Tackling Sleep Hurdles
Before I became a parent, I swore I would not co-sleep. Our bed was for hubby and I, not the kids. I had nothing against co-sleeping; I just didn’t think it was for me. Once my children were born, that changed – I didn’t co-sleep regularly, and other than napping with ODS not at all until he was a toddler. When he was 2, he went through a stage of waking around 3 am for cuddles, and I would bring him with me to my bed. It started off with only 1 or 2 nights a week. Then it became more frequent until it was every night. THEN it started happening earlier and earlier. There were nights that I would find him curled up in my bed when I went up to sleep at 10:30pm.
The exact situation I had wanted to avoid was happening. I enjoyed his snuggles (and he is super warm at night, where I am cold, so it was nice to have a little heater beside me) but at 5.5 it was time for him to stop (at least on a regular basis)
We asked him why, we told him he couldn’t sleep in our bed (but then he got tricky – he would climb in and not touch us and I would wake at 630 to him next to me). We tried a sticker chart ME sleeping in his room and nothing seemed to work.
We finally sat down with him and told him there would be no more sleeping in our bed. It was for us, and he had his own bed to sleep in. We told him what would happen if he came into our bed (he would be walked back to his own, tucked in only the first time, and then I or hubby would come back to our own bed).
Before bed, we made sure to repeat what would happen; then, we asked him to tell us what was going to happen. When the inevitable night time visit happened, we stuck to our plan and he was walked back.
We were consistent (which I think is pretty key with most parenting issues); after the first night, he still came into our room but he would tap me and I would take him back to his bed. This subsided after a week or so and he started to sleep through the night.
If you are struggling with the same issue – here are my tips:
- make sure to give them warning, and mention a few times before bed what is going to happen
- if they wake, follow through with what you told them would happen
- when morning comes, make a big deal about how well they did
- consistency is super important – make sure to follow through with everything you have said
- exceptions happen sometimes (i.e. they are sick, had a nightmare or you are just too tired to deal with it – make sure they know it is an exception, and be prepared for negotiations to start)
What are some of the major sleep hurdles you have had to deal with?
My name is Ashley, I am an Ottawa born and raised, 30 something woman, wife and mother of 2 rambunctious boys. You can find me blogging about life with my crazy boys a talesofmommyhood.com.