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Bedsharing with DS -- how to handle new baby?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I cosleep (bedshare) with my 16 month old DS.  He still nurses to sleep and still wakes up 2-3 times a night to nurse and fall back asleep.  It started when I went back to work when he was 3 months old, and he rejected the bottle and began reverse cycling.  Bedsharing was the only way I could get enough rest to last through the day.  Now, I don't mind bedsharing and nursing with DS.  I get plenty of sleep, because I barely wake up when I nurse him at night, and I love cuddling with him throughout the night.


Just found out that I'm expecting and #2 will be born in November, when DS is 23 months old.  How do most people handle bedsharing with a toddler and a newborn?  If I bring the newborn into the bed with us, will DS's sleep be constantly disrupted?  And will there be enough room in the bed?  How can I switch sides to lie down to nurse the baby if DS is taking up half the bed?


I was thinking that DS would sleep with DH once the newborn is here, but due to the whole nursing to sleep thing, DS can't fall asleep with DH around right now.  Maybe once I wean it'll sort itself out?  I'm hoping that when my breast milk changes, DS will wean himself naturally.  DS does NOT seem ready to wean at all right now. 


Anyone BTDT and have some advice for me?


post #2 of 6
I can't *really* help since I am only a bit further along in the process than you are (due in 2 months with #2, and DS will also be 23 mos when babe is born) but I can tell you that since he was 16mos, things have really changed - I don't nurse him to sleep anymore (my milk supply kind of tanked mid-second trimester) we use a bottle of whole milk now (which actually doesn't put him to sleep lately, that's a whole other issue though smile.gif ) and we nightweaned him around 18mos old.

He is NOT weaning himself though, he is still very into nursing and I am semi-reluctantly figuring Ill try tandeming and see how it goes. There was a brief window (when supply tanked, and when we nightweaned) where he wasn't as interested and was nursing very infrequently, which if I had pushed it he might have been weaned easily. At the time though I thought, hey, this isn't so bad, I could do this and have a newborn smile.gif so I didn't push. and then the last month or so he kind of renewed interest (and is going through a 'mama' phase I think a bit) and is asking to nurse a LOT. but not at night, at least smile.gif

I am still unsure about all of us being in the same bed. I might end up putting DH and DS together like you said, on bad nights. We have a king futon on the floor, and then we do have a toddler mattress we could put next to it, so there'd be enough space for all of us at least.

I hope someone chimes in about what happens AFTER you have the newborn though smile.gif I am curious as to whether they would wake each other or not. My ob/gyn coslept as well and she said it was fine - she had both babes in bed, but I think hers are 3 years apart, not 2.
post #3 of 6

Yeah, I have done this.  This is how it worked for us.  The family bed is in the nursery.  The master bedroom is for adults only, which for the whole night is really just DH alone.  I only spend some couple time in there with him, not the whole night.


So in the nursery we have a big mattress on the floor. One one side, the safest one, I put the newborn down to sleep, and I use my pillow which is very very firm foam, no smother habit at all, in the middle of the bed.  Then I put the older child to bed on the other side.  He has a blanket on his side only.  The pillow is still my place marker.  It also keeps big bro on his side.


Then I come to bed and snuggle between them. Usually I face the big one because he is feeling a bit left out during the day sometimes with all the attention one gives to a new baby.  The new baby wants you near, but you don't have to be facing him.  So face, cuddle, and nurse the older one.  When the baby needs to nurse you could either flip over, or more likely -- since they are harder to nurse lying down still -- just get up with the new baby and go out to your nursing chair with a little light for better new nursing.


It worked very well for years for us, and we will be trying it again in August.



post #4 of 6

We have a big family bed in the master (king size).  When DD2 was littler (until about 5 months) I would put DD1 down in the big bed and hold on to DD2 and rock and nurse until I was ready for bed (usually 2 hours).  In the bed it is DD2 on the side (with a big towel roll to keep her in) then me, then DD1 then DH.  It has worked well for us.


Now that DD2 is a bit bigger, I put her to bed first, then put a pillow next to her then I nurse DD1 to sleep right next to the pillow.  Like PP said, the pillow is the place holder for when I am ready to go into the bed.


DD2 has very rarely woken DD1 up by crying.... maybe less than 10 times in over 6 months.  Now however, DD1 is having a hard time going to bed at night, and DD2 wakes up a bit earlier, and wakes up DD1 now in the morning.

post #5 of 6
Here is what we did. I weaned my first (the idea of tandeming makes me want to run screaming and nursing during pregnancy was awful, too). I moved him to a new bed. Him starting the night in his new bed became a new 'non negotiable' in the house. No matter what his objection initially, he had to sleep there. even if it was only for an hour.

Then if he woke during the night (often) he could come sleep on my DH's side. If I was having a bad night with the baby then DH would make him stay in his bed. I don't ever remember that happening, but that was the plan.
post #6 of 6

I'm due to have a new one in the next couple of weeks and my youngest will be two tomorrow!


He starts out most night in his own bed, but probably about half the time he wakes and we bring him into our bed.  I'm getting really nervous about how this will all play out, but I'm thinking that we will just push our king bed (already on the floor so no frame) flush against the wall so we don't have to worry about any falls.  Then I can just have one on either side?  Would love more info regarding this though!

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