Did you sleep with your kids when they were little? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 19 Old 03-21-2014, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know there is a forum for co-sleeping and the family bed but I was hoping to get some perspective from people who are not IN IT at the moment. 

 

We sleep with our 9 month old which has many joys and many challenges -- namely that he doesn't want to nap alone, wakes throughout the evening and wakes during the night. 

 

In spite of all this, I want to keep him in our bed. It just feels right and I am positively allergic to all sleep training for some reason. 

 

So I am hoping someone can reply who struggled with this in the past and can offer wisdom, reassurance and perspective that someday my child will sleep without me WITHOUT undertaking any sleep training. 

 

If anyone has any words of encouragement, I would really appreciate it. 

 

Thank you. 

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#2 of 19 Old 03-21-2014, 06:29 PM
 
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Well I am still bedsharing with my youngest, who is 20 months old, but my oldest is almost 14 and we have 4 others in between. But yes, all but the baby sleep in their own beds. A couple of them took a bit more nudging than others but not too much - they were fine to go to bed on their own but would come back in later in the night. Usually getting them pottied and a drink and taking them back worked and it stopped pretty soon after that. Actually the one who would not sleep alone at all when he was little, went quite willingly to his big boy bed and never came back to ours. Hope that helps. I know it is hard sometimes.

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#3 of 19 Old 03-21-2014, 11:48 PM
 
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My older child slept with us and I sat with her while she napped until she was about 2 then we worked on napping alone. It didn't go well. It is sleep training... I would lay with her until she was asleep and run in to cuddle every time she moved. She stopped napping by the time she was three. What really changed night time for us was getting her a full size bed. I was able to lay with her easily, and if she was upset at night one of us would sleep with her. She is almost 6 and has been sleeping well on her own for almost 2 years. She also goes to sleep on her own, after stories.. and kisses... and water... and hugs... and a bathroom trip.. and more water... and bad dreams...and more hugs, etc. But she sleeps through the night and is very cute when stalling bedtime. Our second is almost 2 and I am going through the same thing. I won't let my baby cry it out, ever. They don't want to sleep with us forever. I cherish the cuddles but also want a good night sleep now and again.
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#4 of 19 Old 03-22-2014, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for this, fruitful mam and evmadi. It helps to hear what is down the road. Even though I don't feel ready to change our sleep I am fearful of several more years of such hard work to get a good nap. I am thinking about starting to work, which complicates things. Also his babysitter who comes one day a week is having a hard time. It is peak separation anxiety time though too, which hopefully will pass. 

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#5 of 19 Old 03-22-2014, 05:04 PM
 
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I shared a bed with both kids, both slept alone fine by the time they were 4, although my 5 year DS#2 sometimes will call for me for a quick cuddle. 


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#6 of 19 Old 03-23-2014, 05:43 AM
 
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I also slept with both kids; they were both able to fall asleep and sleep independently by 4 yo. No sleep training, no fights, no struggle.
They were ready.

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#7 of 19 Old 03-23-2014, 01:34 PM
 
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Hi there! My son is almost 4 and at around 30 months he decided from one day to the next he wanted to sleep in his own bed (which we had set up for him in his own room which he got when we moved just after his 2nd birthday). We did literally nothing, it was his decision. However, he was up every night calling for me and after some months of this I had to "train" him (which means talking to him about it) to come into my room when he needs me at night. I think it took a few days or maybe even weeks (I forget) for him to get it, but it did happen and relatively quickly. Now he mostly just comes over when he needs me, which is every night anytime from 11pm-5am. A few times he's actually slept through all alone in his bed. There have been and still sometimes are those bad nights, but every kid will have those whatever the circumstances, and luckily ours are pretty rare.

 

Anyway, I am and was averse to cry-it-out sleep training....but there are plenty of other ways to guide your baby or child to sleep in their own bed without letting them cry alone. Elizabeth Pantley's books (this is the one for babies, she also has one for toddlers and one about naps) helped us a lot when we had troubles at bedtime. Totally solved our problems. Her books are loaded with various ideas and solutions to try and you devise your own plan. It's not just about getting them to sleep through but also sleep in their own bed, fall asleep without nursing or rocking, or whatever is causing a problem. I also found her sleep logs to be really useful and we made our plan from there (again- our issue was with bedtime and needing to change our routine, but she addresses all variety of sleep issues including cosleeping problems).

 

Best of luck! All babies are unique and you have to find what works best for both you and your baby. There are plenty of options that do not involve the traditional "sleep training" but that offer solutions.



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#8 of 19 Old 03-23-2014, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Very helpful. Thanks again to all. Keep the stories coming, if you have them. 

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#9 of 19 Old 03-23-2014, 04:08 PM
 
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Yes, we did. We did the whole family bed thing with our first and she eventually left the bed without incident (that I can remember) when she was around 4/5. I'm currently cosleeping with my 3 year old now. We had her in her own bed w/o any sleep training (beyond basic comfort measures that I do not consider sleep training) but then she got sick or something and the routine got blown and now we're back to co-sleeping. For now it's working for everyone but I also know that I am able to move her to her own bed if that changes. I think that moving an older child into their own bed is totally do-able in a completely gentle way...it's just that extra bit of work that sometimes doesn't seem worth it if co-sleeping is working for everyone. The key, I think is to stay way out ahead of any resentment. If it starts to not work for anyone in the bed, it's better to start finding another solution early so there is plenty of time to work out a new plan. 

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#10 of 19 Old 03-23-2014, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks IdentityCrisisMama. I think that it moving my son when he is older, I can talk to him and he understands seems much more palatable than trying him to get him to do something he can't understand, i.e. go to sleep alone in a crib without me rocking, nursing etc.

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#11 of 19 Old 03-23-2014, 05:46 PM
 
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Oh, I see that your baby is only 9 months (my favorite age, BTW).  At this age their sleep needs change SO much. Even people who I know who do sleep training seem like they're changing things all the time. At this age, it's like "wait a couple of weeks" is the best solution to sleep issues. Once you catch a good groove, you can influence things as a parent by not fidgeting with things and just encouraging the sleep patterns that work for you. You know, if you notice he's sleeping longer stretches with you in the evenings, maybe consider putting him in the bed alone (if that's a goal). If he naps well in the car (my second did), just ride that nap out in the seat if you can manage. I think I went through some times when I'd do yard work or even lug the carseat inside. This is the "do what works" time. :love


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#12 of 19 Old 03-24-2014, 12:23 PM
 
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We never did CIO or any such harsh sleep training.  We did have to work pretty hard to get our son to accept being left alone before he was fully asleep; we finally had gradual success with that when he was 6-7 years old.  Years earlier, though, we were able to put him to bed in his room, stay with him until he was asleep, and then have him sleep alone all night and not demand companionship until morning.  I have a very detailed story of his developing sleep habits here:

http://articles.earthlingshandbook.org/2011/09/28/baby-sleep-tips/

The last step in the story, which I have not updated yet, is that we built him a loft bed when he was 8 1/2.  He had been asking for it for some time, and one of the things that finally got his dad on board was that the kid and I started reading bedtime stories out on the front porch in nice weather (and in the living room on the couch otherwise) rather than lying down in his bed, so we felt confident that he would accept going to bed alone in his loft, instead of one of us having to climb up there.  Now after story, he brushes his teeth and gets into bed, and then I stand on the floor holding his foot (sounds silly, but my friend whose boys have bunk beds recommended this as a way to connect at bedtime, and it works!) while we say our prayer, and then I can just say good night and walk out. broc1.gif


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#13 of 19 Old 03-24-2014, 12:30 PM
 
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My twins ended up in our bed almost every night when they were small. Little sister slept in our bed from birth to about 14-15 months, I think. It's been a long time since I was there!  At that time, one of my twins had a matress on the floor of my room that he knew he was welcome to come to at any time. 

 

Little sister moved out of our room and into the kid room sometime around 15 months. It wasn't a problem, and I started by putting her down after nursing into her own bed, and getting her when she woke at night. At some point, she just quit waking at night, or I quit nursing at night... again, not sure, because I just did what worked, regardless of "method".

 

At this point, I occasionally get a kid in the grown up bed at some point in the very late night, but it's rare. 


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#14 of 19 Old 03-24-2014, 07:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post
 

Oh, I see that your baby is only 9 months (my favorite age, BTW).  At this age their sleep needs change SO much. Even people who I know who do sleep training seem like they're changing things all the time. At this age, it's like "wait a couple of weeks" is the best solution to sleep issues. Once you catch a good groove, you can influence things as a parent by not fidgeting with things and just encouraging the sleep patterns that work for you. You know, if you notice he's sleeping longer stretches with you in the evenings, maybe consider putting him in the bed alone (if that's a goal). If he naps well in the car (my second did), just ride that nap out in the seat if you can manage. I think I went through some times when I'd do yard work or even lug the carseat inside. This is the "do what works" time. :love

 

This is so true, about how quickly things change.  My DD needed me to all but fall asleep for her throughout her infancy, but sometime in her twos she just told me I could go, and she's been falling asleep on her own ever since.  Still sleeps in the room with me at age 4, but separate bed - and both of us prefer it that way.  (And we have a one bedroom.  I bet she'd be just fine on her own.)  I was amazed how, even with such an awful sleeper as my daughter, the progression to more independent sleep really happened all on its own.  She'll still be awake for hours in the night sometimes, but hardly bugs me at all, even though I'm right there.  Now naps I can't speak to.  We never did get the hang of those :)

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#15 of 19 Old 03-27-2014, 11:44 PM
 
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Yes with all 3 kids. Age 9(in a few days), 6 and 5. The youngest has been sleeping on his own for about 6 months now but occasionally does come to my room once a week.

Cassie, mom to Alex(7), Aidan(5), Andrew(4)

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#16 of 19 Old 03-28-2014, 01:16 AM
 
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Mine both slept with me from the start. My older started sleeping in her own room at about 7.5 with no pushing from me, except it was getting a bit crowded as her sister got bigger. They've both had fully set up bedrooms of their own since birth but when to sleep there was/is up to them.
The 5 yo has started talking about sleeping in her room but has yet to do so, perhaps because her room is on a different floor from me and dh. Big sister and grandma are close by though. We probably will build her a loft bed this summer to expand her room space so that might encourage her.It's ok with me either way. smile.gif
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#17 of 19 Old 03-30-2014, 03:41 PM
 
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I always used beds/bassinets when they were teeny tiny but right by the bed. Ds coslept until he was 4. At four he had to be weaned from cosleeping, which meant I had to cuddle him until he slept. When dd was born I didn't do that very often and now at 7 almost 8 I just tuck him in and say good night. They grow out of it, but I was very patient with him and it was gradual. Dd almost 3 still cosleeps but I have tried to get her to sleep in her bed on occassion and she does fine. I just haven't done it consistently yet and I am just getting her used to sleeping in her bed. 


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#18 of 19 Old 03-31-2014, 08:19 AM
 
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I hv an only child. Since I started cosleeping at 18 mo it hasn't changed. I had to make her, briefly, maybe a few days, to sleep in her own toddler bed. She didn't want to but she never really cried about it. I used to be at my wit's end with the nightly feeds and because she wasn't night trained her diaper would overflow and the bed covers needed to be changed almost every single morning. The crib mattress was used in her toddler bed so any pee accidents could be easily wiped off. Her covers were also much easier to change. But she never had a night accident after that. Ever. And as I said, in a few days we were back to co-sleeping. And to be v. honest I missed her in my bed. So, we went back to cosleeping and she we still are at 7. She has never showed an interest in sleeping in her own bed.


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#19 of 19 Old 04-07-2014, 02:49 AM
 
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I co-slept with DD until she was 18 months. At 18 months we moved her into her own bed in a shared bedroom with DS. She actually slept on a mattress on the floor. I would lie down with her and stay with her until she fell asleep, then leave her. She would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night (3-4am) and get into bed with us, without really disturbing us. She's 5 now and the routine hasn't changed much. She falls asleep very quickly so it's no big deal to wait with her. She wakes up and comes to our bed a few times a week. We barely notice. Everyone's happy.

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