Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    My son wants to sleep in my bed with me. In a way, I quite understand - it's warm, it's friendly, it makes him feel secure. But I feel he should be separating out from me at this stage, to some degree, and that the longer he sleeps in my bed, the harder the habit will get to break. We also have an occasional problem with wetting the bed. So this is how it goes... he goes to sleep on the sofa in the sitting room so as to be near me (the compromise we reached in terms of his wanting to be near me and my wanting him to sleep outside my bed...), I wake him up when I go to bed around 11 or midnight so that he can pee, and take him up to his bed which of course in his state of semi-sleep he accepts. But then... unfailingly, around 2 in the morning, he comes into my bed... I don't have the heart to make him go back to his bed at that point, leading to crises and drama in the middle of the night, so he gets to sleep in my bed anyway and the whole thing feels rather pointless! All this is erratic as before we went away to Morocco for the last holiday, he was sleeping more or less in his bed all night.

    I don't mind at all him coming into my bed when he wakes up in the morning, as I think this is a nice, cuddly thing to do, but as a single woman with a little boy I feel we are already too wrapped up in each other and it is healthy to encourage his sleeping independence...

    What do you think - should I tough it out and make him sleep all night in his bed? Or it doesn't matter and he should sleep with me if he wants to... as he clearly does. I think part of me feels frightened of him still wanting to sleep in my bed at the age of 10 or 11...!
  2. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    First of all: welcome back my friend!
    As far as the sleep issue, I get you worries. It is one thing I cannot do: sleep with my kids. Even as babies, I never liked it. There are several reasons, but the main one being I want to have some time with my husband. They have me all day, I NEED that time with husband.
    I know you are single, but I feel you embrass the same logic.
    For me, it is something worth fighting for.
    If I were you, I would simply say: "J, you are too old to sleep in my bed anymore." and follow through even if it means bringing him back to his bed 5 times a night. I have done it with the boys and still does it with Sweet Pea sometimes. The first time, I speack softly and explain that they need to stay in bed. The second time I take the back and only say good night, after that I don't even talk anymore.
    But it can be a battle, specially with an older kid.
    But whatever you decide, do one or the other. The half his bed, half your bed disrupts his sleep and you know how important sleep is for difficult children!
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Co-sleeping is one of those topics that a lot of people have strong feelings about one way or the other. I'm not one of them. I think the best thing a family can do is figure out where everyone gets the best night of sleep and go with it. I think, since you feel that he should be in his bed, that you should pursue it. One thing that may help the nocturnal bed hopping is to get a small air mattress. sleeping bag or futon mattress for him to sleep on when he comes in your room. He can start out next to your bed, then at the foot, then midway to the door then next to the door, etc. Young kids sometimes need the security of a parent nearby so a compromise like this can help.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    At some point... he will have to sleep in his own room, period.
    But... there is a lot going on in his life right now.
    Not sure it is wise to force the issue too fast.

    I'd be more inclined to allow "same room" rather than "same bed" - just a personal preference.
    Even if it means switching your bed to something smaller so there is room for two beds.
    We used to have a second bed in the kids rooms... if they were sick, or woke up with a bad nightmare or whatever, one of us could go to their room and sleep "with" them... They outgrew that, but it was an easy transition.
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your comments. Yes, maybe, his mattress on the floor beside me is the answer - that way he will hopefully not wake up to get into my bed. I do think his sleep is suffering and he is tired in the day, which possibly led to a meltdown on Tuesday such as we have not had for some time. The only thing is... it all feels rather circular, as he was sleeping on a mattress next to me before I managed to lure him into his own bed with the dog sleeping with him. But the charm of that has worn off and frankly I think the dog prefer sleeping downstairs in her basket... Maybe we need an Elvis Presley sized bed so massive that we can each have our private wing of it, as it were!
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    My daughter slept with me until she was 10 or 11 years old. As she got older, she would try to sleep in her room, but would always end up in my bed. She's always had massive anxiety, so it's just the way it was.

    By the time she was 10 or 11, she was waking me up all night with flying limbs. I took the mattress off the trundle on her daybed and put it on my bedroom floor. She slept there for several months. Then I made a big deal about getting her a new bed and she's been in her bed ever since.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Forcing him all the way out might just cause more problems, so I'd also vote for some reasonable compromise that allows you both to get a decent night's sleep. Where does he sleep when he visits his father? Did they use a family bed set-up or did he have to stay in his own room or a room shared with other kids or what? If he's used to being near other people when he sleeps than being by himself might just too scary for him right now. Kiddo is 10 and I have yet to be able to boot her from my bed, I've given up that fight, she'll move when she's ready (eventually she'll get the drift that peers don't do that and move on her own). Sleeping by herself scares her.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Can the dog basket be moved to his room at night??
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child at that age use to want to sleep with us all the time. We would let him put a bunch of blankets on the floor with a pillow and let him sleep there sometimes. Even at 14 he does this at times (thankfully rarely because he snores like a fiend), however, the part that gets him upset now is that if husband is away for the weekend he wants to sleep in our bed with me. I always say no-he's just too old plus I would get no sleep because his snoring would keep me awake all night!
  10. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Lol. the possibilities are many - J sleeps in the dog basket, I sleep in J's bed and the dog sleeps in mine... :) To be honest, J isn't really bothered about sleeping with the dog now and it does not act as substitute for a human being for him. You are all probably right that forceful changes would be too much and counter-productive. In Morocco he was sleeping in a little bed in my ex-husband's mother's room - and of course in Morocco generally it is in no way shocking for the children to go on sleeping with their mother for years. As I say, I do understand his desire and don't think there's anything "wrong" with it. But I do sense that psychologically it is better for him to be able to deal with sleeping on his own if he can though I'm not willing to make it into a big, traumatic fight. We have enough of those about shoes!
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    When I first met husband, the kids would clamor to sleep on the floor of his room on overnight visits. Onyxx was 8, Jett was 5. This was HUGE for them. Honestly, I think it had a lot to do with them being afraid he would vanish if they fell asleep in another room.

    The first overnight visit they had with husband that I was there all night, was a "treat" - they got to stay in my apartment! I had a futon in the living room, so the kids snuggled out there & husband and I were in my room. So from the beginning they understood they didn't sleep in our room.

    We did have some fun wakings, when the kids would hop into bed with us! I learned then not to sleep nude. Ever. That's a bit different now that they are older. They don't come in without knocking (usually) now.

    Because of the return from Morocco... I'm thinking maybe he's having some feelings that you might go poof, as it were... A small twin air mattress or sleeping bag might be best for now.
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, that seems to be the consensus... interestingly, J himself agrees with it. I began talking to him at lunchtime about "what we should do" - and he suggested that I put the small folding bed that's in his room beside mine... So I think that's what we'll do. He will be happy that I am taking his desire not to sleep alone (he says he is scared by himself and that "little people" come into the room...) seriously and I will be happy that we have reached something of a compromise. The only question remains how I get him back into his bed in his bedroom again :)
  13. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Just an update on the sleeping issue. J went to sleep tonight on a little mattress on the floor beside my bed and seemed quite happy about the prospect of staying there all night. I must say it feels better and more wholesome to have him there given his upset about sleeping by himself at the moment but also not in my bed itself...
    Thanks for your help and comments.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It may well just happen on its own.

    If it doesn't, eventually you can get a folding divider or other means to "separate", and start creating separate space. Or move both of you to his room for a bit (separate beds, still)... But that can be YEARS down the road. Trust me, by the time he's old enough to have friends sleeping over, he won't want to be sleeping in YOUR room!