Co-sleeping With a Toddler & Newborn

It’s not a practice that I want to become the norm in our house, but it’s something we do when toddler bed transfer is repeatedly failing or there are night wakings.

Don’t get me wrong, it all works remarkably well but I personally don’t like my space being invaded by not just one little person but two – assault from both sides. Come on just back off little people, this is actually MY bed.

How it works
Baby Boyo sleeps in his cosleeping crib or on my mattress on the left. I sleep in the middle and then Babe my toddler sleeps on the right. We all have enough space this way.

Sleeping through the noise
Much to some people’s disbelief (yes I can say I told you so), Babe usually sleeps through Boyo’s cries. Which is pretty amazing given he is only a couple of feet away and has a powerful pair of lungs on him.

Occasions it doesn’t work
There have been a few nights when Babe has woken a couple of times to the noise of Boyo at the other side of the bed and wanted nursing while he is kicking off – but that’s when she has been light sleeping because of a cold. This had resulted in some crossed words between the two of us, something like this:

“No you can’t have num nums”

“But I want num nums mummy”

“Arggghhhh go on then (or no no no followed by tears from Babe)”

At this point I’m tired and focused on the needs of the baby. Resentment sometimes creeps in, and I’m left fighting with the thoughts that she doesnt NEED the milk. But maybe it would help her cold, maybe like me she too has a sore throat that she needs soothing? Even if it’s not a physical thing, what about the reassurance and soothing she is longing? So sometimes I give in, other times she has been happy to simply snuggle or have her hair stroked.

Something that has started to cross my mind is night weaning Babe. Any thoughts? Tips?

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4 thoughts on “Co-sleeping With a Toddler & Newborn

  1. I think you’re doing great, very patient and giving the little ones what they want at night when patience is low! (i’m low in tollerence at night!) x
    As for night weaning , its the psychology of it. You could try sticker reward charts for ‘good sleeping at night’ staying in her bed or no num nums, you decide. If you explain that you are tired and she getting a big girl and num nums is for smaller children? Its upto you really how far you take at and what your views are. Obviously its about empowering her to make a decition rather than make her feel like she is bad or wrong for wanting mummy milk or that she is a baby that babys needs are greater (which in a way they are as he needs the nutrition and fluid), but she still needs to know you are there).
    You could emphasise all the things that big girls can do and how grown up she is and try and do things 1.2.1 with her to show her affection in a different way? it just depends what works for you. If it aint broke xx

    Good luck, love the updates xx

    it

  2. Wow, I so remember those feelings! So tough 😦

    I wrote about weaning 2 year olds – not sure if that’s any help to you: http://freeyourparenting.com/2011/07/18/weaning-your-two-year-old-from-the-breast/ and just found this one about co-sleeping with older babies: http://freeyourparenting.com/2011/07/25/older-babies-who-are-still-breastfeeding-at-night/

    Hope they’re helpful. Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner was also really helpful to me.

    I used to do a lot of ‘you can feed until I’ve finished singing Baa Baa Black sheep (or something), which seemed to help.

    Nowadays if our bed gets too crowded, I sneak out and sleep in one of their beds 😀

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