How to keep sharing the bed with a 3yr old and newborn (and dad of course!)

Lauren - posted on 03/05/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Hi all

My daughter will be 3 years old when my second comes along and besides the few nights she's decided to try out sleeping in her own bed she's always slept in our bed with us and we've had no problems with it - of course we get the odd night where she finds it hard to settle down but who doesn't?
Anyway I'm not really keen on moving her out of the bed when the newborn comes along for a variety of reasons:
1. my husband travels for work a lot and is sometimes away for weeks at a time and it just never made sense to have us in separate beds in separate rooms,
2. we've had to travel a lot with him in the last few months and I think sleeping with me is one of the few constants my daughter has been able to rely on for comfort and I don't want to take that away from her,
3. it just makes me feel sad to think of isolating her from us when the new one comes along, after all i'm not kicking her dad out of bed, why should i kick her out? and
4. I firmly believe that when my daughter is ready, she'll move to wanting her own space, my siblings and I co-slept with my parents and none of us still sleep with them!
So I'm so glad I found this group because I'm sure I'm not the first to encounter this issue here. I'd love to hear how others have managed to continue co-sleeping with their toddlers when the newborn comes along.
Thanks!
Lauren

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Ana - posted on 01/02/2012

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There is a 2.5 years gap between my eldest and second daughter. When my 2nd daughter came, making room for her in the bed was not even a question. I didn't have the heart to move my eldest to her own bed at the time. Too much adjustment for her. We had a queen size bed at the time but have now moved to a king size bed. I was afraid the newborn might get squashed because eldest moved around alot so I put the crib beside our bed but was never able to get the baby to sleep in the crib. However, it did work and everyone was happy. Now the challenge came when my 3rd child (son) was born 16 months ago.....

Lexi - posted on 10/29/2011

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you could try the side car bassinet/arms reach cosleeper or the little beds that go in your bed to just create little safety walls around baby like a lot of folks have mentioned. Or if there's room baby can sleep in between you and hubby and your 3 year old could sleep on the opposite side of one of you. That way there is always an adult body in between her and the newborn. I would not trust my 2 year old in bed with my 2nd (3 weeks old now) and I can't imagine a 3 year old being much more aware of the baby in her sleep. But if there's enough room in the bed to keep baby safe I'm sure you can make it work! Maybe invest in a King sized bed if you don't have one already. I know our queen feels pretty cramped with just me, hubby and the newborn.

Jay - posted on 10/15/2011

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Oh, so I could put the two kids in the middle? Is that safe? Just put DS closer to dad and NB next to me?
I have been looking into bed gaurds already.. worth the investment I think as we planning on having more in the future. I was asking my mother were you could buy them and she shot me a look... ''Do you not think you will have him in his own bed by then, and teach the new one not to sleep with you''... She thinks I should have him weaned by then too, I am kinda leaving it up to him, unless there is any medical reason... .And he doesn't eat much food now, so he needs his breastmilk to get big and strong :) x

Lauren - posted on 10/09/2011

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Hey Jay, good on you for co-sleeping! We've got a King bed so that's brilliant. There's usually enough room for all of us and a pillow on the side my son sleeps on. He's 5 months next week and starting to roll so we're looking at buying one of those bedguards so he can't roll out and we can do away with the pillow so we all get a bit more space. It's worked out fine with all of us in the bed. Since you say you've got a small queen I'd definitely look into getting a bed guard or at least getting the side either of your kids are going to be sleeping on against a wall just to be safe. My 3 and 1/2 year old girl sleeps between me and my husband and then my son switches sides depending on which boob he's fed on last : )
The sweetest thing we've noticed is that my daughter actually likes to cuddle into him when they're sleeping if he finds himself in the middle and we all manage to be asleep through the night most of the time with this arrangement. Like you we tend to put my daughter down on our bed after bath and book time then I put my son to sleep in the kids room until he calls out for his night feed. By that time we're ready for bed too and it's a quick feed and all into our bed, our 3 year old almost never stirs.
Nothing sweeter than snuggling in and smelling them at night. Good luck with it!

Jay - posted on 10/09/2011

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Ps and that is if he even uses the cot.. most times its on the couch till we go up around 11pm and we just carry him up and put him right in with us x

Jay - posted on 10/09/2011

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Glad I found this post. I am nervous about the same thing, The bed against the wall thing sounds good.. BUT.. when my son was a newborn I would sometimes feel a little bit more comfy when I put him in his cot till he woke for the next feed. Just till he was old enough to know I wasn't going to hurt him!! :O .. So I kinda wanted the cot next to our bed, Just going to use our son's cot, no point buying another one when he only uses it for about 3 hours from 10pm to 1am, may as well save money and just put him into out bed at 10pm.

I am thinking to put the newborn in between Dh and me, where my son has always (still) sleeps.. But I am worried that if my son is on the outside that he will fall out!! :O

It is a small queen and my son will only be 15 months.. Is that too young for the outside? x

Latisha - posted on 08/14/2011

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We put the bed up against the wall. Baby slept between me and the wall. Toddler slept between me and my husband. Now that they are both toddlers they sleep in the middle and my husband and I are pushed to the ends of the bed. LOL.

Elizabeth - posted on 07/09/2011

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I have this exact scenario at my house. My son is three and my baby is ten weeks. Our solution was for dad to sleep in another bed. It created more room in our bed and he gets more sleep and so do we. Both my boys sleep with me. I also have an Arm's Reach Co-sleeper attached to the bed that I can place the baby into if I need to. I was worried at first that my three year old would squish the baby so I slept in between both boys. I have found that my three year old stays in one place pretty well and they can sleep next to each other with me there to make sure it is safe. Several people told me that by having hubby sleep in a different room would hurt our marriage and our intimacy but is actually has improved it. We are both getting more sleep and have intimacy at other times.

Jennifer - posted on 03/31/2011

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I personally haven't experienced, but witnessed. My mom was in a similar situation with my three sisters. My dad worked a lot of nights or at a hospital too far away to come home all the time. When the second sister-baby came, the first baby (then 23 months) ended up in the crib side-carred to the bed.

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