Yikes! Please help...

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2004
Yikes! Please help...
4
Sun, 01-27-2013 - 9:57pm

I'm a stay-at-home-mom to a 4 1/2 year old and a 2 year old, both girls. From birth, we co-slept with my older daughter. When she was born, I didn't want her to feel displaced, so I continued to co-sleep with her. I couldn't nurse my 2 year old for very long (technical difficulties), so I co-slept with my older daughter, and my husband co-slept with my younger daughter in the room next door. (We sleep in a Queen, they sleep in a Cal King.)

The upshot is that my 2 year old loves me, but is CRAZY about dad. (BTW, my older daughter is the opposite: loves dad but is CRAZY about me.)

I take my 2 year old to Mommy & Me preschool for 2 hours, 2 days a week. I also take her to a My Gym class on Saturday mornings. I know she loves and trusts me.

But I want things to be more equal. I want my 2 year old to love me more than she does now, I guess I'm saying (of course, not at the expense of her relationship with her wonderful dad). Please, some advice? We've all tried sleeping together, and it's tough and doesn't make for a good night's sleep for any of us. Is this the best way to go?

Thank you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 2:57pm
Tracy gave you great ideas already (you rock, Tracy!). I would second what she said about maybe trying to add in something extra where each of you can spend more time with the other "non-sleeping" child. Sounds like you already do quite a bit, and this may be something that you won't really be able to change (I know my boys have their favorite between my DH and I and it is just a natural thing that does change from time to time).

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 10:06am

I am glad my questions didn't sound pushy.  I read my reply again later and thought, I hope she doesn't think I am pushng the whole "you shouldn't be co-sleeping" thing.  We also co-slept, but not as long.  We co-slept with our middle one quite a bit longer, but never co-slept with the younger one, but I did extended breastfeeing with both, and the younger one is super clingy to me all the time and the middle one is much closer to DH, so it is not always a matter of the co-sleeping environment.  If you want suggestions on eventually transitioning out of the co-sleeping arrangement, "The No Cry Sleep Solution" is a great book that we used for the middle one.  But whatever works for each household is really the most important thing IMO, as long as everyone is getting their fair share of sleep, etc.  It sounds like other than possibly adding in something else that each parent does solely with the "non-sleeping" child to continue to foster the close relationship, you may just have to watch the ebb and flow of age and see what happens.  It sounds like overall you guys are doing a great job right now!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2004
Mon, 01-28-2013 - 10:02pm
Those are such great questions, thank you!  Good point -- I should be happy with what we have.  I just never wanted a "daddy's-girl"/"mommy's-girl" thing, if we could help it.  DH and I are careful to love them "differently" but without any preferences, since we we want a circle of love in the family.

We've tried swapping sleeping arrangements a couple of times, but our younger daughter howls for daddy.  It's really piteous, so we always just end up giving in to her.  (Couldn't sleep train either of them either, obviously! -- we're not good at listening to the kids cry.)

DH hasn't expressed that he's upset that I have a stronger bond with our older daughter...but I can definitely tell he wishes she wasn't all-mommy for most things.

We haven't discussed how long we plan to co-sleep or plans for transitioning them to their own room/bed.  Theoretically, DH and I will eventually sleep in the master bed, and the two girls will sleep together in the kid's room Queen sized bed (or we can get a bunk bed).  We figure when the younger one is four or five, it will magically just happen.  We realize it may be hoping for a lot.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 01-28-2013 - 4:59pm

Children's love and need for attention from a certain parent is going to ebb and flow with their age, developmental milestones, etc.  It may honestly not ever matter what you do, she may just always prefer your DH because of the original co-sleeping arrangement.  Have you tried swapping sleeping arrangements where the 2 year old sleeps with you and the 4 year old sleeps with him?  I would be happy that you seem to have 2 well adjusted kids that like their parents quite a bit and not be so concerned that the 2 year old doesn't "love you enough" or equal to your DH.  I would be happy with the relationship you have with her as well as the one you have with your 4 year old.  Has your DH expressed that he is upset at all that you have a stronger bond with the older daughter than he does?  Have you discussed how long you plan to co-sleep and if or what plans you have for transitioning them to their own rooms and/or beds? 

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