I often go through things and wonder how many other people are going through the same thing. I look for information online and never seem to find the answers I'm looking for and it's really frustrating... My youngest son is 32 months old and up until a month ago, I couldn't get him to sleep in his own bed.
I tried everything. This is my third child and I never had any issues with my first two kids. They have been sleeping in their own rooms since they were 6 months and in their own space (not in my bed) since the day they came home from the hospital. My youngest, however, is a whole different story.
I do have to acknowledge that he went through many things the two older kids did not. He was in the Special Care Unit for 7 days after he was born. I didn't even get to see him until 24 hours after he was born. When we finally brought him home he had terrible reflux an had to sleep propped up or he wouldn't sleep at all. As soon as he cried he had to be calmed or the mess you had to clean up was 10 times worse than jumping to give him attention.
As if that wasn't enough, he was 6 months old when I had to have an operation for a herniated disc. Recuperation was slow and I wasn't allowed to pick him up (nothing heavier than 5 pounds). That led to me moving out of my room to my sons' room and having them move into my room with my husband. I couldn't risk having someone accidentally bump into my healing wound at night or my recovering leg from the pinched nerve as a result of the herniation.
Due to all this, my youngest felt that my room was his as well. So getting him out of our bed was an uphill battle. We would put him in his bed and he would get up. We would put him back down and he would get back up. I don't know how many of you have watched Supernanny, but he never got worn out from the process. He could spend the whole night getting back up so we had to take him back to bed. The result was a sleepless night for us and him being able to take naps the next day but us being extremely exhausted.
He has never taken long naps either. He takes two 30 minute power naps that let him have energy for the rest of the day. I really wish I had his energy! Eventually we gave up on that idea and tried having him fall asleep in our bed and carrying him over to his. This resulted in him sleeping in his own bed for about 10 minutes, which is the time it took him to realize he had changed beds. Another failed attempt!
Finally I opted for something most parents would gasp at, but I let him fall asleep watching TV in his own room and leave the TV on all night. He loves all the Nick Jr characters and most of the DVDs have automatic play so they keep playing over and over. Now if he wakes up while in his bed he won't go running to my room. He sees the TV on and goes right back to sleep.
Around 6 or 7AM he comes running into my room and I ask him if he slept all night in his bed. He answers yes, and I tell him I am very proud of him. This makes him happy. Now when he comes to my room in the morning he announces that he slept in his bed all night. I immediately say how proud I am and he goes off happily.
I've come to realize that it's OK to try your own methods every now and then. We as parents can't get flustered because what seems to work for everyone else, doesn't work for us. Each child is different and each situation is different. Will he sleep with the TV on forever? No. As he gets older and understands certain things, he will sleep with the TV off. For now, it works. He sleeps all night and we can finally stop walking around like zombies on autopilot.