When I became a mom, I talked candidly with my friend about how I didn’t want to prolong having the baby in bed with my husband and me. I took great pains to avoid it those first few months. I was successful, too. For about three of them. Three months. A quick read of the post What It’s Really Like to be Married to a Doctor will help you understand why. That and the fact that my husband and I have no support.
Some nights, I was just too tired and if I were going to get any rest at all so I could remain functional and not be in severe pain, I needed sleep. So into the bed she came… and never left. Now, I’m trying to figure out how to get my four-year-old child to stop sleeping in our bed. And the problem isn’t what you might expect.
Now, I see all the advice on how to get the child to sleep in their own bed, but what about the advice for the parent when the problem is, well… the parent? You see. My daughter’s bedroom has been set up for years. When she was about two, my husband did in fact start/establish a routine with her so she could sleep in there.
But, what would happen is he’d be so tired he’d fall asleep too and end up staying there for hours. I would complain about being left to sleep alone. (It’s no fun after one night of spreading out) When he did get out before he managed to fall sleep, the pitter-patter of tiny feet coming in at 3am was common.
What was also common, was between the two of us being dog-tired, we’d wake up in the morning and all three of us would be in the bed. Somehow. She did well with the routine as time went on, and the pitter-pattering got later and later pretty quickly. Until she would sleep full nights in her room.
So what was the problem? Like I said. Me. Momma. Momma who never had her own bed growing up and hadn’t slept by myself until my first night in my college dorm room, where I promptly had an anxiety attack. 🥴
That’s a story for another day, eh?
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Mommy Isn’t Ready?
Here’s where I came in with the kiddo. My husband used to be on call a few times a week, and naturally, I’d want her next to me. Trouble was when he was home, I’d still want her there. In fact, I was guilty of scooping her out of her own bed while she was asleep and deposited her into ours. I loved having my baby close by. I love[d] loving on her while she sleeps. Mommy just wasn’t ready.
In fact, when my husband sat me down a few weeks ago to talk about moving her back into her bed, I rebelled. I got butt hurt and found a million excuses as to why I wasn’t ready and it was okay. I even got mad at my husband for saying he might start sleeping in her [Sio’s] room because he wasn’t getting any rest.
It didn’t go very well, the talk. Momma went off, telling him how hurt I’d be if he did that. After all, I didn’t become a parent by myself and I was losing sleep too! His face told a story of frustration, but ever the supportive husband, he resigned to let me move through it at my own pace.
Never mind that the only person who was getting any sleep in the ‘family bed’ was Sio. Yea, yea. I know how it sounds. Now.
I Was Being Beaten Up
Sio has been taking swimming lessons for several months. One of the things that we noticed from the very first day is how strong her little legs are. Imagine how much stronger they are by now that she has been exercising them religiously for months. But those kicks aren’t just strong in the water.
Do you know how badly some kids sleep? Cz I know how bad mine does. I’m pretty sure I used to sleep this way as a child, too. I was being kicked in the head, the back, ribs, poked and pushed by her head. Fingers up my nostrils and roaming my face.
When we try to fix her, she stiffens. So, we are pretty much not getting any sleep and I for one wake up feeling like I’ve been hit by a Mac truck. So the jig is up. I hung my head in resignation and went back to my husband. We need to get her out. Asap.
How to Get Your Child to Stop Sleeping In Your Bed
So, what did I do? All week, I’ve been talking to her. At four years old, she is all about the ‘big girl’ things. So, I was hyping her up with the talk of being a big girl and the promise of new, pretty sheets. I even got her a new stuffed unicorn to sleep with. She promptly named her Rainbow Dash. Sio seemed apprehensive but took the information about finally sleeping in her room pretty well.
She only asked once to go into our room, and when I said no, and reminded her that she was a big girl who needed to stay in her room now, she was pretty okay with it, sighed and hugged me. I stayed with her until she fell asleep, which wasn’t very long. The first night, however, was pretty smooth.
For her [Sio] anyway.
All in all, I fussed and fussed like an unsettled mother hen, lining the bed with pillows and the floor with cushion in case she fell off. I got about at least half a dozen times too check on her, despite the fact that I have a direct line of sight to her and enough light to see her and each time I got up, she was fine.
I found myself waking my husband up to talk about how anxious how I felt. He wasn’t having it really. He wanted to cuddle and sleep. I stayed anxious the entire night, though and still woke up tired. All the while, there were no pitter-patter feet until around 6:30am.
Do you have any tips on how to get your child to stop sleeping in your bed? Tips for Mommies?
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