Co-Sleeping with a Baby and an Older Child
Berkeley Parents Network >
Co-Sleeping > Co-Sleeping with a Baby and an Older Child
We have a family bed with our two year old but are not sure what
to do when our second child arrives in late May. How have other
people handled co-sleeping with a toddler and an infant? We
love having our 2 year old in the bed and want to find a
situation that allows him to stay while we also want to share
our bed with our new baby. Any ideas?
Hi, When I was pregnant with my second child, we weaned our
first from our bed. It took a long time and was very
emotional. She slept in a crib in our room. When the new baby
was born we started to feel like she was in a cage across the
room while the three of us were snuggling and warm. We brought
her back to the bed after all the pain of weaning. Yes, we have
some regrets--there is no room half the time. But all in all I
think it was the best decision we could have made. You just
have to make sure that the toddler and baby are not next to each
other. Now that the new one is a year they sleep next to each
other and love waking up together. I hope this helps. I know
it is a really hard decision. Any way you decide will be good
for you children because you gave it a lot of consideration.
Good Luck and may want to consider trading your queen or double
for a King!
When our second joined the family bed our biggest problem was
that he woke up the first child, leaving her sleep deprived and
grumpy during the day! But if you think you can make it work,
I'd recommend putting a toddler bed or mattress next to your
bed for the toddler (with the newborn in between the parents),
or a co-sleeper for the newborn (with the toddler in the middle
of the parents). It seems unsafe to have them sleeping next to
each other. Good luck!
Our 2nd child joined the bed when child # 1 was 3.5 years old. It was
not a difficult transition though took some adjustment for #1 to give up
the spot next to mama. Our 3rd child joined the bed when child #2 was
4 years old. (Child #1, then 8, moved out because it was ''too
crowded...though occasionally he visited up through age 12.) Our
youngest two (now 5.5 and 10 years old) are still in the bed (though the
10 year old chooses to sleep in ''his own bed'' from time to time). It's a
very happy scene. My husband and I have a romantic outpost
elsewhere in the house. The kids are affectionate with us and each
other. Our youngest is very comfortable snuggling with his brothers for
comfort. I believe its made a difference in the intimacy of all of
relationships. Co-sleeping has worked for our family.
I don't know how tall you are, but here's what we did: We bought
a king-sized mattress and turned it sideways. Most of the kings
they have here are ''California Kings'', which means they are
longer than most kings. This gives you an extra few inches, and
boy, do they make a difference! In any case, the width of a king
is pretty close to the length of many mattresses, so it becomes
positively roomy for four when turned sideways.
Since we sleep on the floor, and are both 5'8'', this works well
for us. I'm sure you could do it off the floor as well, perhaps
with one of those bed frames or even with a bed with a head/foot
(which, come to think of it, would keep people from rolling out).
My husband and I have separate quilts; I share mine with the
baby, and he shares his with the toddler. Otherwise it just gets
to be too much of a tug-of-war, and I worry about the baby.
Good luck! Hope this helps.
A happy mom
With our first child we were all in a king size bed and loved
it. We knew, however, with a baby that bed would not be big
enough so we bought a twin and put it right next to our bed (the
twin was a few inches shorter) and put a store bought bed rail
on the open side. 2 or so months before the second one came we
introduced the bed (big girl bed) to our toddler so she got used
to sleeping next to us but in her own bed. It worked out GREAT
and we are still at it (children are 4 and 7). We still love
waking up in each others company and arms.
Family bed with spirited 4-y-o and baby
I have a ''spirited'' 4.5 year old (as defined in the Raising your
spirited child book), and a ''normal'' 1.5 year old, both boys. We
have a family bed, mostly because this is the only way my older
son can sleep through the night. My question is for any parents
that may have a simliar situation. A spirited child does not
follow the normal rules. My older son has always, since birth,
needed a body to sleep next to if he is going to sleep for more
than 30-60 minutes. This has always been a problem, especially
at daycare (which he has been in since he's 3 month old), and in
the mornings when I want to get up before him. Currently, my
youngest wakes earlier, and I would like to get up with him, and
play with him one on one before the oldest wakes. But if I leave
the bed, the oldest wakes within 10 minutes (this happens if I
leave the bed anytime, and has always happened since his birth,
and he will not go back to sleep, and he will have a bad day).
So Dad gets up with the younger and they march through the
morning routine without much joy. My younger son goes to bed
about 1.5 hours before my older, and my older should sleep
another hour after the younger gets up. I get one on one time
with my older everynight before bed.
So, my questions are, (for parents of sleep problem spirited
kids) can I teach my older to sleep on his own? At what age?
Please understand that he resisted ferberizing for a whole month
when he was a baby- and I have tried numerous times to teach him
to sleep in his own bed. I have talked to Helen Neville, and my
own thearapist, read numerous books and tried numerous methods to
get him to sleep in his own bed, and it is not that he is
resistant, it is just that he wakes every 10 -30 minutes, and we
both get too exhausted after a few weeks- yes weeks- of trying
this. Thus, the family bed, which I am not opposed to. I am
pretty relaxed, and try not to get upset about this.
Should I just put them both to sleep at the same time, and
wake at the same time? How do you put two kids to sleep at the same
time? Esp in a family bed? Is there a better solution? I would
like to have time alone with each child everyday, as they both go
full time to daycare.
Thanks for any help
A patient but tired Mom
Sounds tough, as life with a ''spirited'' child must be in many
ways. Thank goodness for the differences in people, that's all
I have to say!! I'm sure your 4-yr old will be a wonderful and
interesting adult. But, about time with your younger one, why
not try to schedule time with him during the day and avoid the
whole conflict in the waking part of the day. Your older son is
clearly in need of a person with him in bed, meeting that need
will prevent a whole host of problems throughout the day. But
negotiate with him, let him know that to be with him in the
mornings you need your special time with your younger son during
the day (or evening). Then both boys will feel special by you
and that their needs are heard.
this page was last updated: Dec 28, 2004
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network