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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now..I have co-slept with three kids. I AM NOT DOING IT AGAIN. This is it. I am tired, I want to lay down and watch a movie, I am having contractions and my back is killing me...I JUST WANT SOME ME TIME!!!!!!<br><br>
My two and a half year old will not go to sleep without me. I am tired of having her up with me ALL the time. When this baby comes..it is going to be awful. How can I keep taking an hour to get her to sleep, and have a baby I am trying to get down? I love that she needs me, but she WILL NOT go lay down without me. And if I let her stay her down here and fall asleep on the couch, it has to be with me. On one couch. Her on top of me.....<br><br>
Okay...had to get that vent out. I have yelled at her way too much tonight ot get into bed, I am trying to get her to go to sleep without me. I have rented this movie last weeka nd it is due back tomorrow and it looks like I can't watch it again tonight becasue by the time she goes to sleep I am too tired......<br><br>
This next baby is going to learn to go to sleep...period. I know all the benefits of co-sleeping, but I absolutly can't face it again.....<br>
I think after taking care of three kids all day, I so need the hour or so at night to be someone other than mommy....I know you without children probably think I am horrible and cold....but I have been doing this for so long....I just NEEEEEEED a break. Even now, she is taking toys out...fighting with the dog...she jkust won't go unless i lay with her. And I don't want to....<br><br>
Caroline
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
It's okay!!! You are not horrible and cold. You are a stressed out mommy with a toddler that is being... a TODDLER!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: You may change your mind, or maybe you won't. That is your decision and no one has the right to tell you otherwise.<br><br>
I hope your night got better.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Samantha...it did. She finally fell asleep and looked like such an Angel all curled up in my bed...I just really want for her to be able to go lay down while I try to get stuff done....<br><br>
I should say that I do plan to co-sleep with the baby, but not for as long as I did with the others. Once he night weans, he will be in his bed...<br><br>
Caroline
 

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Caroline,<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I feel like that very often also. I am in the same situation as you, kindof, so dont really have any advice. Ive been wondering what we will do about our sleeping situation... It takes me about an hour to get Paityn to bed at night - I have to rock and nurse her. I lay her in her crib and normally she wakes up a few hours later and gets in bed with us.<br><br>
I dont know how Im going to get all the kids to bed with a new baby needing to be held and nursed. I dont even know where the new baby is going to sleep! No room in my bed unless one of the others decides to move out!<br><br>
Anyways, just want to say I can relate. I think it is so much more comfortable to be in a bed alone and not smushed against a bunch of little bodies and I want that alone time! But Ive given up on that ever happening and will keep trying to figure out how to fit 3 kiddos and 2 adults into one bed. Hopefully I will come up with something by Sept. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">:
 

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I can sympathize, but I am kind of resigned to it as being "my lot", the one I've created for myself. For me, the issue is that I had my children too close together to be able to care for them in even close to anywhere near an ideal way. It's not their fault. They shouldn't have to suffer for my mistake, but on the other hand I do need some rest. The two older ones are at least old enough now to listen to reason, and they don't take it personally, so compromises are not too hard. It is the little one that is the trouble. I don't think it will serve either one of us for me to push her away, and I *really* don't want that to create sibling rivalry, so for now I'm planning on having her and the baby with me, and I will make time for the boys as I can. I'm maybe coming from a slightly different place than you, though... I didn't co-sleep with my first, until he was almost two years old, and I can see what was lost, and I regret it very much. So for me to consider not doing it again is just not an option. But I know that it's different for everyone, and maybe you will find that your children will be fine without it.<br><br>
One thing that has helped is that rather than (futilely) trying to get "me time" after they go to bed, my husband takes over their care for a period of time during the day so that I can go off by myself (or they go off and I stay home alone.) I can't do this every day, but enough that I don't feel burdened by my workload. It really works a lot better for me when our sleep schedules are the same, I don't get over-tired from staying up too late and not being able to sleep in when they are wanting to be up doing things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Linda..our youngest are the same age. My big problem is my husband works nightsfor two weeks, days for two weeks. There is no trading off. When he works nights, he gets up around 2pm, goes to the gym, showers, maybe eats, and goes to work. Everything is on me. He helps out when he can, but he is just not here. When he is on days, he workes 6am-6pm. Those nights he will help bathe the kids and all...but he is so out of our routine it just makes things harder....<br><br>
Their department is talking about going to 6 months nights/6 months days and I really think that wiull help. This every two week thing doesn't allow for schedules or routines, and I think that is the hardest part.<br><br>
As for fitting, we have a king size bed and I don't really see that being a problem, the only issue is going to be that I know my then three year old will want to be next to me...<br><br>
We will ahve the girls room finished tomorrow. So far they are excited about having their room, they picked out the bedding and paint and all that....so maybe that will change things...<br><br>
Caroline
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm maybe coming from a slightly different place than you, though... I didn't co-sleep with my first, until he was almost two years old, and I can see what was lost, and I regret it very much..</div>
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What do you think was lost? I don't have anything to compare to, so I am wondering what exactly we will be gaining/losing by not doing itdoing it with this next one...
 

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Caroline, ugh, I forgot about that crazy scheduling police officers so often have. As if they don't do enough, they and their families have to put up with that! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
"What do you think was lost? I don't have anything to compare to, so I am wondering what exactly we will be gaining/losing by not doing itdoing it with this next one..."<br><br>
Well, I've come to believe, for various reasons, that it's important to ideal mental and emotional development to have instinctive needs satisfied. Put simply, I think I created an unhealthy situation by insisting that my son be independent of me in certain ways before he was fully ready. Worse, he *knew* I was trying to get away from him. It also created extra work for me when he resisted. Bedtime was always a long drawn-out ordeal because he sensed I was trying to get away and he didn't want me to. When my second was born and I decided to co-sleep, I allowed my son into my bed also in the hopes that it would make sibling rivalry less likely if he didn't see the baby getting preferential treatment. He was so grateful and so blissful to have that contact with my body as he slept, and I had been denying him it. Although he doesn't always sleep with me now, he is still just as grateful and blissful when he does. He seems to not be able to get enough, and seems to me to be overly needy of it, which I think is a direct consequence of being put off when he had those needs as a younger child and they weren't satisfied. And he still talks about it. We'll talk about when the kids were babies, and he'll say sadly, "and Noah got to sleep with you but I didn't." And I say, "yes, I didn't know any better then. But you know that most kids don't *ever* get to sleep with their moms, so you are very lucky." And then he throws his arms around me in gratitude. So it really comes down to what seems to me to be the most emotionally healthy for our family. If I was really not getting any sleep and really resentful, though, then I would have to re-evaluate and maybe accept some other sort of trade-off.
 

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Caroline - I feel you with the scheduling! Dh and I split shifts so we don't have to do daycare, and it basically works out as: Dh gets home at 7:00 am, as ds and I are waking up. We see each other for about an hour, than Dh goes to sleep and ds and I go about our day. I put ds down for his nap with a sleeping dh at 12:30, then race around lik a fool trying to get ready for work. I get to work at 1:30. Dh and ds wake up about 2:30 and the dh is "on." I get home at 6:30/7:00 see dh for 1 hr and then he gets ready for work and leaves while I put ds to sleep. I am having a hard time figuring out how in the world I'm going to put two kids to sleep at one time.<br><br>
Something I've done that Jack took to really easily was putting a crib mattress on the floor next to my bed. (Our bed is on the floor, too, so there isn't much height difference.) We cuddle and sometimes nurse for a while and then he gets down on the his bed. I then pat his back a little, etc. I got myself a little book light, so I can actually read while he is falling asleep. To be able to get to this point took making little changes very slowly in our routine. My problem now is that my next step was to sit up on the bed, instead of lying down, and over the next few months ease my way out of the room. Here we have hit a deadend. Ds is not ready for this at all, so now my well laid plans have kind of gone up in smoke. At least though with him being on his own little bed, I get some sleeping time to myself.<br><br>
But lest we scare off the first time mamas, sleeping with your little one can also be so absolutely yummy! That sweet milk breath on your face in the middle of the night, not having to get up a million times to check on the new baby, actually being able to sleep for a couple of hours, flop out a breast and go right back to sleep.... I'm not saying I want to sleep with this silly kid until he goes to college, but I also feel bad for moms AND dads who never get to experience sharing sleep.
 

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I snuggled and sang and nursed Nicolas to sleep when he was little, but would move him into his own bed after he fell asleep. That seemed to help him get used to sleeping in there. He is a very wiggly, kicky, bed-hogging sleeper, so I am glad to have him in his own bed! It has been a huge blessing having him comfortable with going to be on his own, especially on those nights when the family has been out doing something late (fireworks for instance) and you'd prefer to cut the routine short. It took us a little under a week to get him to stay in his bed once he was put there or asked to go there. It was time consuming (I'd sit outside his door in the dark and when he'd start getting up, softly say "no, Nicolas, lie down. It's time for sleep..." until he finally stopped trying and fell asleep.)<br><br>
He's 5 now, and I noticed recently that we had been shuttling him off to sleep ALOT without a prayer and story now that I'm preggo and tired more. So last week I reinstated our rocking chair time (in his dark room) with a song and prayer. We have been reading the book earlier, on the living room sofa. I could tell immediately how much he enjoyed the rocking chair snuggle.
 

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Yeah, we're pretty much going through the same thing here too. It takes about an hour to put Noah down to sleep and then I usually *have* to get up and have some alone time before I put myself to bed. I kind of feel like Linda though that this is just my lot. Also I would miss sleeping with him, and a new baby, if I didn't do it. I guess it's just one of those things that has pro's and con's.<br><br>
We didn't start out planning to sleep with Noah. I had read about it while pregnant but it seemed really odd to me. I did buy an arms reach co-sleeper because I thought that would be a good compromise and would make night nursing easier. Well, Noah had other ideas. Even the co-sleeper was too much room for him. We found out that he would sleep in his carriage so for the first 2-3 months (until he got too big) I would nurse him/rock him/sing him to sleep and then put him in his stroller to really sleep. We kept the stroller in our room. The thing was that even that wasn't what he wanted. He would cry and wake up and I ended up putting him back to sleep several times during the night, each time requiring me to be awake and out of bed for around an hour. When he got too big to be in his carriage we tried the crib. He wouldn't have anything to do with it. He would wake almost immediately after I put him down no matter how soundly he was asleep or how many tricks I tried. So after a sleepless night or two I finally "gave in" and brought him to bed with us. This time I'm going to skip all the silly shenanigans and just bring the baby to bed right away. My husband does have some concerns about rolling over onto a newborn and squishing him so I bought one of those Snugglenests and we'll give that a try at first.<br><br>
And truly, I couldn't give it up no matter how much I grumble to myself about it. Noah's little sleeping self is just too sweet to waste on another room.<br><br>
It is conflicting though!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Caroline!!
 

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I can't remember if I already told you all this, so please forgive my pregnant brain if I have!<br><br>
A few weeks ago out of the blue Noah says to me, "Mommy, when the new baby comes I don't want him to sleep with us in the bed." I asked him why not and where he thought the new baby should sleep. He answered, "Maybe on the table." :LOL Poor new baby!! Don't worry, we won't be letting Noah make any of those decisions!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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A couple more things, not necessarily in response to the OP, but just about co-sleeping in general:<br><br>
We don't all sleep in the same bed. My bedroom is about 12x12 feet, and we can just fit two kings and a twin in there. So the way we work it now is that the boys take turns sleeping next to me, and the "baby" (2 year old) always gets to sleep next to me, as they did when they were her age. When the real baby comes, the boys will have to be in one bed, and the younger ones and I in the other. But we will all still be in the same room, which they tell me helps with bad dreams. If not touching my body, they at least want to sense my physical presence nearby. The twin bed is for when I manage to extricate myself in the middle of the night! So I do get some space to myself. But I'm also always right there in case someone wakes up and needs me. You might have noticed I haven't mentioned my husband -- he isn't allowed to sleep with us because his snoring wakes me up. I feel a little sorry for him, but nothing can be done about it.<br><br>
Another reason I want to continue co-sleeping despite whatever discomfort it brings me, is that for us I consider it a really crucial time of intimacy, that fosters a deep relationship. During the day I don't have time or opportunity or sometimes I just don't think of focusing intently on my 7-year-old, holding him, caressing him, singing to him, whispering words of love to him (and he doing the same to me,) falling asleep in each other's arms. The time when we're going to sleep is very important and special to us, and I think makes for a different relationship than if we didn't have it. It's not something I would willingly give up.
 

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My dh's schedule is 4 pm to 1 am, always. I just go to bed when the kids do and have my "me time" either in the morning or when dh comes home and wakes me up -- we hang out then until he's tired enough to sleep. My 4 yo needs me in the room and my toddler nurses to sleep, but they often stay in their own room until morning. If they wake, they come into our bed.<br><br>
I like doing it this way because I know if I get up after them, I'll stay up reeeeeaaaally late and be cranky and tired the next day! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent">
 

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This book was recommended on another board here at Mothering. I ordered it and have been getting some good tips: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fexec%2Fobidos%2Ftg%2Fdetail%2F-%2F0060988894%2Fqid%3D1087227806%2Fsr%3D1-1%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%2F002-3207394-9087267%3Fv%3Dglance%26s%3Dbooks" target="_blank">The 7 O'Clock Bedtime: Early to Bed, Early to Rise, Makes a Child Healthy, Playful, and Wise</a> by Inda Schaenen. It doesn't address co-sleeping directly (at least as far as I've read; maybe it does eventually). But it does seem to help you get a grip on what you feel is a sane routine for you and the children.<br><br>
I didn't co-sleep at all with my daughter and did a compromise with my son. His official place of sleep was his crib, but when he seemed to need it, he slept with me. He has always been welcome in the bed and usually comes in on toward morning now, at nearly 7. I felt he got the closeness when he needed it and I got my own personal space when I did. He was pretty easy-going as an infant and little boy (he's a real tear now) and seemed to adapt well to both systems: in the crib or in bed with me.
 

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So I'm wondering, do infants wake up when your husband's loud alarm clock goes off a few times 9 minutes apart? We want the babies in with us, but I'm hoping Matt's loud alarm won't wake them every morning...???
 

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We didn't co-sleep much. David can sleep with a child on him nooo problem (vice versa with the kids)... me, I wake up at every twitch. So I never slept well with either DD or DS. And I really can't nurse sleeping either. Just never could get comfortable nursing while on my side. My back would usually cramp up. We used a bassinet in our room for a long time then Tori and Jack both slept better and longer once they were in their own rooms. Less stuff to disturb their slept I guess. They both (while they were still nursing) would end up in our bed after 6+am when I'd be trying to squeak out those last few minutes of sleep before having to get up for the day. I'm so not a morning person by nature at all.<br><br>
With Tori the key with getting her sleep easily was finding her sleep schedule "sweet spot". When <b>exactly</b> is the best bedtime/naptimes for her. She literally had a window of about 20 minutes (7:45-8:03 pm) in which she would go to sleep easily i.e. pass out when she was about a year old. Bedtime is rarely a struggle unless she gets overly tired, then she gets whiny. I am a firm believer that most of our biggest bedtime struggles have stemmed from her being overly tired and it being too late a bedtime for her. I read once if you think their bedtime is a early enough, push if forward another 30 minutes and see if there is a difference in the behavior. Her bedtime is still around 8pm (she sleeps until 7ish). And she crashes for a nap around 2:45-3:30pm and sleeps 2+ hours. We try to enforce her naptime as much as possible, otherwise she gets "hyper" and almost out of control around 6:30pm and it makes it difficult to either enjoy the evening or get Jack asleep.<br><br>
Jack's bedtime is between 7-7:30pm (usually sleeps until 6:30am) we need to get a darker shade for his room, the sun wakes him up early. We were out of town and the hotel had really dark curtains, the boy slept until almost 8am!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yikes">: Several mornings tool. He likes a nap about 10am and another one late afternoon usually around the same time as Tori. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
DH helps with bedtimes a lot but he's gone with NG at least once a month for 4+ days. So on those days I'm on my own. I found getting Tori to 'help" me get Jack ready for bed is a great focus for her. She'll get his PJ's and make sure Grover is in his crib, find his blanket for me... things like that. It makes her feel important to be helping me take care of Jack. Once I'm trying to pat him to sleep (he likes to snuggle now that he isn't nursing anymore) I have her quietly play in her room for the few minutes or she'll read books on the couch near me. Once Jack is asleep, we start her bedtime routine.<br><br>
It seems like we have a rigid sleep schedule but it's only because it's what works for them. They are the ones the actually decided the schedule times by watching their "ques"... I'm just the enforcer. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Everytime David tries to "change" bedtimes... we pay for it with lots of wake ups through the night and grumpy grouchy children in the morning. He decided that her bedtime should be later about 9ish so that she would sleep later in the mornings... that totally backfired. She'd wake up and/or would be really restless at night... and she'd wake up at least an hour EARLIER than before. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"> And be in a grumpy mood, not my little ray of sunshine she usually is. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banghead.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banghead"> I pushed the bedtime back to between 7-30-8pm and she slept great, slept longer and was pleasant in the mornings again. It just isn't worth messing with it (he still tries sometimes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banghead.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banghead"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banghead.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banghead">). Tori really thrives on a routine, especially the bedtime routine. We've always had one for her since she was a couple weeks old and we discovered that she liked certain things to help her sleep easier (i.e. bath, massage. certain music). Her bedtime routine is our special time together. Sometimes it's with David sometimes it's with me. Often she decides who helps her get ready for bed. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Sometimes she'll ask one of us to sleep with her, but now that she's use to having the queen sized bed to herself... she's a total nightmare to sleep with. :LOL Feet in the stomach, arms flung everywhere, lays SIDEWAYS in the bed, steals the covers. :LOL We'll snuggle with her for a while, sometimes until she goes to sleep, sometimes for a short time to get her relaxed.<br><br>
It is going to be a little tougher once #3 is here. We'll see where he wants to "fit" into the bedtime routine. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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Alarm clocks -- my kids haven't been bothered by ours.<br><br>
mum2tori, thanks for your post. I have been pondering bedtime for a long time. I find it difficult in the summer because of the light issue, and since it's so hot in the daytime, the evening is so nice to be out in. I find the house doesn't really cool down upstairs until after midnight, so I'm laying in the hot, stuffy room with the kids (if we manage to get to bed by 8 or so), seeing light coming in through the windows, hearing others outside enjoying the cool evening.... Arg! But I can also see how our days go better when I manage to get us to bed at a decent time. I think it's great that you've been able to tune into your dk's needs so well. I am so clueless when it comes to this for my kids, and for myself. I've always thought that dk#1 just didn't need as much sleep as other kids -- I would hear from moms with kids around his age that they were having 3 or 4 hour naps, and then sleeping 12 hours at night (this was when he was young enough to be having one nap a day). For dk#1, a 2 hour nap would be unusually long, and he would usually sleep more like 10 hours, at the most. I realize that everyone is different and their sleep needs will be different. And once we actually have the lights off, he goes to sleep fairly quickly, unless it's very light in the room, so I'm guessing he's not overtired. He does have a tendency to get wound up during the bedtime prep, though. I personally would like to be ready for bed earlier and then have story time as a buffer -- if the kids look miserable and exhausted, we do one quick story; if they need more winding down time, we can read a bunch of stories and still get to sleep at a decent time.<br><br>
A big hurdle for me is consistency. Since I'm so unsure about whether what I'm doing fits the kids well or is the "best" solution, I don't stick with anything that doesn't work instantly. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> I've been having supper later with the warmer weather, giving myself time later in the afternoon when it is cooler to do housework and having a longer quiet time in the afternoon. Today, though, we had supper quite early for us -- 5 pm -- and it was actually much nicer. I like to have the house all tidied up before we go to bed, and since I fall asleep with the kids, it has to be done while they are awake. It was such a struggle to get everything done after a late supper; we were getting to bed at 10 pm or later. I was so much less cranky yesterday, and we actually had time to hang out after supper and relax for a while. And our mornings go much better if the kids (and I) are up earlier, otherwise it seems like we've just managed to get ready for the day and it's almost time to make lunch. So I guess that settles it -- an earlier bedtime is better! lol. I also need some darker shades for their room.
 

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I'm feeling torn about Jack's bedtimes right now. He would love to cuddle to sleep with me for an hour and then I could slip away, but come on, an HOUR!? He would nurse to sleep in less time, but now that we are out of the habit of night time nursing, I don't really want to start it up, at 30 weeks. He will fall asleep on his little bed next to mine, but that takes forever too, and soon we will be three!!! What I will do then, I have no idea.
 
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