Welcome to Mom Motivation Mondays where weekly contributing writers share their motherhood experiences to encourage you to find the joy in being a mom.

{This week: Post by Jaimi}

Is co-sleeping a solution? When your child has sleep issues it can be hard to know what to do.


I used to love bedtime. The moment of the day when a mom finally gets a break. That was when I had kids that slept. That was years ago.

The first baby sets the tone for your parenting perspective. If you get an “easy” child you think you are a pro parent and love every moment. If you get a challenging child you question yourself-and think everyone else does too.

Well, I was staring at the ceiling fan in the darkened room questioning EVERYTHING.

How did we get to this point?

Is this normal?

Am I the only mom lying in the dark staring-no begging-that my child will get tired and just go to sleep already?

I should cherish the time.

I should appreciate that they are little for moments in the span of lightning fast life.

I should…

I was not in that mental state.

Turns out that my second child prepared me for twins. She may have been just as challenging when it came to sleeping through the night as the twins.

There are so many reasons kids don’t sleep. My daughter was attached. That’s a good thing in my mind, but not when I needed to use two hands to make dinner or wanted to sleep more than 2 hours at a time.

Children need their parents.

There is not one solution to the sleep dilemma that works all the time.

We did cry it out with our first (Well, I did. My husband was deployed at the time.) It worked for my oldesw. When we tried with the second, she cried for longer than I care to admit publicly. It did not work for her. It’s my only regret at a mom. I wish I had not let her cry so much.

You live, you learn…but I was stumped.

Then came twins. They ate every 45 minutes through the night. They were night owls. They made me hate bedtime because it really didn’t exist!

I told my husband so many evenings when it was time to put the kids to bed, “I don’t even like bedtime anymore. It’s just a tease that I will get to rest.”

We lived away from family. There was no one to come over and switch off nights with me so I could get some version of sleep-whatever that actually is when you are a mom.

It was just me. And my husband was going to deploy for 6 months, so it was going to ONLY be me.

I made some decisions to save my sanity-and try to get more sleep. I have no idea looking back if they were helpful or just caused more sleep issues.

Reluctant to Try Co-Sleeping

When my first child was born my husband and I swore we were never allowing our kids to sleep in bed with us. It was our space. Of course in the mornings here and there when I wanted to get just a few more minutes of shut eye, I would tell my son to just climb in with me and let mommy sleep a few more minutes.

That wasn’t co-sleeping in my mind. It was me trying to hold on to the idea that one day I might get to wake up when I choose…yeah right.

Then baby number two was a wiggle worm! She still is. Asking her to give mommy a few more minutes was pointless as she wiggled into my hip and onto my belly. No shut eye happening then!

Things got drastic with the twins.

If you have a child that is a tough kid to get to sleep at night I don’t necessarily recommend you try this next experience, but it’s what I did.

Co-Sleeping When You Don’t Want To Share Your Bed

I told you my husband was going to deploy, and he did, when the twins were a year and a half old. They were both in the same room, but in separate cribs. They were still waking up at night every 2-3 hours and would stay up for 2-3 hours.

My night’s sleep looked like a nap.

It was the most exhausting time I have ever had in my life. My mom strength was surviving sleep deprivation.

There was no sleeping when the babies slept because my two older children had school work and schedules to maintain. There was no babysitter to call over so I could take a nap midday. There was just this sleep mess going on, so I got desperate, and then took a risk.

The twins were starting to climb out of their cribs. It was time to make sure they did not fall out and onto their heads. I didn’t need that stress in the middle of the night.

It was also really challenging to keep one twin asleep if the other was awake. If one woke up at night, the other woke up.

I decided to take them out of their cribs and move them into twin beds. Twin beds that I pushed together, so that I could have a space to lay down in the middle of the night.

Where hope of getting sleep was lost and hate of bedtime had grown, I needed to create a solution!

Co-Sleeping Sleep Deprivation Solution

The room the twins shared was small, so we could fit two twin beds and two dressers. That was it. There was hardly any space on each side of the beds, so it worked well that I needed to push them together.

I made them up differently so they each had their special sheets.

At bedtime, when we were done with reading books to all four kids in the big kids’ room, I went with the twins in their room and laid down between them. The goal was to give them the security they needed to fall asleep and hopefully they would sleep all night.

When the twins woke up at night, they could wander in to my room (no climbing out of a crib). I tried on many occasions to lay back down with them in their twin beds.

They would fall asleep, I’d sneak out, and they’d wake up-again.

It was still exhausting.

Since my husband was gone, my next reaction when a child drowsily wandered into my room at night was to pick them up and put them in my bed. We both went back to sleep and I felt more rested.

For a time we were getting some relatively decent sleep. (We moms know that decent sleep is a relative term.)

The problem was that my sleep was still interrupted as the twins climbed in with me, tossed, turned, and poked. My husband was also coming home from deployment and we wanted our space to be our space. I had to find a new solution to keeping the twins in their own room all night.

I set a goal to at least keep the twins in their own room all night. Even if that meant I was not going to sleep in my own bed.

When the twins woke up at night, instead of pulling them in with me, I walked them back to their room and let myself fall asleep in their bed.

This continued for about 4 months. Then we moved and separated the twins’  from sharing a room for the first time. They were 2 ½ and sharing a room with their older siblings. The boys were moved into one room, the girls in another. I prayed that the twins would gain comfort from their older siblings being close. I didn’t even care if they slept in the same bed in their rooms.

Waking up still happened.

The really funny nights were when all three of us would sleep in one twin bed! I told you this was the craziest sleep experience I have ever had!

Having grandparents visit can open your eyes to what your children are capable of doing. My husband and I went away for a night. My mother in law was home with the kids. The twins put themselves to sleep!

It was a realization that I was the reason they were waking up. (We moms are just so popular aren’t we?!)

It was also a realization that I could push the twins to be more independent with their sleep habits-or so I thought.

I know some out there are thinking: “This is crazy! Just let them cry.” The problem is when one cries, the other cries, and they keep their older siblings awake. It’s not simple being a mom dealing with sleep issues. Not for any of us.

I don’t know where to go from here.

Part of me wants to just appreciate how much my kids want me near. It is proof that they really love me.

Part of me really wants to sleep.

That part is a big part.

I know it won’t last forever, because these twins are already 3. Their baby needs didn’t last. Their toddler needs didn’t last and their preschool “the world is really big and I need my mommy near” needs won’t last forever.

It’s a messy ride. There aren’t simple solutions to motherhood in my experience. Pretty much never.

Setting a boundary is always hard to enforce. It’s something I struggle with now even after 9 years of being a mom.

We’ve graduated to a new bedtime plan. We read books to the kids together in the girls’ room. Then the boys go to their room and the girls stay in their room. They get a half hour to just read in their rooms.

This has led to my boys putting themselves to sleep. Even my twin 3 year old boy! He is capable of it. Just this little tweak in their nightly routine to leave them alone in their room at an appropriate age has helped ease our bedtime challenges.

The girls on the other hand still need the presence of their mama at night to fall asleep.

We’ve made progress though. From co-sleeping to laying with them until they fall asleep to sitting next to their beds until they fall asleep, it’s progress in my mind.


I keep hoping for a complete night of sleep, but have not gotten that more than a handful of times in the last year.

Being a reluctant co-sleeper is who I was. It was something I had to change to get rest.

I still hope one day that we will have a nice smooth bedtime routine.

Until then we take it one night at a time.

A weekly series of motivation for moms brought to you by stay at home mom bloggers at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide.


Does your child have sleep issues? Have you decided co-sleeping works or is not for you?

Is co-sleeping a solution? When your child has sleep issues it can be hard to know what to do.