How do I stop this before it gets any worse?

[deleted account] ( 7 moms have responded )

This is really throwing a crimp in my love life with my husband and I want to stop it before it gets any worse. My mother and father got a taste of it this weekend but they have no suggestions for me on how to stop it. I know the end result of this whole nephew did it to my sisterinlaw and now he sleeping in their bed instead of his own EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

So how do I stop my daughter from wanting to sleep in bed with me and my husband....more so me? I've tried the CIO method and she cried for two hours straight IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT before Daddy gave in.....he had to get up at 5am that morning. Little girl was so horse the next day I had to explain what happened to the DIRECTOR of her daycare just to let her stay that day......if they are running a fever over 102 degrees or have anything that sounds like it's a major illness and not a cold they don't allow them to stay at the school....can understand that rule.

This is how my night, every night, starts out: Bedtime we go straight to our bed and sleep maybe 2-3 hours in it before waking up. Asks for something to drink then SCREAMS and THROWS things at you if you do not allow her to SLEEP IN Mommy's bed. If mommy puts her in her bed and moves to little girl's bed to sleep the little girl will scream and have a fit until mommy comes back to sleep with her. If you try to move her after she's fallen asleep she will wake up the moment she touches her bed and SCREAM.

I've tried everything I could think of....mostly different CIO methods and she's gotten spanked for hitting me with her sippy....YES SHE THROWS IT RIGHT AT ME. Last time she did it I ended up with a stupid black eye because it hit me right under my eye.....that was when the first spanking for throwing at mommy happened and I'm not one to spank unless it's the last resort.

We thought it was nightmares at first but after this weekend I know for a fact that's not the cause.....little girl is strong willed and wants everything her way....oh and it's the terrible twos right now big time. DH thinks it's a phase but after hearing my brother's story last night about how this is the way it started with them I'm afraid it's not a phase.

Soooo......any suggestions?


Teresa - posted on 03/21/2010




Hi Sharon, its a difficult one for you but you are not alone many parents go through a stage of trying to get their children to sleep in their own bed, its really a case of both of you standing firm with her, make sure you have a good bed room routine talk to her before she goes to bed explaining that the rule is she must sleep in her own bed, but you will be there if she needs you, the first night of sticking to the bedtime routine will be the most difficult and you have to work together, if she gets up put her to bed dont spend time disscussing anything with her just tell her its time for bed put her in say goodnight and leave the room, you may have to do this several times before she caves in to tiredness, she will of course resort to lots of tantrums and may even pretend to be ill to get you to put her into your bed, dont giver in and stay strong, if she throws things at you I am afraid its hard but you will have to remain calm and ignore it put her to bed and thats it, if you lose your temper or show that you are getting angry, she will see her behaviour is provoking action and continue. A rewrd for sleeping in her bed all night is somethimg else you might try, tell her before she goes to bed that if she sleeps all night in her own bed she gets to choose something from the store the next day and you will take her shopping, of course if she does not then no reward!! please be patient and stick to the routine and do it together it may take a couple of days or even a week but eventually the message will be received that you are not going to back down on this one, good luck and I am sure you will win this one.

Joy - posted on 03/21/2010




My guess is that at this point it is the power of will. She wants what she wants and so far, her actions have lead her to the conclusion she's seeking. I think to break the cycle, you will have to be very firm with her and under no circumstances allow her to sleep with you. Maybe the first time it will be an all nighter, so you may want to start working on this before your weekend? If she gets up, put her back to bed and tell her she can't sleep in your bed, that she has to sleep in hers. If she gets up again, which I am sure she will, put her back in bed and then go back to yours. Keep this up and I am sure she will eventually wear down and fall asleep. Might be hard to do, but I am quite hopeful that it will work.


View replies by

Whitney - posted on 03/21/2010




okay. i have to say that you and your husband giving in and letting her sleep with you is what most people will do when they have to be at work at 5am... It is waaayyyyyy easier for me to sit here and tell you to stay awake all ni2 ght and listen to her cry than it is for me to do it! (people should keep that in mind when wording their responses) i have this problem with my 2yr old just not as bad. what i do is I make sure that I ALWAYS put him in his own bed during his nap time. that way i am still awake, hes getting practice, and it doesnt effect my sleep. At night I put him in the bed with me then move him in his bed... if he wakes i sit on the floor beside his bed (I DONT GET IN THE BED WITH HIM) until he falls back to sleep which is normally right away. somtimes he does wake again and then i do one of two things 1) wait for him to fall back asleep then put him back and he will normally sleep the rest of the night or 2)i have a fold out couch thing for toddlers (im sure u have seen them) that i place at the end of our bed and i put him there... that way hes still not in the bed with mommy and daddy. but hes still okay. I think that just the fact that they arent in a different room does the trick! (i do not recommend this if plans of intimacy) HOPE THIS HELPS

Michelle - posted on 03/21/2010




I deal with this also...we try to read to the boys in their room until they fall asleep. Now they usually end up in our bed in the wee hours of the morning, but at least that gives us some alone time together. We take turns every other night because it does take awhile, but I figure eventually they'll stay in their own bed. Read the book Continuum Concept; it deals with this subject and says we, as an society, push our childern away too early. And that's why there is so many neurotic adults. Very cool book.

[deleted account]

Hi Sharon,

Unfortunately you are not only teaching her that she gets to sleep in her bed but you are also teaching her that how she gets what she wants is by throwing things, screaming etc so you will probably see this behaviour creeping into other circumstances.

I totally agree with Teresa. I know it is hard in the middle of the night when you are tired and your resilience is down but you will just have to decide that tonight is the night & absolutely under NO circumstances give in. It could take a while so maybe you could get your husband to take leave for a week so a) he isn't worried about getting up & b) you can spell each other during the day so you can get some rest.

I think the reward idea is good also but may I suggest that you make it a gold star on a chart and then a certain number of stars equals a reward otherwise she will start to expect a present every night.

Jytte - posted on 03/21/2010




When my son didn't want to stay in his room, I would put the gate up in his doorway, then I would lay in his bed until he fell asleep then I would go back to bed. This didn't last long. I did have to be firm, and he did cry a few times. He was also a light sleeper and use to wake up every 2 hours. But, we made it and he just made the Doctorate program at MIT.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms