Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Co-Sleeping, Anyone???

Flickr Photos by David and Corin.

Lately Dakota has been waking up around 12:30 or 1am to come in our room to sleep, which we welcome with open arms. The childhood phase zooms by so quickly, neither of us have ever had a problem with our kids sleeping with us. Actually, we promote the idea. Besides the obvious reasons; it's safer, it's healthier, children need the emotional and psychological support at such a tender age, well, it's also just a TON easier on the whole family. These years are so delicate for their developing brains, after all the research I've done, I've come to the conclusion that co-sleeping is a natural, healthy, necessary and extremely beneficial part of being an infant and child.

Having said that, I would never turn my two and a half year old away. I swoosh her right up and she snuggles in and that's that.

But the challenge now is that we have a three month old who we also want to co-sleep. He's currently sleeping in a portable crib right next to me. I so badly want to sleep him our bed with us, it would make nursing SO much easier in the middle of the night, but there's two considerations I'm seeing somewhat as roadblocks right now:

1. Our bed is a Cal King which is great, but it dips in the middle. So when Dakota comes in at night and sleeps in between Dave and I, the only place left for Levi is on my other side, near the edge {which is totally scary in itself!}. So the few times I have slept him there, he's rolled into me all night! This is not comfortable for him or I.

2. Therefor, I've considered sleeping him in the middle, next to Dakota, but I've always felt like that was such a dangerous option. I mean, how safe can it be to let your three month old sleep next to your toddler??? I'm so afraid of her rolling over on him or something.

So I guess my question to all you is, do you co-sleep multiple children in your bed? If so, what's your sleeping arrangement like? How old were your children when you started letting them sleep next to one another all night?

Any input from you ladies {and men!} would be greatly appreciated. I'm getting so tired of nursing Levi and having to stay awake just to put him back in his crib next to me! I would loooove to just be able to fall asleep with him while he's nursing like I got to do with Dakota. That was THE BEST.


Austen's Mama said...

I don't have multiple children, just one little boy that is almost 2 months. We co-sleep sometimes and I sleep on my right side, which faces the edge of the bed... I don't want the baby at my back but I was hesitant to put him near the edge of the bed just on the off chance he would roll or slide off.

Then I got the bright idea to try a sleep positioner, I got mine at Target rather cheaply, less than $10. Its just 2 soft wedges and he sleeps in between - he can sleep flat on his back and they support either side or on his side and it kinda props him up. It has worked out perfectly!!!

And I also think it makes him feel like he is still being held by me when I put him down at night because it holds his lil body all close and snug. Right after we got it I laid one of my t-shirts I had worn all day on it (sounds gross but its really not) and so now it also smells like me, so I think that helps out.

Just an idea, hope it helps out!!! Co-sleeping is the best!!!

Corin said...

Thanks! I had never considered one of those. Can he nurse in it {if he nurses?}

Austen's Mama said...

There is a link to the one I have. I've nursed using it and it's no problem at all, especially when you turn the wedge in so they're propped up on their side.

Nicole said...

We co-sleep with both the kids. They have the option to go to bed in their rooms or ours. When we go to bed, we put them in their beds (if they're not already in there which is rare) but 6 out of 7 nights a week, they both end up in our bed by 2 or 3am. I'd say Amanda was at least a year old before I let them sleep next to each other. They both like to be next to me but I like to be next to Ben so I usually end up in the middle, Amanda on the edge (she won't fight it as much as Tony will... he HAS to be cuddled up to me!). We have a CA King as well (I didn't know they could be so small! hahaha) so it's Amanda, Tony, me then Ben.

Even when Amanda was a little baby, I would sleep on my side with my arm arched around the top of her head and to her side and she would sleep on the edge of the bed... of course I'd scoot more towards the middle of the bed. If she moved, it would immediately wake me up. Tony would then sleep between my back and Ben.

As they get bigger, space gets smaller and it is getting harder (some nights I hardly sleep because I am smooshed between big cuddler #1 and little cuddler) but we figure that they aren't going to want to be doing this all their life (haha, we'll see about that) and to enjoy the coziness while it lasts.

Ashley said...

We also had a fear of our little one rolling out. We bought very sturdy and mesh bed rail from babies r us. Super easy and it folds down and in between the matress when not in use.

My baby is just now starting to, at times, want more space. He rolls onto his back instead of facing me and spreads out his arms. Now, I'm trying to figure out how to give him more room and respect his space.

Good luck!

I've thought about what we're going to do when number two comes, our bed isn't big enough for more babies in the bed...

Rixa said...

Maybe make a little sleeping nest at the side or bottom of your bed for your toddler. She can still be close to you and then you'd have the space for your baby without worry about someone getting rolled on.

jenny mae. said...

we defaulted to the younger child's need for cosleeping in-bed for at least the first few months. then, when the older would want to cosleep he had to sleep next to daddy and not between us. so it went son>daddy>baby>mommy. when she got to be about 10 months or so we let them sleep together without problem but until then that was the arrangement. if he didnt want to sleep in that arrangement he couldnt sleep with us.

Jen said...

Co-sleeping & nursing in bed is the best! Although I only have one right now, I think about 2 in bed all the time and how it will work.

We recently put our matress on the floor (still not sure what we will do with our box spring, no room to store it!). It helped a lot with the dip in the middle of our bed. And also I don't have to worry about her rolling out of bed because the matress is against the wall in the corner.

Also you can look into those seperator things, like Tres Tria, etc.

Good luck!

Sarah said...

When my first child was three she used to sleep with her head at the foot of the bed between us parents and the baby would sleep up at our end between us. I loved those cozy days.

Olivia said...

I don't have any experience with cosleeping (my first baby is on the way!), but I found this when researching options

Seems like it might help your situation.

Amy said...

Have you ever considered attaching the crib to the side of the bed so that you can nurse the baby then not worry that he'll roll over the edge?

We have a sturdy rail on one side of our bed, and the when my daughter was smaller we kept our bed on the floor off of the frame so that there was no danger of falling off. It was actually surprisingly comfy on the floor, the mattress didn't sag as much!

pearly1979 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan said...

Hey ya,
I like to read all the comments as I'll be coming up next.
Ara does not like sleeping in the middle and we have push her cot up beside our bed to make a cosleeper which she is some times happy to get into.
I'm kind of thinking the Next Bubba will be in the middle...though Ara says no she's going to have it with her...ah ha we'll see what she thinks of that when it crys out in the night for some milk.

Amber said...

never let an infant sleep next to a toddler. your instincts are right on that. dakota doesn't have the necessary spatial awareness at 2.5 or the innate bond to levi that you have so she could roll onto him or kick him or throw a blanket over his head.

believe it or not, the recommended place for a new baby is between mama and the edge of the bed. dr sears et al don't recommend an infant being btwn mom and dad because a) it's easier for them to be smothered with blankets and b) dad doesn't have as much of a sense for baby during the night as mom has.

you can get something like the humanity cosleeping pillow or a bed rail or sidecar a crib with one side taken off if you're worried about him falling off the bed. or you could just take the bed out of the frame and sleep on the matress (and boxspring if you have one) on the floor.

hope this helps.

Corin said...

Thankyou all SO much for your {totally helpful!} advice.

I've gotten lots of ideas from you and many of my own idea's have been confirmed. I was thinking of either a siderail, a sidecrib, or actually putting the bed on the floor. I'll have to run that one by hubby tonight!

Thanks again everyone :)

The Cooking Lady said...

People kept telling me I would spoil my children if I rocked them, or let them sleep with us. Hogwash I say.

My children are now 15 and 19 and guess what, neither one of them want me to rock them or feel the need to sleep with us, even if they are having a bad dream.

All hail co-sleepers!

Pamela said...

I know this post has been on here a long while, but I didn't find it until like 4 days ago...However, I thought you might like to know how we sleep.

Canyon sleeps with us every single night. We've learned to except that (especially after reading the book - by Sears and Sears) she's completely lost if she's not in our bed and well...Rusty and I don't really mind it, sometimes...we LOVE it.

Then, there's Ash who normally sleeps in her bed, but if she has a dream or is just feeling lonely, she too ends up in our bed. Both girls in the middle. Sometimes they argue, like Ashlyn will say in her dead of her sleep, "Cany stop touching me!" But then falls right back to sleep.

Sometimes its so crowded in our bed, I just roll to the end of the bed and sleep on everyones feet. Ha, ha! But hey, that's family!!!!

Corin said...

LOL! This made me smile Pam. I can just picture you all curled up at the end of the bed. Actually, I've thought about going there myself before!