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Old 05-08-2007, 08:02 AM   #1
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??? for those who cosleep with toddlers (Long!)

Ok, I don't care how you handle "gettin' busy" with a baby in your bed! Isn't that always what people want to know when they ask a question about cosleeping? :

My question is about your bedtime routine. Before James was born, DJ was doing pretty well about laying down alone and going to sleep on his own. I had to stick close by...folding laundry in the hallway or something but it worked. When James was born, I was usually nursing him or something so it wasn't a big deal to lay down. I also kind of missed having alone time with DJ so after James went to sleep each night, I'd wind up snuggling with DJ. Well, it's kind of getting out of hand. DJ (3 in July) will not go to sleep unless dh and I are both in the bed and all the lights in the house are out. That's crazy because he's never been like that! In the past, one or the other of us (usually me but sometimes dh) would lay down with him for a few minutes while he went to sleep then we'd go on about our evening. Now, he'll lay there for two hours asking "Where's Daddy? What's he doing? He's not going night night? I want him to go night night. I want to get up with him. I need to go potty...DADDDDY...I need go potty! Please I can have some water. DAAADDDDY...please I can have a cup. Why's that light on...it's not dark on us. I'm not sleepy. Where's daddy? What's he doing? He's not going night night..." on and on and on until I get sick of it and tell dh to do something so he turns the lights out and comes and lays down and in like 10 minutes DJ's asleep.

Anyway, it seems like most of the time lately dh and I wind up going to bed at 9:00 (sometimes earlier) because that's when we put DJ down. By the time we lay down with him long enough to get through all the normal 2-year old "I need to go potty" and "I want a drink" and finally get him to sleep, we're half asleep too and don't feel like getting back up.

I've tried a few times lately to get him to lay down by himself telling him I just need to fold these clothes and then I'll be in here in a minute (which is what used to work!) but he'll keep getting up or yelling that he wants to help or yelling and asking what I'm doing or he's not tired or whatever. We've played this game for as long as 3.5 hours before I finally got tired of it and just went to bed (by then it was grownup bedtime anyway!)

I've even tried bribing him...when he was weaning from the breast, he kind of got in the routine of watching a movie at bedtime ( ) He usually watched for less than 10 minutes before passing out and it met our needs at the time. Well, he's gotten to where he won't fall asleep watching the movie most nights (at least not in a reasonable amount of time) so when we lay down with him, we let him watch for 10 or 15 minutes just to wind down (stories don't work for us at bedtime because he gets so excited about reading) and then we turn it off and go to sleep. I've tried telling him he can keep the movie on while I'm "doing my work" but if I come lay down with him we're going to turn the movie off and go to sleep. Some nights he chooses the movie but he still stays awake the whole time so we get to go through all the hassle an hour and a half later, some nights he chooses to turn the movie off and I lay down with him but it really only works if dh comes and lays down too and then I have to struggle to stay awake enough to be able to get back up when he finally falls asleep.

I keep telling dh that this isn't totally because of cosleeping and that even parents who have never coslept go through these bedtime battles with toddlers but I have to admit, I'm getting frustrated too. I've tried earlier bedtimes and later bedtimes and different bedtime routines but so far I haven't found the secret. We're hoping he'll be ready to move into his own bed soon but not at this rate! The funny thing is that when he spends the night at my mom's (rare), she tells him goodnight and he lays down in his own bed and goes to sleep. So of course she says this is all my fault blah blah blah.

If you've made it this far...thank you....any advice?

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Old 05-08-2007, 08:14 AM   #2
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Re: ??? for those who cosleep with toddlers (Long!)

wowser. Sounds like a huge problem, hugs to you and hope you can figure it out.
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:23 AM   #3
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Re: ??? for those who cosleep with toddlers (Long!)

Our DS will be 3 in September and still co-sleeps (well his crib is side cared to our bed because ds #2 is in our bed). We were battling this for awhile- him needing us to all lay down together to be able to go to sleep. We did it for about a week and saw a scary habit forming- so we stopped and started putting him to bed by himself. Let me tell you the first week was not fun. We would put him down at about 9:30 and he would cry and scream for us for about 2 hours, but we just let him. It's kinda like crying it out (which I don't believe in-but when they are almost three- they know exactly what they are doing). After about 4 nights of that- he just went down one night without any fussing! It was amazing. Now he just goes down without the hassle. I mean there are of course some nights where he fights a little more then some- but the longest it will be is about 20min at most. A night light and music helped too. Hope this helps a little...i know how fusterating it can be!
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:25 AM   #4
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Re: ??? for those who cosleep with toddlers (Long!)

No advice, just My DD had some bedtime regression around the same age, she used to be a dream to tuck in and walk out, then all of a sudden it was a battle. I hope this passes soon.

Have you considered letting him move into his own bed? Maybe he is ready?
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:44 AM   #5
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Re: ??? for those who cosleep with toddlers (Long!)

Thanks everybody. Right now we don't have any place to put a bed for him! James is actually sleeping in the crib DJ never used so I've got to get some things cleaned up and rearranged and get a bed set up for him. I just haven't really been very motivated to do it since I don't have much hope that he'll actually sleep there. I was talking to him the other day (when we moved James from the pack-n-play in our room into the crib in "their" room) and asking him if we put a "big boy bed" in that room and put race car sheets on it would he like to sleep in there. At first he was really excited about race car sheets and his Thomas pillow and his teddy bear and that train night light and blah blah blah...he was really excited. Then he said "and daddy can sleep in there with me, and you, and Baby James." I told him no, it would be his own special bed just for him and he got quiet and kind of screwed up his face like he was thinking really hard and said "No...that probly won't be fun...I just sleep in your bed."

I keep thinking that if I can put him down alone and I can outlast him just one night then it will be ok but the little booger has my hard head and it would appear that he's as stubborn as I am!

I have to go to a meeting out of town for a week in June so he'll be staying with my mom and we were thinking that when he comes home from that would be a good time to put him in a big bed in their room since he'll be used to sleeping alone at her house. I'm just nervous about putting him in that room while we're going through this because I don't want him waking James up at night (James goes down pretty easily so I usually put him down while DJ is getting a bath and all).

I think I'm going to really get busy on getting things moved around and get a bed in that room for him. Maybe moving into the new room will be enough of a change in routine to break him out of this rut. Worst case I guess I can put James back in the pack-n-play in our room for a few days if I need to while DJ gets settled in.

Thanks everybody...
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:53 AM   #6
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Re: ??? for those who cosleep with toddlers (Long!)

I would set the bed up and go from there, seeing it is a big difference from talking about it, kwim? I just rearranged DS's room 2 days ago to set up his bed (his room was basically storage with a crib) and it was hard work, and it took all day long, but I feel soooo much better now! It looks great in there and is a huge weight off my shoulders. Hopefully soon he'll be able to sleep in his own bed! It's hard to get motivated because you're doubtful, but just hink of it this way, he has a better chance of sleeping in his own bed if it's set up than he does now! Even if it doesn't work right away it will eventually. I really like your idea of setting up the bed now and moving him to it after he spends a week in one at your mom's house. Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:39 AM   #7
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Re: ??? for those who cosleep with toddlers (Long!)

I'd try the super nanny method. Lay him in bed and sit on the floor or whatever, close by but not too close. And ignore him after you get him all set for bed. After all his needs are met and he's been instucted that it's time to go to sleep, any talking should be a no no. Just sit and wait. If he talks, just do not answer, if he gets up...put him back in bed and return to your spot. At this point, he's running the show and you and your DH have become his minions.

((HUGS)) I had a hard time getting my ODD to go to sleep on her own. A think some of it is the age...both of my girls had a deal around age 2(well one is still 2 but she had her issues earlier). But you have now *trained* him that you and Dh will lay with him so thats what he expects. You'll have to retrain him to a different way of thinking.
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:32 AM   #8
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Re: ??? for those who cosleep with toddlers (Long!)

I think it is a typical 3 year old stalling at bedtime. My daughter co slept well past 2 years old, and when we tried to move her to her own bed, she did the same thing. She would crawl back into our bed and then refuse to lay down and sleep unless one of us (preferrably daddy) was in there with her. At the time I was pregnant, so I was more than happy to lay down with her. But as our delivery date got closer I wanted to get her moved into her own bed. Finally we bought her a lil toddler bed and put it next to ours, like a side car. Daddy told her it was the caboose and she LOVED that idea - she even slept with a little conductor's cap on her head for a while. Then we slowly moved the little caboose farther and farther away from our bed, out into the hallway - and finally into the bedroom next to ours just before baby was born.
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