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co sleeping with toddler and baby?

(20 Posts)
ursigurke Wed 25-May-11 13:23:20

Hi! We have an 18 month old DD who sleeps still in our room, usually part of the night in our bed (but she shows more and more interest to sleep in her own cot, so the end of the bed sharing seems to be in sight).
We are expecting no 2 in september and are currently thinking about the sleep options.
We could either stay in one room or we would have to move out to the much smaller room in front, so DD would have a huge room but too dark really to realistically spend much time there. And we will loose our office/laundry/storage/... room.
Does anyone have experience with 4 in a room? DD isn't a great sleeper anyway but doesn't normally seem to be disturbed once she is asleep. But as I am planning to bf for long time, the baby is likely to wake up often and for ages.
I would much prefer to stay but I wonder if it is good for DDs sleep.

Thanks in advance for sharing your experience

fifi25 Wed 25-May-11 17:33:49

dd2 slept through dd3's night feeds, dd1 in her own room used to wake up. You could just try and see how it goes smile

ursigurke Wed 25-May-11 18:40:52

Thanks, fifi25. I want to avoid trying out as I do not want to give my DD the feeling that all of a sudden she has to be on her own while the baby can stay with us. So I want to be as sure as I can about our decision.

fifi25 Wed 25-May-11 18:47:38

Its trial and error. All my 3 co-slept. DD1 and DD2 just moved out in their own time DD3 is still in my bed and shes nearly 3. She flits between me and her 2 sisters rooms even though she has her own princess bed grin

fifi25 Wed 25-May-11 18:48:42

I meant try dd in room and see how she sleeps with the baby, she might not get disturbed smile

ursigurke Wed 25-May-11 20:26:00

The problem is the layout of our house. We have two bedrooms but the smaller one is in front, between entrance and garage, just on the street and you have to cross it to get to the bigger one at the back, where we sleep now. If we sleep in seperate rooms, DH, me and the baby will have to move to the smaller one while DD gets the big one. If she doesn't like it and wants to come with us, we will all end up in the smaller one where there is hardly enough space for the double bed and the cot.
This layout is the main reason why I want to stay all in one room. But obviously if we go for it but it doesn't work out we'll have to change it anyway. I would just like to hear a couple of positive stories and then stay in the bigger room. smile
At least she doesn't get disturbed by the door bell when she naps in the buggy which is parked just under the bell. So a tiny crying baby shouldn't bother her too much, I guess.

BertieBotts Wed 25-May-11 20:29:08

I know that you have to be careful if having a baby and toddler in the same bed, they don't have the same awareness as you do, so you need to make sure if they are both sleeping there that there is an adult between them at all times.

Do you have a co-sleeper cot?

ursigurke Wed 25-May-11 20:56:22

At the moment we have a normal cot only. Step 1 of decision will only be if we'll all stay in one room. Then it's about the actual beds. DD will get her own bed anyway, we are just not sure about the size yet, toddler or normal single (which would make the room a bit crowded). We get more and more nights where she actually sleeps through in her cot or even if she wakes up she is fine with me striking her back until she goes back to sleep. So hopefully this will be the norm in three months.
It should also be possible to remove one side of the cot, getting both matresses on the same level and putting something in between them. If not I'm considering a new cot. Anyway, at the moment it is more about the room sharing rather than bed sharing. I certainly do not want 4 in one bed ( even if it is a proper double bed) all night. That's ok for the last hour or so.

ursigurke Thu 26-May-11 14:54:55

anybody else with positive experience of a "family bedroom"?

ursigurke Thu 26-May-11 20:12:36


fifi25 Thu 26-May-11 21:12:53

There was a really good thread on it about a month ago, i will try and find it if i can remember the title smile

fifi25 Thu 26-May-11 21:25:27

aybe not a month ago

There may be something on here to help

ursigurke Fri 27-May-11 20:19:55

thanks for the link. I didn't really find an answer to my question but it's nice to hear so many positive co sleeping stories and I am so looking forward to share my bed with one more smile (maybe not for the whole night but early mornings with the whole family in bed sounds nice)

Babieseverywhere Fri 27-May-11 20:33:25

We co-sleep with our children. 10 month old DD2 is always in our bed full time. 2.10 yo DS starts off with his big sister (4.10 yo DD1) and joins us during the night. Occasional DD1 joins us too but that is much rarer these days. We side car'd a normal coat with the fourth side removed to give us more space in our king sized bed.

Like BertieBotts said, it is unsafe to leave baby and toddler in the same bed unsupervised. I am always in-between baby DD2 and toddler DS.

In your situation I would have your DD in either a small cot bed alongside your bed or a mattress on the floor for her to sleep on until you are ready to go to bed and she can join you in the big bed with her new sibling.


jumpingjojo Sat 28-May-11 08:07:46

This is what we do - ds 2.6 goes to sleep at 7ish in our kingsize bed. He has a toddler bed which he won't sleep on, hopefully one day ! Dd 7 mths comes downstairs with us then falls asleep on my lap at somepoint. We go bed around 10ish and I can pop her in the cot which is alongside the bed with a side off. Currently she'll sleep anything from 2- 7 hrs before needing to be fed. I roll over and feed her and we all go back to sleep. If dd has gone to sleep at 7ish I have occasionally put her in cot for a sleep but we have a camera on them so can see if toddler wakes up. He doesn't usually. I sleep sandwiched between the 2 as both seem to want to be near me ! I probably wouldn't choose this but it works for the time being. Not sure how to get dd into bedtime routine as ds was being tricky about it so concentrated on getting him sorted. He has only been back in our bed since dd came along, I think he felt left out in his own room.

BelleEnd Sat 28-May-11 08:11:52

We have a freezing cold house and co-sleep in the winter months for warmth. Our children are a bit older- 5 and 20m- So I cover the entire floor of one room with mattresses, all the duvets I can find, and electric blankets. We all sleep there, and it's lovely: We sleep very well indeed. I do feel that my eldest is a bit old, really, but there's no alternative if we want to stay warm, and this is how they would have kept warm in the olden days anyway!

PurveyorOfBaloney Sat 28-May-11 08:20:32

I was going to recommend a situation just like jumpingjo described - have a toddler bed in your big room and side car your cot (I LOVE sidecar cots!). You'll probably find your DD will learn to live with small baby noises. Get her gradually used to the toddler bed, though do expect times when you are all in together. The sidecar cot will make a big difference because you will have a safe space for the baby away from your older child (assuming she sleeps between you). You can breastfeed the smallest whilst laying on just one side (you probably know that already!)

I agree moving your DD out now may provoke jealousy. However I'd would move towards the aim of moving her toddler bed to the small outer room. You should find that if you keep the light levels low she will probably sleep through you coming and going into the bigger room. My DD could sleep through a hurricane I think!

The only thing you will need to be cautious of will be leaving them alone in one room together. If your DD is unable to climb on your bed and you have a sidecar for the little one then this may not be too much of a problem initially.

Debs75 Sat 28-May-11 09:01:16

This was me last August.

DD2 was 23m when dd3 was born, she tended to sleep most of the night in her cot but would often get in our bed during the night.
After having dd3 the first 3 nights at home were easy, dd3 woke for a feed and dd2 slept through. Then she started waking again. If she woke and dd3 was asleep then she would re-settle easy, if they both woke at the same time then it would take over an hour to settle them both and DP often had to take dd2 downstairs to calm her.
When dd3 turned 12 weeks she refused her cot so has been in our bed ever since and many nights all 4 of us have squashed into our double. We did try a sidecar cot for dd3 but she only ever spent about 4 hours in it, she is an incredibly light sleeper.

We still all share the room but dd2 is in her own bed and dd3 is in my bed, quite often I lie in the middle with 1 on either side. I feel I actually get more sleep by having them in with me as they tend not to wake up during the night, also after 6 months of sleeping next to dd3 I can't sleep without her.
With various illnesses over the last couple of months dp has slept downstairs and it has worked well for us all. Obv I would like him nhext to me but a good nights sleep is our priority 1st.

Safety is the biggest issue and I don't feel comfortable if they are both in the bed without me. i use a bed guard for dd3 even though she is too young but it stops her falling out.
If I had the option of another room then I would move dd2 out, you have a few months before no2 is due so you could do it without making her feel 'pushed out'. If you don't want to then 4 in a room does work but you will have some bad nights and will wake very sore and stiff some days. Like I say tho some nights you will sleep really well

jumpingjojo Sat 28-May-11 09:48:13

Meant to also say, we used a Moses basket to begin with where dd just slept in the evenings down with us too. I sat up in bed to feed to begin with during the night. Laid down to feed when I couldn't stay awake. Better to plan the co sleeping than do it accidentally.

ursigurke Sat 28-May-11 16:00:32

Thanks for all the input.
Debs75, I agree, if we decide to sleep in seperate rooms we have to do it now so DD has plenty of time to get used to it and there is no link to the new arrival.
PurveyorOfBaloney, moving DD to the smaller room in front in not only a noise problem for me. I just wouldn't feel comfortable as it is in between the garage and the main entrance with a big window towards the street. It's a safe area but I guess there is some kind of primary instinct that the offspring has to sleep at the back of the cave while the parents protect the entrance smile

I think we'll all stay in one room but everyone (in theory) with his/her own bed.
We should be able to take the 4th side off our cot, otherwise, I would like a new one. DD will get a new bed soon, so she has time to get used to it. Initially I wanted to get a normal single sized one already but maybe that's too big next to cot and double bed.
Then hopefully both children will sleep in their own bed until we go to bed and then we'll see. And if we are lucky, DD will be able to sleep through in the next couple of weeks anyway. And if we are even luckier, the baby will be a good sleeper ...

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