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To think co-sleeping with toddlers is madness?

(194 Posts)
Grapejuiceforgrownups Mon 22-Aug-16 09:52:03

We have a 16m old, recently went on a week long holiday with friends and their 19m old. Our toddler naps 12-2 or thereabouts, she had some naps in car or buggy if we were out and about but prefer her to nap in cot where possible. She sleeps 7-7ish, went to bed later on some nights as we were on hols. We have a 10 min long bedtime routine and she usually falls asleep within 5 mins of going in cot, if she cries we take her out again, settle her then put her back but this is rare. On the week long holiday she woke two of the nights in the night, took 5 min of settling. Other 5 nights she slept through.

Friends' DS won't sleep unless there is a parent with him so one of them has to lie down and either sleep or pretend to be asleep for up to an hour to get him to have a nap. At bedtime they do the same. Every night at about 10pm he would be up again screaming, I'm guessing because he would wake and get upset that the parent he fell asleep with was gone, and he would usually come into the lounge with us and fall asleep in his mum's arms. He won't sleep in a cot so they have to put the mattress on the floor surrounded by cushions. When they go to bed he sleeps between them and kicks all night when he is asleep, wakes up hourly and fusses and needs soothing, so basically neither of them get any sleep. During the day he was grumpy and tired, rubbing his eyes a lot. No set bedtime (usually goes to bed with them at 9ish at home they said), no set nap times, no routine that I could see. He's not BF since 1 year.

I get why you would co-sleep with a little baby, we did occasionally when ours was little and we did everything baby led for the first 4 months before gently adding a night time routine. She was in a bednest until 6m then cot in her own room. We've never done CIO, I don't have a problem with controlled crying if done gently but it wasn't for us. We rocked or cuddled to sleep until 8m then used pick up put down method to teach her to self settle.

I'm asking in the spirit of genuine curiosity rather than hoiking up my judgey pants, but it seemed so mad to me that they were still at newborn levels of exhaustion when he is 1.5 years old, I genuinely want to know what the benefits are of extended co-sleeping and why people do it? Am I missing a trick??

Sirzy Mon 22-Aug-16 09:55:17

Lucky you having a child who sleeps well.

When you have a child who doesn't sleep well you tend to do whatever is needed to get some sleep!

RandomDent Mon 22-Aug-16 09:56:42

I co sleep for a quiet life. Never did it with the first one, but the second one never slept well and I was too tired to fight it! Second one will go to sleep on our bed and get moved to the cot. At some point in the night he will wake up and come in with us. He's 3 now.

blueturtle6 Mon 22-Aug-16 09:59:18

All babies are different, and what works for one baby may not work for another. We don't co sleep as I think we were waking her up, but I can are the merits of not getting up if toddler is restless.
My dd has been in own room for four months and I do miss having her with me.

VikingLady Mon 22-Aug-16 09:59:21

You can't tell from the outside which is cause and what is effect. You don't know whether his awful sleep is because of his bedtime regime or due to it.

Spaghettidog Mon 22-Aug-16 09:59:25

What Sirzy said. Our son is four and we've only just stopped co-sleeping. Get those judgy pants out of the cleft of your arse. People generally do what works best for them - this is also the reason why going on holiday with friends who do things differently is so often a disaster.

Spaghettidog Mon 22-Aug-16 10:00:23

And I don't think anyone can judge a child's normal behaviour during the general disruptiveness of a holiday.

formerbabe Mon 22-Aug-16 10:01:12

I agree with you op....it sounds exhausting. I often hear parents say their pre school aged dc still don't sleep through the night hence the parents are shattered. Madness! Still it doesn't affect me so Im not bothered especially.

You will get flamed though!

MonkeyPJs Mon 22-Aug-16 10:01:20

I thought the same as you when I had DC1.

Then DC2 came along and I learned the hard way how misplaced my previous smugness about a good evening routine was. We co-sleep, but only because I far prefer co-sleeping to no sleep.

And yes, I know I am making a rod for my own back and so on and in the cold light of day I know something must change. Next weekend, maybe, I'll have the strength to fight it ... been saying that for months

butterfliesandzebras Mon 22-Aug-16 10:02:17

I think yabu, because you seem to be assuming that if they had treated their child the way you treated yours it would have had the same effect. But all children are different.

Your method is working for your child, which is great for you, but that literally means nothing about what will work for another child.

For all you know, the co-sleeping is the best possible solution for their child, and they would be getting even less sleep if they were trying another method.

Just be grateful with what you have, and try not to be too smug if you are intending to have more children because if your next one isn't a sleeper you'll learn the hard way...

Thefitfatty Mon 22-Aug-16 10:02:20

Personally I never understood the parents who train their DC's to only sleep in their cot. Our two have always slept anywhere and everywhere. When they were little all I (or DH) had to do was rock them for a few minutes or lie down on a bed with them, and they'd be off. We could sit and socialize or enjoy a quiet night with friends without having to rush home to put DC's to bed and XX o'clock on the dot.
Co-sleeping was great because if they woke for a second in the night I was there to pat their backs and hush them right back to sleep. Took seconds. Much better than getting up, getting out of bed and trying to shush them that way.

Different strokes for different folks.

Simpsonsaddict Mon 22-Aug-16 10:02:26

It's so easy to fall into the trap when they're little and then you just can't get out of it - I saw it with my niece and she's at school now and still hates going to sleep alone. Best thing to do is start as you mean to go on and do the difficult stuff early because when they're older it's much, much harder. Your friends must be exhausted, I feel for them.

MatildaOfTuscany Mon 22-Aug-16 10:02:30

I coslept with DS till he was 2 1/4 - totally pragmatic decision, we both got more sleep that way. Options were - he wakes a little bit, I give him a half-asleep cuddle, he realises I'm there and he's safe and goes straight back to sleep, I haven't woken completely so I go straight back to sleep; or he wakes a bit, realises he's on his own, wakes up completely, cries, I have to get out of bed in the cold, settling him takes much longer because he's completely awake, by the end of this I'm completely awake and can't get back to sleep. Not suprisingly, option 1 worked for us! When he was about 2 1/4 I got a really bad cold, my coughing was disturbing him, so I moved into a separate room, and there was no problem with him adjusting to the change, so we kept it that way.

Floisme Mon 22-Aug-16 10:03:07

We did it because we're lazy bastards. And because it was lovely.

Son is 18 now and all of us are perfectly fine.

It's not compulsory.

Birdsgottafly Mon 22-Aug-16 10:03:43

I've had three children and done over nights with many, it depends on the child, unless you CIO and they eventually give in, which I wouldn't ever do and many won't.

Two of mine slept independently, one with SN. My eldest wouldn't.

I've just spent the weekend co-sleeping with my nearly two year old Grandchild. She'd cry to the point of vomiting, if she was left. Four days in and she wasn't settling any better, co-sleeping wasn't a big problem for my DD, so she didn't preserver. I'd have had to take over, after the four nights, even after taking naps during the day, she was done in.

The research shows that at three, those that were sleep trained aren't any better sleepers.

My GC will nap independently, though. You've been blessed.

Yorkieheaven Mon 22-Aug-16 10:05:33

Mmmm. Op never be smug as you will get your arse bitten. grin we too felt just like you with ds 1 and had a beautiful routine.

By dc4 with kids then aged 9/8 and 18 months we did what we needed to do to all get sleep.

GettingScaredNow Mon 22-Aug-16 10:05:41

Agree, unless you have a child who isn't a great sleeper you have no frame of reference for how difficult and soul destroying it can be.

My Dd didn't go to sleep on her own u til she was 18 months. I had to sit in her room beside her cot for up to an hour each night.

DS (23 months) I still rock to sleep and place him asleep in his cot. Then somewhere between 10pm and 2am he wakes and comes into my bed.
Which in itself is getting ridiculous as he likes to snuggle into my back but that means I lay awake for ages desperately trying not to fall out the bed!!
Last night he was wriggling a lot and full on kicked me in the eye.
I have a bruise coming up this morning. It's painful and unsightly!

But, it won't last forever. I will train him when he's ready just like I did with Dd.

HumphreyCobblers Mon 22-Aug-16 10:10:04

I thank my lucky stars that my toddler will go to sleep easily. He is my third, so I don't tend to ascribe that to my good parenting, rather I think it is luck!

I am not saying that you can not make bad sleeping worse or better by your actions as a parent though, but it is a sliding scale in my opinion and you just can never know where that scale stops and starts with other people's children.

SharonfromEON Mon 22-Aug-16 10:12:14

I really want you to have another baby and come and tell us how well it works for baby no.2....

Mine didn't sleep through till he was 4... I co slept because I was knackered..My DS 9 is still an early riser but needs no imput from me early mornings..

He never sleeps in my bed as he kicks me all night long and sleeps like a starfish in my bed.. I don't regret the years of him sleeping in my bed..It probably saved my sanity.

ShelaghTurner Mon 22-Aug-16 10:13:22

We do it because it's easy, it's cosy, we all like it. The idea of spending half the night sitting on the floor by a cot to settle a child was nightmarish to me. Each to their own.

DD1 co-slept till 5, then moved into her own bed in our room and this past Easter, at 8, she moved out into her own room. DD2 is still co-sleeping at 4 and has no current intention of moving. She has her own room if she wants it but she doesn't yet.

Yes I take her up to bed and stay with her and that suits us all too. DH and I are the sorts that both need our space and so it gives him some peace downstairs where he can potter around and I can do what I want upstairs. For us it works. One day DD2 will move out and that'll be that but I'm happy for it to be in her own time.

sianihedgehog Mon 22-Aug-16 10:14:16

God, my one year old has never in his life spent as many hours of the day asleep as your kid. You have NO IDEA how lucky you are.

Sparklingbrook Mon 22-Aug-16 10:14:46

I think you do what you need to to get by.

Co sleeping once you start it at some point when you want to stop it might be hard.

Personally I got zero sleep when we had a DC in bed with us. Way too fidgety.

MooPointCowsOpinion Mon 22-Aug-16 10:16:44

Coming across as a bit of a goody fucker OP...

Your kid sleeps well. Congrats. I doubt it's anything you did, it's just personality, unless you left him to cry to sleep at 4 months in which case congratulations on that too and don't google what that does to brain development for your own sake.

AnnaT45 Mon 22-Aug-16 10:19:54

I'm currently co sleeping with the newborn and DH with 19 month old on the spare room. It's ridiculous on the outside but we need to sleep to function. 19 month old has been a horrendous sleeper and we've tried everything. Don't forget it gets to the point when people are absolutely knackered so have no patience to implement things and they just need some sleep.

Be very very grateful your child sleeps so well. IME you either get a sleeper or you really don't!

AnnaT45 Mon 22-Aug-16 10:20:26

I'm currently co sleeping with the newborn and DH with 19 month old on the spare room. It's ridiculous on the outside but we need to sleep to function. 19 month old has been a horrendous sleeper and we've tried everything. Don't forget it gets to the point when people are absolutely knackered so have no patience to implement things and they just need some sleep.

Be very very grateful your child sleeps so well. IME you either get a sleeper or you really don't!

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