How to share a bed with 3 yr old and a newborn?

Lauren - posted on 03/09/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )




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.

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Lauren - posted on 03/14/2011




Thanks for your post and its nice to hear from a dad about co-sleeping. I was sure my husband wasn't the only hubby who didn't mind having the kids in bed with them!
I am glad for your daughter's sake that she wasn't far away when she had that seizure, and hope everything is all well now.
Lise a king size bed is definitely a must! Go get one asap and you'll never look back. That's my plan too just keep myself between the two.

Lise - posted on 03/11/2011




I'm a co-sleeper aswell. I didn't plan it that way but that"s what happened :) I just put myself between my girls 4 and 10 months. I do think I'm going to need a king size bed though it can be a little squishy lol.

Alex - posted on 03/11/2011




though your reasons for co sleeping are totally logical the only issue id have is that it might be dangerous having the toodler in a bed with a new born, they dont have the same instincts as us and she wont understand how careful she really needs to be.....for safety reasons id put one of them in a separate bed....just get a bassenett and put bub right next to ur head..

Johnny - posted on 03/11/2011




If you are happy to have both of them in the room with you, you could try putting the baby in a bassinet or moses basket beside the bed until he or she gets too big. Then you could put your daughter on a mattress on the floor and your new child in the bed.

I used the mattress on the floor to gently transition my daughter into her own room. It worked very well for us.

I personally do not tend to believe in sleeping in separate rooms from very young children, so I think what you are doing is great. My daughter woke up in the night last week, and came to climb in with us. Nothing seemed wrong (she was chatty and giggly), and many parents may have sent her back to bed. I didn't mind having her with me for a while, and when we snuggled up, I noticed she was hot. I took her temp & she had a 38.5 fever. Nothing major. I woke up an hour later to her having a febrile seizure. Had she been in her own room, I probably never would have noticed. It made me so thankful that she was snuggled in beside me. And I have little doubt that she won't still be crawling in with us when she's 14.

Sherri - posted on 03/11/2011




I would start transitioning your 3 yr old into her own bed and room and start the baby from day one in his own room and crib as well and then you don't have any problems with one child feeling left out. I have never coslept with any of my children and hence we never had to deal with the problems your now encountering.

Lauren - posted on 03/11/2011




Hi all and thanks for your responses.
The second baby is due in may and I think my husband and I have agreed that we'll just play it by ear and see what the temperament of this baby is like.
I agree Louise, I am very lucky to have such a great husband who's been so good to roll with the punches on this one. I think with him being away a lot its a real comfort to him to know that his girls are together and have eachother when he's not around, and when he is well its just time to join in the fun then!
Jennifer and Louise, like any new parent we bought the whole kit and caboodle before our first came along, and two years later we sold my daughter's cot and all the lovely sheets we had for it as new to another new family because we didn't end up using it for my daughter at all.
I admire you on your discipline to get up in the middle of the night to tend to a baby needing a feed. I love my sleep so much that I was thankful once my daughter and I figured out the turn to the side and breastfeed manouvre which meant neither of us had to move more than a few inches from where we were at night : ) But I think the other thing is we did try letting her sleep in her own room when she was a wee thing and I only felt safest when she was sleeping chest to chest on me and I could feel her breathing, stirring, and could anticipate her waking up for a feed. Of course that is a personal preference and I am not in any way discounting what has worked for you two.
I do feel I want to give my son the same contact when he's born but of course that could all change if he doesn't end up blessed with the 'i love sleeping, it's a hobby' gene that my daughter got from me so I don't think I can cot him right away but we are keeping our options open. And its not about being 'hellbent' about keeping them in my room, Jennifer, with respect. I think I'm just concerned about making sure my son is as safe and is as loved as my daughter was at that age without having to isolate either him or my daughter or my husband for that matter. They are only so small for such a short time and I am sure they will both want their own spaces and their own beds soon enough.
Anyway you might see me posting about the same issues you are now facing Amy with your son in a few years but for the reasons I set out above I discarded the idea of putting the newborn in a cot to keep the status quo.
My main worry really is how my son's sleeping (or waking) pattern will affect my daughter (who is now at preschool 3 days a week) and my husband but we've decided there's just no way of knowing what he'll be like till he's here.
Lastly, thanks for your post Emily. Glad to hear you've found a way to make it work! Here's hoping we can too!

Amy - posted on 03/09/2011




My son is 5 and sleeps with my husband and myself and we have an 11 month old. My 11 month old daughter sleeps in her crib in her own room because in 5 years I dont want to be sharing a bed anymore. My son will sleep in his own room but if he falls asleep there he will get into our bed most nights, my husband is the softie though! Like I said I made a choice with my youngest not to have the same sleep problems that I do with my son. Can you set the crib up in your room so you're still only sharing the bed with your daughter since you are happy with the sleeping arrangements? One other thing to keep in mind is the lack of sleep everyone gets with a crying newborn, my son would wake in the middle of the night or really early when the baby did and that made for a very cranky family some days. Good luck and congratulations on your soon to be new addition!

Emily - posted on 03/09/2011




'Nother co-sleeper here. :) No need to put baby in his/her separate room if that's not what you want. What we did was purchase a bedside co-sleeper. Works great. My daughter is now 18 months and starts out in the co-sleeper, but usually crawls up and snuggles next to me in the middle of the night. My 4-year-old still sleeps with us about 50% of the time, and he sleeps on my other side, or on my husband's other side (or at the foot of the bed sometimes, lol).

Medic - posted on 03/09/2011




I have to agree with Louise as both of our kids started in their own beds from day one. We kept their cribs in our room until they were sleeping threw the night. If you are hellbent on keeping them both in your room why don't you put your daughters bed next to your bed that way she is still in your room just in her own space. My son loves having his own room and on his own decided to ask for his sister to share it with him and they do great together. That way they get to have a play room also.

Louise - posted on 03/09/2011




I would start as you mean to go on and place the new born in her/his own room with a monitor. All three of my children have gone straight to their own room and never co sleeped. I know alot of people do and I know a lot of people that are pulling their hair out trying to get there 7 year old out of their bed. I understand your reasons for wanting your daughter to be in your bed but I also think that it is also part of being independant to have your own space. I think you are a really lucky woman if your husband does not mind sharing his bed with his children and not having his wife to himself. Honestly I would try and break the cycle now so your 3 year old can feel like a big girl.

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