Okay mamas. I need your help. My family bed shares and we love it. We feel that the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. Some of the positives is that we get better sleep than most parents who have to wake up in the middle of the night, walk down the hall, and feed/soothe/comfort a crying baby. We also feel that our children are completely affectionate and are confident little beings. This is NOT to say that bed sharing is fully responsible for it but I do feel that it help contribute to it.
I’ve been told by many people that children begin to sleep through the night and independently around the age of 3. Well, my oldest daughter is 3 years and 4 months old. Her room is attached to our bedroom and she has her own beautiful and comfortable bed. We tried to make her bed just as comfortable as our pillow top mattress and we put the same number of sheets and blankets on top of it. We tried to closely imitate our sleeping arrangements to make her feel more comfortable. However, she still wakes in the middle of the night and she MUST have a body present in her room, if not in her bed with her. We cannot continue sleeping like this! My husband would LOVE to sleep in our bed and we are both dreading the day we have to transition our 18 month old out of our bed into his own.
We’ve tried wearing her out during the day (but it’s hard when preschool still allows the child to nap during the day for 2 hours), wearing her out before bed, doing calming and quiet activities before bed, giving her stuffed animals to sleep with, etc. We’ve done routines. We’ve told her in advance what to expect. NOTHING WORKS. We’ve started putting her in her bed in the beginning of the night and laying down with her until she falls asleep. Then we’ll get up, go into our room but then 2 hours later, she’s climbing into our bed. She’s never had a “lovey” (neither has my son!) so it’s hard to keep her feeling comforted. She even THINKS that she sleeps through the night when she wakes up in her own bed (after we have struggled with her all night or have just fallen asleep with her in her bed).
I need your advice, mamas! How have you successfully transitioned your toddler from your bed to his/her own bed? How do you keep it going when you go on vacation or you’re in a new place for a temporary time period? What am I missing? Is there still hope for us?!