The chill is getting stronger these days and it is really starting to feel like winter here in NYC. My favorite part of winter is getting warm, snuggly and cozy. There is a certain intimacy that comes with curling up in bed with someone you love and watching a movie. There’s so many possibilities of where that type of night might lead, right? Unless you have a small being in your bed wedged between you and your partner. Then you know for sure that some things – the intimate sexy things – are just not possible.
I have done countless bedtime routines and talked to families over and over again about sleep. A few brave parents have outright said to me, “My small beings are ruining my sex life!!” Many many parents will only hint that the intimacy and connection with their partner is lacking, because the sleep challenges with their small beings make it impossible.
While you may have hesitations speaking openly about your sex life with me - I am sure that you talk candidly about this over a glass of wine with your friends.
Here are my questions for you:
Is your small being sleeping in your bed, in between you and your partner? Are you sleeping in a twin bed with your small being so that she or he will sleep through the night? What is the impact of that arrangement on your sex life?
I am here to give you my top five bedtime strategies so that you can start having more adult-only fun after your small beings go to sleep!
1. Teaching your small being to self-soothe and fall asleep independently is a wonderful gift to give them. (Tweet) If you are staying in your small beings bed till he or she falls asleep, take small steps to fade yourself out of the bed, so your small being can drift to sleep independently. As they grow up, being able to sleep alone will be necessary. Not knowing how to do that could lead to challenges in their understanding of intimacy as they become grown ups. If they don’t know how to be comfortable alone, they may look for company in inappropriate places, so start teaching them how to do it when they are small.
2. Decide what the sleeping arrangements will be and stick to them! Don’t change your mind in the middle of the night because you are tired. Create a plan together and stick to it! Even in the sleepy hours of the middle of the night, know it is important for you to be consistent. (“Mean what you say and say what you mean”)
3. Talk to your small being about the bedtime plan and sleeping arrangements… before bedtime. Please do not discuss them as an item up for debate, but as a way of setting clear expectations. Mean what you say and say what you mean applies here, so if you are not letting them sleep in your bed anymore, be clear about it.
4. At night, love your small being up. Give yourself extra time for the sweetness that occurs only in these sleepy moments. Make the bedtime routine extra cozy, but be clear when it is time to leave and what will happen when you do. Will you go back and check on them? When and how often? Then make sure you do exactly what you say!
5. If you end up with unexpected guests in your bed (AKA: your small being) in the middle of the night, then don’t get into big discussions with them about it. Simply apply what your plan is (maybe walking them back silently to their bed or setting up a place in your room that is not your bed where they can sleep). Keep interactions to a minimum.
Bedtime and sleep routines are very important for the health, rest and well-being of your small being.
They are also critical for the health and well-being of your marriage! The intimacy and connection that sex provides is vital to have a thriving partnership!!
Ideas into Action
What is one thing you can do to improve your small being’s sleep routine? Post your insights below!
Leave your feedback, experience and thoughts in the comment section below this post or email directly at DrMarcie@BehaviorAndBeyond.net with your behavior insights!
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