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Anyone have a 3-4 yo who still has sleep issues?

DS still wakes up anywhere from 1-3 times a night because he either wants to sleep in my bed, or wants me to come sit with him while he sleeps in his.  I admit, I've been lax recently because I've just been soooo exhausted, but with 8 weeks to go until DD arrives, I really want to engage on a big campaign to get him in his own bed, sleeping through the night, most of the time.  I don't want him to associate being banished to his bed alone as part of his sister's arrival.  To complicate things, DS stays at his dad's once a week, and I know over there anything goes. 

 Does anyone have any good advice for me?  Hopefully how to do it with positive incentives?  If possible, I'd rather find a good way to transition with him rather than battle - he's a strong willed little dude.  ;) 

Thanks!

Re: Anyone have a 3-4 yo who still has sleep issues?

  • YEP!  It's been a major battle for us ever since we went on vacation in 2009 and he slept in my bed with me there.

    The short story, my pediatrician told me to quit fighting about it with him because it was more important for us both to sleep than for him to be forced to sleep alone in his own bed.   We went for over a month, at one point of neither of us getting more than an hour of sleep at a time and constant screaming and crying at night.   That's when the ped said to let it go and assured me he go to his own room on his own.  And suddenly, this week N has decided he does want to sleep in his own room and has done it 5 nights in a row without waking up during the night.

    Now that said, the only thing that happens in my bed is reading and sleep Wink, I don't have another baby about to arrive, and I am single with zero help in the home if I am exhausted, so letting go of that battle was easy for me.   As a matter of single parent survival, I just had to choose my battles so I chose sleeping, regardless of where and how sleeping took place.

    I don't have any advice for you on how to make it happen on your time table but no, you are not alone.  I'm honestly surprised at just how many parents of 3-5 year olds I talk to  say their kids sleep in their beds too because for a long time, I was so embarrassed by it and thought it made me a bad mom.  But it doesn't. Hopefully someone can give you some good advice on making the transition.

  • DS doesn't sleep in our bed and never has, but he wakes up once a night probably 4 nights a week for varying reasons.  he needs to pee, he needs his blankets on, he needs more water.  I have no idea how to get it to stop - the bathroom has a night light and is the room directly across the hall from him - he's old enough and knows how to put his blankets on....  good luck!   

    But I would be consistent about not letting him your bed if that's the path you want to take you need to make sure you don't get lax b/c it's easier for you.

    image
  • Here is what we did to put an end to him getting in our bed:  We set up a little corner in our room on the floor with like a sleeping bag and a pillow.  We told him if he woke up in the middle of the night and came in our room he would have to go to this "bed."  I was actually shocked at how automatic it was.  Maybe once a week he will wake up and just come right to his special bed and does not bother us anymore.  He even will go to the bathroom on his own now on his way in. 
  • image Betty.Davis.Eyes:
    Here is what we did to put an end to him getting in our bed:  We set up a little corner in our room on the floor with like a sleeping bag and a pillow.  We told him if he woke up in the middle of the night and came in our room he would have to go to this "bed."  I was actually shocked at how automatic it was.  Maybe once a week he will wake up and just come right to his special bed and does not bother us anymore.  He even will go to the bathroom on his own now on his way in. 
    . We did something similar with Winnie. A few nights of floor sleeping was enough for her to decide she rather stay in bed. I had Tess already & was often in the bed with us...I had to stop it for safety reasons. My MIL is the one who suggested it because DH would do the same thing. Tess slept w/ Winnie until a few weeks ago & now when she gets up she gets in bed with Winnie :o)
  • image Betty.Davis.Eyes:
    Here is what we did to put an end to him getting in our bed:  We set up a little corner in our room on the floor with like a sleeping bag and a pillow.  We told him if he woke up in the middle of the night and came in our room he would have to go to this "bed."  I was actually shocked at how automatic it was.  Maybe once a week he will wake up and just come right to his special bed and does not bother us anymore.  He even will go to the bathroom on his own now on his way in. 

    I remember my parents doing exactly this with my little sister when she was about this age and it worked out well. Of course she was the youngest so there was no new baby around, but I would think after a few nights of newborn crying and night feedings L will want to stay in his own room.


  • Thanks, ladies - this is all really, really helpful.  I think I will give it a shot with the special bed.  ;) 

    wonderred - I totally feel for you.  I was doing that gig for a while, and you just have to do whatever works and keeps things rolling.  I'm thrilled to hear that N decided he was ready for his own bed!  :)

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