Update on our Co-sleeping Conundrum

A few weeks ago I wrote about the trouble I was having getting my son to sleep the entire night in his toddler bed-“How to end Co-sleeping. Advice Needed!!!.” I WAS PLEADING FOR ADVICE!  Thankfully, tons of people (well, tons for me!) commented on my dilemma with lots of useful advice.

Many of you suggested the Supernanny tactic- this involves leading the child back to their bed and saying goodnight, and as they continue to come out of their room, you keep escorting them back over and over until they get the picture.

Others said I should put him bed in our room until he got used to sleeping in it all night, then move it back to his room.

Then there were lots of other ideas, these are just the ones I saw most frequently.

I was already sleeping in his room to get him used to sleeping in his bed all night when I posted.  This worked well, although once I started sleeping in my own room again (I slept in his room for 5 nights and he reduced his wakings and also submitted to staying in his bed, something he previously refused) and he continued to wake up once a night.

Whenever he would wake up, most nights he would not cry, but walk into our bedroom.  He wanted me to walk him back to his bed!  I did, and would sit next to him while he fell asleep.

We have tried to make this a gradual transition for him. I used to rock him to sleep and lay him in bed.  Then, I began rocking him but not letting him fall asleep.  I laid him in bed and he would make me lay next to him until he fell asleep.  I started sitting next to him rather than laying, which was a hard jump for him.  He wanted to be cuddled while he was falling asleep.  After a few nights of crying he let me begin sitting next to him.  Also, I did try the Supernanny techinique and it worked one night!  However, the next night he was so upset I sat next to him after many times of him walking out and crying.  This basically allowed me to just sit next to him.  He figured it was either let me sit next to him, or have him cry and have no Mommy at all.  He made a wise choice.

Now, I have moved from sitting next to him on the bed to sitting on the ottoman a few feet away.  We still start out in the glider.   We read a ton of books, we rock and he puts his head on my chest (and if I am wearing a high necked shirt he pulls it down so he is skin to skin!).  I sing to him and then tell him I am laying him in bed.  He then grabs his monkey which he always shoves next to me in the glider, and sits up.  I carry him to bed, he rolls over on his tummy and cuddles his monkey, I cover him up, and sit on the ottoman while he falls asleep.  He will look over to make sure I am there until he falls asleep.

My next move will be to slide my seat farther from his bed, and farther still, until I am out of the door.  This is based on a famous sleep training method that I don’t know the name of!  I don’t think this would have worked a few months ago in our case, but he is old enough for it now.

Most nights he sleeps the entire night, others he wakes up once.  He easily falls back asleep as long as I put him back in bed.

This is a vast improvement to him waking at 12 from his bed to come to ours.  It has been a very long, long road to get his sleeping habits to a place where we are all relatively happy.  Daddy can even put him to bed now, something that was impossible before.  I am feeling very good about where we are at and the progress he will make.  I believe I can get him falling asleep on his own before the baby gets here.  I am also hoping he decides to sleep all night every night, but even a few nights a week is more than I was getting just a few months ago.

The sad thing is, we haven’t napped or slept together in a couple of weeks.  At first, he would come to bed for an extra 2 hours or so with us in the morning.  And occasionally I would nap with him for some snuggle time.  Now he won’t do either.  This has also made him wake up 2-3 hours earlier than normal.  It is for the best since the baby will be here very soon, but I miss my extra cuddle time so much.

I hope this method will help others who are working on transitioning their toddlers to a bed or crib from co-sleeping.  This has taken months, just like our weaning process, to keep him happy and to minimize trauma.  Thanks to everyone who had advice or just words of commiseration.  I truly appreciate it!

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  • How old is he? My son is 2 1/2 and we’re working on this very same thing.
    .-= Jessi´s last blog ..Wedding Bells =-.

  • That’s so awesome! I’m so glad it’s working out so well! This gives me hope! 🙂

    And btw I almost cried when you said he likes to be skin to skin with you!
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..What’s A Twitter Party! =-.

  • Therese

    Great! Now a question – what, if anything, will you do differently with #2??

  • I bet your snuggle time will return once the baby arrives. It did with my son. He had his independent streak and then with our new baby he needed his mama cuddle time even more. He is almost 3 and we have his bed near ours in the room. He is fine all night (and we all sleep better for it!) But, he crawls back in around 7 am for a book or two and to snuggle with mama. I love it!
    .-= Owen’s Mom´s last blog ..Decking Out My New Droid =-.

  • @Jessie He is 20 months old 🙂

    @Katie It was tough but doable! And yes, it is so sweet and I love that he does that, it lets me know how much he enjoyed our time when he was nursing.

    @Therese We are going to cosleep in the first few weeks and try a hammock (hushamok) to see if that helps. Also, I might not swaddle as long as I did. That broke my son when we stopped.

    @Owen’s Mom I hope it is just a phase!

  • Kristin

    Glad to see that your sons sleeping habits are better than mine! I am still working on getting him back to his bed when he wakes at night, and I am still rocking him to sleep, although this takes 5 min now instead of the hours it would take before. Some nights he even lets me read him a story to fall asleep. He almost always naps in his bed unless I am really tired, then I let him nap with me because I know he will nap for a solid 2 hours, this doesn’t help with training him to sleep alone but sometimes my sanity requires more sleep any way I can get it. Its nice to read about sleep habits of children in the same age range, lets you know your not alone in the bed time struggle

  • I’m glad it’s working out! It took us a week or two to get our son to sleep alone, though he’s back in a crib — the toddler bed just wasn’t working out right away. I’m hoping by the end of Fall that he’ll be able to sleep in the toddler bed — I’d love to give him the independence!

    We ended up instituting a bedtime ritual of reading three books, with the same last book every night, while he sits in his crib and we sit on the floor. If he’s not asleep by the end of the last book, he’s almost always laying down and dozing off. It’s pretty rare that we get more than a protesting peep out of him nowadays.

    Good luck with the new baby! <3
    .-= Ashley Poland´s last blog ..Minor Maintenance =-.

  • Stephanie G.

    How old is your little one now? My 15 month old is giving us the time of our lives trying to get him to sleep in his crib. I have a newbie on the way in August & would like to have the transition made by then. (you can email me if it is easier to see the reply sgoetsch at cox dot net)

    • Anonymous

      Emailng you!