It’s rare that I send out a mass SOS to my fellow moms + dads. In fact, I’m trying to recall a time over the last three years in which I actually begged for advice and can’t… but here I go…

About a month ago Moosh requested to watch Jumanji — a movie he’s seen several times before. We were settling in for a movie night in my bed and so I turned it on. We got 5 minutes in and he freaked out and said he was scared, so I turned it off. Mind you, this is before anything actually happens. Robin Williams character simply opens the game and the game piece moves. That’s it. Sure, it’s not the least frightening thing in the world, but it’s also not the scariest thing he’s ever seen.

And since that night, he’s refused to sleep in his own bed. Because, Jumanji. Don’t get me wrong — we’ve tried. At first we were really fighting him on it. We would put him to bed and it would take 60+ minutes of lying down with him, relaxing, and letting him fall asleep. Only to find that 10 minutes later he was screaming to open the door. Then we would try and put him back to bed, which worked for a few minutes, before he would get out yet again. After several nights in a row like this, we began to just ‘give in’ to him from the start.

I know, I know… first mistake.

But this is both a parenting fail AND a parenting win. Because we are tired, too. And we weren’t getting anywhere with putting him in his own bed. And we all desperately needed sleep. And it turns out that a lot of ‘parenting‘ is making concessions for things you were ‘certain‘ you were never going to do. And sometimes the answer is the path of least resistance. Scratch thatthe answer is almost ALWAYS the path of least resistance. 

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Well, fast forward 4 weeks… and the occasional co-sleeping has become habitual co-sleeping. I even lie down with him at nap time on the weekends to get him to nap. In my bed. The whole time.

Here’s what’s running through my head:

  • This is just a phase. Let’s get it out of the way before Baby Girl is born.
  • This isn’t going to last forever. Soon enough he’ll be asserting his independence and he won’t ever want to sleep in bed with us. I should just embrace it.
  • Gosh, I’d love to be productive on a Saturday afternoon instead of lying around in bed with him for 3 hours.
  • Okay. I’d really like to go to bed later than 8pm every night of the week. And to actually spend some time with my husband having adult conversation, even if it is just for an hour each night.
  • Some kids are sick and ours is healthy and so I should just snuggle him all night every night.

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Look, I never said it was a rational train of thought… just that I keep jumping back and forth between ‘just a phase,’ and ‘dear lord make this stop.’ Because, truthfully, part of me loves it. But part of me just can’t take it anymore. And sometimes I feel both of those things at the very same time.

So tell me, friends. What do you suggest? Should we ride it out?

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Here’s what we’ve tried:

  • First, telling him that (obviously) Jumanji is pretend and nothing is going to get him.
  • Using “go away” spray at night.
  • Telling him if he sleeps in his room, when he wakes up in the morning he can just get out of bed and play with his toys.
  • Using a nightlight.

We’re open to suggestions. I’m exhausted. And last-trimester pregnancy is making me even more tired (and cranky). So I need as much sleep as I can get, but I also miss my husband. I miss just that one hour a night we need to spend with just each other. So help. Please.

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