We have never been 100% successful at getting four-year-old Tyler to sleep in his own bed ever since we made his crib into a toddler bed.
For six months he slept in my bedroom on the floor in a sleeping bag. His Tourette’s Syndrome would act up at night and he wouldn’t be able to stop coughing to be able to get to sleep. It was breaking my heart. I knew he would feel secure with me and be able to calm down if I took him into my room.
Then we tried bribing him about sleeping in his own room. But it’s not about that for him. Even in the daytime, Tyler has a terrible fear about being alone in any room. We would stay in his room until he would fall asleep, but at around midnight or 1:00 when he woke up, he would panic and grab his pillow, blanket and Eeyore and sleep on the loveseat, next to the couch where my husband would be sleeping. (Don’t even ask why my husband sleeps on the sofa, he’s just more comfortable there)
Of course just getting Tyler to fall asleep in his room is a feat in itself. When bedtime rolls around I’m ready for bed myself, sometimes even earlier than him! When I try to sit with him, my normally patient self starts to get inpatient due to fatigue. When Grant tries, he loses patience even more quickly than me.
So for the last month or so we’ve been giving up. Tyler has been sleeping in my bed. He goes to sleep easily and sleeps the whole night through.
The views on co-sleeping with an older child are all over the map. Just do a google search and you’ll find articles both positive and negative.
There is a lot of advice out there for getting your child to sleep in his bed all night. But a lot of it won’t work for Tyler due to what I refer to as the time when he was kidnapped. I truly believe this is the reason for his intense separation anxiety.
On a lighter note, can I make a confession? I like having Tyler sleep with me. (No offense, Grant) Perhaps it even has something to do with what happened to him, but I feel very comfortable with him in my bed and am amused by his sleeping antics. I love waking up and watching him sleep, looking as precious as an angel, although most people would say it is wrong to do this. And deep down I know that he should be sleeping in his own bed.
At this point I would be happy if we could even get him back to the love seat!