We have been a co-sleeping, bed-sharing family since the beginning and we loved it. Loved it until Desmond started leaving us black and blue with all of his crazy night kicking. He also went through a phase of having night terrors, which would leave us adrenaline-riddled and unable to fall back asleep. Once I got pregnant, I kicked my husband and son out of our shared bed so that I could get some sleep. So, for the past 9 months or so, I have slept alone and with Roman, our baby. Des and Billy have shared a bed.
Here's how: the night my husband left, I told Des a story about a faraway kingdom on another planet in a galaxy far, far away. This kingdom was the kingdom of the fairies. The king fairy granted each fairy a special job (the tooth fairy, the first-day-of-school fairy, etc). Fast forward to the end of the story where I tell Des that the sleep fairy visits all the children who need help staying asleep. I told him to petition her to come that night so that she could help him sleep by himself and stay asleep all night. We're not a religious family, we never pray, but this was the closest thing to it. I could hear him mumbling, "Dear sleep fairy, please come and visit me tonight. Please give me good dreams. Please help me stay asleep even though I'm going to be all alone." (Cue my heart being ripped open).
He woke up twice that night, called out for me, I came and tucked him back in and he fell back asleep. The second time, I got some glitter and sprinkled it on his pillow. Then, I took some homemade caramels that I had wrapped in pretty paper and put them underneath his pillow. The next morning, he was so excited to have received a visit AND a gift on top of it all. As part of my gift to him for staying bed all night, I gave him a Kinder Surprise chocolate egg after he got home from school.
If your kid is as sleep-needy as mine, give this a try. I totally ripped this idea off of the book, The Sleep Fairy, by Janie Peterson.
Moral of the story? Go ahead a lie to your kids a bit. In this case, the ends totally justifies the means.