Why I Can’t Sleep With My Toddler

The other night Phil was out of town. I was having one of those cravings for Fia… you know, like the kind when you want to eat your child, yet you know you’ll never have enough of them to get full? It’s that insatiable feeling of mom-love. I decided to have her sleep in bed with me. I envisioned spooning her all night and getting some sort of tangible fullness. Uh-huh.

9:30 pm–in bed reading my book. Fia lifting legs in the air. “What are you doing honey?” “Making shadows Mama. Look!”

“It is two hours past your bedtime. That’s it.”

Book closed. Lights out. Fia puts hands in air. She swings her arms back and forth. I bark, “No more shadows!” I’m officially annoyed at my decision to have her sleep with me. Plus, I had to shut off my Kindle during a riveting reading moment.

11:00 p.m.—a foot is in my mouth.

12:30 a.m.—I am eating Big Bird.

1:00 a.m.—Emmett starts to cry. I hear him through the monitor. I sneak into his room to pacify. Pitter-patter. In come little feet. “Fia, go back to bed,” I whisper.

This is important for two reasons. First—it’s one o’clock in the f-cking morning. But second, Em is so sensitive to noise that if she starts talking, he’ll jerk up and start giggling. Yes, my baby laughs too much. I realize there are worse problems to have…but in the middle of the night, all issues seem insurmountable.

I get Em back in his crib, Fia back in my bed. I threaten that I’m putting her back in her crib. But I know she’ll wail. I can’t take the “you get to sleep with mommy tonight” back.  I can feel Ferber shaking his head…

3:00 a.m.—an ankle on my ear. A thigh on my stomach. I am in a bad game of Twister and I’m losing.

4:00 a.m.–Wayne pounces on the bed and yowls. I curse myself.  How did I forget about the stupid cat? Fia bolts up in bed. “Mama, Wayne is here!” Yep, didn’t know that. Thanks.

I get up, grab the 18-pound load of fur and sequester him downstairs.

5:30 a.m.—Em wakes up. This time he’s hungry. I sneak in again. Put him on the boob. Pretty soon her little shadow appears, then her little body. I have to whisper again, “Get back in bed. Shhh. Shhh.” Emmett pulls off the boob to look. It’s his big sister! Cue the giggling. I tell her to just lie quietly on the carpet in front of me so Em can’t see her.  She does. And puts her legs in the air. Yep, the shadow game is back.

6:00 a.m.—Em is sleeping. So is Fia. I am wide-awake. The sun is rising and I can feel the bags pulling down on my face.

I didn’t get one cuddle. I am not full. But at this point, I don’t care. I just want my bed back.

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  1. by Tina Harris

    On October 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I just had to respond with “I feel your pain”. I have co slept with all three of my boys and now I’m on #3 and he is 3 years old. It wasn’t funny reading your story but it was funny, only in the aspect that I know I’m not alone and it was YOU that you were talking about. I don’t have a “baby” to tend to like you do but dealing with our little shitzu and my 3 year old ALL NIGHT LONG,days and nights are never ending. I totally understand. On a positive note, I do have my Mommy cuddle moments in the midst of all the ups and downs and they kind of make up for the bags pulling my face down.

  2. by Courtney

    On October 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Now that my almost-three-year-old is in his big boy bed, I sneak in to snuggle him while he’s asleep. That way he doesn’t know I’m there, so he’s not on high mommy alert, (which causes him to wake up every hour to make sure I’m still there) but I get my snuggle. But I could not take him sleeping in my bed, I need my rest!

  3. by Amy Denby

    On October 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I can’t sleep with my toddler, because I have another toddler–twins–and early on my husband and I decided that co-sleeping with 1/3 of the Partridge Family on a nightly basis was not for us. Now that they’re older, we have our moments of weakness, say on a lazy Sunday morning when we open the cage to their pen I mean their bedroom door and we hear them clambering down the hall. “Aw,” we say, as they jump onto our bed excitedly…Oh how quickly those “aw’s” turn to “ow!”

  4. by lisa

    On October 23, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    this has just started happening the last week or so. i got my almost 2 year old a toddler bed about a month ago. at first he did great. seeing as im 9 months pregnant not having to get up and get him out of his crib at 6 am and having him pitter patter out on his own was wonderful. he would climb into my bed for a bit and by the time he started kicking and hair pulling it was time to get out of bed anyway. well he was sick a couple weeks ago and realized he could climb in our bed in the middle of the night. every night i start with the same hope of cuddles, and i usually get them for a total of 15 mins but then its back to frustration. maybe it wouldnt be so bad if it wasnt my pregnant belly he was kicking. im due this week and once she comes she will be sleeping right next to our bed so i really hope he gets over this phase soon!