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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so let me start by saying that we are expecting a new baby in the next few weeks. I have a 4yo who has never been a "sleeper" and I am feeling this pressing need to get him sleeping through the night once and for all before this baby comes.<br><br>
When he was born, we co-slept and nursed on demand and it was great until he was a few months old, and I realized he was waking 10-20 times to nurse at night and my sleep was really disrupted. But I knew he was too small do do much about it, so I suffered until he was about 18 months and I was just *done* with him being in my bed. We moved him to a toddler bed which was a nightmare, he was NOT ready. For the next year or so, I would start him out in his bed and he would come in my bed halfway through the night and nurse like 80 times. He also seemed to require about half the sleep of a normal child. As he was turning 3, we found out he had sleep apnea and horridly enlarged tonsils and adenoids. We had them removed because he was sick constantly and had so many sleep issues as a result.<br><br>
After he recovered from the surgery, I decided to night wean him, thinking that would do it once and for all. Well, he stopped being sick all the time, stopped snoring, and stopped nursing at night but still came into our bed every single night. At age 4, I moved him into a room with his brother (had tried this previously but it didn't work)- and this time it seemed to help a lot. He started sleeping through the night about half the time, and things were looking better. He still doesn't require much sleep (maybe 9 hours with NO nap, if he naps he sleeps about 7-8 at night).<br><br>
Lately (he's almost 5) he's been coming in my room during the night again, and waking up at 6am (we don't get up until about 7:30 for work and school) and I am 9 months pregnant and NEED my sleep. I am not sleeping well at night, and I might as well stay up all night if he's in my bed. We've also tried making him a bed in our room, doing reward charts for sleeping in his own bed, and just getting downright pissed off. Nothing seems to help long-term. Does anyone have any suggestions of something I might try? I absolutely cannot get up at night with two kids.<br><br>
I might also add that I have a 7yo DS who has slept like a dream since birth, so this last 4.5 years has been SO hard for me. I'm one of those people that must have 8-9 hours of solid sleep to function at my best- plus an afternoon rest/nap especially while pregnant- I do suffer from CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) so that just compounds our issues!! Any advice would be great, as I feel that a child who will be 5 next month surely has the ability to stop waking his parents at night if nothing is "wrong".
 

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I hate to say it but I am going through the same thing, only with my almost 6 yr old. I did everything right including nursing him until after he turned 4 and now I've had enough. he still wants me to stay with him until he falls asleep in his bed and then at some point durring the night he comes to our bed annd cuddles up. Not so bad, but he still has a thing for my breasts and I CAN'T STAND IT ANY MORE! I have been known to start screaming in the middle of the night because he's doing it so much. No idea what to do! We have been doing star charts, when he sleeps in his bed for 4 nights he gets a new toy. Doesn't work. I'm at a loss at this point! At least he lets me stay in bed in the mornings!<br><br>
I have to admit that if I have another child I will not co sleep because of this. Every one I know who co sleeps has a child who is a dreadful sleeper, where as everyone who has a child in a seperate bed (even if in the same room) has a child who sleeps well.
 

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LOL.. My friend's son was 12 before he started sleeping on the couch. He's 17 and still doesn't sleep in his own bedroom.<br><br>
I have given her tons of wise advice over the years. None of it worked. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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As the mom of two crappy (co)sleepers, this whole thread is so depressing I want to cry, but the last post--the 17 yr old--I've got chills. Seriously. Of horror.
 

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my 4 year old has never slept through the night. I'm in the same situation, basically. My 1 year old is in a side carred crib but I'm thinking about moving him to his crib and trying to comfort him without picking him up to see if I can teach him to sleep
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm totally with you ladies on the crappy co-sleeper issue. My 7yo did not co-sleep, as he actually settled better when he was left to fall asleep on his own. He has been a dream sleeper since 8 weeks old, never left to CIO or anything, just a happy little guy who slept 10 hours at a time his entire life <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
4yo did co-sleep and nurse on demand, and he turned out to be a dreadfully horrible sleeper. I think you're right about that. It's so wonderful for them to have that early closeness with us, and nurse when they need to, but it seems like at some point there would be a developmental phase they go through that would make them WANT to sleep in thei big kid bed or something. We are planning to get bunkbeds soon for our boys, so maybe that will be exciting enough to convince him to stay put, LOL!<br><br>
We are expecting baby #3 this month, and DH and I have decided to find a happy medium and put her in a sidecar crib, in our room, NOT in our bed. I am hoping this works out well, because I don't want to go through this again for 5 more years (or more!). I keep hoping for another good sleeper, but not putting all my eggs in one basket- hehe.
 

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It's been my observation that 'poor' sleepers are often cosleepers because they are sleep-challenged (as opposed to the other way around) whereas kids that sleep on their own well do so because that's just how they're wired. (This comes from being a part of a very large AP group for 3.5 years as well as having two completely different children of my own.)<br><br>
To the OP: get your DH to help with the nighttime parenting. try talking with your 4yo and ask him what it is about coming into your bed that is attractive and see if you can *work together* to find an alternative. (adjusting for his verbal and cognitive abilities, of course.) It's *okay* for them to be exposed to the fact that their actions affect others.<br><br>
I look at nighttime parenting (well, really all parenting) this way... there's an underlying need behind the behavior. Figure out the need, and you can come up with different strategies that might meet the need. And from some fellow parents versed in NVC (Non-violent Communication), I've learned that needs don't conflict, it's the strategies we choose to meet the needs that may conflict. So, your son has some need at nighttime that he is attempting to meet by coming to your bed. You have a need for a certain amount of sleep. There IS a way to meet both those needs.<br><br>
Have you talked to him about the waking you up part? Would it be okay if he came into your room but *didn't* wake you up? Maybe he'd like a sleeping bag, or a tent? Is there something in his room that disturbs him? Do you have light-blocking curtains? Music? White noise (fan)? How about a special animal to "watch over him"? More pillows? Is your heat/AC changing at or just before 6am?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SallyN</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15369539"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It's been my observation that 'poor' sleepers are often cosleepers because they are sleep-challenged (as opposed to the other way around) whereas kids that sleep on their own well do so because that's just how they're wired. (This comes from being a part of a very large AP group for 3.5 years as well as having two completely different children of my own.)<br></div>
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I strongly agree. I have a 7 year that I can not get to sleep alone for the life of me, I have just given up. She sleeps with the baby and I, DH sleeps in another room. DD1 has always been a very poor sleeper, co-sleeping didn't create it, but allowed us to deal with her issues. I have 2 other co-sleeping children that do not have any of her issues. I have spend years battling with DD1, trying to find the root of her sleep issues, she has anxiety, insomnia, etc... she just can not handle sleeping alone and we all get more sleep when I decided to stop and just allow her to do what she needed to do. I also second getting your partner involved. DH can't deal with DD1 at night anymore, but for years he had her at night and I had the other kid (s).
 

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I agree with having your dh help out if possible. When ds1 wakes at night, he usually needs to use the bathroom then wants dh to sleep with him, so they go to ds1's room for the rest of the night. It works out well, even though I would rather ds1 just sleep by himself at this point! He has done it a few times but I have no idea how it could be consistent except with age. He is scared of the dark and being alone he says. My 20 mo. old has always been a "better" sleeper than ds1, and we are still co sleeping. I do think it's personality, just from living with my kids and observing the sleep habits of my 14 neices/nephews too. Some of them co slept, most of them were sleep trained, and I swear it comes down to personality. I hear you, it can be soo exhausting with all the musical beds and such! Mary
 

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I am currently cosleeping with child #3. I coslept with the older 2 as well and was not able to have them sleep through the night until they were night weaned and in their own bed. I wasn't able to get them night weaned and in their own bed until I was pregnant with the next sibling.<br><br>
I am not having any more babies so our youngest (just turned 3) is a challenge. On one hand, I don't generally mind the cosleeping. My husband works nights and it just doesn't bother me. (well sometimes it does) I am getting super tired of the night nursing and am working hard on night weaning and night waking.<br><br>
I have been talking to him about only nursing to sleep once and not nursing again until morning. Weaning him completely isn't on the table yet. It still seems too important to him. Talking to him about not nursing and allowing him to cuddle seems to be working okay. I *will* nurse him during the night if he's adamant, but it's not too often these days.<br><br>
Recently I put his toddler bed mattress on my floor and I am starting to try and get him to sleep there. Especially on my husband's nights off. I miss cuddling with just him.<br><br>
It's a huge thing. I didn't seem to breed sleepers.
 

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haven't read the replies. but what worked for me, finally, was having "contests" for best sleeper in the house. this was after the new baby was born. new baby is a really good sleeper. DD, 4, was always NOT a good sleeper. she is ultra competitive (in a good way) and didn't like hearing that her baby brother was the better sleeper. i told her she would get three gold stars if she slept through the night. now, she likes it if we all have a three gold star night. she gets them, baby brother gets them and even I get them too if i get a good night sleep.<br><br>
that's what finally worked for me.
 

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How about a futon or a mattress in your room. That way your DS and you have your own space, but he still has that security of being near you? Our DCs (5 and 8 years old) still sleep in our room. They both have their own futons on the floor in the opposite corner of the room. As soon as we move, DD has decided she'd like to start sleeping in her own room; but DS says he isn't ready yet. I'm okay with them in our room, just not in our bed anymore (we downsized to a queen and they are crazy, active sleepers).<br><br>
Oops, I just noticed you have tried making him a bed in your room. . .ugh, this is a tough situation. . .
 

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Parents with kids in the room, are they *always* in the room? Because that's a major reason I want my DH in my bed w/ us alone--some, er, together time, y/k? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/Sheepish.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sheepish"> My kids have always been light sleepers and I'm sick and tired of the couch and floor!
 

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At 4, can you ask him what it will take? Dd moved into her room right before her 5th birthday... I asked her what would make her sleep in her own bed, because 5 yr. olds slept in their own rooms, mommy and daddy needed more space in the bed, we all needed to get a better nights sleep, and that it was simply time. She replied "A TV". (We do NOT go to sleep with a TV on... this seemingly came out of nowhere!) I promptly went out, bought a small TV for her room and she's slept in there ever since! I will add that the TV in her room is ALWAYS off - except for Fridays, when she watches a movie in her room and stays up late. Try asking him and talking to him about it.
 
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