Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
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Hmmmm...I think the sleep clinic is a good idea to rule out apnea.
Until very, very recently (as in the last 6 weeks), we sat by our kids as they fell asleep.
Ds (7) falls asleep and stay asleep the entire night unless he's had a nightmare.
Dd (4) was a frequent night nurser as an infant, and would wake up and come into our bed and nurse. I stopped night nursing when she was 3 (but nursed in the AM), and she'd come into our bed, snuggle and nurse when it got light. I weaned her at age 4. Now, she comes into our bed, snuggles up to us and falls asleep, and sleeps until morning. She only wakes if she has to go to the bathroom. I often don't wake when she comes in with us. More than once I've rolled over thinking, "Wow, she slept all night in her own bed!" only to find her lying next to me!
Two kids, two different waking patterns. (Ones, I might add that they've more or less had from birth. Ds slept 4-5 hours a stretch the first night after his birth - it FREAKED me out!)
I suspect my frequent waker (dd) has a bit of sleep apnea that she's outgrowing. She has night sweats sometimes (and had them frequently as a toddler). And when she was an infant in our bed, she would seem to pause breathing more than I think ds did, but never long enough for me to freak out. (But long enough to make me very glad we co-slept!)
Your ultimate goal is to get your son more sleep, right? What's the best way to do that? Is it for him to come in with you? For him to learn to sleep in his own bed? (For our ds, he does NOT sleep well when he co-sleeps. He needs his space. Dd on the other hand sleeps best with full physical contact!)
You might also think about gradually withdrawing support for him, rather than cold turkey, should you decide to go that route. So, for example, your dh could stay until he falls asleep for 2-3 days, then he can move halfway between the bed and the door, then to the door, then into the hallway. Or you can do what we do - set the kitchen timer for 5 minute intervals. When it beeps, go in and check on him. (So first it's 5 minutes, then 10, then 15, then 20.)
I find the advice to keep him up LATER very odd. I would actually ask the sleep doc about that.
What I would do is focus on making one change at a time. Which one is most consistent with your parenting philosophies? Make that change first. If the doctor asks how it's going, you can say "We're taking things one step at a time." That's not lying to them, but it is being more gentle in your implementation.
Lynn, academic, wife, WOHM to T (4/01) and M (5/04)