One thing that Jimmy and I never started with Kiera was letting her sleep in bed with us. I know of a number of parents that got in the habit (even unintentionally) of letting their child either sleep in the bed with them or it actually got to the point where they put their child's toddler bed in the room with them. It took them years before their child actually slept in their own room. I know some families are into co-sleeping but I personally don't think that is healthy for a marriage. But trust me, I completely understand what a lovely feeling it is to have your child sleeping between you and your spouse.
(13 days old...1st day home from hospital)
So when Kiera was a newborn she slept in the bassinet of her pack and play in our bedroom until she slept through the night at 3.5 months, then we moved her to the crib in her room. She did great until about 10 months when she would wake up a couple times a night for a couple months. Luckily all I had to do was lean over her crib and rub her back while singing my special lullaby I made up just for her and she was out by time I finished singing it. Unfortunately things are that easy anymore.
(3.5 months sleeping in her crib)
I usually go to bed before Jimmy and I occasionally (like once a month) let Kiera lay down with me if it happens to also be her bedtime (9pm). She gets to stay until Jimmy comes to bed and then she is put into her bed. But she does not sleep the entire night with us. Ever. And letting her lay with me like that has never caused any problems in the past.
(2 yrs old. I got up one morning and went to check on her only she wasn't in her bed. This is where I found her.)
Here recently (like the last two weeks) she has been getting multiple times a night, mainly on the weekends, coming into our room wanting to sleep with us. It usually goes on for an hour or longer. She comes into our room, I walk her back to bed tuck her in and tell her to stay. 10 minutes later she comes back in and I go through the whole process 3 more times. There are a few times I have caved after the 4th time of walking her back to her room that I finally let her lay with us. I only let her stay for about 2 hours at most before I carry her sleeping little 38 lb. body back to her bed, and she actually stays asleep for the rest of the night. I don't sleep when she is in bed with us either. Its real fun when she does it during the week and I have to go work for 8 hours and be all alert and crap. Jimmy is usually sleeping when all of this is going on but sometimes it does wake him up.
Now we are having a problem getting her to stay in bed when she first goes down too. Every stinkin' night. Tuesday night last she got up 10 times! Yes I counted. 10 times. She eventually got to the point she was crying and begging me "Please Mama let me lay with you." Ugh, really Kiera must you stomp on my heart like that? I am very proud of myself at how calm I was staying but I was being pushed to the edge so Jimmy took over after my #6 attempt. He was finally able to get her to stay in bed. After that I realized I wouldn't have been able to get her to stay in bed because it was me she wanted, so next time I need to remove myself from the situation. Luckily she didn't get up in the middle of the night either.
She always has an excuse of why she had to get out of be or why she needs to sleep with us ...
A car drove by.
Dinosaurs are going to come out of their "fossil rocks" and get her.
A dog barked.
There is a flashing light on her wall (it is the smoke detector which we had a long discussion about how it works).
She can't get comfortable.
She had a bad dream.
She forgot to tell me something.
She misses us.
I guess those are some decent reasons to want to sleep with your parents. She is starting to get a fear of things too which probably is a big part of it. I guess most kids get there eventually. But I think the main thing is that she is really missing us. Life is starting to click in her little brain and she realizes that there is a big chunk of the day that she doesn't get to see us since we both work full time.
Finally I got smart and sprayed some of my perfume on one of her baby dolls and told Kiera that it will feel like I am right there with her since it smells like me. It worked. She has gone down the past two nights in a row without a problem.
Guess I gotta go buy more perfume now.
No really, I have to. I am almost out.