Toddlers: 24 Months+

Dare I ask...

Does anyone else's toddler sleep with them in their bed? 

My son (2 y/o) started in my bed at 10 months and hasn't left since. Now that we have a new baby coming, I'd really like to get him out but not sure if its too late or if its possible? Anyone gone through the same thing or something similar?

And please, save any judgmental comments for someone who isn't pregnant and hormonal. 

Re: Dare I ask...

  • lol.  We are still bed sharing and breastfeeding and I'm 10 weeks pregnant.  I really need to do something, but haven't really yet. 

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  • I'm no help, I need advice too.  I remember getting 1 out of our bed for when 2 came along and it SUCKED!  I just rocked him to sleep and he did not like it.  He wanted to nurse to sleep.  I guess I'll just have to do the same with 2.  I REALLY was hoping he'd self-wean.  I say to him, doesn't that taste yucky and he's no it's good.  lol

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  • I try to get my toddler to sleep in bed with me but he won't actually sleep.

    Of course it's possible. Does your toddler have a bed or crib?

    Whatever you decide to do, you have to be consistent. If your LO has a bed, you might be putting him back in it over and over again until he understands or if he has a crib, you might be going into to soothe him a lot if he's crying for you.

    It's going to be a lot of work but if you cave in and bring him to your bed he will NEVER sleep in his own bed. I would work on this right now, before the baby comes because then you'll really be screwed.

  • No judgement here!  I think you need to implement the change sooner rather then later and be prepared that LO won't like it the first few nights.  Can you introduce it as a prize he gets for becoming the big brother?  We're getting ready to move DD to her big girl bed because she's figured out how to climb out of her crib and I've been building it up for a few months.  I've taken my time getting the room ready (she's also moving to a slightly larger room) and talking about her big girl bed and how awesome it is that she gets this new bed and blah blah blah.  I got new sheets and a new rug and have been making the biggest deal possible out of it so she'll be excited to move to the new room.  She hasn't slept in the bed yet but I'm hoping that by the end of April she's in it full time.

    Whatever you decide to do to get him in his own bed - stick to it!!  It'll be hard, but it'll save you the headache once the new baby is here.  Good luck!
  • No judgement here either! My two year old is still in bed with us. I am a big believer is following her cues/lead. We took the side off her crib a few months ago and every once in a while she will nap in her bed but for the most part she is sleeps with us.
  • I wish I had an answer for you. DD was a terrible sleeper, starting around 15 mo. DH and I work full time so instead of fighting with her for 2+ hrs a  night, we began letting her sleep in our bed with us. She'd go to sleep and stay asleep which was a win-win for all of us. When I became pregnant with DS#2, we tried transitioning her back to her bed. We tried a sleeping bag on our floor, putting her back in her bed, it all resulted in her screaming for 4+ hours a night. I thought eventually she'd go to sleep and stay in her bed. Nope. At 5 1/2 she still ninjas her way into our bed every night. She crawls up and over DH who doesn't wake up so I'm not quite sure when she is sneaking in. DS was a wonderful sleeper, even after transitioning to his toddler bed as long as he has his paci. Unfortunately, since taking away his paci he is also now looking for comfort at night and tries to crawl in bed around 5-6 most mornings. I've even tried putting DD and DS to bed together in the same bed hoping that sleeping with someone would keep them asleep and in bed. So far, no luck. :-(
  • I haven't been through this, but thought I'd throw out a couple suggestions in case they are helpful.  What does your LO do for naps?  I'd definitely start naps in their own bed first. And then tell them they are going to start sleeping in that bed at night, too.  Maybe pick a day that they can count up to (like Easter) and that will be the day they switch, and then stick to it.  Do they have a lovie or blankie?  Maybe start by putting that "to bed" in LO's crib for a few nights first, and then have LO move over to be with them?

    Our LO does have some separation anxiety some nights, and what as ended up working for us is a version of the Sleep Lady Shuffle, where I explain that I will sit in the chair in her room until she falls asleep, and then I am going to go to sleep in Mama's bed, and see her in the morning.  LO lies down, I sing a song (or 3) from the rocker in her room, then sit there listening to music or podcasts in headphones, and just wait 10 minutes or so until she is asleep and I go out.  This might work as a transition strategy for you? 

    Or some kids do better "cold turkey" than with a gradual transition...  More dramatic, quicker.

    oh, and it's definitely possible, but it might take a bit of work.  There are definitely books and blogs on the subject, too.  the Sleep Lady Shuffle might be a good book to start with. And I'd maybe appoint your partner to be the one to manage this.  You grow the new baby, he transitions LO into the his own bed.  Seems fair to me!


  • Sleep problems have by far been the hardest part of parenting for us. Our toddlers sleep problems really weren't even that bad, but they're hard to break and you always feel like you're doing the wrong thing. 

    Our son never actually started out in bed with us, but he would wake up in the middle of the night and we would move him into our bed to make everyone happy. Obviously it's a hard habit to break when he knows we'll always let him in. At the time I was still breastfeeding so I would use that to get him to sleep, I think that's what he looked forward to the most.

    There were two things that worked better than I expected - one was sending him to bed with a water bottle. When I first tried putting him back to bed in the middle of the night he would ask if he could have a cup of milk, but apparently water was an acceptable substitute. That was a HUGE help with sleeping through the night, but getting him down was still awful. I would I have to stay in the room with him until he fell asleep and then sneak out. So the second thing that helped us was the speaker on our baby monitor. After doing some reading I realized that if things were ever going to get better, I needed to leave the room while he was still awake. He would go to the door and cry, but one night I talked to him over the monitor and asked him to go back to sleep. He immediately stopped crying, got in bed, and maybe cried a few more nights but overall it was really effective. It was bizarre, but I guess it was comforting because he knew we were watching and listening to him. He now goes to sleep alone with no problems and sleeps through the night.

    Another thing I found helpful was a technique someone metioned was on Nanny 911 (or Super Nanny, something like that). When putting them down, start out by staying in the room, but not right next to the crib, and keep your head down. No talking, eye contact etc. They aren't too scared because they know you're there, but it gets them used to the idea of you not being around to hold them and talk to them. Once they're okay with that, start trying to leave.
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