Getting your child to sleep

  • Many parents struggle with getting their children to sleep. Even though we own a crib my daughter sleeps in the bed with us. She falls asleep easier beside her mother and sleeps longer; and her mother sleeps better because her daughter is beside her. The comfort each offers the other helps both of them sleep better. I on the other hand am up tossing and turning from the kicks my daughter likes to dish out in her sleep. What does your child sleep in and how does it affect each of you?

  • My daughter is 3 years old now, but when she was born she slept in a bassinet at the foot of my bed.  I found that convenient for the first month or so because I was assured that she was fine if I woke up in the middle of the night.  After she outgrew the bassinet I put her in a crib in her own room.  I'd rather have to get up with her every few hours while she's younger than have to deal with the separation anxiety that she would have faced if I let her share my bed.

  • My older daughter insisted on being held until she fell asleep for years! He father (my ex husband) would do that for her when she was with him, and I couldn't break her of the habit. I let her sleep in bed with me, too. I looked at it as extra cuddle time for us both. Now she has her own room (she's 9) and has obviously dropped the habit.

    My 2-year-old shares a room with me and my husband, since our apartment only has two bedrooms. Our room is ver spacious and we have her crib converted into a toddle bed that she can't get out of on her own, and it's partitioned with a screen. With me, my husband and usually 2 cats in our queen sized bed, there's not a whole lot of room. Yet just about every night, Jordan ends up inbed with us for some time. It's partially because my husband doesn't want to deal with screaming at 4 am (not that I can blame him), but it's also that she'll sleep better/later if she's with one or both of us. It's usually rough on me, because having her there keeps me up subconsciously, so my sleep is interrupted. I usually end up putting her back to bed after an hour or so, but she'll often make it back to our bed closer to 7, so we all can get some extra sleep.

  • This is a great question and I too would love to hear what can be done.  My daughter is 3 now and she started sleeping with us when we had to use one air conditioning unit in our bedroom for a while and now she will not sleep by herself.  She sometimes stays in her bed but we have to get her to sleep before we can put her in it.  What is a 3 year olds motivation? What can be the bribe?  We just had a little boy 18 days ago and we are being careful with him and letting him totally fall asleep by himself!! 

  • My wife and I have discussed moving my daughter back to the crib actually. I would be very interested on any parents suggestions for easing the transition now that she has been in the bed for so long as well...

  • as some of u know my baby girl is 5 months she is great at sleep i lay her down and she goes to sleep all by herself starting at about 4 mon., she does sleep in her own crib i have been very strict with the crib from day 1, i have my reasons, when my niece was 3 years old my sister in law couldn't handle her anymore so she brought her out to live with us for 3  months, when we got her she was use to sleeping with her parents having a TV on, a tippy cup, and a binky. we had to go slow with her, first we went out and let her pick out the stuff for her new room, her ccomferter and stuff, but she still got the TV, tippy and binky. one night her tippy leaked on her new comferter so we used that to out advantage, and we called it a mean tippy that it  ruend her bed and she didn't want it anymore, after a while the binky disapered, to neaver be found again ( at least by Hailie ) we never did get rid of the TV her parents had came home by then, they never did break her of it either she is now six and can't go to sleep without it. StrongDad07 i know that is little different of a situation then yours but hope it gives u some ideas. Big Smile

  • With my older daughter, it took moving to get her to sleep in her own bed all the time. We made a big deal about how she'd get her own room (when we lived with my parents, she preferred to sleep on the living room couch and crawl into bed with me in the middle of the night instead of sleeping in her own bed), and we would make it all princess style. She picked out her own paint color, bedding, we painted an old canopy bed and dresser with hearts and flowers -- really got her excited about having a big girl bed and princess room. It worked like a charm. She was 4 at the time, but a simmilar tactic may work with a 3-year-old.

  • I feel blessed in that my 4mo daughter sleeps very well. She wants me to hold her while she's falling asleep but once she's out I can lay her down anywhere. I've had some people tell me I should work with her falling asleep on her own but, honestly, I like that she wants me to hold her. It's extra cuddle time and I find it relaxing for myself as well. I often hold her for about a half hour after she's out too just because I find it so calming.


    As for our sleeping arrangements themselves, she sleeps in a bassinet (am going to have to transition her to her crib soon she's nearly too big for the bassinet) most of the time. When we first came home she slept on a positioner in bed with me. I kept her up high enough that there was no worry of my rolling onto her but she was still right there and could see and feel me if she woke up at night. It was more soothing for both of us. Now she only sleeps in the bed with me if she's not feeling good and needs a little extra comforting.

  • My first son slept in a bassinet right next to be because he was breast-fed for a short while.  He was my good sleeper, transitioned into a crib with no problem.  When our second son arrived I needed the crib so he got his big boy bed with the side rail so he wouldn't fall out of bed.  Our second son slept with us for a year because he was breast-fed the entire time and he was too long for the bassinet anyway so we transitioned the crib to a toddler bed which he slept in for a few months then started climbing in bed with his big brother and wouldn't sleep anywhere but the twin bed.  He's now 3 has his bottom bunk my oldest is 5 in the top bunk and the crib is a crib again ready for baby #3 and everyone has their place.  My husband and I have a double bed....our kids still climb in bed with us for some bad dreams and just to be with us.  The transition can take quite a while or no time at all so be prepared.  Usually if my little guy falls asleep with me before my husband gets home he'll move him to his bed so he can sleep closer to me.  (You have to do what you are comfortable with) Talk to your wife and she what she's comfortable with and talk to her.  Have you made her aware that you have a bad nights sleep when your daughter is in bed with you?

  • I sleep in the bed with my daughter, even though she has a bassinett.  She was premature and stayed in the hospital for 77 days.  It helps us both sleep knowing we have each other.  She has a hard time being without me as I do her.  I dont think it is unreasonable for us to sleep together.  I am a single mom and have no one else to sleep with.  It was also hard for us to bond at first bc I wasnt allowed to hold her for a long time when she was born, and this helps us.  After so long of not being together, we can be now so why not?

  • I am a new mother of a preemie also and absolutely agree with you on everything.  My only concern is that our information tells us that allowing your baby to sleep in bed with you is one of the leading causes of SIDS...?  I don't know why that is specifically accept that maybe they're thinking the baby could suffocate under your covers or if you were to roll over on them... As for ME, I don't cover her in my covers, but in her own; keep her low enough so that she isn't suffocated by my pillow and am a very light sleeper.  I had the same problem with the inability to bond with her because she was in NICU for the first 6 weeks.  We got her home on Christmas Eve though and I'm becomming more and more attatched every day and I think you're right, that it has a lot to do with us making up for lost time by having her slee with me...

  • my gacie is a good sleeper.  She is 7 weeks old, but born 10 weeks early.  She spent 39 days in NICU.  Usually i can feed her and lay her down awake and she will put herself to sleep.  She sleeps in a pack-n-play with a basinette, she sleeps in the same room as me. 

    Unlike the other mom's of NICU babies, i felt very bonded to grace because i lived with her in the hospital while she was in the nicu.  my hospital had private nicu rooms for every baby.  So i spent every night with her, and woke up in the middle of the night, and got to hold her tons. 

    I attribute her good sleeping habits to being in the nicu.  she didn't have someone to hold her and rock her to sleep from the beginning, so she had to do it herself.

  • I bonded with my daughter through the time we spent together awake most than sharing a bed could ever do, but I can also see how the physical closeness can promote a sense of bonding in many parents. The drawback I have seen now is that it has made moving my daughter to a crib incredibly hard, as well possibly helping to develop a too strong attachment to her mother - so much so she almost seems to have separation anxiety. I would not have choosen to put her in the bed with us, but I also saw how well it helped both my daughter and wife sleep at night so I am pretty sure in the long run it was the right decision for us.

  • For us sleeping together is bonding. Maybe it is not for everyone but it is for us. I do bond with her when she is awake, but this is not the only time that bonding can take place. She is not forming "a too strong attachment" to me, I am able to leave her with my mother during the day and she does not cry because she knows I will be back. She knows she can be away form me because she gets enough time with me. So she does not have separation anxiety. I too am pretty sure this is the right choice for us. I wish our NICU had a place where I could have stayed with her. She also has very good sleeping habits, I guess that is a good thing about the NICU
  • Sadly I have got my son used to sleeping on me on the couch. He wont sleep in his bed much he doesn't sleep well in his bed anyway. We either hold him or he sleeps in his swing which is in the living room. I haven't been able to sleep with my fiance in the past 3 weeks since my son was born. He slept just fine in the hospital we could lay him in the bed there and he was fine. Its getting kinda annoying and I'm getting sick of sleeping on the couch. Any suggestions anyone has would be much appreciated.