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 son....it 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
In reference to the waking up.... does he do this only when nodding off? It sounds as though he might be a light sleeper?
If the trouble is only getting him to sleep, then I don't see why you couldn't make a transition--not that it wouldn't be hard still. It's not necessarily the shared bed that causes the trouble. So many kids who have their own beds also have trouble, too, just like this.
Also, as a mama who stills sleeps with the kids, I know that getting them to sleep is a different issue than sleeping with them at night. They are 5 and 7, but the only trouble I have with them is getting them down. They do want me there until they fall asleep, so I get frustrated when they toss and turn and don't drop off. But most of the time I get out of the room at 8:30 and have plenty of time to cuddle with dh in front of the tube and wind down. So, when that happens, I really don't mind the situation at all.
If you want to continue cosleeping, and the trouble with getting him to stay asleep is only when you put him down, I have solved this problem by just going to bed with the girls for a few nights. Yes, after the 3rd night I am lying awake at 3am staring at the stars at the window, but after this, they will fall asleep again (and stay asleep), no problem. For a few weeks anyhow. It's been several months since they couldn't fall asleep and would come out crying.
You see, one of the reasons that he might be waking in the evenings is that he knows you are going to leave. You need to gain his trust--this sounds so wicked really-- then you can get him in the habit of staying asleep.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.