I’ve received a lot of wonderful suggestions from readers with regard to co-sleeping with my 2 year old and having a new baby. I’ve decided to include them here for anyone dealing with a similar situation.
- Amanda from Stumptowncrunch said ” I am ALL for the “family bed.” There’s a reason women get all emotionally messed up hearing their babies cry, God designed us to. Studies show that crying babies can make a woman lactate, even if it’s not her baby crying. I think you should ignore everyone else and do what you want. People act like you’re going to have a 12 year old in your bed and that you’ll have to go away with Ari to college or else he wont be able to sleep. That won’t happen. Enjoy them while they’re young, cuddle and snuggle in bed together if that’s what works for you. If Tahira liked to cuddle, I would do it, but she hates co-sleeping. Maybe your next baby won’t like it and it’ll continue to be your and Ari. My cousin slept in her parents bed until she was 6. No damage done. She’s not a needy kid in the slightest. In fact, she’s very mature and independent for her age (now 10). They say that co-sleeping and attachment parenting actually produces more confident children.”
- Julie The Army Wife said ” I think if YOU are comfortable with the baby and Ari in bed with you, just don’t worry too much about it. We co-sleep but at about 6-7 months I am ready for the baby to be in their own bed. If you want to move Ari to his own bed could you lay down with him in it till he falls asleep? I did that a lot with my 2nd boy.
- PinkBluff said “I can’t sleep with YC in my bed, he kicks and makes me have a bad nights sleep. So I explain to him that he has a bed, and Mommy has a bed. We do our whole bed time routine and I go downstairs. The stair gate is kept closed. He cries very little and if need be I go up to settle him. He sleeps better in his bed alone anyways. He gets up and comes to my bed in the morning for cuddles. If he wakes up at night I lead him back to his bed and stay for a few minutes til he settles, then creep out. Toddlers are very smart and learn very quickly what behavior is acceptable and praised, and what is not. Whatever you choose to do has to be because you are both happy with it, not resentful. Be consistent too, that is the key to happy sleep time.”
- Kim said “I had the same issue with my now 21 month old. I was 7 months pregnant and with him, me, and my son in the bed I was not getting any sleep and waking up sore. He would take up the bed and kick around, which made me nervous being pregnant.
He went to sleep in his room them came to ours. So I started sleeping in his room on the floor. As soon as he woke up I comforted him back to sleep. I sometimes crawled in his bed to cuddle him back to sleep. Then I transitioned to just sitting next to him, then to being on the floor. That took 5 days. He still wakes up once a night and comes to my room, but he expects me to walk him back to his bed and stay with him until he falls asleep. I still let him crawl in bed with us if we wakes up super early. Sometimes he falls asleep, sometimes he just hangs out with us. I knew there would be no room in med with a new baby so this has worked out very well. He hasn’t shown any resentment and we did the transition on his terms. But I miss the extra cuddles! If you decide to transition maybe this technique will help somehow. Good luck!”
- Amanda from Mom of Many said “We sleep with our 9 month old and 3 year old. My husband works until midnight or later, but we have slept with them every night since birth. We did end up finally getting a king sized bed, though!
I also co-slept with my older kids. All my kids moved out of my bed on their own at about five, and my now three year old is preparing to move. It is always comforting to have the little ones near when I sleep, and worth it now that I realize how quickly they grow up (my oldest is 15!).”
- My Two Army Brats said “I agree that you should just go with it and see what happens. Have you thought about putting a toddler bed in your room for Ari? That’s what we did when the boys weren’t in our bed anymore and it worked well. So the boys (now 7 and 9) had their own room but if they came into our room they had their own little bed too. They both have sleep issues and didn’t sleep through the night regularly till about last week….jk…kinda. We now have adopted a sweet little girl that we’ve had since birth and I started right away putting her into her bed awake and letting her go to sleep on her own and she is an amazing sleeper!! She sleeps through the night and has since about 6 weeks! I didn’t know that was possible!
- Steph said ” I have no experience in this yet, but maybe because he likes cuddling with YOU so much, you could get him a big cuddly stuffed animal and explain to him that just like how he likes to cuddle with you, his new buddy needs to be cuddled so he can sleep good (Maybe one of the ones with the warming bag inside it that goes in the microwave or lavender or something) So it’ll be his “Job” to cuddle with him in Ari’s bed so his buddy can sleep. It’ll make him feel important, needed, and he’ll have a “job” at night. If he comes out to find you, explain to him that if his “buddy” doesn’t get enough rest he’ll be cranky tomorrow, so he should give his “buddy” extra snuggling in his bed so that he can get a good night’s sleep. We did a rendition of this for my stepdaughter when she came up and had problems sleeping. My mom’s idea not mine. She’s a genius :).”
- JenMomof4 said “One of the things that we have done with the kids as they got older and needed us through the night was had a sleeping bag handy next to the bed. That way, even if they started in their own beds, they knew that they could unroll a sleeping bag and camp out next to us on the floor. My oldest son “started” in our bed and when my husband came home from work, he moved him into his own bed… again, we left the bag available for middle of the night wake ups.”
- Rachel W said “I don’t know if this will help or not. My son likes to co-sleep. I let my daughter “cry it out,” but I am SO not comfortable with that idea. I hated it – I cried too – and I don’t want to do it again! My husband, too, works at night, so the only problem arises on his nights off. He can’t get comfortable with us in bed with him, and since he recently had back surgery, being kicked in the back by a 2 year old is probably not a good idea! 😉
What we have decided to do is push a twin-size bed up beside our full-size bed. Then Daddy has his own space but is still technically sleeping with us. Maybe you could put your son’s bed next to yours? A space for you and baby, a space for big brother, but still close enough to snuggle? Hope it works out – any way you go! :).”
- Kitty Wilkin said ” I’m all for following your instinct and doing what feels right. With my 8 month old, she starts in her crib (which is in our room) and then usually around 5am, I bring her to our bed for the last couple hours of sleep. If you do decide to transition your son to his own bed you do NOT not NOT have to let him cry it out!! I highly recommend getting “The No-Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley. It’s got a bunch of great ideas for crying-free transitioning. Good luck!!”
Thanks everyone, for your great suggestions! I am definitely going to check out The No-Cry Sleep Solution.
I just want to know, for those of you that chose to continue co-sleeping and have older kids, how did the kids eventually make it into their own beds? Was it their choice? How did it happen?