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Is it too late to start co-sleeping?

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  • Is it too late to start co-sleeping?

    My daughter has had sleep issues since infancy, but due to many reasons (one of which being that I didn't learn about AP until she was older), we have not been co-sleeping.

    She's currently 4.5 and still has sleep issues. She sleeps fine once she gets to sleep but really fights getting there. I've just now noticed that when she sleeps with me in my bed during naptime she sleeps ten times better (falls asleep faster, sleeps longer). Also, on the weekends, when my husband and I do not have to wake up at 6 a.m., she comes into our bed early in the morning and goes back to sleep, sleeping longer and better than she sleeps in her own bed.

    I feel like an idiot for just now figuring this out. We probably could have spared ourselves years of crying (on all three of our parts!). But what's done is done, and now I am trying to decide if it's too late at this stage in her life.

    Thoughts? Advice? How does the co-sleeping thing even work anyway? Do you go to sleep when they do to avoid keeping them awake at night? Do they just get used to your having to wake up at 6 a.m. every day? Help.....

    -Meredith

  • #2
    When co-sleeping works for parents, it's because it allows them (both parents and children) to get better sleep. Period. So if your daughter gets better sleep in your bed, why not have her in there all the time? Unless you're not getting good sleep with her there? But if it's a win-win situation to have her sleep in your bed, then go for it! Are you worried about the stigma you might feel from other parents about where a 4.5 year old "should" be sleeping? Don't worry about what other parents might think...just throw out all those "shoulds" and just do what works based on your child's needs. So no, I don't think it's too late to co-sleep! Or are you worried about how long she'll be in your bed then...that she'll never grow out of it?

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    • #3
      Well, I think I'm over the social stigma, since we do so many other parenting things the "non-mainstream" way (very little technology for the kids, natural food, gentle discipline, sticklers for age-appropriateness with activities, etc.). I am worried about how we'll all adjust to it a bit. When will my husband and I have alone time if it's not at night after all the kids have gone to bed? Also things like, do we need to adjust our bedtime to be earlier so we aren't keeping her up, should I try to talk my husband out of listening to music on his computer at night and instead ask him to read, will I be able to sneak out to go to the bathroom or will it wake her up the second I make a move, etc.

      No, I definitely believe that she'll grow out of it and am not at all worried that she'll be with us forever. I know that's a common belief that some people have, but I have teenage stepchildren and have seen how kids develop into independent beings. So, my guess is that she'll leave when she's ready.

      It sounds like I should just trust my gut here. Thanks Kelly. Any answers you might have on the above questions about logistics would be helpful. I really do appreciate your input. :-)

      -Meredith

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      • #4
        As for the logistics, I think the best thing to do is to just try it for a while and figure out what works!

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        • #5
          I only have experience co-sleeping with my currently 2 1/2 yr old - She is not a heavy sleeper but we can lay with her until she falls asleep, then get up and do what we want for a couple of hours. In the morning, she is more than happy to stay snuggled in our bed, even when I have to get up at 6am, or quickly pee. I think since your daughter is so much older she'll have a much better understanding, and maybe even 'appreciate' it because she understands the concept of being alone in her bed or getting to stay with you guys. It sounds like an exciting time for you though!

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