I am a mother of a 3yo dd who has co-slept since birth until around her 3yo b-day. We moved to a home where she has her own room and she was excited to sleep there herself, so we set it up and she began to sleep in her own bed. I lay in her room until she falls asleep, which she does now without cuddling, then I leave her room once she is asleep. We set up a blow up matress in her room so I had a place to lay down when I was in there, but a few weeks ago our cat punctured the mattress and I no longer have a place to lay down in her room. ($ is too tight to purchase another bed option) The result is that she now just runs into our room when she first wakes up and crawls in with us, which is a fine arrangement for me because our bed is much more comfy than that darn blowup mattress was anyway, so I am actually sleeping better than I had been. DH, on the other hand, having had a bit of a break from co-sleeping, has decided that we (I) need to tough it out and get her to sleep in her bed a full night, which the responsibility is falling mostly on me since I have historically been the night time parent( DH is too grumpy in the middle of the night to deal with her in a way that feels good to all of us).
I just wish I could come up with something that feels good for everyone. The blow-up mattress was OKAY, but not ideal in that I missed sleeping with DH and couldn't seem to re-wake to go back to our room after laying down with her. The other thing that would happen is that once she would wake up and I would go into her room, she would wake up much more regularly until I invited her in with me. Anyway, this option is no longer available to us since we don't have athe blowup mattress anymore anyway.
I just can't seem to figure out why she wakes so much...maybe she will eventually grow out of this, but it seems like there might be things I could do to help her to sleep through the night or self-sooth back to sleep without needing me.
I keep lurking on this site for suggestions. Mostly, I endo up feeling grateful because it feels like many other mothers are having a harder time than I, so I usually don't want to waste anyones tinme or energy with my post. Although, I am feeling an increasing need to come up with analternative b/c DH is getting grumpy with all the body parts flailing, he gets the brunt of it (or I sleep through it better).
I see the No Cry Sleep Solution coming up repeatedly, but wasn't sure this was a method for toddlers or one that should have been employed from the time when she was a baby. What kinds of suggestions does it offer? Do you think it would be helpful for our situation?
Does anyone have anything to offer here?
PS. I am not insane yet, but hoping to improve our situation before this really begins to effect our family dynamics....or before this new routine forms a habit too hard to break.
Do you have a big bed? I was just going to say that 3 is surely not a baby anymore, but 3 year olds can still have a lot of night time fears and such. They are only this little once, I wonder if you could hold on a little longer until she feels ready and proud to spend the night by herself. It works so much better when they want it and feel like it is their idea!
How about sprucing up her bed a little; maybe not buying new stuff since money is tight, but rearranging, putting some nice pillows in there, putting new sheets on, making it feel "new" and exciting?
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You can buy an exercise mat, the kind that's thick, soft, and squishy, not the ones that are thin and hard.
It's good if the mat is on the corner of the room so it stays put, but it doesn't really matter. Anyway, fold a blanket and put it on top of the exercise mat.
With some sheets, make a cover for this mattress. You can sew the sides so it's like a big "pillow case" for your exercise mat.
Now your mattress is complete.
So now you can "make the bed" as normal, with two sheets and blankets.
This is a lot more comfortable than those air mattresses. This is how I sleep everyday :) My husband and I have a queen bed, but the bed has no mattress, just exercise mats like this. We actually had a great mattress but gave it away because we prefer this.
My nephew actually slept like this until he was 4 years old, in a Montessori style room.
Thanks for the input. Our bed is tiny, but I'm toying back and forth with whether to make dd a nest in our room or me a nest in her room. Either way this is a viable option.
Noone commented on the book, which I don't know much about. Maybe it is not for us. I am starting to wonder about whether it is a fear factor. I know she is only little once, so I want to do this right. However, it is hard for she and I when DH is grumpy. This morning at 5:30 he totally grumped out and so dd and I crawled into her toddler bed. I refuse to leave her alone if she wants me...
OP, I'm going to chime in just to give you a hug. I'm in the same situation in that I don't feel like my problem is big enough to post when others have bigger issues. DS1 is 3.5 yrs old and has been in his own sleep space since 9 months old. He always came over to our bed at first wake-up and continues to do so almost three years later. I like the phrase "habit too big to break" because that's what it feels like. He has slept through the night maybe 3 times in 3 years. DS2 is 7 months old and co-sleeping fulltime. DH wants DS1 to stay in his own bed but isn't willing to do anything but yell at DS at 2 oclock in the morning to make it happen. I flat out refuse to nighttime parent both children while DH sleeps. Some of your solutions might help DH so I'll be reading along.
Maria , wife to A , mama to DS M 8/09 and DS L 6/12
Everything will be ok in the end. If it's not ok, then it's not the end - Paolo Coelho