Co-sleeping with my 3-year-old

IMG_20141226_220839bWe’ve been struggling to get the peanut to sleep in his own bed at night. And by “we” I mean “me”, and by struggling I mean kind of trying, but not being very strict about it. Since he was born he’s slept curled up next to me nearly every night. There were the early days before he was mobile when I could leave him in his crib and he’d sleep on his own, but I’ve always chosen to co-sleep because it makes breastfeeding a million times easier overnight.

The peanut never had a lovey to attach himself to like his older brother the preshus did, so when the breastfeeding stopped, sleeping next to me was his nightly comfort zone thing. He loves to put his face right up to mine while he touches  my arm as he drifts off to dreamland, and if I’m being honest here (which I am) as much as it’s annoying and ticklish as hell to have the dainty fingers of a then toddler, now preshcooler run his hands up and down my arm while we’re both trying to fall asleep, I secretly love that he needs me in this way. Don’t tell my husband though, he’s been waiting to get co-sleeping kids out of our bed for 6 years now.

It took a complete set of superhero sheets to lure a four-and-a-half year-old preshus our of the family bed. But mostly I did that becasue our bed was getting too small for the four of us to be in there all at once and get any decent sleep. So this christmas, in an effort to get the last kicky kid into his own bed I scored a great deal on a CARS bed from Sears. It’s adorable and toddler sized which pretty much guaranteed that when he saw it he’d never want to sleep anywhere else considering his love for all things Disney Cars.

*insert giggle-snort here*

It’s been about a month since we got the bed and basically the peanut and I have come to an understanding. He’ll make a show of lying down in his bed for a few minutes at bedtime, then he’ll crawl in his brother’s small bed next to me to fall asleep while the preshus and the hubs revel in the glory that is a king-sized bed all to themselves. Wait? What? Yes, you read that right. I’m pretty much spending the night in a single bed with the peanut “training” him to sleep on his own. I’m not the one who’s wining here. That’s for damn sure.

Truthfully though it’s going better than I thought. There were a few tears when we first got the peanut’s new bed and he realized he was supposed to sleep in it, but in the ensuing weeks he’s been amenable to letting me put him in it after he’s drifted off to sleep. He’ll even stay asleep in it for part of the night, crinkly crib mattress and all, until he eventually wakes up and wanders sleepily over to my side of the room and crawls over my legs to his preferred spot with me on one side, and the wall on the other. On the nights when I’m not too utterly exhausted to notice that a child has climbed over my legs in the middle of the night, I’ll wait for him to drift of again before depositing him back into his own bed, rinse repeat at least 3 times every night. There are some nights when I’m in such a deep sleep that I don’t notice he’s gotten back into bed with me until the next morning, but by then it’s time to wake up anyways so no point in moving him.

I’m dreaming of the day when he starts school and is so exhausted at the end of a day full of adventure that he sleeps through the night, but even then, I think I’ll still take the time to lay next to him as he falls asleep. He’s my peanut, after all, and I won’t always be his lovey. So until then, I’ll enjoy our time together, even if it means I’m still that sleep-deprived mother I seem to have always been.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This post was inspired by the article I Still Sleep With My 6-Year-old on Babble.com. I often worry that I’m doing more harm than good by continuing to co-sleep with my little peanut, but knowing that there are parents out there who do the same for many more years than I’ve been doing it, makes me feel better about my situation. I’m not alone in this, and our kids will grow up just fine.


2 Comments

  1. That’s commitment, and also, so precious. I see my 3 year old slowly losing his toddler childishness, and it kinda makes me sad! I admit, I’m SUCH a light sleeper that I banished my kids from my room when they were 4 days old. I can’t even stand it when my husband might roll over and graze my arm during the night! 😛

Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: