Since my last post about our struggles with the family bed, we've moved, transitioned C to the toddler bed in his new room, and the new baby is just a week or so away. The only thing that has not changed is that C still moves around and kicks us too much to spend all of his sleeping time sleeping next to us. And even if he didn't, as much as I'd like a family bed, a Queen isn't big enough for four of us, especially when I'll be recovering from a C-section.
Ok, I have to take that back. I know that if we really, really wanted a family bed, we could have one. Our mattress is already on the floor, and we would just need another to put another on the floor beside it - and to rearrange some furniture, possibly get rid of a dresser, to make the room. During my recovery, C could sleep with Daddy in the family bed and I could sleep in another room with infant P, then we'd join up again when I was recovered and P was old enough. C would sleep on one side of us and P on the other. Lots of families manage that sort of arrangement, right? Well, as much as I love to cuddle my kid (kick-happy as he is), I do like to have SOME time away from him, and he's just too young to understand that he can't climb over the infant. Plus, that dresser has stuff in it.
So, we did finally kick him out of the family bed. He now has his own room, and a toddler bed, and he was almost two years old. (He is two, now). Strangely, C didn't have trouble with going to sleep in the toddler bed. The first night we set it up, I put his cuddly toys in it, told him it was his big boy bed, and he climbed right in and fell asleep. Amazing! Other parents have always told me how difficult the transition was. C was old enough and he knew what a bed was for. Not that he goes to bed like that every night, but any trouble he gives us has less to do with the bed and more to do with teething and that sort of thing. Now if only he would sleep the whole night there.
At first I let him into our bed when he'd wake up in the middle of the night. My bad. I was sleepy and I knew that it was the fastest way for me to get back to sleep. I was already missing the family bed and cuddle time. But, just like giving your child a bottle every night, it trains him to keep waking up every night. Forever. The fact that C would sometimes sleep in when he slept with us doesn't really make up for that. So I had to be a mean ole mommy and make him get back in his bed, even when that means me staying awake in his room for an hour or more. Now the rule is that he can't cuddle with mommy until after dawn, because that's past his usual wake up time, so cuddle time doesn't usually turn into sleeping. The rule works pretty well. In fact, for three nights in a row he slept all the way through the night and I was thrilled. Half the time he doesn't even want to come to our bed in the morning and instead goes straight to his toys. After Mommy assures him that she has not disappeared, of course.
So for those three nights we had complete success with the transition from family to toddler bed. Then? Then he started getting his two-year molars. Arg! It's always something, isn't it? Even if he goes back to sleeping through the night soon, next his brother will be waking us all up. C and P will have a grand ole party waking up their parents every night!
... Wish us luck!
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