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We recently returned from a 2 week vacation on which we coslept with all of our kids. We stayed in our camper- DH slept with 4 yo DS and I slept with 2 yo and 6 mon old DDs.

Prior to the vacation, our normal routine was to have DS and DD1 start the night in their own rooms. DS went to sleep with a minimum amount of fuss, DD1 needed to be parented to sleep. DD2 sleeps with us. Now that we're back, our older kids are refusing to go to sleep by themselves. I can understand their needs, but I'm having a hard time accomidating them.

On vacation, we were spending each day together. And we were on vacation, so there weren't any tasks that I needed to complete after the kids went to bed. But now that we're back to real life, I don't want to go to bed at the same time as my kids- I WAH and have orders I need to fill, I have a house to clean, sewing to do, etc. etc. DH's only time to himself during the day is the hour or so he plays (non child friendly) video games after the kids go to bed.

Is there any way to resolve this conflict? I can just lay down with the kids while they fall asleep- but it takes so long that by the time they're out, most of the evening is gone.

For those who sleep with older kids (not babies) how do you handle bedtime? Does the whole family go to bed at the same time? If so, what time? And do you manage to get any time to yourself?
 

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man - could i have written your post!!! we didn't co-sleep with our first son. he would go to sleep - no problems. we had a series of moves, potty-training etc at around 3 1/2 and that disrupted him big time. we had to lay down with him until he fell asleep. then he started waking up and coming into our bed. no big deal. when our 2nd son was born we co-slept with him from day one because i nursed him. our (now 5 year old) is jealous (he doesn't admit it) and insisted in sleeping with us. we have a king-sized bed but the baby is a bed hog and we can't fit!!! now ds refuses to sleep in his room at all! so we got a toddler bed and put it in our room near our bed. he starts there and sometimes wakes up to get in our bed. i figure soon a number of things could happen: a) kindergarten next sept will wear him out so bad he'll just go to sleep b) he'll just decide that he's too old for our bed c) we are gonna get bunkbeds and let the boys sleep together (the babe is 13 months and still too young and still nursing at nite)

i don't mind co-sleeping but the big problem we have is that our son won't sleep until we are in bed and all lights are out. i like to read or veg with the tv on before bed. our 5yo is a hyper lunatic at bedtime. since i am nursing and putting the baby to sleep i get stuck putting BOTH kids to sleep and by the time they both fall asleep my evening is shot and nothing gets done. we have no schedule because there are times i need to do work and dh attempts to put the kids to bed but he does it with the tv on in bed so then its 11:00 and everyone is still up.

sorry for the vent - but i am as frustrated as you are now. i'd love some advice too!
 

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Generally, my 5 mo old goes to bed first and I lay down w/ him. He usually falls asleep immediately around 7-8 pm. When my 23mo old is going to bed at her normal time, she goes to bed w/ me at around 10pm. I work full-time so I enjoy the extra time w/ her. Plus, at her age, she does a good job entertaining herself if I need to do things around the house. If she doesn't want to go to bed, she stays up w/ dad who usually goes to bed b/w 11pm-12am. Because we have been co-sleeping in a family bed w/ both kids since birth, they have a good routine and are very comfy in our bed. We only have problems when we visit our relatives for a few days. It takes a good day or two to get the kids back into their normal sleeping routine.

As for making sure our dd is tired when we put her to bed (so she doesn't wake up our 5 mo old), we just make sure she gets a lot of physical activity during the day to make her tired, i.e playing in the park, running around outside, taking her to the mall, etc.
 
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