moving to big girl bed-own room - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-19-2003, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I could use any advice on moving our almost 3 year old into her own room/toddler bed. She has co slept with us-mostly me-since birth. My DH has been sleeping another room on work nights for the past year and it has been taking a toll on our relationship. I'm envious of those families that can make it work well, but given that our priority is to have an intact family with a mommy and daddy in a healthy relationship, we have decided to move her on out. Adding to this, is that we have another due in January and I don't think I could handle two in the bed. Our daughter is very clingy and must have her little hand grabbing/touching/tweaking (ouch!) the 'milkies' all night. She weaned at 27 months quite easily. I would relish a little break before the new baby comes and my need for sleep is pretty high right now.

Any suggestions or game plans that worked for other families would be welcome. Specifically, how do you handle going to sleep? Lie down with them or sit next to them? Stay in their room on a cot or just go back and forth to comfort them back to sleep? How long did it take until baby was comfortable sleeping on their own 75% of the time?

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#2 of 6 Old 08-19-2003, 12:14 PM
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We had a nightime routine with our dd from the start even though she nursed to sleep. We would brush her teeth and then dh would read her stories and then I would nurse her. When she weaned from nightime feedings the routine was familiar and comforting to her and helped get her to sleep. How we got her in her own bed in her own room was very gradually. First we brought the toddler bed into our room and she would start in her bed and when she wanted to or needed to would climb in our bed. Eventually after she would fall asleep in our bed we would but her back in her toddler bed. we did this for a few and then when she was staying in her toddler bed thru the night we started talking about moving it into her own room, eventually she told us she was ready to put her bed in her room. It was a step by step approach and waiting for her cues. Now my ds is the same age as dd when she was in her own room and he is still in our room, we put the toddler bed in our room and he starts out in that and sometimes climbs in bed with us, maybe this would work for you, putting a toddler bed in your room, dd can still be close to you but you and dh can have the bed to yourselves. Just a thought.
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#3 of 6 Old 08-19-2003, 05:47 PM
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Oh my goodness, it sounds like you just wrote my biography. I have co-slept w/ just dd for 3 years now. Hubby moved out voluntarily. Now I have a DS 6 mos, and I sleep with DD and DS and hubby is still in his own bed. I know where you're coming from about the relationship with hubby. The problem is I love sleeping with my babies -- and sleeping with my snoring husband, well, I would have to get use to it again I suppose, after alll, the kids will move out someday (maybe). We just bought another king-size bed so that he wouldn't have to sleep in the little full-size bed (he's a big man). So, enough about me.

The first thing you must decide is if you realllllyyyy want her out of your bed, or do you truly enjoy sleeping with her. Next I would make her a pretty room with as much new things as you can afford, bedroom furniture, curtains, covers, sheets, etc. etc. Then a suggestion that I may use if and when the time comes is from Elizabeth Pantley's book, "The No Cry Sleep Solution." She recommends making a book for any toddler going thru a change. You can cut pictures out of catalogs, of big girls sleeping in their own room, and mommy and daddy sleeping in their own room, or draw your own and make a book for her. Read the book over and over and she will start getting the picture in her head of sleeping alone.

She also suggests keeping a mattress or comfortable place for her to sleep on your bedroom floor, in case she needs to come there in the mid of the night, with clear instructions that she is not to disturb mom and dad, but to lay quietly on the space just for her.

Another thing I read was to give your children some "get out of bed free" passes -- just for drink, bathroom, or one last hug. Once the passes are used up no more getting out of bed.

And one more thing was if she sleeps all night in her own bed for 6 days, then she gets to "camp out" with mom and dad on the 7th day (that might work when she's a little older).

As far as getting her to sleep???? That may be tougher. Do you have a set routine with her now? Let me tell ya that she may get highly upset if you disrupt that routine when baby gets here. So, try and make a routine that you think will work for you when baby gets here -- and ask for daddy's help as much as possible. There were nights DD fell asleep in front of the tv as I was trying to get DS to sleep -- something I swore I would never do.

Anyways I hope I didn't give you way too much info. Best wishes for you and I would love to know if you decide to use these suggestions and if they work for you.

God Bless
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#4 of 6 Old 08-20-2003, 12:18 PM
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I just wrote this up for my website! :-) Hope you can find it helpful. She's now 2.5 and we are at the last step.

How to Wean Your Toddler from the Family Bed

The family bed is wonderful for bonding but at some point either the parents or the toddler determine that it’s just not working anymore. When this will happen depends on the people involved. For us it happened when we started thinking about having a second child, and when Abi’s night-time kicking got out of hand. We started the process at around 20 months. She’s been night-weaned since she started getting teeth at around 5 months old.

1. Bought a twin-sized futon to lay right next to our futon that was on the floor. Put cartoon sheets on it and told Abi it was her new bed. Made a big deal about it. Encouraged her to lie on it at bedtime.

2. Separated her futon from our bed but kept it in our room. Put her to sleep only on her bed. If she woke up at night missing us one of us went to her instead of having her come to us. Started differentiating between “Abi’s bed” and “Mommy and Daddy’s bed.” After a few weeks she fully accepted that her bed was her bed, although she still enjoyed sleeping in ours if she could sneak into it when we were asleep!

3. Put her bed close to our room but not in it. In our case this was the large door-less bathroom area and our walk-in closet (which we quickly moved her back out of because it lacked ventilation).

4. Bought a twin sized bed (in our case a bunk bed since we will have 2 kids share a room eventually). My husband took full charge of putting her to bed and attending to her at night. He sat next to her in her bed with her until she fell asleep, then transferred himself to the floor for the remainder of the night.

5. Let her sleep in her own bed by herself with him lying down on the floor next to the bed. She is still welcome to join me in my bed in the morning if she wakes up before I do, and after my husband goes to work. If she kicks me she is led back to her bed immediately. She currently will put herself down for naps as long as I keep her company in the room while she’s falling asleep.

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
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#5 of 6 Old 08-21-2003, 07:29 PM
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i have no success story to share... I tried what everyone here has mentioned...followed Dr. Sears suggestions... slowly transition from family bed to their bed by having mattress in family room... in their room...parent sleep with them in their room etc.

We got her a toddler bed when she was just over 2... as I was pregnant so wanted her to get used to 'her' bed... got cute cat blanket as she lvoes cat. She loved helping papa make the bed. She would play in the bed, pretend to sleop...but never actually slept in it. I tried to snuggle with her a few time (but hard with growing belly). Then after that we just moved her to the bed when she was deep asleep and she would crawl back to me in the night for nursing.

When ds was born...dd was almost 3...still not sleeping in her toddler bed (in family bedroom)... so I just put her bed beside ours... crib on other side of separate the two kids if needing more space.

This summer we moved computer room and made her own 'playroom'... she painted it...we sponged painted it, she has handprints and footprints all over the wall, did lots of creativity painting... its definetly her room (looks like a kindergarten wall or something, not a bedroom). But she loves it and tells visitors she painted her own room and shows off her room. SHe loves to play in there with her toys and all. Recently moved her toddler bed in there and tried a few time following her wish. For story time etc, she will say night night...then later say she wants to sleep alone in the big bed. so we let her... not pushing her.

WIll see how it goes... so that is our long story... a long process (just like our night weaning too...hopefully she will sleep in her own bed then she wont need to come and nurse often!).

mother of two, tandem nursing, cosleeping.
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#6 of 6 Old 08-21-2003, 11:35 PM
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Thank you USamama for sharing your story... I am 38 weeks pregnant and have a ds who is 23 months old - we have coslept since he was born. We are currently trying to get him used to sleeping without me... what we have lacked is a real plan - now we have one! Thank you

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