Have you ever slept in normal clothes?

Mom blog -

Falling asleep alone is not easy for many babies. Photo: Seth Baur (Flickr.com)

These lines are dedicated to all parents who have a baby or toddler who does not want to sleep alone. The short version: Everything will be fine! And here is the slightly longer version: “Really ?!”, the playground acquaintance was amazed when I told them that the two-year-old was still sleeping in bed with us (or we with him). "Ui, you'll surely have him in bed with you until he's 16." So much for your prognosis.

Dear mothers, dear fathers: Do not believe every fairy tale that is told to you on the playground. Your child will most likely not spend the night in the marriage bed until the apprenticeship. Our son has slept in his own pitch-dark room every night for several years. The blinds, curtains and the door must be closed and the light in the corridor must be extinguished. He falls asleep quickly in the evening and then sleeps for 10.5 hours. He also stays overnight with his grandparents, during the country school week and in the mobile home without any problems. Even in a tent on the edge of a forest, if you wish, alone in the sleeping compartment.

Camping in the nursery

That was not always so. As a baby he only fell asleep on his chest or at least with physical contact. Until the boy was ten months old, he would wake up and often scream every two hours. It was as if the child had mounted loneliness alarms on its little body: They immediately sounded the alarm if the sleeping person was laid down or if physical contact was briefly interrupted. Even after weaning, things didn't get much better. And when the little sister was born a year later, the boy still did not fall asleep without closeness (and pacifier). The baby balcony we bought in our first pregnancy was still practically unused when we put our second baby in it.

The attempt to move the boy out of our bed when he was almost two years old was somehow successful. At least if you ignore the fact that the father was also moved out and from then on slept half the night on a mattress next to the cot in the children's room. So close to the son that he could stroke his head if necessary.

"Noelia is sleeping through the night!"

I was very tired then. And pretty insecure. The success stories of the other parents bothered me: Noelia supposedly slept from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. since she came home from the hospital (often until 6 a.m. thanks to the extra filling evening pint). And Felix never cried out for the pacifier, because his parents never made him addicted to this devil thing. And then there was Emma-Lou: She often woke up at night, but then played cheering in the cot and fell asleep again on her own after a while.

So. And now of course you want to know what we did to turn our son from a notorious night disruptor into a super sleeper. I'll be happy to tell you the recipe: nothing. We did nothing. Except that we have satisfied our child's strong need for closeness. And have waited. And slept as much as possible. In the family bed or on the mattress in the children's room. At some point the boy had enough closeness and slept contentedly alone.

A book that helped me back then (when I wasn't too tired to read): Sleep and Wake, William Sears' parent book for children's nights.

Also read the articles on sleep: When children cannot sleep and How children like to go to bed.