Need help convincing dh about co-sleeping - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 01-20-2003, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a 16 month old ds, who occassionally sleeps in our bed, most of the time I sleep in his bed. My husband has it in his head that if we let him in our bed, he'll never leave. We have friends who's 8 year old daughter still sleep with them. Not that I am criticizing that, he just doesn't want it to go that long. I tried to convince him that most kids move out on their own around 3 or 4. He doesn't want to hear book proof, he wants me to show him someone we know. We just don't know any other co sleepers besides this family. He said he would like it ds slept with us, but that once you start that it is too traumatic to stop it. DS actually sleeps pretty good in his bed, but we are going to have more. Besides I don't want "co-sleeping" for us to mean I am always in the kids room and never sleep with my dh. It doesn't help that we come from families that all crib slept, and even my mother who is pretty open made comments like once you start that you won't ever get them out. I don't know if anyone will have much usefull advice since he doesn't want it to be from a book, (long story) but any gentle suggestions to bring him around, at least by the time our next is here. By the way I didn't know anything about AP when ds was born so he crib slept until separation anxiety kicked in and since then I have done whatever it takes to get him to happily go to sleep.
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#2 of 5 Old 01-20-2003, 06:05 PM
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My dd (almost 3) still sleeps with me, but I know a girl at my mommy and me meetings whose dd moved out into her own bed right around 3. She decided she wanted to and she moved. She would yell to her mom in the middle of the night to nurse, though. Mom said- if you want to nurse and you want to be in your own bed, you need to come to me (in the middle of the night).

I don't know anyone else in that situation. I do know that I will deal with getting dd into her own bed when cosleeping doesn't work for me anymore (who knows when that will be).

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#3 of 5 Old 01-22-2003, 07:32 AM
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Hi Brianna,

First a disclaimer: I'm the co-author of one of those pesky books about co-sleeping that your husband doesn't want to hear "evidence" from. I can tell you first-hand of the hundreds of parents who told us about how their children eventually left the family bed. (We have a whole chapter on moving beyond the family bed when the time is right. It's called A Farewell to Arms...And Legs...And Feet.) I can tell you that many parents have found that 3 or 4 or so seemed to be an excellent age to help guide a child into a more independent sleep situation. Some left way earlier with little fuss. Others later. (So much depends on temperament.) The ones who remained significantly later usually had parents who didn't do anything to encourage them to sleep on their own. But since your DH doesn't seem to want this kind of info (sounds like he's had a bad experience with parenting books; I understand.), here are a few brief anecdotes -- not from the book, but from my life and from a few of my friends -- that might help your situation. Maybe you could just copy the next few paragraphs and print them out separately so he doesn't know they're from a book author!

My own daughter left our room when she was 5. She'd had her own bed in our room since she was 2, but space constraints in our little San Francisco house (where we have our small home office) precluded us from being able to let her try out a room of her own. We were thinking seriously about how we'd have to build another room for her, but one day she discovered that a decent-sized closet in another room has a window and a beautiful wood floor, and exclaimed "Mama, this could be a room. This could be MY room!" You've never seen a mama clear out a closet as fast as I did. We made it a magical hideaway, very much like the sweet little lighthouse room in Rosemary Wells' book "The Island Light," and she has slept blissfully in there since. (Except for the night when I was out with a girlfriend and my hubby let her watch Matrix! Ergh...) Ironically, it's her non-family-bedded friends who seem to frequently end up in their parents' beds!

A friend's child has been sleeping happily in her own bed since she was about 2. No crying it out, just a kid who slept well to begin with and decided that the new toddler bed was very cool and so was the scented pillow her Mama put on it when she slept there.

Two other friends were able to gently "nudge" their children to sleep on their own when the children were around 3 or so.

Another friend's child joined her sisters in their room when she was 2 1/2.

Bunk beds were the answer to a couple of other friends' desire to move their children out of the family bed at the ripe old age of 4.

Yada, yada...

I could go on and tell of the hundreds of tales we heard while compiling the book, but those are book-related, so I won't!

I hope these help! Good luck with your situation.

Maria Goodavage
Co-author, Good Nights: The Happy Parents' Guide to the Family Bed
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#4 of 5 Old 01-22-2003, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your response, I have your book, it is very good. In fact it is what solidified for me that I definitely want to co-sleep with our next. My son now actually falls asleep easily in his bed and then if he wakes in the middle of the night, I just join him for the rest. He actually sleeps better in there now than in our bed, go figure. Yet I want the next baby to be in our bed. He justs thinks that I get too many of my parenting ideas from books. I always tell him that I read the books, and edit out what I agree with and what I don't. I swear you'd think I just believed every word without questioning, if that was true we would have been letting him cry it out, be done nursing, because all the stuff I read when I was first pregnant said that. In fact my reading has made me more questioning and leary of "expert opinion." Well anyways, hopefully he will come around by the time it matters. He does seem to be graudually accepting it all better. It is really hard when you live in a society that does most everything bassackwards. My husband is pretty good about forging our own path, but every once and awhile, the "american ideas" kick back in and try to make their arguments. Well anyways thanks for the advice, good luck with your book
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#5 of 5 Old 01-23-2003, 01:59 PM
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For us dh discovered that co sleeping meant we all got more sleep. It was the laziness factor that won him over NOt to mention that he loved waking up to a big baby smile every morning. seriously, though, perhaps an "I will be bf and baby sleeping here lets me get more sleep so I am not walking down the hall every couple of hours. If you want baby to be in the crib, you can get out of bed and bring him/her to me.

We have tried several variations. What about using a crib as a co sleeper pulled up next to the bed. baby is still technically in their bed, but is also cosleeping and conveniently near. As ds has gotten older, he will be 5 in April, we added a twin bed pushed up against ours (we ran out of room in our Q bed!). A lot of the time, he would stay in his own bed, or crawl in the middle at 3-4 a.m. Just this past week, we pushed the beds apart and put a night table in the middle with the agreement that if he wakes up, he can join us. So far it is going okay, although ds is still unsure if it is what he wants to do. But for us, it was time. We are still in the same room, but there is a little more distance. Ds also just weaned fully a few eeks ago, and has been a little more needly of nightime snuggles, so that may play into it as well.

Good luck!

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