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<p>DH works nights and gets to bed around 4am. DDs are 6 and almost 4. They got to sleep when the sun goes down, no matter what we do to keep them up. 6:30 is about the latest we can keep them awake, which means they want to get up around the time dh gets home from work--sometimes 3am.</p>
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<p>DD1 sometimes has huge screaming tantrums when she can't get into bed with us. This morning we made her stay in her room until sunlight and she spent the entire time yelling for me and literally screaming at the top of her lungs. She does this at least once a week. Usually we go in periodically and just say that behavior is not working and she's disturbing everyone's sleep. just so she doesn't feel abandoned. Today we decided to just ignore it and she kept it up for over an hour, until I got up. I made her stay in her room while DD2 and I made breakfast, kind of a time out.</p>
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<p>Sometimes DD2 still nurses in the morning, so I let her come into bed with me. When I don't, she throws tantrums and refuses to stay in her room. She comes in our room over and over until we are so exhausted from the battle that usually I get up, tired and grouchy and feeling angry towards them. Other times I let them both in bed with us, but DH has a bad back and doesn't sleep well in general. He just can't sleep in a queen bed with 4 people. It wrecks his back and he doesn't get any sleep.</p>
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<p>Do you think this is a matter of consistency, that I should just never let them in our bed? These kinds of tantrums and defiance are exclusive to this situation. They never throw tantrums like that and are otherwise pretty agreeable, helpful kids. This routine is killing DH and me. I'm 16 weeks pregnant and haven't had a full night's sleep in weeks. Of course I'm worried what's going to happen when we throw a newborn into the mix.</p>
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<p>Please tell me how you've dealt with similar problems. We're at a loss.</p>
 

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<p>Can you let them come into your room, but not into your bed? That's what we do with our 6 year old. She often wakes between 2-3 am and is scared, so she comes into our room. We've got a blanket and a pillow on the floor next to our bed, and she sleeps there. Ds, on the rare occasions when he wakes, sleeps on the side of the bed next to dh. Yes, I step on her when I get out of bed, but it works for all of us. She feels the closeness she needs, we get the space in our bed that we need. (She's also a hot kid, and when she sleeps with us, she kicks in her sleep until she kicks all the covers off.)</p>
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<p>The deal that we talked about with dd is that she's welcome to come in as long as she's quiet about it. For a while she was lying in her bed screaming for me, and that was waking the whole family. Our bedroom is literally 3 steps from hers, and we leave the hall light on, so she can come in. We explained that if she woke us up, we were too tired to play and needed to take a lot of naps. If she let us sleep, we were all much happier. I think she got it.</p>
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<p>And while I'm all for extended nursing (dd nursed until she was 4), I would strongly consider night weaning your 4 year old. She does not need to nurse at night. You need your sleep. A cranky, exhausted mother is not a good mother.</p>
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<p>If these suggestions don't work, I'd seriously consider having your dh sleep somewhere else so he can get some good sleep when he comes home.</p>
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<p>Finally, whatever plan you decide on realize two things:</p>
<p>1. You have to be consistent. Right now, they're playing the 'mommy lottery'. Sometimes they win and you get up, sometimes they win and get to come into bed with you, and sometimes they don't. Since they don't know what the outcome is going to be, it's in their 'best interest' to keep screaming until they get the outcome they want. You'd be much better off letting them come in all the time, in terms of your sleep and teaching them not to scream.</p>
<p>2. It takes 3 weeks to establish a new habit and there's often an extinction burst where the behaviors get worse before they get better.</p>
 

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<p>LynnS6, thank you for your reply! All good advice. I've tried the blanket on the floor a couple of times and she always ends up sneaking into bed when I fall back asleep. I'm going to give it another try. I talked to DH about putting a twin bed that we have next to ours so there is more bed space for us all to just share a bed. We're thinking about that.</p>
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<p>As far as night weening, you're totally right. I let her do it because it was getting her back to sleep and we were all getting more sleep that way. The last few weeks have been so difficult with DD1's jealousy, though, and DD2 hasn't really been nursing as much as just wanting to sleep with me.</p>
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<p>Nobody wins the mommy lottery. Thank you so much for your advice!</p>
 
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