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Co-Sleeping at 10

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  • Co-Sleeping at 10

    My son has co-slept with us since we brought him home from the NICU weighing 3lbs. 14oz. We figured by the time he was 2-3, this would end.

    He's now 10 years old, has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS on the Autism spectrum, and we can't get him out of our room/bed. He had been falling asleep in his room, only to wake a couple of hours later and come into our room. Now, since we began talking about him staying in his room all night, he suddenly cannot fall asleep unless he's in our bed.

    He has been, up til now, a fantastic sleeper. He napped until 5 years old, starting sleeping through the night at 2 months corrected.

    I believe he's obsessing about our declaration "no more sleeping in our bed". I am out of ideas on how to fix this and it's causing great stress on my husband, too. After 10 years, we'd like our bed back.

    Our 7 year old daughter has also co-slept since birth, but she's much easier to redirect into her bedroom in the middle of the night.

    Am I going to have to just stay up all night with him, redirecting him until he gets it? Has anyone with an autistic child (granted, he's on the less severe end of the spectrum) gotten them out of the parent's bed? Is this ever going to end?

    Thank you so much for any advice---it is desperately needed!

  • #2
    I would start like I do for a two year old. Place a bed next to yours, and slowly move it further away. Also, make his bedroom a nice place for him, his favorite theme etc. Then, the first few nights in his own room, sleep in there with him and then move out slowly until you are out of the room completely.

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    • #3
      Make the transition an exciting idea for him!

      Rather than declaring that he can't sleep in your room anymore, get him to buy into the idea of how great it is to be a "big boy" and to sleep in his "big boy" room. This is what we did with our oldest son at 2 1/2. He was sleeping in his own room but we wanted to finally convert his crib to a regular bed, get him out of pull ups and have him go to bed and stay in his bed. Before making the switch we played up how great being a big boy was, anywhere from the cool things he could do that a baby couldn't to getting to pick the theme and wall colors for his room. I told him time and time again how proud I was that he was going to be a big boy and how excited I was at all the great things we could do together as a big boy. Once we decorated his room as he requested (including... gasp... a red wall) he bought into the big boy idea and didn't give us too much trouble. At 3 1/2 he's even accepting and helpful with the new baby. Hope that helps.

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