Toddler Sleep Habits: Parental Disagreements


sleeping-kidLast month’s sleep discussion sparked a conversation between my husband and I on the current sleep situation in our house. We somehow, suddenly have three year olds, and sleep patterns and habits are changing. The kids are now in toddler beds and I am faced with my kids growing up quickly before my eyes! This is the point where my husband and I disagree on things. I am “too soft.” That means I give in way too easily to the “one more book, one more hug, one more drink of water, I see scary shadows, etc.” manipulation. My husband tells me they should self soothe. I tell him that’s for babies.  We’ve done that, and they succeeded.

While figuring out sleep patterns/schedules for premature newborn twins was extremely challenging for my husband and me, the toddler years have thrown a few wrenches in our formerly preconceived, agreed upon, perfect plan (as if such as thing exists).

So today, I have kids stumbling into my bed around 5am, just to get in and drift into a sweet slumber. I love it! My husband does not. I know these kids will not want to cuddle and snuggle with me for many more years. It is truly the best part of my day! It is an unwelcome early alarm clock for my husband.

He thinks I am creating bad habits. Maybe I am. Maybe my working moms guilt is rearing its ugly head. Maybe we are just completely different parents. I don’t know. All I know is that time is so very precious to me. Those sweet toddlers (preschoolers?) will be teenagers before I know it. However, I want to be sensitive to my husband’s feelings. Plus to be fair, some of these “bad” habits started when we was traveling more than usual. As always, it is a delicate balance.

I do think it is funny (funny ha ha?) that I spent weeks upon weeks trying to get those babies to sleep alone, self-soothing, in their cribs, only to secretly want them to crawl into bed and snuggle with me in the early morning hours as toddlers. These are minutes and hours in which I truly appreciate. Am I un-doing the “work” I did in those early days? Am I being selfish to want those extra snuggles? Do my husband and I agree to disagree at this point? We have agreed that if a kid comes in before 5am, he/she goes backs to bed. However, we all know, for the most part, dad isn’t aware of time on the clock.

How have you handled disagreements with sleep arrangements in your house (and bed)? If you disagree, how do you compromise?


  1. OH I FEEL YOU. My husband and I never let our first child into our bed, because we didn’t want to create a dangerous sleep situation and didn’t want to create “bad habits”. Except… we both totally wanted to snuggle her all night. When we would travel or try to bring her in our bed for a nap, she refused. She does not sleep ANYWHERE but her own sleep space. Now, she’s transitioning to a toddler bed (um, AKA, sleeping on the floor every night? Okay.) and she wants us to snuggle on the floor. Yes. I will snuggle you on the floor, because in 5 years, you won’t snuggle me at all.


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