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I'm asking for advice from other co-sleeping families on this one.
My dd is 3 and 10 months now and has never been easy to get to go to sleep.
She has always slept with us and looking back, I've spent almost every evening of the past (almost) 4 years of my life trying to get her to sleep in a somewhat timely manner. Mostly nursing, but also singing, telling stories, carrying and rocking, pretending I'm asleep, getting frustrated, and sometimes just crying.
The average time it takes is about 1 to 2 hours.
Now I have a newborn and I really, really need to get to sleep. As my 2nd daughter peacefully (or not so peacefully) sleeps next to me, my older one (on my other side) screams, yells, kicks, begs for food and/or peepee, talks and talks and otherwise drives me and dh crazy!
This excessive behavior started before #2 was born, about 4 months ago. And I'm just at a loss as to what to do.
I feel very strongly that I don't want to make her sleep in her own room (even with dh sleeping with her) because I don't want to force her into something she is not ready for...(believe me, I've asked, and we even bought her a beautiful new bed, which is now in our room next to our king size bed and dh sleeps there) She says she wants to be with mama. And I want to be with her. But she won't go to sleep!!
And I hate how it makes my dh lose his temper with her and I get impatient with her too and we end up making these stupid threats (which I am fundamentally not OK with doing in the first place) and she ends up crying and crying and it's just a big mess!
Any advice would be appreciated!

BTW, we get in bed around 7:30 with the idea of her sleeping by 8:30 or so, it usually ends up being 9 or 9:30......this is after doing all the "rituals" of brushing teeth, telling stories and singing.....
 

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Just a thought...

My DD (just turned 3) is in her own bed, but since she could climb out of her crib, and now in her bed, she has been coming out numerous times before falling to sleep (need a drink of water, need another hug, alligator under bed etc....). I would endulge her a couple of times, but by the fourth time, would start to get slightly annoyed. So.... we bought her a special reading flashlight. She has always LOVED books, and would complain that she couldn't read with the light off - reasonable complaint! So we got her the flashlight to read in bed after snuggles and lullabies. She hasn't come out once in 3 weeks. She sits in bed with this mini-flashlight until she falls asleep (usually about 15-20 minutes), and then I'll go in after and turn it off for her.

Another thought - does she have an older friend that could do a special sleep-over with her in her new bedroom? I was considering this to encourage DD to move to her bed so DS could use the crib (she was really attached to the crib) - she ended up making the decision to move to her bed on her own, but we were going to ask our neighbors 8 yr old daughter (whom DD LOVES) to sleep over in the bunkbed with DD. Any older friends, cousins etc who could make this fun for her?

Good luck to you! I know it can be frustrating - I tried napping with both DD and DS, and DD would do the same thing (make noise, yell, poke DS) - anything to disrupt his nursing and wake him up.
 

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Disclaimer: I don't have a child this old yet, but have had similar experience w/ my 2.5yo DS.


Anyway...I may be oversimplifying here, but is DD tired at 7:30?

I only ask b/c we had similar problems with DS for a while. It became apparent (to my dismay) that he just doesn't need as much sleep as other kiddos. We had to make several adjustments to our schedule in order for bedtime to run smoothly and at a decent hour.

First, DH wakes DS up in the morning when he gets up for work. DD & I continue to sleep in. Father & Son have their own little morning "thing" going on.

Second, I make sure DS takes his nap as early as possible. I watch for the slightest clue that he's ready and start the naptime routine (which mimicks the bedtime routine in many aspects); brush teeth, read books, clean diaper, prayer, nurse, bed. Also, if he sleeps more than a certain amount of time (or if his nap begins late) I wake him up. He's kind of grumpy sometimes, but it is WAY better than
at night.

Third, you have a set bedtime routine. That's great!

Fourth, flat out tell her that she needs to be quiet or she will have to sleep somewhere else. This is not a punishment. Just be matter of fact, "if you want to be in Mommy & Daddy's bed, you need to be quiet.", "Nighttime is quiet time", etc.

On a side note: Could it be that this is her way of trying to get some Mommy time? While I get the baby asleep, Daddy is with DS doing the first part of the "routine". Then the three of us read stories in his room. Then Daddy leaves & DS & I do a prayer and nurse. Sometimes he falls asleep in his room and we either leave him in there or move him to our room. Sometimes he asks to nurse "in the big bed". I remind him sister is sleeping and that he needs to be VERY quiet.

I'm not saying it works perfectly every time (they are kids after all), but things are a LOT better!
 

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Hi mama. We were having several of the same issues with dd1...I was beside myself with a 3 mos. old who slept better than my 3 yo! (now they've reversed, but hey). The NCSS for Toddler/Preschoolers DID have some good ideas. Routine, of course, and we put on music, etc. We did transition her to her own bed, too, but she is very welcome in ours. We'd lay next to her after the night routine and tell her to lay still. A mantra that helped was, "Stop your body. Stop your mouth. Breathe deeply. Let sleep come." (The "stop" sounds harsh, but we were trying to tell her what TO do, kwim?).

Good luck and
 
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