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Full time co-sleeping for 22 month old

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  • Full time co-sleeping for 22 month old

    Hi all,

    I am posting again after some good and bad phases over the last few months... My little girl has never been a great sleeper but my husband and I are now at our wits end. she slept with me pretty much full time for the first year and then we moved her into her own room on a futon with me next to her as necessary. I stay with her while she goes to sleep and then go in when she first wakes, which could be an hour later or 6 hours later.

    We went on holiday in November and all slept together and it was the best consistent phase we ever had. She did sleep through the whole night (!) a couple of nights before we left so maybe she would have been in a good phase anyway, but we can't help thinking that she just needs us close and that we would all sleep better if we all slept together. All we know is that when we got back we had one of the worst phases ever and for nearly 6 weeks she was waking every hour or 2...

    I am just so fed up of changing beds all the time and my husband and I are really missing sleeping in the same bed all night. What I wanted to know is have other parents gone back to full time co-sleeping after part-time co-sleeping or little ones being in their own rooms and how did it go? also, did their little ones then make a good transition to their own rooms eventually?!

    We are very happy to go with what she needs but have been putting off such a big change in case it made things worse. We love having our own room but quite frankly we are hardly in it together much anyway so what's the difference?!

    One more thing.... our psychotherapist friend (and mother of 3) says that we are rewarding my daughter every time I go in there so that might be why she is waking more often. She does insist on a cuddle to go to sleep but as my husband says, is that a reward or is that just responsive parenting? We have tried the Elizabeth Pantley programme of just kind of withdrawing gently but my daughter seems to need a lot of reassurance and we feel that we should give it to her if that is what she needs.

    Any thoughts would be great.

    Many thanks again! This forum is our lifeline!

  • #2
    We've always looked at sleeping as a fluid construct in our home. Sometimes they slept with us for long stretches, other times they were content to sleep on their own. At 5 and 8, they now sleep on their own most nights, but we do still seem to go through phases. Like they'll both want to sleep with me for 5 nights in a row and then back to their beds for the next month or more. Our room is always open to them and they know they can come in whenever they want. I think knowing we're available brings them great comfort, whether they need us or not. And actually, as they get older, I'm appreciating these nighttime snuggles so much more than I ever did when they were little. These are the most precious times as all is quiet and they're relaxed and they begin to open up emotionally as we lay there in the dark. They'll share their feelings or an event from their day that is on their minds. I get to hear things from them that I would never hear otherwise b/c they are both too active in the day to get to that quiet point. I hope that they continue to come into my room into their teens so that we maintain that connection.

    As for the rewarding, your therapist friend is right, but she says "reward" like that's a negative. When you kiss your husband and he kisses you back, that's a reward, but it's also called mutual love.


    • #3
      Thanks so much for your reply. We have moved my daughter into our room in her own bed and she is the happiest she has ever been. The nights are much better after one week except for one problem; she is waking an hour after she goes to sleep and then takes ages to settle as I lie next to her. Sometimes, like last night, I tried to leave 5 times and then eventually gave up and we just all went to bed.

      Do, or did you, stay with your two while they went to sleep, or did they settle themselves? I want her to know that she is safe to go to sleep on her own, but that we will come if she needs us. But we are desperate for our evenings back. If we do decide that she needs to settle herself then I will do it very gradually over a month or so.

      Any thoughts/comments would be great. It really helped us make our decisions last time!

      M x


      • #4
        As for getting them to sleep, we've done lots of different things, too. When we only had one, he would stay up with us until he was tired and then he would tell us "I want to go to bed". Somewhere around 8pm, we'd say, "It's time to go to bed. You can stay up with us, but we're done playing for the day." He'd play next to us, but we were too spent to keep up all the play. He'd eventually go to bed.

        With our second, he had his big brother to lay with. There have been times (and sometimes an occasion) where they'd ask us to lay with them for a little while. A few years back, we started getting books on CD from the library and so now their routine is to fall asleep while listening to a story.