singing, patting, and nursing to sleep. He eventually asked for his own bed around age 5 but he ended up being frightened of sleeping alone, so I moved it into my bedroom next to my bed (he slept in the bottom bunk of a bunkbed). At age 8, we moved and he got his own room with a bed, but mostly still slept in our room (now in the top bunk). At that age he started self-regulating his own bedtime. We asked that he go to his room at bedtime, but he could stay up and go to sleep whenever (and wherever) he wanted. At age 9 he started sleeping in his own room on his own, but we kept his bed in our room, because he didn't want it to be gone. We left it so he could know that he COULD come back if he wanted to, but he never did. He now sleeps fine on his own in his own room and bed.

My second child (now 6yo) has mostly always been a wonderful sleeper and happily moved into a toddler bed next to ours at age 2 1/2 shortly before we had our third child. I mean she was so happy she shooed us out of the room so she could nap on it that minute, and she did! We were very surprised. When our first child moved to the top bunk, she then moved out of the toddler bed to the bottom bunk. She now sleeps in the top bunk. With her it went from rocking and nursing to sleep, to singing and rubbing her back, to only having to rub her back for a couple minutes and then kiss good night, and now I just lay with the kids for 5 minutes or so after book-reading, and then kiss goodnight.

My third child (now 3) has always been sort of in between as far as sleeping goes, sometimes good and sometimes bad. But, he has basically gone the same route as the other children of our bed, to a side-car toddler bed, and now to the bottom bunk, although he often still climbs into bed with us in the middle of the night. He only nightweaned 4 months or so ago, and having him sleep next to DH in the middle of the night instead of nursing helped, so he is still used to it. I know he will grow out of it eventually as long as we don't pressure him. He will not go to sleep at bedtime on his own; he likes to go to sleep next to his older sister (child #2) after book reading, snuggles, and kisses. If he gets tired before bedtime though, he will go lie down on his own.

All children need nighttime parenting to one degree or another, some more than others. Sometimes they need more and sometimes less; that is just how it goes. Every child is different and sometimes just when you think you have it figured out, it changes. I just try to meet their needs as best as I can and go with the flow. I doubt there are many teenagers who need someone to rock them to sleep at night; I would think all children will become independent with their sleeping eventually. Just do your best to have patience, and not turn sleeping into a fight, but still take care of yourself. There is hope!
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