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16 month old's bed time routine and co-sleeping annoying DM and MIL

(25 Posts)
greenlegs Fri 21-Oct-11 00:47:01

I'm getting annoyed by questions from my mother and MIL about whether ds1 sleeps in his cot yet.

I put him in his pyjamas and get him to brush his teeth then let him BF himself to sleep when he's ready (any time from 7 till 9, usually 8 ish), and he sleeps in corner of living room until we take him up to bed with us.

Is this really that ridiculous? They have always found the idea of co-sleeping a bit odd ('it never happened in my day' said MIL), but the older DS gets the odder it seems to be for them.

Our current routine is very convenient for me I admit, I can watch tv/use laptop and talk to DH if DS takes longer over it than usual, and DS doesn't seem to be suffering (yet?), he isn't apparently bothered by our noise.

I did get him to sleep once up in his room, but then spent the whole evening glued to monitor and he was so angry to find himself up there when he woke up I ended up bringing him down again to settle him. I can't imagine this routine working when he's older though. I can't see 4 year old being happy to sleep in the corner of living room until I'm ready to go to bed for example, but I'm not sure how and when to make the transition.

I've heard that it's easier to make changes in routines before 18 months. Anyone else found that?

HeresTheScaryThingBooyhoo Fri 21-Oct-11 00:52:28

when you say corner of the living room. do you mean the floor?

and yes i would start making adjustments now because he will depend on this routine happening everynight even when he is older unless you change it.

i would start putting him up to bed once he falls asleep.

PogoBob Fri 21-Oct-11 00:52:53

No advice but marking my place as I'm in exactly the same routine with 14mo DD smile

greenlegs Fri 21-Oct-11 00:57:56

No he's not on the floor, he's got a comfy bed with sheepskin etc.

Mishy1234 Fri 21-Oct-11 04:17:52

We've done something fairly similar with both of ours. DS1 has slept in his own room from about 2.5. DS2 feeds to sleep in the living room at about 7 and I now transfer him to our bed once he's asleep.

We live in a bungalow though, so he's just a couple of rooms away. IME they move into their own bed/room when they're ready.

As for your DM/MIL, they just did things differently. That doesn't mean what you're doing is wrong though. Follow your instincts, they are usually right. IMO it's natural for young children to seek the comfort of their parent(s) during the night. Responding to that as you are doing is meeting your DS's needs. A gradual transition up to bed in the early evening will probably be the next step, then a move to his own room in time.

Ozziegirly Fri 21-Oct-11 06:41:39

It's completely and totally different to what we did - but he's your child so it's up to you what you do. Who cares what your parents and in laws think?

You know that when you want to change it, at first it will be hard, but you'll get through it. He won't be doing it at 15!

seaweedhead Fri 21-Oct-11 06:45:52

Well its not what I'd do but if it suits you and you're all happy with it then its none of anybody else's business. Its not as if you're actually harming your child.

snailoon Fri 21-Oct-11 06:54:44

What you are doing is GREAT. Don't listen to them. Our 3 slept with us as long as they wanted (years), and they are now all exceptionally independent, and have never been anxious about school, sleepovers, travelling alone, being alone at home, the dark,or anything else really. I guess I can't say it's cause and effect, but the two things don't seem unrelated.

Obviously other ways of sleeping work very well too, but I can't help noticing that humans are the only mammals who try to get their young to sleep independently in a separate nest. I don't think it's natural.

MrsHoolie Fri 21-Oct-11 14:38:52

Personally I prefer my DC's in their own beds (they go to bed at 7pm) BUT that is our choice and we've always had a bedtime routine from a few months old and they seem to like going to bed.
If you are happy with it (and your dc) then stick to it. It's your child....and not your MIL's.

Octaviapink Fri 21-Oct-11 16:07:20

Agree with the above! Do what you want to do - nothing you're doing is harmful to your child so they can butt out.

AngelDog Fri 21-Oct-11 22:13:41

Nothing to do with them, although I'm envy that he will go to sleep downstairs with you. My 22 m.o. will only drop off if it's dark-ish (unless he's completely shattered). We co-sleep but I feed DS to sleep in the chair in the bedroom and I then put him in bed and join him later.

The older they get the easier it is, as you can reason with them / tell them about changes you want to make. I don't think you should feel you need to change it now if it's working for you.

Greythorne Fri 21-Oct-11 22:35:18

Sounds like a lovely way to live IMO.
ignore the remarks.
Do what suits you and your family.

My favorite riposte to busybody MILs? 'You had your chance to parent 30 years ago. Now it's my turn'

greenlegs Fri 21-Oct-11 23:49:45

Thanks for all the replies, I guess these comments niggle because although what we're doing now works well for us all (it means DS gets to see DH more often than he would if he had a strict bed time for example) I do sometimes think he might be missing out on something not being put to bed as such.

Good to hear that it doesn't necessarily get harder to make changes when you can explain and reason about them. I've been hoping that will help to end bf eventually. Never really envisaged doing that past 24 months.

lydiamama Sat 22-Oct-11 00:01:41

Hi greenlegs, another co-sleeper here. I am planning to leave her to sleep on her own from these Christmas, she is 3 and a half and sleeps very well through the night, and can get out of her bed and come to look for me if I am in the living room, and not scared of darkness. But although we have always shared room, and bed for two years, we always left her on her own for her naps, and she is on her own from 7 in the morning everyweek day as I am gone to work. As some previous posters has told you, I would start to put him into the bed once he has fallen asleep, so he starts to get used to be there on his own, and so getting ready to get his own room. And for you mother and mother in law, he is your child, so your rules, if he is happy and well looked after, then you are doing your work very well.

jubilee10 Sat 22-Oct-11 09:48:32

Well, it wouldn't suit me at all. Mine go up to their own beds at 7.30pm (ish) and I leave them to fall asleep. I go downstaits to have some adult time tidy up. They don't come into our bed at all - that's our space. However he is not my child or you dm/mil's child and you should do exactly as you want. Just tell them that it's what suits you thet matters!

PipPipPip Sat 22-Oct-11 09:52:55

I have a six month old daughter. We've been happily co-sleeping until now, but I've recently decided to transition her to her own cot. This is partly because our bed is quite small, and our daughter is getting big and wiggly! Our sleep is suffering.

At the moment, we're going through a 'sleepless nights' phase as we make the transition. Tears, getting up throughout the night etc. But it is for the best, I think.

And yes - our mothers were starting to get concerned about our sleeping habits. I'm not making the change for them, however, but just to ensure that we all get a decent sleep each night.

Georgimama Sat 22-Oct-11 09:56:25

nothing to do with them - tell them butt out.

GHAHSTLYGHOULYpants Sat 22-Oct-11 10:01:05

Just do what you like to do and stuff anyone else. If you are happy with the situation, then carry on.

My DS had a bedtime routine from about 6m onwards, bath, massage, story, BF, into cot. Sort of worked for us and I liked being able to go down stairs and have dinner/drinks/chat with DH baby free. However DS used to wake alot in the night and we did co-sleep from about 1am onwards. I have always felt you just have to do what gets you through the night!

What would you do if you had guests rounds for dinner or something like that?

LetTheSlaughterBeGincognito Sat 22-Oct-11 10:03:31

If it works for you then don't change it!

Our 12mo sleeps in our bed. I feed him to sleep lying down on with him and then roll away when he's drifted off. When I go to bed I shifted him sideways into his sidecar cot but he always rolls back over at some point in the night for a feed.

I think we will transition at some point to me nursing him to sleep on a single mattress on the floor of his room, which will mean that I can join him in the night when he wakes. Not just yet though.

My own dm gets very twitchy about mealtimes. We are incredibly busy at the moment and are often quite a way from home during the day. She frequently mentions how important it is for babies to have regular mealtimes (I think she used to feed us at the same time each day). I'm not convinced!

TeamDamon Sat 22-Oct-11 10:03:40

Had to laugh when I read snailoon's post:

"Our 3 slept with us as long as they wanted (years), and they are now all exceptionally independent, and have never been anxious about school, sleepovers, travelling alone, being alone at home, the dark,or anything else really. I guess I can't say it's cause and effect, but the two things don't seem unrelated."

because my DS slept in his own room from the age of about two weeks' old and has never been anxious about school, travelling, the dark or anything else really - which just goes to show that there are many ways of getting to one destination!

MigGril Sat 22-Oct-11 10:14:28

We're currenlty doing the same with DS almost 12months (where did that time go). We're happy with it and as he still wake's in the evenings it means I'm not running up and down stairs several times. He sleeps in the travel cot in the living room, he then come's to bed with us.

Much more civilised then when we had DD and we tried to do it the more trational way. By 5months she was in her own room. But didn't sleep through untill 2.5years so I spent 2years having to get up every night. I said never again and this time we'll cosleep untill DS is ready to sleep though EVERY night on his own.

moonstorm Sat 22-Oct-11 10:59:01

Do what you want to do - ignore others.

We did this for a while, then chose to change things a little. We have a cot bed - when we took the sides off for ds1 we would happily lie on the bed with him. Having thought about this logically... with ds2, I climb in to the cotbed (with sides up) bf him to sleep, then go downstairs. It works really well.

tallulah Sat 22-Oct-11 15:28:02

We did exactly the same and got no end of grief from my mum "is that baby in her cot yet?". Also got grief off my mum's friends hmm and other members of the family, all up in arms that she didn't have a "proper bedtime". But it worked for us, and covered several house moves and a change of nursery. (She is DC5 and we've been there, done that with bedtime routines).

I can't remember when she first started going up to (our) bed on her own but she has just started school this term and is now in her own bed. She goes to bed between 7- 7.30, just like all the other kids, and it took zero effort on our part to get her there. She doesn't come downstairs and she doesn't make a fuss about going to bed.

Debs75 Sat 22-Oct-11 15:50:32

Your way is working for you so ignore them.

I don't see why there is such a fuss to shove kids off to bed at the earliest convenience. I didn't give dd1 a bedtime until she was at nursery and needed some routine. Before that she had shared with us and been confident in her own room going to bed when she was tired not when the clock said 7.
DD2 and 3 are still in our room at 3 and 1 and are often in our bed. i love having them near and they love having cuddles with us so who is it harming? Just the nosy people who demand routine and think we are mad.

In fact dd2 often sets her own bedtime, if she is tired after a long day at nursery and playgroup she will often ask for bed earlier. she knows if she is tired so we go with it

RitaMorgan Sat 22-Oct-11 15:56:03

Do it while it works. When it stops working, change it.

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