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If you co-slept, at what age did your DC grow out of it, and how?

(15 Posts)
insicknessandinhealth Mon 19-Sep-11 19:35:26

Basically, after months of trying to get my DS, nearly 4, to sleep through, I have admitted defeat and set up a mattress in the corner of our room, so that he and I can both get a decent night's sleep. He wakes up to 4 times per night, which has built up gradually over the past 3 or 4 months, He has always been a bad sleeper, but it is now worse than ever, and without proper rest I feel I can't face supernanny-type techniques. He is a super sensitive (and very stubborn) child, and I know his reaction to that type of technique as I have tried it several times over the course of getting him to sleep through. Also tried some of the techniques in the No Cry Sleep Solution. I work 4 days a week, and am to all intents and purposes a single parent, as my DH lost the use of his right arm following a stroke during my pregnancy, plus all his speech, and his focus is on his recovery (that is another story!). I see this as a temporary measure but I was a bit taken aback at my DS's enthusiasm for the 'mini bed' when I explained it to him earlier. So, if you have co-slept or had a similar situation for your DC, what age did they grow out of it? And did they do this naturally, or did you have to basically stop them from doing it? I mean, I am assuming this happens naturally at some stage as obviously teenagers no longer do this... do they??!!

SurprisEs Mon 19-Sep-11 20:04:12

My situation was completely different from your so not sure if it is relevant but here goes:

DD is 2.2 yrs. I co-slept from about 5/6 weeks old because it was easier to bf but mainly because DD cried to the point of being sick everytime I put her in the cot. I was convinced the problem were the bars in the cot and that she was scared of the cot because the first time she saw those were in hospital at 3 weeks in serious pain with gastroenteritis. She slept in a Moses before the hospital stay. Everyone told me I was spoiling her and she would sleep with me until she was married! I knew it was the bars and ignored all criticism. On her 2nd birthday my MIL bought DD a bed as I said she had plenty of toys and I couldn't afford a bed. From the day the bed arrived she has slept in her bed, no fuss or crying needed.

I know it's harder for other people but my point is that trying to figure out why he doesn't want to or can't sleep alone might solve the problem.

Hope some good suggestions come out of this thread and the best of luck to you and your boy smile

Long post, sorry.

bibbitybobbityhat Mon 19-Sep-11 20:07:30

I co-slept from 0 - 3 months.

Moved baby into cot in our room 3 - 6 months.

Moved baby into own room at 6 months, which is when they started to sleep through the night.

But I see that this doesn't help with your issues! Sorry.

CharlieBoo Mon 19-Sep-11 21:09:20

Hi, have been through this with my ds who is now 6. He is also a highly sensitive child, hates being alone, is scared at night, needs reassurance etc. He has never wanted to sleep alone and always came into our room in the night, refusing to go back to bed. In the end we just went with how he was feeling and let him in with us. Gradually he has grown out of it over the last year or so, and we did his room up how he wanted it, got him an amazing nightlight which he has on all night. I didn't stress because I remember being so scared as a child at night and everyone being so cross with me. It's hard not to get cross, it's the middle of the night, everyone's exhausted, the fears are completely irrational but to him they're real. So we went with letting him in with us. Do what's best for you, who cares about what people think or whst they do, I always swore I would never co sleep but in the end we had to and it's been cool. We now have the same with our 2 year old dd... So going through it all again lol! Good luck.

wompoopigeon Mon 19-Sep-11 21:17:37

It is entirely up to your and your DH what you can put up with and how quickly you want to move him back into his own bedroom. But my story is that one night my DD at about 3 looked at the (never used) bed in her room. I saw her doing it and jumped at the chance. I gently and calmly offered her a sticker to sleep in it, and put the sticker on the headboard. She climbed straight in. Never comes in our bed in the night now, except for cuddles in the morning. Her decision. Her timing.
The suggestion that others will have that you will need to eject them forcibly is total crap. But, when you think they've had the reassurance they need to get over whatever rocky patch it is, it can be a nice "trick" to make their bedroom as enticing as possible, and use little bribes if you use them generally to reward wanted behaviour.
Every child is different, of course. smile

wompoopigeon Mon 19-Sep-11 21:18:31

(I mean others off Mumsnet BTW. MILs in particular can have Strong Views).

BrokenBananaTantrum Mon 19-Sep-11 21:25:28

All I can say is do what works for you. Our approach was for everyone to get a good sleep. I didn't care where everyone slept as long as we all did. DD co slept with us off and on until she was 5 yo. We had a single bed in our room as she was too big and wriggly to have in ours. She chose when to move into her own bed and since then she hasnt been in at all to us and sleeps through. We all slept well and just didn't make it an issue. If you are happy having him in with you do it and don't let others put you off. He will eventually move in on his own.

snailoon Mon 19-Sep-11 21:34:36

One of ours moved out at three, no problem, just as wompoo described. Our other two both wanted to say with us for longer, but sort of went back and forth with some nights in their own beds. Our second child occasionally wanted to sleep with us until about age 10, but this was rare. Our third (now 10) still wants to be near us or one of her siblings, but will sleep on her own too. All of them have always been great at sleepovers and are extremely independent. The co-sleeping has only been a problem occasionally when they were little and insisted on kicking in their sleep.
We have travelled a great deal, so it has suited us to be able to co-sleep in lots of different hotels and houses, with very little fuss.
I feel like people worry too much about this issue. Maybe your son will sleep better if you take away all pressure to move into his own room. If he sleeps well, it may not bother you having him there; you may even enjoy his peaceful presence.

BrokenBananaTantrum Mon 19-Sep-11 21:40:59

I agree with snailoon about enjoying his presence. I actually miss DD at night and was secretly sad when she moved into her own room (as well as being pleased for her.) She is v.independent in most other aspects and just needed this extra bit of support.

kahlua4me Mon 19-Sep-11 21:41:24

I think you just have to do what suits your family so you all get enough rest and sleep. Just concentrate on you all getting enough rest so you can work and care for all, your son can learn and play and you dh can get back to full recovery.

My ds did not sleep through til he was 6. Had a form of sleep apnoea which caused him to wake up several times. Not diagnosed for a long time, but that is another story! He was happy to sleep in his own bed but we were often disturbed and had to go to him, no sleep training helped at all.

Then came dd who was a very good sleeper until she came out of her cot and found she could come to our bed during the night. We decided to get a bigger bed and let her sleep with us after all the trials we had had with ds, and had no desire to do sleep training with her whilst still getting up with ds! She was happy and so were we.

Anyway, end of tale was when she was about 4.6 she decided, completely of her own accord to stay in her own bed, and apart from nightmares or feeling ill has never come to us since.

I just decided to do what suited us and kept thinking that when they are teenagers they are not likely to want to share our room!!

SaffronCake Tue 20-Sep-11 00:37:24

Littlest DD is just 11 months and she's going off co-sleeping. This is far earlier than I ever thought as my first child (aged 12 years now) would occasionally sleep in with me (but only me, not if my husband was present) until about 5-6 years old.

Big DD stopped really wanting to at 5-6 because Mummy sometimes farted, made the bed too hot, stole the covers, took up too much space and fidgeted too much, which Mummy thought was a highly entertaining set of reasons!

Little DD seems to have come to dislike sleeping cuddled up to me with her head on my arm, preferring a flatter surface, but as she's on the outside of a high bed this is not possible, so most nights she goes straight to sleep in her own cot, which has direct line of sight to where I sleep. I've been rejected again! grin

It's convenient though, our next baby is due in a month.

SaffronCake Tue 20-Sep-11 00:41:42

PS this is very naughty so I wasn't going to say it, but I have had a change of heart...

I might have helped big DD along with that decision. Perhaps I didn't have to make special farting chilli quite that often or roll over quite that irritably or take quite that much duvet...

Bad Mummy! grin

insicknessandinhealth Tue 20-Sep-11 09:23:09

Brilliant, thank you so much for your responses everyone, I feel completely reassured and am going to stop listening to the Supernanny voices in my head and go with my instinct. DS came to his 'mini bed' at 3.30, went almost straight back to sleep until 5.20 - but that is normal for him, early bird! Apart from my DH snoring grin I had a decent night's sleep! Interestingly, he would normally wake up a couple of times before 3.30, so I wonder if the reassurance of knowing he could eventually come in to us made him a bit more relaxed about sleeping. Love not having to get out of my bed either, makes such a difference to your mood.

purcellfan Wed 21-Sep-11 09:06:27

I suspect we will be in your position with ds (2.2). He had a phase of falling asleep in his toddler bed but then we co-slept on holiday and now he's decided he prefers to play in it and then sleep with us (still have his bed side cot attached to our bed to make more space, he's always hated it with the fourth side up though). Actually when he sleeps in his room I sleep less well as I'm always listening for him, so think we're going to go with the flow for now. Good to hear that there are others in the same position!

AngelDog Wed 21-Sep-11 23:08:59

A friend has 6 children, all now adults. She commented that their bedroom used to look like a hospital ward with small people sleeping all over it where they'd crept in during the night. smile

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