*I want to make this clear from the beginning, this is not meant to spark a debate, it is one mama asking other mamas for some advice.
We're having a MAJOR sleep issue at our house. Ok in the grande scheme of things it may not be so major, but right now, for this tired mama, it's pretty major.
This little dude, who is now four, and who can sleep in his carseat like no other. (and NO that is not typically how he's buckled in, he has a 5 pt harness in our car.)
*sigh* He HAS to be near someone to sleep at night. We've pretty much tackled the bedtime routine. They go to bed most nights without a fight and are asleep pretty quickly, however its the waking in the middle of the night that is a problem.
Add in a 13 month old that just hit a growth spurt and thinks he should nurse like a newborn again, and things get pretty tricky.
Asher has his own bed, and he sleeps in there most of the night, and Elijah has his own bed, and we always put him to bed there, but it doesn't last long.
Two nights ago, my night went something like this :
8pm Derek puts kids to bed.
9pm Asher is asleep and I lay him down
10pm Derek and I go to bed
12 am Elijah wakes up whining that he wants to sleep with mommy.
12:30am Mommy is tired of telling him to get back in bed, so I get up and put him on the couch and sit with him, he's asleep within about 30 seconds of me sitting next to him
12:35am Asher wakes up so mommy goes back to bed and puts Asher in bed with her to nurse.
12:45am Asher is asleep but squirming, but Elijah has now realized mommy is not there and is whining for mommy.
1 am I go sit with Elijah AGAIN. Asleep within 30 seconds, no kidding.
1:05 Asher's up again, most likely from Elijah's commotion and me getting up and down.
1:15am I get Asher to sleep and Elijah wakes up a third time.
1:20am Lay down with Elijah after repeatedly trying to get him to lay down on his own.
1:25 leave Elijah on the couch and return to bed to sleep with my husband, who is oblivious to most of this up until this point.
between 1:30 and 2:30 this happens in this order about 3 more times AT LEAST.
2:30am daddy finally gives in and goes and sleeps on the couch with Elijah. They both sleep peacefully the rest of the night and Asher slept/nursed on and off until we got up at 7:30.
The kid says he's scared of EVERYTHING. Which at this point, either something has seriously scarred him, or he's stalling. We've got a light on in their room, we have put all of his favorite stuffed animals with him (some of which now have 'scarey eyes' according to him), he shares a room with Kyley so he's not alone as it is, we even leave the hall light on so he can see Derek and I in bed if he gets up at night. We've prayed, we've sang, we've encouraged him to stay. I've even tried to bribe, but that doesn't even work with him. We've put glow in the dark stars on the wall, and even perry the platypus (who apparently can kill all the monsters?) stickers by his bed. The kid just wants one of us to sleep with him.
SO.... my plea is this.... PLEASE help me find a way to get him to sleep alone. There isn't enough room in our bed for all of us to sleep, (not to mention there are still some nights he will wet the bed but that is getting less and less often thankfully). But I cannot lay with him all night because Asher needs me too. And I don't want him to get used to sleeping with any of us anyhow.
So any ideas will be great. I also need to say this though. We want bedtime to be a relaxing time, and we don't want him to associate it with punishment, so I don't want to spank when he gets out of bed unless it's an absolute last resort.
Thanks in advance!