Need help transitioning my 3 yr old to her own bed. (very long sorry) — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

Need help transitioning my 3 yr old to her own bed. (very long sorry)

dannie2011dannie2011 member
edited June 2014 in Attachment Parenting
So my 3 yr old has always been high needs/spirited she is a handful. We have bed shared as it was the only way to get her to sleep, at this point I don't sleep between here and our 3 month old. 

I tried moving her to her own bed in October before baby. I slept in bed with her at first then tried to leave her on her own (she shares a room with big sis) but she would wake up 3+ times a night. This went on for 2 months, and it was not pretty. The screaming in the middle of the night is terrible. I tried to tell her she can sleep in our bed that she did not have to scream just come on and get in. She wants to sleep in her bed but she wants me to sleep with her.  
I ended up just taking her and keeping her in our bed. Oh and she still wakes up if some is not in bed with her. I know we are disturbing her as she sleeps. 

Now it's been a week and a half of us trying again. Before trying I would ask her where she wanted to sleep, at first it was always our bed. Then one night she sad her bed. So we tried, and this time big sister got in bed with her hoping that she would be ok for the night. Well it's hit or miss if she will sleep the night without any fits. Some night she wakes up sees her sister then curls up and goes back to sleep, other nights like last night she woke up ran out of the room screaming and would not let me touch her, would not tell me what she wanted, just plopped herself on the floor kicking and screaming. Now it's almost like night terrors in a sense but it's not, she has a temper. When she finally calms down she would take my hand and go back to bed. She will talk (scream) to us sometimes. 

I'm at a loss with her, I've never had any of my kids be so hard from the day they were born. I don't know what to do, I can't even put another bed in our room to try that. Heck I tried to sidecar her crib, tried her in it as a day bed and that didn't work. Oh and the kicker if she gets too worked up think Exorcist puking everywhere, cio absolutely does not work.  

I'm hoping and praying someone here may just maybe have an idea for me other then keeping her in my bed?


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Re: Need help transitioning my 3 yr old to her own bed. (very long sorry)

  • When we transitioned DS to his own bed (at age 2), we started by putting his bed (it's a twin mattress on the floor) right next to my side of the bed. I put him to bed there as usual, and for the first few days slept there with him. After that, I still put him to bed there as usual, but would then slip into my bed. When I heard him stirring, I would move down to him to nurse or snuggle until he fell back asleep.

    Once this had been the norm for some time, we moved his mattress into his own room. I repeated the cycle: slept in there with him for a few nights and then would slip away and just go to him when he woke. For a while I would spend the rest of the night with him after he woke. Now he wakes less, and when he does I go to him and snuggle him back to sleep, but then I go back to my bed.

    Here are some ideas I have for you:

    1. If possible, have SO start helping with bedtime and night wakings. If she can become comfortable with him as comforter, he can go to her during the night and get her back to sleep...and even sleep with her when necessary. That will leave you free to care for baby.

    2. Stick with her sleeping in her bed, and either you or SO go to her when she wakes instead of bringing her into your bed. It's more work, but it gives her a sense that her bed is good, safe, and where she belongs. When she wakes up, even if she wants you, she'll be happier with her bed and think it's a good and comfy place to be.

    3. Consider putting a baby monitor in her room so that you can hear her when she begins to stir/wake, and you or SO can get to her before she becomes really worked up. You could even get a monitor that allows her to hear you too, and show her how fun it is to use. :)

    4. Special sheets, night lights, and other things that make her part of her room "hers" will give her a sense of ownership and pride in the place she sleeps, and will make it more inviting.

    Best of luck! Toddlers are a doozy!
  • Thanks @Emeral27, I've been going nuts trying to figure out if I was doing something wrong, guess she likes to keep me on my toes.


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  • dannie2011dannie2011 member
    edited June 2014
     I just reread my post and it's a mess sorry. I put her back in her bed in October as I could not keep getting up 3-5 times a night being that pregnant. That went on till a few days before Christmas and I gave up and put her in our bed.

    Now when she wakes up I put her right back in, but she's flailing around kicking and screaming at times. It is very similar to night terrors.

    As for rewards they don't work, TV she wouldn't sit for that anyways. We did the decorate pick out her own bedding and special bed time puppy. 

     My husband can't really help he has sleep apnea and doesn't hear anything at night, heck the house could probably burn to the ground and he would sleep through it with that machine on. He is impossible to wake up. 

    I will keep plugging away at it and hope she stops sooner rather then later. She has a hard time transitioning to sleep and from sleep to awake.

    edit as I can't seem to put this to words right

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  • We've were told that some kids just don't transition easily and she would out grow it. 

    I'm trying to use making a cake if she stays in bed fx it works. 

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  • Her 3 yr old well visit is coming up I will ask then. Last night wasn't too bad. 

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  • No advice as my dd is only 7m, cosleeps, and naps only in my arms or the car seat. I just wanted u to know you aren't alone w the vomitting. I can't let dd CIO in the car seat for the same reason. It took me 1.5 to get 9 miles last week, and she still puked twice. Good luck...follow up w your success story when u can!
  • Well we figured out some of our problems. Like mommy and some of the big kids Alexis sleep walks. Night terrors tend to mix in there also so they don't look like normal night terrors. 

    She has been waking up less at night to the point where she only gets up maybe 1-2 times a week. When she does get up I can almost always scoop her back up and get her in her bed easily. If somehow I don't hear her in time or I just can't get to her it can go south fast. That is when sleep walking gets thrown into a night terror and I just have to wait it out. Pedi thinks they will go away soon enough.  

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  • Hmm wouldn't let me update the title to say update in thread.

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