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I miss sleep.

*yawn* I’m tired, folks. It’s been a little over four years since my oldest child was born and I can count on one hand the number of nights I’ve slept all the way through the night in a bed by myself or just with my husband.

I’m so sick and tired of my kids running into our room in the middle of the night and crawling into bed with us, refusing to go back to their rooms. I’ve had it.

Co-sleeping might be sweet and help everyone sleep in the first year but now? I’m over the feet and hands in my face in hair all night. I’m tired of rolling over slightly to reposition only to have the empty space filled with a child rolling over to get closer to me.

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I have no idea how to fix it. I know lots of kids come to their parents’ beds in the mornings for a long time, but my kids are coming to our room around midnight. I’ve tried laying on their floor from the time they wake to come to our room until morning but then they just try to lay on the floor next to me and then I sleep even worse than in my bed.

I’ve tried having them sleep on the couch, kind of a midway point between their room (which apparently is horrible and cannot be slept in all night) and our room, but that lasts for maybe an hour.

I’ve tried walking them back to their room and firmly demanding that they sleep in their bed. That only results in crying, weeping, and no sleep.

Nothing works. I have no idea how to fix it but I can’t keep doing this.

HELP. ME.

I don’t even know what I’m asking of you. Empathy? Can’t-fail solutions? A pat on the shoulder? I don’t know. I’m too tired to care.

*Edited to add:  I know, this post is a big heap of self-pity today. I know there are people in worse sleep situations than me and in the grand scheme of things, I’ll look back in 10 years and miss the hands in my hair all night. But if I don’t figure out a way to sleep soon, I’m not going to be able to enjoy the time I spend with my kids during the day.

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About Krista

Krista is a full-time working mom of two boys, currently aged 6 and 7. She lives in Kentucky with her husband, Brandon.

Comments

  1. When my sis and I were little, my mom had the same problem. Somewhere she heard that it takes two weeks (I think the time frame is right, but I’ll check and get back to you) to reset a habit and made a chart for us. We went to the store and picked out rewards that we really wanted (for us it was those jelly shoes…lol) and once we went that certain amount of time without climbing into her bed, she took us to buy the shoes. I think we were about the age of your boys (we are two years apart). Have you tried anything like that? I know it looks like bribing, but if you you use a bribe to create a good behavior pattern that lasts….well worth it! 🙂 I’m sure there were nights at first when she had to remind us to get back to bed if we wanted our shoes, but it worked. Maybe taking a photo of their prize and hanging it on the door or near their bed where they will see it…Good luck! Hope you get some sleep soon. Also, Jack stays in bed pretty well, but I have a baby gate in his doorway, so if he needs me, he has to call. He can’t come running into our room. Sometimes this means that I am up in his room in the middle of the night, but when he is all taken care of, I tuck him back into his bed and go back to my bed alone. When he does get up at night, I also usually go through an abbreviated version of our bedtime routine to help him get back in the bedtime frame of mind. No book or anything, but I usually sing our night time song to him and cuddle for a minute, then tuck him in, give him a kiss (or sometimes a drink) and turn his music on. This probably wouldn’t be a magic fix, but over time it does get him into an understanding that this is the normal and Mommy’s bed isn’t.

  2. Ahhhh jelly shoes 🙂

    We have talked about giving them a reward but haven’t started a chart. I guess we could try that. The other problem is that they always come into our room right when Brandon and I have fallen into a deep sleep and we will do absolutely anything to just go back to sleep! So it’s mostly our fault that they continue doing this. :/

  3. Krista you poor thing!! Girl just wants some sleep!!! As for what to do right now, I don’t really have a good answer. My thoughts would tend to lead towards the chart, weaning them back in bed ideas above (the whole sleep training thing, just with older kiddos). The best advice I ever got as a new mom was to have my son sleep in his own bed (And to do that you really have to start as an infant). And really it was our plan all along. I understand the whole co-sleeping thing and realize in your situation with Miles if really may have been the best thing for your family. And please don’t take what I’m about to say as gloating, its just what worked for us and I believe in it. For us having Jonah sleep in his crib was was more about necessity. 9 weeks after I had Jonah, I had to start functioning again as a working mom and really had to have some connected sleep. But it is a decision I have never regretted. Up until a few months ago, the boy didn’t even know we had a bed or even slept at all. He loves bed time, loves his routine, and even asks for it sometimes. He sleeps downstair in his own room with all the lights off from 7:30pm to 7:00am without so much as a peep. And I really think its because we started sleeping in his own bed in his own room at about 3 months. As soon as we started that, he dropped a nighttime feeding immediately and we knew it was the right decision. We have not made the jump to the toddler bed yet and I know its coming soon, but I’m not worried about it because of the good routine we have in place. So maybe I have no advice for right now, but my advice is to do things differently from the start if you have anymore babies.

  4. I feel your pain, though not quite in the same way! We’ve just been sick here so the baby has been up constantly all night because she can’t breathe. Anyhow, I swore I would never cosleep and didn’t with my first two. Then came Avery. And in the beginning I thought I wouldn’t get another wink of sleep without her in my arms in my bed (and finally thankfully in a cosleeper in our bed). Eventually though, it did get better and we did transition her to her own bed in her own room next door because we all slept better. I still miss her cuddles though, but I do get better sleep! How long did you cosleep before transitioning into their own beds? They do share a bedroom correct? Have you tried letting them fall asleep in your bed then moving them back to their own? This works for us when our 3 year old has bad dreams. I wish I could offer more advice, sorry! I do hope it gets better, and to me, it sounds like its time for something drastic…..

  5. Kendall – Uggh! 😛 I don’t know if I could do the whole “you never sleep in our bed” thing with a young baby. It was wonderful co-sleeping when they were nursing in the middle of the night.

    Bonnie – They do share a bedroom. They have always had a bed in their own room but we did some sleep training with them each around 9mo or a year. They have both moved to a toddler bed right at their 2nd birthday. Every once in awhile one of them will sleep through the night in their bed all night but it’s very rare. We had them sleep on a little bed on the floor for awhile when they would come in, to make coming into our room much less attractive. But it didn’t work for long before they were wailing by the side of the bed.

    It’s funny. Miles just wants to go to sleep when he gets in our bed and he’s still and quiet, just BIG. Then there’s Spencer, who wiggles and flips and plays with your hair no matter what. Miles says he comes into our room because Spencer has left and “I want Spencer to stay in my room!” but I think he’s just saying that.

  6. I didn’t ever co sleep with Jack, but he was in a bassinet right beside my bed for the first three months. I nursed him at night and then dropped him back in his bed to sleep again. When he was three months old, he was basically sleeping through the night and so I moved him into his room (very tearfully) because I was going back to work at four months and I wanted him in a good routine before then. I have a good friend who did cosleeping with her two boys until they were like six or seven months old and then moved them to their own rooms. I do agree with Kendall about not making Mommy’s bed even an option. Occasionally Jack needs me at night, but I will take the sleep interruption here and there in an effort to maintain our typical peaceful nights sleep. I think if co sleeping with an infant is important to you, you can still transition them when they are a little older. It just might take a little extra time and effort. The baby whisperer stuff that you recommended when Jack was new really helped me develop a routine while staying true to my Mommy instincts. I did plenty of snuggling, rocking, nursing, and baby wearing, and still managed to get the little guy to sleep in his bed when he needed to. I do give a lot of the credit for my success in that area to you and your advice. 🙂

  7. Ha! Maybe I should listen to my own advice then?

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