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Co-sleeping to own bed results in sad little girl

(10 Posts)
Lisawantsacat Mon 31-Aug-09 07:42:28

A year ago I allowed my daughter, then 16 months to start sleeping in my bed. As a single parent with a full time job the night time waking was beginning to have a bad effect on my health and sanity, so I took the easy option. We're now living with her daddy, and the bed was becoming a little squashed. So a week ago we took the plunge and moved her back to her own bed.

The first two nights were deceptively easy, she almost slept through and seemed quite happy. Then on the third she started waking frequently crying out for me. I've spent the last 5 nights squashed into a cot bed, or lying on the floor next to her bed or trekking back and forth throughout the night.

If she was just struggling with the change of routine I'd cope, but the heart breaking bit is how sad she is that she's been kicked out of mummy and daddy's bed and into her own. I've tried explaining that her bears need her to look after them at night, and that mummy and daddy don't want to squash her, but ultimately she sees it as a massive rejection, and who can blame her.

So I'm desperate for any ideas on convincing her this is for the best, and that she's not being rejected but rewarded with her own big girl bed. Or was it just too soon, and I should have waited until she took the initiative and moved into her own bed?

turtle23 Mon 31-Aug-09 07:50:59

Wish I could help...Watching with interest as DS (17 months) is in with me and when his brother comes in three months' time I will have to have him settled in his own bed. Can't face it as he gets so sad.

FrannyandZooey Mon 31-Aug-09 08:16:38

She is quite young to make the transition now she is used to being in your bed - she's obviously finding it hard, so why not allow her to come back in? get a bigger bed if necessary - or just a mattress on the floor of your room if this isn't possible. It would really be best if you could give her more time to take the initiative, as you suggest, if you can wait a bit longer - i understand the bed getting a bit full though, but it's worth it long term if you can make it work!

FrannyandZooey Mon 31-Aug-09 08:18:02

p.s. lots of parents do let their children share their bed and you haven't done anything wrong. it helps the children with their nighttime fears and can help to make you all very close as a family. the children don't stay forever and they are only small like this for a short time really!

franklymydear Mon 31-Aug-09 08:24:56

I think she should be sleeping in your bed - 2 and a half is not an age to make them move if they're used to sleeping. Can you not get a bigger bed or move her cotbed into your room and slip it up to the side.

It sounds like she's had lots of changes, first mummy all to herself and now daddy and mummy back together but that means she's alone.

She won't be there forever

AKAEKB Mon 31-Aug-09 16:24:14

My friends have done co sleeping from birth with their little boy. They plan to move him into his own room and get him a kitten at the same time. If you can cope with the responsibility, a real life object might help. Girls are so naturally maternal that having something living to care for might work.

FlamingoBingo Mon 31-Aug-09 16:38:26

Put her back in your bed. Put the mattress on the floor and store the base. Put a single next to it. Do that until she's old enough to actually want her own room.

We did that with our DDs and our oldest two are now happily sleeping in their own room. Our younger too are too young to move, I feel, at 2y7m and 11m.

Lisawantsacat Tue 01-Sep-09 13:36:59

I thought I'd let you know the outcome, because it may prove helpful to someone else.

I discussed the matter at great length with my other half yesterday, who said he hadn't realised how upset the situation was making me and her. He admitted that he didn't know how she was during the night as it's always me who goes to her (no fault of his, I'm just still tuned in to her frequency and am awake half a second after her, whereas it takes several seconds to rouse him, by which time she's worked herself up a bit more, so it just makes sense for me to respond to her quicker).

Anyway, to allow him to see for himself, last night he was on response duty. The first time he went in there she was clearly quite upset and asking to come in with mummy and daddy. His heart shattered straight away, and next thing I knew he was carrying her back in to bed with us, where she's now going to remain until she expresses signs she's ready for her own bed. There's no room for an extra mattress at the side, unfortunately, but we'll squish in.

I think it was very useful to have outsiders examine the evidence. We'd been assuming she would be thrilled having daddy with us all the time now. It was your input that made us see she might also be experiencing jealousy at having to share mummy, even if it is with daddy. We also hadn't noticed how soon after the recent upheaval of moving we were doing this.

And to the person who suggested combining the bedroom move with getting a kitten, I think that's an awesome idea; other half less impressed! He doesn't even want to get a hamster.

Pinkjenny Tue 01-Sep-09 13:43:48

<sob> at this thread and searches for a way to have 2.7yo and newborn all in bed together. Oh, and dh. Although I'm not really that bothered where he sleeps grin

TheGashlycrumbTinies Tue 01-Sep-09 22:29:55

DD2 aged just 4 spends nearly every night in our bed, when I ask her why she tells me she "gets lonely, and wants to cuddle us."

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