i'm new here and am based in Hong Kong. I'm so glad i found this website. My almost 3yo girl (she's gonna be 3 in Jan) has slept with me (first in her own crib next to my bed, then came into my bed full time since she's around 8-9mths old) since she was born. I used to nurse her to sleep until 2yo. She then learn to sleep on her own (without nursing) but with me by her side hugging her and holding her hand. I actually dont really have a problem with this cos i love this special bonding time i have with her.
Problem is her night wakings. Her routine is bath, story and then i would off the lights and lay with her. When she's asleep, i would roll off the bed and get out of the room to have my me time. Almost always, around 2-3 hours after falling asleep, she would wake up, sat up on the bed and looked around. When she doesnt see me, she would grab her blankie and teddy, comes down from the bed and comes out of the room in search for me. I've tried EVERYTHING!
1) getting the daddy to go in (she'll scream and cry bloody murder)
2) telling her before bedtime where i'll be (study room) and that if she wakes up and see i'm not around, she shud lie down herself and go back to sleep and that aft i'm done with "my stuffs" i would go in and sleep myself. She'll nod her head. Asked her questions, she'll give correct answers like "if u wake up at night, do u come out?" no. what shud u do? lie down and sleep. But WHEN she wakes, all's forgotten and she'll come out!
3) she's recently into fairies and she's got a bag full of fairies in it. Told her she can only get it if she sleeps thru the night and not come out until morning. Nod her head. Doesnt work either.
I am totally against letting her cry it out. Some mommies have suggested that i actually (horrors!) lock the door and let her cry (traumatizing!) cos they swore it worked for them cos it's supp to teach them a lesson on "who's the boss!". Blah! I had to bite my tongue in order not to say something nasty. Anyway, i digress.
Her teacher in the Waldorf school which she's attending (who's supposedly a great believer in gentle disciplining) told me she's having separation anxiety BECOS i cosleep with her and that she cannot recognise she is a separate entity and still feel attached to me (that's a bad thing?) so she suggested slowly distancing myself DURING bedtime ie sitting up instead of lying down, then slowly jus hold her hand, and then slowly moving away etc and working towards letting her sleep on her own, in her own room.
Problem is, I LOVE cosleeping with her. Hugging her at night. Smelling her hair and breath on my face. And honestly, i dont have a problem putting her to sleep either. Its jus the night waking. Hubby and i have not been socializing with friends at night for almosst 3yrs (yup ever since she was born) or going for a dinner date or movie night (we were movie buffs) cos of this. Having gone thru 2 recent heartbreaking miscarriages, lots of friends and family kept telling me it's high time i "trained" her. Even if it'll let her cry. She's such a strong will and high spirited child so i know it'll be awful if we head down that way. Do i really have no choice?
To be completely honest, there are bad days where i'll be thinking i really need to do this and on those nights, i sometimes will lose it and scold her but after that i'd feel so awfully guilty about it. She is after all just a small baby. But am i smothering her? Am i spoiling her? I'm on a constant limbo of what to do. I'm so envious of hearing children who goes to bed and sleep 10-12 hours straight and they can just go for couple time without worrying. Sigh.
I try to tell myself i used to be worried she'll nvr be able to sleep without nursing, but we pulled thru that so there MUST be a way. But on certain helpless nights, i just feel utterly tired. Relationship with hubby is deteriorating (i'm not blaming her) but we're really lacking in any couple time at all.
Sorry for the long rant. Any suggestions or comment to cheer me on would really help!