Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,310 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting to the point where I can't take this anymore. My oldest son (Trevor) turned 8 last month. He still needs me in the room with him until he falls asleep, which sometimes only takes 15 minutes but more often than not can take an hour or more. He also comes to our bed almost every night (when he comes in ranges from midnight to 5 am, and sometimes he doesn't come at all, but again more often than not he spends a large portion of the night in our bed). If I walk him back to his bed he can't fall asleep or takes an hour or more to, with me staying there.<br><br>
I have our 2 other children to also night-time parent. Isaiah, the 5 year old, can fall asleep quickly and easily without needing me in the room and he almost never wakes in the night. He does sometimes wet the bed, and then he comes to our room, but if i walk him back to bed he goes to sleep again just fine. Tessa, the 9-month-old nurses to sleep and sleeps in our bed full time, waking sometimes to nurse.<br><br>
When Trevor was a baby we were young and ignorant. We made him cry himself to sleep. It was aweful and I swore I would never do it to another baby (and i haven't), but the damage was done. I really think his sleep problems are related to this. We have tried the "checking on him" every x minutes thing (it's down to 4 minutes because everything else was too long)...it just doesn't work. He frets over my being gone and it takes him forever to fall asleep. If something keeps me from checking on time he starts crying and then gets all worked up and can't fall asleep for a really long time. I've tried to find out what is bothering him, but he can't explain it to me. It doesn't seem to be a fear of monsters. He says that he feels lonely sometimes. He co-slept with us from 2.5 to 5, when he moved into the bottom bunk of his bunk bed with his brother (who co-slept with us from birth to 2.5). They still share a bed.<br><br>
My husband is going to Guam in 2 weeks and will be gone for 4 months. The baby is no longer content nursing to sleep on my lap in the boys' room while they fall asleep, she needs to be falling asleep in bed at night. We are going to move our bedroom to the one next to theirs (right now the master bedroom is upstairs while the boys' room and toy room are downstairs), in the hopes that that will help some. I need ideas to help Trevor learn to fall asleep on his own and to stay in his bed at night. Please help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,411 Posts
If your husband is going to be gone, can you share the bed with your son and the baby?<br><br>
When my husband is not home, my iffy-sleeper is in bed with me. Granted hes only 1.5, but that was the first idea that popped into my head after reading your post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,310 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
that would work but it wouldn't solve anything because then once my husband gets back we'd be back to square one. I thought Trevor would outgrow this, but it's become clear to me that it's more serious than just a maturity issue, I think there is a real problem that I need to help him work through.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,310 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
we had considered it for other issues (we think he might have tourettes plus...some other behaviour stuff), but hadn't though about adding the sleep thing to that list. I will definitely add it on when I talk to the doc. Thanks for the ideas, sorry if it seemed like i shot you down, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,411 Posts
not at all! Like i said, when I read your husband would be gone, that was the first idea that popped into my head. It would seem that at your sons age, other things are going on that are hindering his sleep. Its not just a matter of being able to slef soothe and all that at this stage, ykwim? So perhaps you could do the cosleeping thing while your husband is gone ontop of possible therepy. Perhaps it would help him to be close to you at night while he works through whatever issues hes got? Just a thought. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to you and him. Good Luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,115 Posts
This might be obvious but what about moving his bed into your room? Would he feel secure enough being in your room but not in your bed? If space is a problem, can you get a cot or even just a cheap hideaway mattress for the floor that you can stick under your bed during the day? I realize this isn't your ideal but I was thinking it was a compromise, since you felt that having him actually in your bed would be a step backwards and maybe require a lot of work to progress from.<br><br>
Does he have other difficulties, other anxieties, other than the sleeping arrangements? (ETA: Sorry, I just saw your update - so, I guess yeah).<br><br>
FWIW my 4.5 year old still cosleeps but it still works for us. She also has to have a parent lay down with her for her to fall asleep. She's not anxious about sleeping, but absolutely does not seem ready for her own room. Anyway, 4.5 and 8 are different but not worlds apart, I just thought it might make you feel a little better to know that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,310 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
mvoing him back into our room one way or another is a possibility as an extra comfort while we work through it. The idea of moving our bedroom downstairs is similar, because the room we'd be moving to shares a bathroom with the boys' room. I'm thinking I could lay down with Tessa in my room while they are laying down in their's with the bathroom doors open so we can see and hear each other...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,680 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamabohl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15426434"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When Trevor was a baby we were young and ignorant. We made him cry himself to sleep. It was aweful and I swore I would never do it to another baby (and i haven't), but the damage was done. I really think his sleep problems are related to this.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
You are right about the cause. CIO causes sleep issues, insomnia and also stress related diseases in adults. The reason he can't explain his feelings is because he associates sleep with the fear and panic he felt as a baby. The more nurturing you can be and the less added stress related to sleep your DS has to deal with the better. Can you put a bed for him next to your bed or in your room? If he comes in to sleep in your room can you just let him with no recriminations? Sometimes having a pet to sleep with can help sleep anxiety and insomnia (from personal experience). You could do relaxation exercises with him during the day and then let him try them in bed in your room at night too. When he's comfortable sleeping there maybe he can try in his room again. Knowing that it's his choice should relieve some of his anxiety. Your 5 year old sleeps well because his needs were met. All you can do is try to meet Trevors needs now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,115 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ssh</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15427866"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You are right about the cause. CIO causes sleep issues, insomnia and also stress related diseases in adults.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I think this is not accurate and also not phrased helpfully to the OP.<br><br>
You can't know that CIO is the cause. You could have said "I think you're right about the cause" or "You might be right about the cause" - but to say "You are right about the cause" is just not possible to really say.<br><br>
I am completely against CIO but for the record, it CAN cause sleep issues and such. Maybe it even OFTEN causes it. You phrased it that it DOES cause it. Not accurate.<br><br>
The OP's son MAY have been impacted by CIO, but he may also have high anxiety by personality, or perhaps even something else underlying. I simply can't imagine being this caring mama who obviously is concerned for her son (and clearly expending effort to meet his needs), to come on here and be told that she 100% caused insomnia and/or a stress-related disease in her son.<br><br>
I mentioned that my kiddo is 4.5 and does the same things, she has to have an adult lay down with her, and if no-one is with her she will wake up and find someone. I also granted that 4.5 (almost 5, actually) and 8 aren't <i>exactly</i> the same - yet I don't think DD is exactly on the cusp of sleeping alone in the near future. My DD has never CIO'd one night in her life and coslept the whole time. The OP's son may be just a variation of normal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
I don't have much to offer you - but my dd is 6.5 and still needs? to sleep with me? She is starting to get herself to sleep, better with dad if I'm not home, and recently I can tell her I'm going to take a bath (I love to read and relax in bath at the end of day) and she usually falls asleep before I'm done. But I'm just down the hall. But she ALWAYS comes to our bed - usually around midnight, if I haven't already fallen asleep with her.<br>
We have always co-slept (and in our family I sleep with her - usually 'starting' the night with dh - all three of us in one bed (queen) doesn't work well for any of us) So I play 'musical beds' - she is prone to anxiety about alot of things (dh has anxiety disorder as well) so I think it's MORE related to the other issues you said then the CIO history - don't beat yourself over that...<br>
Luckily she's an only child and while dh sometimes doubts our methods, I have NO DESIRE to change - she is the most strong willed child I know and I know in the middle of the night I will not have the stamina to keep returning her to bed -<br>
That may not help you much but wanted you to know there are similar children who NEVER had to CIO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,680 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>laohaire</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15427932"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think this is not accurate and also not phrased helpfully to the OP.<br><br>
You can't know that CIO is the cause. You could have said "I think you're right about the cause" or "You might be right about the cause" - but to say "You are right about the cause" is just not possible to really say.<br><br>
I am completely against CIO but for the record, it CAN cause sleep issues and such. Maybe it even OFTEN causes it. You phrased it that it DOES cause it. Not accurate.<br><br>
The OP's son MAY have been impacted by CIO, but he may also have high anxiety by personality, or perhaps even something else underlying. I simply can't imagine being this caring mama who obviously is concerned for her son (and clearly expending effort to meet his needs), to come on here and be told that she 100% caused insomnia and/or a stress-related disease in her son.<br><br>
I mentioned that my kiddo is 4.5 and does the same things, she has to have an adult lay down with her, and if no-one is with her she will wake up and find someone. I also granted that 4.5 (almost 5, actually) and 8 aren't <i>exactly</i> the same - yet I don't think DD is exactly on the cusp of sleeping alone in the near future. My DD has never CIO'd one night in her life and coslept the whole time. The OP's son may be just a variation of normal.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I wasn't trying to be mean. The problem is the medical establishment that recommends CIO when lots of research has shown it's harmful, not parents who use it without knowing it isn't safe. The OPs DS is still young and she can help him with his anxiety issues. Age 4.5 is still a really common age to need parented to sleep. I know people who still cosleep with older children too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,771 Posts
Many, many parents let infants CIO and very few of their children end up needing someone to sit with them to go to sleep when they're eight years old, or come into their parents' rooms every night. It is so tempting to assume that if we follow a particular parenting style our children will never ever have difficulties, but I'm afraid it's not very realistic.<br><br>
I agree that maybe some therapy to deal with the anxiety, insomnia, and behaviorial issues would be a good idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,271 Posts
DD is very much like this. I got her a <a href="http://kids.learnoutloud.com/Kids-Catalog/Self-Development/-/SelfImage-for-Children/7516" target="_blank">a relaxation/ meditation tape</a> and she says it helps her fall asleep. She loves it!<br><br>
If you listen to the sample, it stars in a creepy way ("hello, my name is Greg and I want to be your friend" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">) but the rest is absolutely lovely, and you can skip this intro later. But DD loves the whole thing, including calming music at the end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,271 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamabohl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15426434"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
When Trevor was a baby we were young and ignorant. We made him cry himself to sleep. It was aweful and I swore I would never do it to another baby (and i haven't), but the damage was done.<br><br>
!</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
oh <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">, don't blame yourself! DD is the same age and is very much like your DS, and she was the very opposite of CIO: she was always in a sling as a baby, fell asleep nursing / on me, co-slept 100%...So she is every AP parent's "nightmare" / anti poster child <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">--she never wanted to sleep in her own bed, and now still sleeps in our bedroom, which we really like, as a family anyway. But there were times when we encouraged her to sleep in a separate room, and she just didn't like it.<br><br>
I think it is mostly pesonality related. She just has difficulties falling asleep on her own. Other than that she is a very independent child!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
I have no suggestions but wanted to tell you DO NOT blame yourself. I have a 7 year old who has had ENDLESS sleep issues from day 1 and still wears. me. down. every single night. I am SICK. TO. DEATH. of his sleep problems. And he never did CIO. We just keep plugging away, praying for sanity and celebrating the small accomplishments. I love my son more than anything in the world but his sleep issues are the reason we never had another child.<br><br>
Right now we've got him to the point where he will lay down in his room, alone and go to sleep but it was a HUGE struggle to get there and most nights he ends up in bed with me in the middle of the night. (Hubby works overnights and is gone five nights a week.) Also, we have to have a hall light on, a small christmas tree lit up in his room and a cd playing in order for him to go to bed. We always have some sort of elaborate before bed routine that changes from time to time. Right now it's brush teeth and then "cuddle time" for anywhere from 15-30 minutes. (And for him, cuddling means he plays his ds, watches a quiet show, reads a book or draws or whatever while I sit and do nothing and go nowhere. I try to use this time to engage him in a nice conversation about his day, things he liked, etc, so I don't die of boredom.) It used to be one on one game time. Before that it was book time. I deal with this. My current frustration is his trying to come up with a new reason every. single. night. not to go to bed and trying to exploit my emotions to delay bedtime. I don't know what's wrong and have never been able to find anyone who can offer and possible reasons or ideas. We just keep working with him and I guess I've just accepted that's who he is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,496 Posts
I agree that you can't REALLY know the cause.<br><br>
I, too, have a 7.5 year old who needs to be parented to sleep and a 2 month old baby. Reading Sleepless in America by Kurcinka really helped me come to terms with it. Her kids were poor sleepers but when they were teen agers they still wanted her in their room before sleep and it was a VERY good time to talk to them and sort our issues.<br><br>
My 7 yo comes to bed with us, too - between midnight and 5 am. Now that I have the baby, DH has taken over her bedtime routine - we used to switch off. It can take up to an hour. One thing someone told me to try was to go through the routine and then make an excuse to leave briefly - "I'm going to brush my teeth now. I will come base when I'm done and if you're still awake, I will rub your back." This sets the stage for falling asleep on their own but lets them know you'll be back. So far DH hasn't done it yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
just sending you some sympathy. i am related to a woman (who is now in her 70's) who is a terrible sleeper, and always has been since infancy. she spent a lot of her childhood cosleeping with her parents and much of her adulthood up during the night just reading a book.<br><br>
my first child is a great sleeper, started sttn at 9 months, is currently 4 and goes to sleep in his own bed and in his own room. my second child was a DISASTER for her first two years! we expected her to follow the suit of ds, but not so. she was constantly up, several times at night.<br><br>
my aunt's story helped me and dh look at dd's sleeping as not just a problem to be fixed, but as her sleep temperament that we need to manage and somehow work it out so that we can all feel rested in the morning.<br><br>
i am also up during the night with a baby and have three children to look after during the day. i honestly can't be up with dd all night when she is not sleeping well. some things that worked for us are to put a sleeping bag on the floor of our room and let her sleep there. (our baby is cosleeping with us. dd is a restless sleeper and not safe to have in bed with a baby.) after an assessment from our naturopath, we have made some changes to her diet. the main change is that we also have eliminated food colourings from her diet which made an unbelievable change in her sleep patterns and behaviour - she is significantly calmer. there is a noticeable difference in her (ie tantrums, restlessness, and quality of sleep) after she has spent a weekend at grandma's vs. her regular routine at home.<br><br>
i am wondering since your child is much older than mine, if you could help him work through some ways to help him get through the night on his own? maybe don't expect him to sleep, tell him it's totally fine if he doesn't want to. but YOU do need to sleep. perhaps some options to turn his light on, read or play something quietly in his room if he likes until he is ready to sleep again. or if he needs security, he is welcome to pull up a sleeping bag in your room, but please don't wake you - you're tired and really need the rest. if it was me, i would enforce it over the next days. i don't know your son, but suggest an activity he enjoys doing but you could only do it if he let you sleep because then you have the energy for it. if you didn't get your sleep (because of him waking you, not your other children), you can't do whatever it was because you need to catch up on your rest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,115 Posts
I go back and forth in my thinking about this anyway. We assume it's normal for children to sleep on their own, by themselves. I'm not certain it is normal. But I'm not certain it's abnormal either <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Me, I can't sleep touching anyone. I (obviously) slept by myself from infancy on. Is it normal that I am like this? Is it odd that we expect children to sleep all by themselves but we should grow up and cuddle with our spouses in our marital bed?<br><br>
Our species has historically slept all together, at least in the cold parts of the world. I don't know about the warm parts of the world in great detail, but I did observe in Tanzania that everyone slept in the same (small) room, even if not actually in the same bedding. How did sleeping apart come to be, not only valued, but expected to the point that the urge to sleep together is seen as dysfunctional?<br><br>
Anyway, I do go back and forth - the OP's son's experience may or may not be dysfunctional. It's worth considering, though, since the very idea that it might be normal might make it easier to deal with, mentally. (Or maybe not <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
I have an 11 yr daughter and a 16mo old son. When my DD was a baby we did CIO because I didn't know better--my older sister did it with her kids so I thought it was what to do. She started sttn at 8wks and was a great sleeper. At about 2.5-3yr she moved to a full size bed and slept alone all night. At 5yr we sold the full and got her a twin and she still sttn but started wanting me to lay with her for a while but I usually didn't stay until she fell asleep maybe 5-10min. At this time we started having 'sleep over with mama' night. On Fri and Sat she slept with me and her dad slept in her room. Slowly over the years she started wanting to sleep more with me and less in her room. Well after the new baby came she slept with me most of the time and dh slept in her room. A few months ago I bought a king bed, put the queen in her room and the twin in another for when baby is bigger and may want to sleep there. She will sleep in her room if she's having a friend sleep over--and every once in a while by herself but she will always want to come back to my room. The baby gets up in the night and so I bring him to bed with me and my dh does not like sleeping with the baby in the bed so he prefers to sleep in dd room on the queen all by himself.<br>
So, I said all that to say--my 11yr old still sleeps with me/us but she will fall asleep on her own--not sure when she will outgrow this but for now it works. Maybe your dh can sleep somewhere else for a while--if he does not object. I figure they will be grown and gone real soon. Good luck and God bless.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top