Thank you for writing in about this co-sleeping question.
Having a new baby in the family is generally a big transition for the first born and whatever you can do to make her feel welcome and included will be beneficial for all involved. (Click here for more on this.)
As well, try to create reoccurring daytime rituals of connection to help her ability to "let go" into sustained sleep at night. Click here for rituals of connection.
If you wanted your eldest daughter to follow through with the sleep transition of being in her own bed in her own room, I would advise towards that end. As well, if you wanted your daughter to fall asleep on her own, I have suggestions for that. But since you are fine with putting her to sleep and continuing a co-sleeping dynamic, I agree with your idea to move her bed back into your room.
Here are more ideas:
Place a second bed in your room; either the toddler bed, a twin bed that lines up with your bed or a futon on the floor (a futon can be folded into a couch or can slide under your bed during the day.)
You can put both of your daughters to sleep at once on your bed by cuddling your first born under one arm and nursing your 6-month old on the other side. After your daughters are asleep, transfer your first born to the second bed so there is more room on your bed.
Or, you can tuck your first born into her bed to fall asleep there while you nurse her sister to sleep in your bed. Perhaps sing a couple of lullabies so both girls are comforted by your voice as your body lays with your youngest. Or, if Dad is home, perhaps he can lay with your first while you nurse the baby to sleep.
I would suggest you read this L.O.V.E. Parenting article about the bedtime routine to help create an environment of success for sleeping.
Another idea for co-sleeping that creates separate space for “mom and dad” is the idea of the sibling bed. Once your second born daughter is a little older, you can put your girls to sleep on their own double mattress. Click here to read more about the sibling bed.
Lastly, in the Fall I am releasing the L.O.V.E. Parenting Home Study Course and one of the lessons is a comprehensive sleep theme. I think it could be of great benefit to you. It contains 8-essential parenting themes delivered to you with audio, video, text and written exercises. Anyone who is interested should email me at LoveParentingLA@gmail.com and I will send you information when it is available.
All the best,
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