A place where you can chat to like-minded parents, form new friendships, share ideas, events and recipes. Use the search tool to find a wealth of information from the past 10 years of forum discussions. Register today and become part of our supportive community.
I'm writing this for anyone who wonders whether they will ever get their little one out of their bed / bedroom and sleeping by themselves….we just did it gently and easily. I used to wonder whether DD would reach an age where she was ready for the transition ir whether we were conditioning her to need us at night and whether when the time came for the change, we would have to push her or whether she would choose it for herself. Well it has bee pretty painless.
DD has recently had her third birthday. She has slept on a futon mattress in our room with DH next to her for a long time (and I have had our bed to myself as I found co-sleeping quite hard). She has snuggled to sleep for a long time, and even though she could be left on her own for several hours once she was asleep, she never managed to get to sleep without one of use snuggled against her….until now. I was very keen to get her into her own room before the new baby arrives (due next week) as I don't fancy co-sleeping with 2 of them. Her room took much longer to prepare than we had intended as DH is a perfectionist and was completely rebuilding the windows first! Finally the room was ready and decorated with a big girls bed from her granny's house. We made a big thing of putting some of her special things into her room and she has new bedding from Bishopston Trading with appliqued elephants on it which she loves. She was really excited about having her own room, but I was still nervous about her sleeping in it my herself.
The first night the room was furnished, she was really keen to sleep there, but she wanted daddy there too, so we made a bed of sofa cushions on the floor for him next to her bed. This has the bonus of making a soft platform next to the bed in case she fell out. Having always slept on the floor, she did fall or roll out a few times, but quickly got used to it and now can tell when she is near the edge and moves away from it even in her sleep. She had a few nights with DH on the floor next to her, then announced she was ready to try sleeping by herself. We made up the bed on the floor just in case, and said that if she woke in the night and wanted us, she could either come to our room, or call for daddy. Mostly she calls for him in the night (or just cries) and he goes to join her for a little while, then comes back to our room.
In the last 5 weeks, she has never attempted to return to sleep in our room, even though we said she could if she wanted to, as she is so proud of having her own room.
Having settled her there, I then wanted to get her falling asleep by herself. Our bedtime routine takes AGES. SHe has some books, then lights out, then another story from memory and a few songs. Then in theory we lie with her till she is asleep, but she always chats a lot and often jumps around. From lights out, it is often an hour or longer until she's alseep, and for a long time I've had the feeling we were keeping her awake by being there to talk to (DH usually talked back, so she had even less incentive to go to sleep). I have tried leaving her on her own to go to sleep a few times before, but she has always just got up and come to find me. Getting her to stay in bed has been the problem. I tried this again 2 weeks ago and the first night she kept getting up and it didn't work., even though I had said I was only going away for a few minutes. The next night I told her how proud I would be if she was still in bed when I came back, and this seemed to help. She had some calming music to listen to (a slow movement from a Bach cello suite). I went away and came back 4 times, and then she fell asleep. Each time I gave her lots of praise for staying in bed and told her how lovely and calm and sleepy she looked, and how pleased I was. By the 4th night she was asleep in 2 visits and now she is going to sleep by the first time I come back. It seems like a miracle compared to lying next to her for hours with all the chatting and fidgetting. She is still waking in the night a couple of times and DH goes through to her then, but now I know she can go to sleep by herself, I'm much more relaxed about it.
I know that when the baby arrives, things may go backwards for a while and we will have to be patient. One of the things that is so great, is that she is clearly CHOOSING to do this and is proud of her achievement. We haven't yet tried it with DH putting her to bed as he's a big softie and she knows she can bend him round her little finger! He always gives in if she makes enough fuss, so it will be harder to get her to accept him leaving her then me.
Part of the new routins is that before leaving, I ask her what nice things she will think about while she's going to sleep, and she always says "friendly dogs, pretty butterflies and stripy caterpillars". I find this very funny.
So if you are wondering whether your child will ever be ready to make the transition without being pushed….there is hope!
Love from Tamsin
Sounds good, I do a' nice things to think about when you are asleep' coment as well lol
This sounds all familiar, I have never had a problem with them wanting to go in their own room between 2 and 3 either. My only concern now is that little one (2y6m) has poor language skills and there is no conversations like this happening at all, so he may be 4 or 5 before we talk about when he would like his big new spangly room
Mummy to four little ones
Thats so lovely to hear. Thanks for sharing your story. We have just given DD (17 months) her own room. Its not finished yet and i'm sure it'll be a long time before she's ready for it but she knows its her room and likes sitting on the bed and playing with a few toys in there.
My friends daughter has recently started sleeping in her own room at 15 months! She coslept from birth but is an exceptionally bright child and has really good language skills for her age. She chose to sleep in her own room of her own accord just by being asked 'where would you like to sleep?' and she chose her big girls bed. She's been in her own room for about a month now i think.
Home ed artsy mama to Phoebe (Jan 07), Ezra (Aug 09) and Elijah (Oct 12)