Henry has never been a good sleeper. When he was a baby it would take me about a hour to get him to take a thirty minute nap. That is all I would get- I remember counting down the minutes 5,4,3,2,1, and then a scream, he was awake. At night, the same thing.I tried everything to no avail. We practiced co-sleeping, we still do in some ways. We tried teething tablets, homeopathic remedies, Rescue Sleep, white noise...everything. I tried the cry-it -out method but after 20 minutes of his screaming, I knew that I could not and would not do that ever again. We used to sit with him, stand in the door, rock him but eventually we would give up and just cuddle with him and go to sleep.
As Henry became a toddler, I found myself going into his bed with him, singing to him until he fell asleep. Most times I would wake up an hour later having fallen asleep myself. If I slept with him only then would he get a decent nap. At night was no different' Papa Joe or I would cuddle up with him, read to him and then sing songs until he fell asleep and then, if we were lucky, we would tip toe out and he would stay asleep for half the night until he climbed into our bed.
Now that Henry is almost six, sleeping has gotten a little better but not by much. When we found out we were pregnant with Amelia, I went to IKEA and purchased a kid sized loft bed. He was so excited but he still wanted to sleep in our bed. We told him he has to start in his bed before coming into our. With a full day of school to tire him out, most nights he stayed in his bed for the entire night. I must be honest, I would miss him in our bed.
But, now that Amelia is here and she is sleeping in bed with me, Henry now gives us a hard time about going to bed. Most nights he says he is scared of ghost, noises, dragons and being alone. He takes this fear of being alone and uses it during the day too. He always asks why he has to be alone in his room when he is playing Lego's ...mind you he went in his room on his own accord and he knows he can bring his toys out into the living room to play. Sometimes he asks if its okay to leave the door open when he is in the bathroom because he doesn't want to be alone. I am not sure if he is jealous of Amelia, maybe this is his way of getting attention. Whatever the reason it has been nagging on me.
Then last night I had an idea. I pulled his mattress into our room and placed it on the floor. Then I put a carpet onto the top part of his loft bed and added all of his Lego's- with Amelia crawling, I can now have some peace of mind that she will not find any Lego pieces on the floor and choke on them. I like how it turned out- the Lego Cave is a really cool place to hang out. Henry thinks its cool too. We are happy for now but I have to wonder...Did co -sleeping make my child a worse sleeper? Will he always be a bad sleeper? Will he ever figure out how to be alone in his bed and get himself to sleep? What do you think?
Amelia was sleeping good for a while but since May she has been waking up 4 or more times a night. Now she will only get back to sleep if my boob is in her mouth. Naps, although, she is easier to get to sleep, she is starting to only sleep less than a hour. I don't want to repeat another 6 years of terrible sleep but I have a feeling I am already going down that path. We still co-sleep with her and I have no desire to put here anywhere else than in my bed. We will just have to see what happens.