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Adamantly solo-sleeping toddler suddenly wants to co-sleep

(20 Posts)
mummylonglegs Wed 09-Feb-05 15:15:06

Dd, 2.4, has consistently refused to sleep anywhere near me since she was about 2 weeks old. Even when I've wanted her to she wants her 'own bed.' So she's been sleeping alone in her cot most of her life and sleeping very well. However over the last few months she's been waking in the night and calling for me. I go down and she always asks to 'sleep in mummy's bed' (mummy's bed being a single mattress we have on her bedroom floor for when she doesn't fancy the cot which is never and also for sleeping in her room when she's ill / we're worried about her). At first I resisted doing it because I thought it would be like the old days when she'd wriggle round and chat for half an hour then when I'm beyond the point of sleep ask to go back into her own bed. But now it's the opposite the moment she lies down next to me she's out and she sleeps very well.

I, however, don't. A single mattress with a toddler isn't comfortable and I'm not used to sleeping with her. I like it in so many ways because I know she's safe and I can hear her soft breathing. And I wouldn't mind if it was very occasional but I've been fooling myself it would be and in fact it's at least 3 times a week now. Sometimes I'm there most of the night from about midnight onwards but mostly I'm there from about 2-4am until morning.

What would you do? Treat it as a phase? Get tough?

Has anything like this happened to you guys?

TracyK Wed 09-Feb-05 15:21:56

Is she old enough for a sticker chart? enough room in her bedroom for a bigger mattress? or maybe she doesn't like her cot - time for a big bed?
or can you sneak away once she's asleep on the mattress?

mummylonglegs Wed 09-Feb-05 15:25:00

She's probably old enough for a sticker chart although I've never used one yet so I'm not sure. I've thought about the 'big bed' idea but she's so attached to her cot and never wants to sleep on the mattress as 'her' bed. And I could sneak away when she's on the mattress but I feel mean doing that. Once I did it and she woke up very upset saying 'where's mummy gone?' I've always thought that was a bit of a recipe for sleep anxieties ... ??

TracyK Wed 09-Feb-05 15:27:26

would she fall out of the cot if you left the side down for her so she could climb onto the mattress by herslef if she felt like it?

Mum2girls Wed 09-Feb-05 15:28:53

Mummylonglegs - my sympathies - I have my DD2 (2.1)in bed with me EVERY night, at least from 3am onwards and this has been going on for over a year.

We have tried, admittedly pretty lamely to break the cycle, but when we have, we found that she can scream and sob on and off for over 2 hours (waking DD1 in the process)- then when we finally give in, she's wide awake and fidgets for an hour or more before falling back off. Like your DD, if I just lift her the moment she wakes and lie her by me, she falls asleep immediately.

I cut her daytime sleep out 3 months ago in the hope this would make a difference, it hasn't.

I read somewhere that young children find the smell of their mums very soothing, so it aids sleep (or maybe I made it up to make myself feel better....)

mummylonglegs Wed 09-Feb-05 15:32:44

Tracy, her cot doesn't have a side that comes down. I am planning on trying her in a bed at some point but I'm not sure the cot's the issue, I think it's the company!

Mum2girls that sounds very familiar. On the occasions I have told dd to go back to sleep it can go two ways. She'll either just lie down and go off quite quickly or she'll be awake for 2 hours and then be very hard to settle. Last night she woke at midnight but I was so desperate to spend the night in my bed that I told her to go back to sleep and she did. But generally that doesn't happen. So I've gone for the easy option too. I think you're probably right about the 'smell of mum' and also possibly the sound of my breathing reassures her. Did your dd always do this or did it start gradually? I'm wondering if it's going to start happening every night ...

Mum2girls Wed 09-Feb-05 15:37:55

Mumylonglegs, she slept perfectly happily on her own in her cot from the start - could do all the 'textbook' stuff like put her down awake etc -in fact she still goes to bed perfectly well.

It all started at about 9/10months old. So we got her a bed, thinking that she'd like to be like her big sister and may stay in it. Not at all - it never made a blind bit of difference. Loved her bed, but doesn't want to stay in it (on her own) past 3am.

I am completely at a loss as how to deal with this, so just accept it. The really annoying thing is that she won't sleep with DP at all - so it's always me

mummylonglegs Wed 09-Feb-05 15:40:19

How odd. Same here. Dd slept on her own in 'textbook fashion' but right up until she was just over 2. Then she's decided that at some point in the night she needs me to sleep with. She also won't sleep with dp. So do you have a bed in her room or does dp get kicked out of your bed?!

Mum2girls Wed 09-Feb-05 15:45:02

Usually he jumps my request. I have gotten into her bed with her, with the intention of waiting till she drops off, but I'm so knackered, I nod off too, so never end up back in our bed.

Surely mummylonglegs we're not the only ones.... there must be someone out there who's gone through this and come out the other side?

handlemecarefully Wed 09-Feb-05 15:48:10

Uncanny! My 2.6 year old dd has started doing this very recently (the past fortnight). However, it happens at around 5.00 in the morning.

I don't know the answer because it's a new problem for me too, but shall watch this thread with interest.

mummylonglegs Wed 09-Feb-05 15:55:17

I hate to tell you this, hmc, but my dd started with 5am wakings. Then it got earlier and earlier ... Now it's quite often only about an hour after I've gone to bed. Although when that's the case I'm trying very hard to get her to stay in her cot. When it's closer to 5am there's just no point in starting a battle as she'll wake up fully and we'll all be knackered all day.

Mum2girls Wed 09-Feb-05 17:50:08

Blimey - just heard from a workcolleague that her 7yo still gets in with her or Dh every night.....

handlemecarefully Wed 09-Feb-05 21:00:57

Ooh errr - I shall look forward to the situation deteriorating mummylonglegs!

handlemecarefully Wed 09-Feb-05 21:01:28

Ooh errr - I shall look forward to the situation deteriorating mummylonglegs!

bobbybob Thu 10-Feb-05 00:10:42

My ds went into a bed for a week, and then decided that he wanted to sleep in my bed. I don't think he actually wanted me in it though, think he just liked the idea of being in a king size. So he's back in his cot.

mummylonglegs Thu 10-Feb-05 08:58:51


Last night dd woke at 2.30am and dp went in, gave her a drink, told her I was fast asleep and she went off again in her cot. But I think that's a fluke because we've tried it before and got screaming ab-dabs.

handlemecarefully Thu 10-Feb-05 22:51:35

mummylonglegs - you were so right. Last night it was 03.20 when dd ended up in my bed upon her insistence.

TracyK Fri 11-Feb-05 11:17:21

I think it must be catching - my ds usually lasts till 5am - but 2 nights ago it was 2.30 am and last night he tried it on at 11.45pm! I think (hope) he's teething though.

mummylonglegs Fri 11-Feb-05 12:46:05

Well, it may be contagious, but remember it was MY dd who invented it!

Actually I've found that dd now often wakes up briefly when we're going to bed (we're nowhere near her room so we're not being noisy) but can be easily settled with a swig of water and a reassuring pat. It's the early hours of the morning wakings that are the killer because then she just won't go back to sleep alone.

TracyK Fri 11-Feb-05 19:09:53

well I would have brought ds into bed last night at 11.45 but dh wasn't having any of it - so after another 4 oz of milk he went back to sleep. Although he hadn't had much to eat during the day - so prob was hungry. Then he needed calpol at 1.30am - so prob teething.
You can take ALL the credit for starting this infection!

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