Visual of my acrobatic son in bed with us
Visual of my acrobatic son in bed with us

I have decided that my son needs to sleep in his own bed, all night.  Not because I don’t love sleeping with him, because I do.  I love snuggling all night and waking up next to him saying a random word every morning like “uh oh” or the standard screaming of “mama, Daaadeeee!”  I need him to sleep in his own bed because in a few short months I will have a new nursling by my side in the bed.  I will also have a husband in that bed.  Our bed is a Queen, not a stately King!

Plus, lately he has been very restless at night.  He used to wake around midnight from his own bed to come to ours (at least we get a little bit if evening time alone in bed!) and sleep all night.  Now he tosses and turns and wakes so that he can put his head on my chest or place his hand in between my boobs.  You read correctly; he likes to put his hand down my shirt in my cleavage for comfort.  This is a little thing that developed after he weaned.  He still loves my boobs but they have a new purpose.  Being that I am pregnant, him moving and kicking and doing acrobatics next to me has gotten very uncomfortable and a little scary.

Sleeping with his hands down my shirt
Sleeping with his hands down my shirt

Since he falls asleep with me rocking him or with me laying next to him in his own bed I have a head start.  He knows he goes “nite nite” in his bed.  He has never fallen asleep on his own but he definitely knows the routine.  I just have no clue how to get him to accept that his bed is his home for the entire night.  I have tried many times to get him back to sleep once he wakes up in his bed.  It works, but he wakes up shortly after I leave and then points to the door screaming.  He wants to be in OUR bed.  I give in and we all get a good night’s rest.

For the past 2 nights I have slept on the floor next to his bed on a couch cushion.  As soon as he wakes I try to comfort him back to sleep.  So far he has crawled out of bed and onto the floor with me.  I have to put him back in his bed.  The only way he falls back asleep is if I am in bed next to him.  Even worse, he has spidey senses and knows when I leave.  I have to wait until he is deeply asleep before getting up and going back to my floor pallet.  If I were with him he would sleep the rest of the night but he knows I am not and wakes again.  This time he won’t let me slip away.  No matter how ninja like I escape after he falls back asleep he will wake up.  So for these two nights I have actually slept in a short twin bed with my son.  I have to curl up because it isn’t long enough for my body.  Often times I am relegated to a small section since my son hogs the bed.

This isn’t solving our problem.  Now I am co-sleeping in a short twin bed.  I would rather co-sleep in my comfy queen!!!  I feel like doing this has to say something.  It says “You are not allowed back in my bed for sleeping.  You will sleep in your own bed.”  But how do I get him to let me leave him?  I try shhushing him to sleep, patting, etc, things that don’t have me IN bed with him but after the 2nd waking he has none of those.  I know I have to do this now before I am too pregnant to do it later, and of course before his brother arrives.  Co-sleeping with a restless 2 year old, newborn, Mommy, and Daddy is not going to work for this family.  Sorry!

I would love any advice from those who have been in a similar situation.  Or just words of sympathy for the pregnant lady sleeping on the floor/ in a toddler bed!

50 Responses

  1. hugs!!! no advice here since we only have 1 (9 months old & we do the same routine–starts in his crib but ends up in our bed) and haven’t crossed that teach him to sleep in hjis room barrier.

    Can you try putting a toddler bed in your room for a while? Maybe being close enough to hear you will train him to sleep alone?
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..PurlyQ Custom Knitting &amp Hand dyed Yarn Review =-.

  2. my first two were adopted as older kids and went happily to their own beds when they came home, and my youngest is 8 months and still in bed with me, so i have no real-world experience at this. My friend highly recommends “The No Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley. Good luck!!!

  3. Good question. I now have 3 in my King and my husband sleeps in one of their beds. I know I don’t get any sleep, but I can’t bare the thought of them by themselves. I want my husband back, but there isn’t room. I need help too. My oldest is 4, then 2, and 1 year old. They have never gone to sleep without me or my husband. Need some suggestions 2!

  4. Hi! we recently added a sidecar to our queen! we don’t co-sleep full time, but our 2 year olds will sometimes have restless nights, and since i’m 30 weeks pregnant, it just works better for them to spend the rest of the night in our room. dh isn’t too fond of it, but he’s not the one that wakes up with them either. they stay in the sidecar, though, so it’s like their space, next to our space. we just took our crib and used bungee cords to attach it to the bed. 😉 good luck!!!!

  5. I can’t say I have any advice either. 🙁 But I totally understand how stressful and tiring that can be! Stephanie made a good point about his bed in your room.. it might work. Maybe if its close enough to your bed that you can reach down and still touch him if he wakes so he knows you are close, even if not right in the bed with him. Best of luck!

  6. I have this same problem with my 5 year old, she wakes up scared in the middle of the night and wants to come in bed with us. We let her make a bed on the floor next to our bed and sleep there if she wakes up and can not get herself back to sleep on her own. This way she can be close to us but it’s not the most appealing option so she might be inclinded to go sleep in her own comfy bed instead!
    Maybe a white noise machine in your sons room would help him stay asleep without you?

  7. I was in the same boat. It may sound awful, but the only thing that worked for me was the TV… Now, I AM NOT a “let the TV teach your kid” kind of mom. My oldest watches very little TV during the day, but I was VERY pregnant with our second and our son was still sleeping with us; in a full bed, no less! It was no longer a sweet time for us! So I started him off in our bed (because he was so used to it) with his favorite dvd and he would get out of bed a couple of times and come to the living room where I was. But I took him back every time. After about a week, all I had to do was turn on the TV in our room and he’s follow me in there and he looked forward to getting to choose the movie he would get to watch. Then we slowly began transitioning him to his bed with his own little TV, maybe one to two nights a weeks until he was going to his own bed full time. It took me about a month to complete the transition. Now, he still needs the TV (and I’ve started just letting him choose music-only dvd’s), but he rarely, if ever, gets out of bed. And if he does come and get in bed with us, it’s not until 4:00 or 5:00. I’ll gladly take that over 10:00 or 11:00!

  8. I have been there! And I still am.. there. lol I tried getting my son to sleep in his toddler bed through the whole night, but I also just ended up co sleeping in it. Not comfortable for a pregnant mama! Finally I just gave in and got a king size bed. 🙂 Now he sleeps on one side, and the baby sleeps on the other side.

  9. (((((HUGS!))))
    being a parent can be tough sometimes! if your room is big enough, i’d say have your son’s toddler bed next to your bed or at the foot of your bed. then also have a side-car arrangement next to you.

    if your room is not large enough, you could use this time to do what you are doing….getting him used to sleeping in his own bed. maybe setting up a bed for you next to his toddler bed, will work. then gradually moving further away. how old is he? does talking with him work? explaining that he’s a big boy, big boys sleep in big boy beds, but you are not leaving, etc

    i’m a mama to a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old….both fairly needy at night. we are currently working on night weaning (still cosleeping in their room part time)

  10. Have you tried a pallet for him next to your bed? Or have a side cared crib for the next baby. That way if you are still having issues when baby is born you don’t have to worry about the baby itself getting hurt..

  11. Oh, I feel your pain! Our first was a terrible sleeper, and co-sleeping really helped us all get some good rest. But eventually he needed to make the transition to his own bed, in his own room. We started by making his crib into a sidecar – it gave us a lot more room, and our queen suddenly felt so much bigger. From there, we put the rail up on his crib (so he was totally enclosed) and pushed it back from our bed about a foot. I used Kim West’s book Goodnight Sleep Tight as a guide through this process. It was a great balance between the No Cry Sleep Solution (which I loved the concept of, but it didn’t work) and the harsh cry-it-out methods that I just couldn’t stomach. She has a process called the “sleeplady shuffle” that we employed once he was in the crib but still in our room. Basically, you sit with him until he falls asleep, starting out right next to him, and gradually sitting further and further every few nights until he learns to put himself to sleep. I’d say the process took about two weeks for us, but it worked. Here’s West’s book on Amazon:

    Hoping you find a good solution! I’d be happy to chat with you more if you want to hear more about our story.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Happy Birthday- America! =-.

  12. When we transitioned our son from co-sleeping, we put a single mattress on the floor beside our bed. That way, *he* was the one sleeping on a pallet, not us. It allowed us to have the space back in our bed, but still gave him the closeness of being right near us. After about 8 months or so of sleeping on the floor on his mattress, we moved his mattress onto the floor in his own room, only later moving it up onto the bed frame we had for him. It was a process that took about a year, but since he wasn’t in our bed, we were fine with it!

  13. We’re still co-sleeping. I had attempted to stop, but our situation is very different than what it used to be because my husband deployed and we’re living with my parents squeezed into one room together.

    But I read Sleepless in America and that had some wonderful tips at the end for weaning from your bed to their own bed. It also had lots of tips on temperaments and how that affects sleeping. I love that book in whole and in someways found it more helpful than the No Cry Sleep Solution.

    I reviewed that book on my site if you want to know more about it. It’s the most recent post. Good Luck!
    .-= Andrea´s last blog ..Sleepless in America =-.

  14. I hate to say that I have no advice either! But my 2 yr old son does have the same PJ’s and ends up sleeping in that same position when he’s in bed with us. I feel like we’re moving in the opposite direction of every one else because he slept in his bed every night from 10 months to 21 months. He still woke up at night but he was in his own bed. Now it seems like he’s sleeping with us more and more. I don’ t mind him sleeping with us but I eventually want another one and I’m not sure what I would do then!
    Good luck!

  15. We are having the SAME problem! OH my how I wish we could meet IRL because we could have allot to talk about haha. My son is in a toddler bed in his own room and does what yours does, sleeps in it for a few hours then without fail between 10pm and 2 am wakes up to come in to the queen size bed with mommy and daddy and proceeds to squirm the rest of the night. Last night he slept frogleged with his hands behind his head he had more room than me and my husband. I tried sleeping on an air mattress next to his bed and in the bed with him (and being 8 months pregnant this was no easy feat as you know) and it didnt help a bit. He used to get rocked to sleep but now I try to lay him in his bed and read him a story until he goes to sleep. Some nights it works, others we end up rocking him to sleep. My hope is when the baby comes he will want to sleep in his nice and quiet room becuase he will be tired and the baby will cry and keep him awake. But until then we are going to keep trying to get him to sleep in his own room. Honestly I am so tired that when he wakes up and if he dosent go back to sleep I just let him in bed with us so I dont spend 2 hours trying to get him back to sleep and loose sleep myself. So thats probably perpetuating the problem. Cant wait to read what others have to say about this issue! Good luck!

  16. Oh and he stays with my inlaws about once a week or every few weeks and does the same thing to them. They have a pack n play next to the bed and he still wakes up after a few hours to sleep with them. Only they haven’t gotten the hang of putting on cloth diapers and often wake up with a wet bed-so they use disposables at night. I dont blame them haha.

  17. Maybe you could try letting him sleep with things from your bed that really smell like you? May be worth a try in addition to other suggestions you’ve gotten? Good luck & I feel your pain!

  18. Kim – I don’t co-sleep but I have gone through a toddler (after the move to a toddler bed from crib) wanting to get out of their bed every night and come into our bed. We used the silent back to bed method. When she arrived in our room one of us quietly (without speaking to the child) took her back to her bed and then returned back to our bed. This method can be tiresome because you can be sure they will be marching right back to your room in about 5 minutes. The screaming and crying will start but you just have to be consistent. No talking because we always believed that there is entertainment value in talking late at night, your child is looking for some fun and you are the fun! Some nights we made 10-15 trips back to her room but we never got mad it was never a punishment having to sleep in her own bed. Eventually it worked and we haven’t had any problems. Good luck. I feel your pain, my 4 year old is an acrobat in bed, by the end of the night she is upside down – feet in your face!!

  19. We ended co sleeping at 11 months. one day we just put him in his own bed and he slept the whole night. he has had his nights though when he has trouble sleeping and we bring him to bed but as soon as he’s asleep we put him back. We never believed in cry it out, but now that he’s older we do let him cry for a bit. Usually he cries for 5 minutes and then he’s back asleep. We never let him cry more than 10 or 15 minutes because after that he’s too worked up to go back to sleep on his own.

    I’m not sure i really gave you any advice here, but if you want to try the CIO method now that he’s older and you actually do know what he’s crying for it’s worth a shot. I mean, let him cry for a couple minutes then go to him and gradually space out the time you go to him.
    Only you as his mom knows what he needs when you hear him crying so you can gage what is best for him.
    CIO was never an option for us when Brighton was a baby, but now at 2 years old i feel that he’s old enough to get back to sleep on his own.

    Good luck!

  20. I love hearing how many co-sleepers there are! Fabulous! My son was a pro at nighttime acrobatics when he was just shy of 2… somewhere between then and now (he is 2 1/2) he became a deeper sleeper. He used to stroke our faces all night… up the nose, in my mouth… kinda creepy! (now that he has stopped we talk about it fondly. Lol) Now it is my 11 month old who is a horrible sleeper, but my son sleeps best with us. Around 3 we will get him his own bed. Yes, we are also in a Queen and I put up a bed rail on my side for the baby.

    There is no real easy solution since your bed is the most comfortable and safe place for him. Have you tried moving a mattress or toddler bed into your room? Gently making that transition while he is sleepy, but you are still close is a gentle solution. We had friends do that. I wish I could say it is an overnight solution, but it will take time. We will be making a big deal of our son’s bed solution (for now his mattress on the floor since we don’t have a toddler bed yet… just a convertible style in his room). We are getting his favorite character sheets, pillowcases etc. Anything to make it just his and special.

    Good luck! Yes, I sympathize. I hated being kicked in the back, stomach, you name it… while I was pregnant. 🙂
    .-= Owen’s Mom´s last blog ..Happy National Strawberry Shortcake Day! =-.

  21. I love the pic of his hand down your shirt! Ethan does that to me too. I think it’s cute until he does it in the middle of Target or better- Church!

    This is the book that saved us:

    Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D.

    I highly recommend it! It does involve CIO but it makes much happier babies, mommies and daddies.

    Good Luck!
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Growing Veggies =-.

  22. I vote for some sort of sidecar arrangement/spare bed in your room as well. It’s kind of amazing how much better our son sleeps (and thus everyone) just by being in the same room.

  23. Not what you want to hear, but I think you should let him CIO. We let my son cry him self to sleep around 9 months cause I would rock, rock, rock him then as soon as I laid him down he would wake up. When we did that he slept amazing! We never started co-sleeping for this exact reason. A while back he was sick and gagging on his throw up so we let him sleep in our bed. It was the worst sleep we both got.

    This time around (son is 10 weeks old) we let him fall asleep on his own awake since he was first born no crying involved and it has worked wonderfully. I don’t think we will ever have to let him CIO. Both my sons at 10 weeks and 2 1/2 sleep 11 hours a night in their own bed.

    I think your son is old enough to soothe himself to sleep. You may just have to do it gradually since he is so used to sleeping with you. Good Luck! I know you don’t like CIO but it might be the only thing that works at his age. I am all for baby wearing and cloth diapering but co-sleeping is not on my list of things I want to do. Sorry I don’t want both the boys in our bed especially when they get to be older. Not a habit I wanted to start.
    .-= Sarah Halstead´s last blog ..1 Year Blogiversaray =-.

  24. OK first of all let me just say that I am not a fan of letting babies cry it out … BUT at 13 months old your son is PERFECTLY able to fall asleep on HIS OWN. Any crying and fussing at night is his attempt to play you like a cheap fiddle girl!!!!

    Do your bedtime routine, give him a hug … even a cuddle if it calms him down and put him down and LEAVE. If he cries … let him, he is FINE. If he gets out of bed .. take him back, give him a hug and LEAVE … over and over until he gets it on his own.

    Trust me, the sooner he learns to fall asleep by himself with out you in bed with him the BETTER, for him and you!!!!

    It will only take a couple of nights and then it will be fine TRUST ME!!!!! My daughter has been falling asleep completley on her own since she was 9 months old, no rocking, or cuddling needed.

  25. OK, well we JUST went through this with our DS he is about 16 months. He has always gone to sleep in his bed and then about midnight when he woke I would just bring him into bed with us. Its been working just fine.
    However recently my DH and I decided it was time to claim our bed back before #5 came along.
    DS crib is in our room which makes it a bit harder too. The first couple nights we tried….well we gave up because our bed was RIGHT NEXT to the crib and his scream was unbearable.
    So I moved the room around and then we were at least 5 feet away from the noise. Actually it made a huge difference.
    Also, DH volunteered to be on alert. Every time DS woke up DH would go lay him back down, tell DS to go back to sleep, and he would lay down and sleep for a little while.
    It was a very long night, with a lot of staying awake. The next night DS only woke up maybe 3 times.
    That was only 4 nights ago and now DS sleeps from 8pm until 7am. I think he has only woken up once and DH just told him to go back to sleep and he did.
    Its been a miracle. DS has never slept that much, in his own bed. Its amazing. I think it also has only worked because DH did it. If I tried to lay DS back down he would not have it, he just wanted me and to fall back asleep nursing like he’s always done.
    Anyways, that is my story….totally feel your pain. Just wanted to tell you our story about success in getting DS to sleep in his bed. I hope something works for you soon.

  26. Ok I said 13 months and then noticed that you said he was 2 years old … girl let that kid cry it out, he is fine, trust me.

  27. Honestly, he’s 2. It’s not going to go easy whatever you try simply because he’s a headstrong 2-year-old. He will scream, cry, and tantrum. You just need to hold your own. Make it clear to him that you expect him to sleep in his bed. When he gets out, put him back in. He’s 2. Crying won’t kill him. He’ll be upset, but he’ll learn. It’ll only take a night or 2 before he’s gong down in his bed and staying there. This is ONLY IF YOU DON’T GIVE IN – You can’t grab him out and take him into bed with you after trying for a little bit, or the next time you try he’ll know that screaming & crying work and next time he’ll just do it for longer and louder.

  28. Maybe if you put a small Toddler bed next to your bed ,or at the foot of your bed and let him know that he is such a Big Boy now that he has to sleep in his bed…..But he will still be right next to you. This will make more room in the Queen for you and the new Baby. Good Luck 🙂
    .-= Carly Klaus´s last blog ..Depression During Pregnancy =-.

  29. Ohhh, those were the days. We went through this with my first… she’s now 6 and loosing teeth left n right! Our second is now 16 months old and has slept in her crib since about 10 months.

    With our first daddy was the one who would bring her from her crib to our bed. Bad thing was that she could see us from her crib (which was in another room). That just broke my hubby’s heart.

    Now our 16 month old sleeps in her crib, but guess what?! Her crib is in our room. And ofcourse daddy does sneak her in every once in a while when she wakes looking for some warm arms to snuggle up against.

    Advice… well. When we transitioned our then 4 year old into her own toddler size bed (we had to use the crib for the new baby), we went princess bed shopping! She loved it. We also took her with us when we bought the new baby bedding. So she got the concept that she was now the big sister and she was going to have a new baby sister.

    It worked! So, you might want to give that a try if you haven’t already. If it doesn’t work then I’d move his bed into ur room, but then you’d have to eventually move it out. So, might not be the best idea because then he won’t get very good sleep when the baby comes. Try having daddy talk to him about being a big brother….

    Best of luck!
    .-= Cinella´s last blog ..Sundays in my City – Rio Grande Flooding =-.

  30. No advice, just commiseration as well! My 16-month old often looks like BOTH pictures when we sleep! And he doesn’t even nap in his crib, he ABHORS it and I’m still against leaving him to CIO. So he naps in a swing that he’s probably too big for (but adores), and sleeps with me at night. My DH works night shift right now, so it works really well, but in 3 weeks he’s done and I don’t know what we’re going to do. Some of the advice here looked pretty good, so I may have to check out a few of the books. Best of luck, and just know you’re not alone!!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Out of balance =-.

  31. We are sorta in the same boat. My son is 19 months and I am due in December with my second child. So we need to make some progress here!

    We have him in his big-boy bed (actually a full size bed, since that’s what we have available).

    It has been a recent transition because he is able to climb out of his crib, and so we want him to be safe at night.

    I loved cosleeping for awhile, but he is getting too squirrel-y and it’s making everyone’s sleep less restful.

    I have been putting him to sleep in his bed by my usual routine, I give him his portable nightlight toy (Tyke Light) and I lay on the bed with him until he falls asleep.

    We sometimes put a baby gate at his door so he will know he needs to stay in his room. Sometimes we don’t, and he usually ends up in my bed at some poitn in the night — but sometimes I don’t see him until a rea sonable hour in the day.

    If he keeps getting out of bed, I do the Super Nanny technique of not speaking to him, but picking him up (and I throw in a quick hug/snuggle) and lay him down, and telling him to stay in his bed. And I stand near the door for a minute or so.

    This sometimes repeats a ton, but he sorta gets the message.

    It really is night-by-night here, but I’m optimistic!

    I should also say that there was a time in his newborn/early infant life where he wouldn’t sleep unless he was on my chest or in someone’s arms. Those were blurry days. So even though we aren’t where we’d like to be, we have made so much progress!

  32. OH and I also wanted to add — we also recently weaned (milk supply just totally went away … NO idea how moms can keep their supplies up to tandem nurse!). Anyway, my husband was on bedtime duty a lot, because he knows that he cant nurse wtih Daddy.

    So I think maybe if you can have your husband help put your toddler to bed, and be on “go back to bed” duty on some nights (or on the weekends if that’s most practical for your family) then that coudl really help!

  33. You may not like this answer, but I agree that he should be learning to self-sooth at this stage in life. It’ll be more traumatic for you than for him, I promise, but this is a skill that will help him throughout life. I’m sure there will be tears and probably even tantrums in the beginning, but after a while he will learn what he needs to do to comfort himself and go to sleep. Put him in his room, close the door, go to your room, and close the door. Keep reminding yourself that this is not a punishment, but rather teaching him how to problem solve for himself.

    Best of luck!

  34. With my kids, I’ve found it is much easier to start working on there sleep issues during naps rather than at night. It’s a much shorter time to commit to, and I not tired so I’m less likely to give in. I always give in at night!

  35. I sympathize completely. I just wrote a big blog about sleep problems last week. I found myself co-sleeping from day 1 with my son, in a twin bed in his room. I thought it would be temporary and he would learn to sleep in his room & then his crib. He had other plans. He developed horrible sleep habits, couldn’t nap without being held, would wake up frequently during naps & at night, and generally seemed miserable with bags under his eyes all that time. This was all in the first few months. He wasn’t “sleeping like a baby”. EVER. At 5 months it suddenly became even worse, with him being very restless at night and waking every 1.5-2.5 hours. He pretty much wanted to “nurse” all night long, but basically wasn’t nursing. I was a pacifier, though he wouldn’t take an actual pacifier. Our pediatrician said that since he could see me he was waking up fully & wanting me. If I wasn’t there he would learn to get himself back to sleep. He turns 7 months old next week, and it still breaks my heart every night to put him in his crib & not sleep with him. Co-sleeping just wasn’t working for us. We gradually got him sleeping without being held for longer periods of time between 5-6 months, and at 6 months did the evil cry it out. I thought I couldn’t do it, but my baby boy actually fell asleep within 15 minutes the first night and every night since. He wakes once between 8pm-6am and naps better too. I honestly don’t know what else could have worked for us. It has been hard on me, but very good for him. Good luck with however you handle it 🙂
    .-= Natalie´s last blog ..Jeep Jeep =-.

  36. We coslept with DS1 until about 2 years old. Instead of a twin bed, we had a convertible crib that changed to a full size bed. We first (DH or me) would sleep in bed with him. Once that routine was down, I slept on his floor for about two weeks so that if/when he woke at night, I was right there and could help him back to sleep. He quickly stopped waking at night on a regular basis. Occasionally, at 3.5 yo he will wake up and come to our room but then unless it’s time to get up soon he’s not staying in our bed. One of us parents will go sleep in his bed with him. We have a 7mo that is cosleeping now too.

  37. We have always had a strict no sleeping with mommy and daddy policy in our house and if my recently turned 2 year old occasionally tries to fight it we let him sleep with his door open so he can heat us and cry it out, giving occasionally comforting words. He gives up rather quickly cause he knows no means no. Also we never move our lil ones into big kid beds till 3 cause I’ve learned that seems to be the age our lil ones stay in bed when told imo

  38. I was in the exact same situation when I was pregnant with our second child. It took me a week to break our son of this habit. I just had to be strong and keep putting him in his bed when he would get up. Yes you will have NO sleep for a couple of nights but it is what we needed to do so I would not have to deal with it when baby #2 came along. My son threw fits and cried but I held strong and he eventually realized he had to stay in his own bed.

    Good luck!

  39. I think at this point, it may help if you look at it in terms of what is best for him. Clearly your son can’t sleep with you forever, and you have made it clear that you don’t want that. The longer you wait, the harder it will become.

    This week I finally decided to break my daughter of her pacifier and work with her on self soothing. She turns one in a week, and for orthodontic reasons and for the development of good sleeping habits, it was time. In only a day, she went from crying for 30 minutes to crying for a maximum of a couple of minutes before hitting dreamland. And what’s better is that she is actually sleeping LONGER without me helping her nod of and without her pacifier, something I totally did not expect.

    All that to say, you have to ask yourself if you’re really ready. And if you are, create a plan, and DO NOT budge from it. At age two, he really needs to learn to sleep on his own. While it is sweet to snuggle, this can happen during wake time. If something ever happened to you, how much harder would it be for him to not be able to fall asleep on his own? This is a life skill that he needs.

    I recommend the same method a few others have suggested: after a consistent bedtime routine at a consistent hour, give kisses and leave. Then every time he gets out of bed, put him back in. This will be exhausting and repetitive for the first several nights, but when he realizes that he can’t change your mind, he will give in. You have to decide what’s best for him and stick with it. I also think it is a good idea not to talk after that initial bedtime goodnight kiss.

    It will be hard because he will seem confused and angry and sad. But try to remember the goal, and try to remember that this is for HIS benefit, not yours. As a two year old, he doesn’t realize what’s best for him. Just as you wouldn’t let him sit in a poopy diaper just because he doesn’t like being changed, so you cannot let him continue to sleep relying on you because he doesn’t know any different. It’s for his benefit. Remember that, come up with a game plan, and stick to it.

    I hope he sleeps well, and on his own, soon–for both of your sakes!

  40. i have a 1yo who still sleeps with us so i’m no expert at discontinuing co-sleeping, but my i remember my parents doing this with my brother when he was two, and it only took a few consistent nights to work [and my brother was an extremely stubborn fit-throwing child!]. depending on your parenting philosophy, you may or may not want to try it, but this is what i plan on doing with my son when the time comes, and i don’t think it goes against AP. 🙂 here’s what they did… the first night, they sat in his room a few feet away from him while he was in his toddler bed. every time he got up, they put him right back in bed – no talking to him, no looking at him, just complete silence and action. of course, he threw a fit, and of course, they had to put him back in his bed 50 times. they continued this until he could stay in his bed. then, they moved to another room. and continued the same thing. every time he got out of bed, they would walk to his room and sit him back in his bed. again – crying, fit-throwing, getting up dozens of times, but eventually [and it wasn’t a long eventually] it worked! i’ve seen great results with this method, maybe it will work for you too! i’d love to hear how this goes for you … we are having major sleep issues with our son, as well. he is still waking up VERY frequently at night to nurse. while i don’t mind nursing 2 or 3 times in the night, i am not too fond of waking up every 45 minutes to an hour. we are trying to figure something out. :\
    .-= whitney @ leavesofmytree´s last blog ..soakers by jess! =-.

  41. I’d agree with the suggestion that you put his bed in your room if you hadn’t already set it up in his room, and been working on getting him to sleep through the night in his own room.

    At 2 years old, he’s definitely old enough to self-soothe and put himself to sleep! If he didn’t pick out the sheets/blankets/comforter himself, give that a try. Dedicate yourself to one of the various step-away methods mentioned, as well as the no-talking rule. Remind him that big boys sleep by themselves, not with mommy and daddy. A tantrum isn’t the same as CIO; he can understand no, even if he doesn’t like it — remind yourself of this, too 🙂

    Stick to it — you’re the mommy, and make sure dad is on-board with this, too. It takes time, but he will adjust if you’re consistent. Switch off with dad if you have to, for your own sake.

  42. I think setting up a bed or palate in your room is just prolonging it all. Why deal with it twice when you can do it once? Either way it’s a big adjustment for him. I think it’s less confusing for him to have one change. He wants YOU, not a bed near you, so he’ll probably be unhappy either way at first. Because of this, I say go ahead and teach him to sleep in his own room.

    I think it is beneficial to your marriage to have your own space just as much as I think it’s beneficial to your son to have his own space. I know they’re only little once, and trust me, I did not let my little on CIO, but I think at the end of the day what’s best for her and for us is to all get plenty of sleep and to know how to fall asleep on our own.

    I’d love to hear what you’ve decided and how it’s going!

  43. I have read through all of the comments and there are so many things that make sense to me. I hope with my next baby I have an easier time of this!

    Last night was my last night sleeping in the room with Fletcher on the floor. I went to my own bed around 4:30 am due to a back ache that was beyond painful. Well, he woke after 6 am and ran to the back door thinking I had left. Heartbreaking!

    Tonight I tried making him go to his bed on his own and saying “nite nite.” Every time he got up I walked him back and did the same thing. he cried… Eventually he was getting tired and laid still. Rather then lay next to him like normal I decided to wait it out by just sitting but not touching. He looked over every little bit to make sure I was there but he did fall asleep eventually while cuddling his stuffed monkey. It took almost an hour start to finish. I think I am going to sit next to him for a while and creep further away rather than do a cold turkey thing. This seems to be they type of method that would work best for him and for me.

    I am so appreciative of everyone’s advice. And I will update of course. For everyone else in the same boat, I hope you get your babies sleeping too! Fletcher has come a long way, that is for sure. One day I will bore you with how bad he used to be….

  44. So move his bed in your room for 2 weeks. and slowly move it back in to his room. i got each one of my kids a silky and some type of light up night night toy.
    take a look at Holden’s Landings blankets for him.

  45. Sounds like you are on the right track.

    We had a major sleep setback with our first when she weaned. She just couldn’t sleep without a bit of boob first (had to wean as her nursing was causing early 2nd trimester contractions). We ended up changing her whole bedtime routine about and getting her a Twilight turtle, which helped a LOT with her going down without a fight. And without having to get up over and over in the night.

    Good luck! My nursling is in her crib right now and has been for about an hour. It’s a record – she hasn’t done this in about 2 months.
    .-= Heidi Maxwell´s last blog ..CSN Stores 60 Gift Certificate Winner! =-.

  46. My 11 month old is sleeping in the pack n play in our room for the fifth night in a row now. I have also just stopped breastfeeding. I have tried to transition her for several weeks now, but I finally decided it had to be done a couple of days ago. After a long night of sleeping off and on with a squirmy kid next to me, I was exhausted, and I fell back asleep while feeding her. She didn’t. She crawled right off the end of the bed. I awoke to THUMP! Waaaaa! She is ok, but it scared the hell out of me. The last couple of nights I have had to get up and rock her back to sleep a lot, but once she is finally out for the night, we both sleep until morning. I think it is harder for me not to have my warm little snuggly bug next to me than it is for her. Maybe having a bed of his own in your room would help your son to sleep by himself. I know it was the only way to get my daughter in her own bed.
    Also, I think the staying present but silent approach is an excellent one to try.
    Good Luck!

  47. I did a whole series of posts about how I did our night weaning and then transitioned from co-sleeping. They all have the tag STTN (sleeping through the night)

    The Sleep Lady’s book was a big help.

    The biggest hint that worked for us was for me to make up a really short song that I could sing to her over and over. I would sing it to signal go-to-sleep time and I would sing it whenever she would wake in the night.

    She is in a crib, tho, so I did have that going for me.

    (I really love your site!!!)

  48. When I had my daughter, she slept in our room in a pack n play but usually ended up in our bed before morning. When she hit around 5 months we decided it was time to put her in her room so that she didn’t get attached to sleeping with us. It worked out perfectly. She never missed sleeping in bed with us and by the time she was a toddler, she would even just get up and go walk to her room for a nap. She was so comfortable sleeping there. THEN, we “messed up” so to speak. My husband left for a deployment to Afghanistan and my (pregnant with twins) self and daughter moved home to live with my g*parents for a few months so that she could get to know her family.

    We ended up sharing a full size bed and with my growing belly and her in a full leg cast for 6 weeks, things got a little squished. I continued to let her sleep with me though because her life was about to completely change with 2 new brothers and her dad returning plus we were making the drive back to our duty station to meet daddy. I didn’t want to take away her comfort of having me close by.

    When the boys arrived (June 8!) she still wanted to sleep with us, but it was too much. We had to just “lay down the law” and force her to sleep in her bed. We had about a week of restless nights where she needed water, she was hungry, she even started asking random questions about why people need to eat and why people sleep and why people love her. Then she realized that we weren’t going to let her back in our bed and here we are barely a month later and she knows at bedtime she’s going to her bed and there’s no arguing with that.

    I know that might not agree with AP’ing very much, but its what worked for us.

    Good luck finding something to work!

  49. If you have the space in your bedroom, you may consider putting a small mattress (such as the one from her crib or toddler bed) or other small bedding option on the floor next to or at the foot of your queen bed. She’ll still be close but her wiggles won’t hurt your growing belly or new baby when s/he arrives :). It can also be something special just for “big sister”!

  50. As everyone else mentioned , best way is to have the child sleep in the same room but on a diff bed or mattress for a while , then move him/her into they own rooms …

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