This is not a debate for or against co-sleeping. This is more a “how-do-I-fix-this” kind of post.
I really have no issue with what parents do. If you want to co-sleep then co-sleep. If it’s not your thing then that’s fine too. Do WHATEVER works for you. Seriously.
I didn’t co-sleep with Child1. He slept in our bedroom and his cot was next to our bed. I would feed him and put him straight back. He only really fed once during the night so it honestly wasn’t a train smash and he started sleeping through from 4 months. Seriously. I was one VERY smug Mommy. In all fairness, he wasn’t a baby who loved snuggling. Actually he still isn’t a fan of hugs and touchy-feely stuff. We usually have to ask him for a hug because he can’t stand being caught off guard with any form of physical touch.
Anyway, this worked for us and I really didn’t give it a further thought.
Fast forward 7 years later and I now had a Child2. In my naive little mind I somehow thought that things would be the same as with Child1 wrt to the sleeping thing. Can you believe how VERY delusional I was?
Anyway. Child2 was born sick. And he remained sick. Regularly. Like all the time. I was extremely fearful and really went into Mommy/Nurse overdrive with him. I feared that he would stop breathing during the night and that I would have to give him CPR. Also, he woke up A LOT during the night to feed. So I kept him in bed with me. Really, I could not be getting up multiple times a night and this was just easier. Mind you, the cot was also next to our bed. It was brand new and a white elephant. AT the time my DH used to pass many a comment about the beautiful, white elephant next to our bed.
As Child2 got older and healthier I tried numerous times to get him to sleep on his own. Nothing helped. I simply wasn’t hardcore enough and quite honestly I was just too tired. Really, I just needed to get some sleep and so I did what I needed to do and kept him in bed with us. Despite everything, I did enjoy having him close to me.
Eventually at 22 months – let me just repeat that…at TWENTY-TWO MONTHS, he started sleeping through. He was still in our bed and both my DH and I were not sleeping well because he is a very restless sleeper. My DH went NUTS one morning and I decided to go HARDCORE.
SO I put him into his own bed in the room with Child1. It went well. Or so I thought. There were no tears. The next morning I found him snuggled in bed with Child1. He basically waited until I put the lights off and then crawled into bed with his brother. He is STILL doing this THREE YEARS LATER.
I am very lucky that Child1 doesn’t seem to mind it all that much. He does occasionally complain (child2 is a terrible, restless sleeper) but he very graciously puts up with it.
All is OK with this arrangement. Until bedtime. He won’t get into bed without his brother. Which means that he would rather fall asleep somewhere else. This is not too big a deal. I just carry him into his bed. And as soon as I turn out the light, he crawls in with his brother. I think he’s doing it in sleep mode already.
Last week when Child1 slept out I BATTLED. He refused to go to bed and ended up crawling in with my DH and I. He can fall asleep on his own but he can’t seem to spend a full night in his bed on his own. He seems to need to sleep next to someone at all times.
I need to teach him to sleep on his own because at some point, Child1 is going to VEHEMENTLY object. Any ideas on this?
How does one teach someone to sleep on their own? Is this a case of co-sleeping gone wrong or could it just be a Child2 issue?