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Co-sleeping 3 year old. How to make her own bedroom a more appealing option?

(8 Posts)
Horton Thu 22-Oct-09 12:10:40

Hi. I have a three year old who has slept in our bed since she suddenly took a great dislike to her cot when she was about sixteen months old. She now has a small toddler bed in her bedroom but has never liked this any better and attempts to get her to sleep in it have always ended in tears (sad tears IYSWIM, not tantrummy tears).

I'm expecting another baby in June and I would really like to get my daughter to sleep in her own room some time before I become as big as a house and require four pillows wedged around me in order to sleep comfortably. DH is also getting a bit fed up - he thinks she is too big to sleep with us and as he usually gets the kicky foot end rather than the hot little head and cuddling arms, I do see his point.

I have talked to her lots about her own bed and her own bedroom (not trying to pressure her into it, just letting her know that lots of children like sleeping in their own beds etc) and she is stil vehemently against the idea of sleeping in it. We bought her lovely cushions etc to make her room more comfortable and appealing but although she loves playing in there, when I suggest that she tries sleeping there her eyes fill with tears and she says 'But Mummy, YOU won't be there'.

Is there anything anyone can suggest to help her make the transition? I don't want to upset her and am absolutely not up for just putting her in her bed and leaving her to cry it out. I just want a way to try and encourage her to want to make ther move on her own...

Or am I being insanely optimistic and will I have to kick her out if I want her to sleep in her own bed?

Seededbiatch Thu 22-Oct-09 12:18:21

I shared a bed with my DD until she was three, TBH it was more out of necessity than through anyone's choice because we only had a one bed flat and therefore only one bed but when she turned three we moved house to a three bed house and she got her own room but obviously it was big change none the less.

I made her a beautiful bed with a pretty canopy made of white voile and velvet and I strung star lights in it for night lights and had more night lights around her bed head and made the whole room a sort of fairy princess grotto so she loved it. The transition was quite easy.

Does she sleep through the night? If she does the hardest part will be to get her into bed and asleep, how do you do that now?

Horton Thu 22-Oct-09 12:45:10

She does sleep through the night, yes. And it doesn't take her long to fall asleep usually as she has recently dropped her daytime nap and is very tired by 7.30ish. I sit beside her or put clothes away in my bedroom, and she drops off quite happily. She doesn't mind too much if I am not in bed with her at that point as long as she knows I am coming later (she always asks). When she had a daytime nap, she would just lie down on the sofa or a cushion and drop off without me, too.

The hard bit is getting her to think sleeping alone is a good idea, I think.

I plan to change her bedroom to a larger room quite soon so that she can have more of her toys in it and also have a decent-sized private space where the baby can't interfere with her stuff when s/he arrives. Maybe she would like to choose the furnishings etc with me. Love the canopy idea, it sounds really pretty.

And your name is making me laugh.

Mellin Thu 22-Oct-09 13:03:46

Horton, I am in the same situation with my 3 year old DD. She moved into our bed about 6 months ago after a stay in hospital and disruptions while we moved house.

We have tried several times getting her back into her own room/bed and she will go to sleep there, but wakes up numerous times in the night scared/upset. Whereas when she's in with us she sleeps like a log.

We have decided the first step to breaking this cycle is to get her to sleep on her own on a trundle bed in our room. Once she's mastered that hopefully the transition to her room will be easier. We've been talking to her about getting a "special bed" of her own, and being a big girl with her own bed etc etc to get her used to the idea. We plan to move her at the end of the month.

At the same time I am hoping/praying that she "grows" out of this stage soonish and lazy me won't have to do anything about it!

Seededbiatch Thu 22-Oct-09 13:23:18

I think like Mellin says making it into something thats very special for big girls and also like you suggested getting her to choose her own décor (to a point!) are both the best routes to take.

Keep it all light and positive but remain firm and resolute once you've begun.

It will work smile

p.s just had a seedy sandwich for lunch grin

Horton Thu 22-Oct-09 13:54:54

Thanks for the encouragement, both of you. It is also very comforting to know that I'm not the only person still sleeping with a three year old!

I just had a large trifle for lunch. Well, I'm pregnant. I'm allowed.

Mellin Fri 23-Oct-09 10:18:35

I think Seededbiatch is spot on with "firm and resolute once you've begun". That's were we probably went wrong the couple of times we tried to get DD back into her own bed as they were very half-hearted attempts really.

Horton Fri 23-Oct-09 16:40:13

Yes, I must admit I haven't ever really stuck to trying like I probably should have done.

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