When Andrew and I first got married we almost bought a full size bed. The house we were moving into was old and the queen boxspring would not fit up the stairs. At the time we figured it would not be a big deal. We snuggled all night anyway 🙂
Thankfully someone talked some sense into us and bought us a split boxspring so we could stick with a queen, because up until a few months ago we had two adults, two kids and two dogs all in our bed. The dogs got the boot first. They were the easiest to kick out. The kids got to stay a few more weeks and then that was it. We had had enough.
So Andrew and I came up with a schedule and split up the nights evenly. We each took turns getting up in the night with the kids. The first few nights were rough. Andrew ended up getting up more with Miracle and I got up more with Axel. They just responded better to us that way. Each morning the kids got a sticker for staying in their own beds and were working towards a party.
It only took two or three nights! Axel is pretty much sleeping through the night every night, all night long, in his own bed. Miracle sleeps through most nights but still gets up now and then. Last night she was having a particularly hard night and it was so much easier to let her come in our bed because I enjoyed the snuggle time rather than dreading the tossing and kicking.
And Andrew and I get to snuggle each other all night. We are closer because of it. Just the closeness of being together alone. And let me tell you, our bed seems giant now!
Looking back, the thing that frustrates me is that we didn’t do it sooner. The task always seemed so overwhelming. An impossible feat. But now my kids are happier, I am happier, my husband is happier. We all sleep better and our health, physical and mental well being are all improved.
- Just do it. Don’t wait for this or that. We kept putting it off. After Miracle’s cold is gone, after I’m done preparing for this….. There is never a perfect time, and it just gets harder.
- Split up the time. All the other times I tried to get them into their own beds, I didn’t ask for help. It was so much easier when Andrew and I came up with a plan together and worked towards the same goal with the same rules.
- Be flexible. Andrew noticed when I was struggling with Miracle and got up to help me. I knew when Andrew was out cold and it would be easy to just walk Axel back to his room considering I was awake anyway.
- Offer rewards. They loved the stickers. Miracle could really care less about the party. And the reward for Axel is mini-golf. A cheap, fun, family activity.
- Explain to them before you start what the plan is. Remind them during the night why you are doing what you are doing and about their rewards.
- Praise, Praise, Praise. Every morning Axel woke up so excited because he knew how pleased I was.
- Reward yourself!
Good luck! And peaceful sleep to all of you.