My 2-year-old has been climbing into bed with my husband and me for a couple months. He goes to sleep fine with one of us in the room, but once
he's awake at night, he wants to be right by our side. We need our bed back, and
want our toddler to get more sleep at night.
The place to start is with his habit of falling asleep with you
still in the room. It seems to be working for bedtime, but
it's the reason he needs your presence in the wee hours. He drifts off to sleep
peacefully with you close by, and then wakes later in the night and can't fall
back to sleep without you. The way a child—or an adult for that matter—falls asleep
at the beginning of the night is so important. It sets the stage for either
smooth or broken sleep during the night.
If you don't want to share a bedroom with your son, you'll want
to extricate yourself before he falls asleep at bedtime. Usually, we do this
with what we call in "The Happy Sleeper" book, the Reverse Sleep Wave—you set
up automatic checks with your son after you say goodnight, so that he doesn't
have to call you back the room.
You tell him, "I'll check on you in five minutes"
and then leave the room. The first time you do a check, make it only 45 seconds
before you pop your head back in. The checks are very brief, but also very
reliable for your son so he knows you're close by. The Reverse Sleep Wave is a
super effective way to achieve this goal of falling asleep independently, so
I'd recommend using it.