It started with her waking up in the middle of the night and coming into our bedroom. Since I was half asleep, I picked her up and placed her in bed between my husband and me. Well, this became our new normal. Instead of sleeping in her own bed, she thought she could now sleep with Mom and Dad. But sleeping next to Collyns is like sleeping with an octopus. Hands and feet everywhere!
Our three-in-a-bed arrangement isn’t based on any co-sleeping philosophy; it was born out of exhaustion and desperation. I never allowed my son (who is almost seven years old) to sleep in the same bed as us. He goes to bed at 9 p.m. without complaints or whining. I call him “my good kid.” However, my daughter will stay up until either myself or my husband go to bed. Even if it’s 11 p.m., she’s wide awake, waiting for one of us, usually me. She asks to hold my hand, and that’s usually how we fall asleep.
Yes, I should put her to bed. Yes, I have tried the cry-it-out method. Nothing has worked. We know that having her in our bed isn’t what most people or even pediatricians recommend, and we wouldn’t recommend it to someone else.
I believe one of the factors causing problems is naptime. If she has a nap during the day, she isn’t as tired at night and then doesn’t want to go to bed. However, on the weekends, she doesn’t nap. We just have quiet time instead.
She’s almost four, so maybe it’s time to stop naps. When she doesn’t nap, she’s so tired by 9 p.m. that she’s asleep on the couch. We move her to her bed, and she stays there all night…ALONE! But per daycare rules, everyone under the age of four gets a nap. But daycare doesn’t have to deal with her at 11 p.m.
We’re somewhat embarrassed about our nighttime arrangement, and we worry that we’re not teaching her the valuable skill of sleeping by herself in her bed.
As with so many parenting problems, our predicament made us try things we never would have fathomed. For a while, we slept in different places throughout the house. Collyns and one parent in our bed, and the other parent either on the couch, guest bed or even in Collyns’ twin bed.
What’s most important, however, is that she sleeps, and so do we. We know our current arrangement isn’t even close to a perfect situation, and we hope one day to change it, but we’ve made our peace with it. For now. After all, she won’t be 16 and still wanting to sleep in our bed.
Babies & Toddlers
In addition to the time I devote to being a mom, I also work full-time outside the home, which means my day is hardly ever as simple as nine to five. With an all-too-established schedule, as soon as I walk through the door, my day doesn’t end, but rather just begins. It’s a balancing act, especially with two children, but being a mom is one full-time job that I never want to quit!