6yo, 4yo new baby due any day...help... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 12-31-2008, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I know I probably should have started dealing with this before now but I didn't and I'm hoping maybe some of you here can help me come up with a quick fix.

As my title says I have two boys already ages 6 years and 4 years....they share a room right now. The 6 year old rarely sleeps with us but the 4 year old still climbs in with us most nights. This isn't a problem except that now there is going to be a new baby and I usually keep the baby in bed with us til they are 6 months or so then transition to a bassinette type thing that goes beside the bed...they get their own bed around a year or year and a half.

The problem is the 4 year old is a pretty violent sleeper and I would be very worried about him hurting the baby if he did climb in with us.

Sooo...do I try to transition the 4 year old to a cot beside the bed? I was already thinking of teaching him to sleep with his head at our feet...I know that sounds mean but thats what I did with his older brother since he also had the habit of turning sideways and kicking us in the head.

Or do I just start right off with putting the baby in the bassinette beside the bed and let the 4 year old carry on as is?

To be honest I would prefer if the 4 year old would start staying in his own bed but I don't know how to make that happen. Usually when he climbs in with us I don't even notice...til he starts kicking me in the head...and even then I'm usually too exhausted to actually take him back to his own bed and lie with him til he falls back asleep.

I feel like I'm cheating someone either way...that if I make the baby sleep in the bassinette they will miss out on bonding time and if I make the 4 year old stay away I'm taking time from him that he still feels he needs with us.

What do you all think? I'd love to hear alternative solutions!
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#2 of 6 Old 12-31-2008, 11:04 PM
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We did (and are still doing) a few different things that sort of work for us since our babies arrived 6 months ago. At one point we put a twin size mattress on the floor in our room and that was where the older dc's could sleep if they wanted. Dd (3-1/2 years) used the mattress. Ds needs body contact so he would always sneak into our bed. We always made sure he was on the far side and not near the babies (ds, dh, baby ds, me, baby dd). My dd has also been known to keep a pillow at the bottom of our bed and she would sleep across the bottom by our feet. My dh also sleeps with older ds in his room on some nights when we want to try to catch some extra sleep.

Could any of those ideas work?

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#3 of 6 Old 01-01-2009, 01:15 AM
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You probably first need to decide what your priority is (4 yo in bed or baby in bed) and then make a plan. I myself would not be comfortable with a thrashing child in bed with a new baby. When my dd1 was about five and I needed her to stop coming into my bed at night (long story associated with a new man in my life - now my dh), I locked my bedroom door at night. This was not to keep her out, but to make sure that I woke up when she wanted to come in at night. Then I would walk her back to her room and sit with her until she fell asleep. My recollection is that it took about two weeks for her to stop coming in the room at night. I felt comfortable doing this because it was more of a habit than a true need (according to her) and we had lots of conversations about what was going to happen at night during the day so she was prepared and on-board with the plan. Good luck and congratulations!

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
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#4 of 6 Old 01-01-2009, 01:44 AM
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If it would be acceptable to you and your DH, and you have the right bed space, you could sleep with the baby and DH with the 4-year-old.

If it would be acceptable to the siblings, you could put the 4-year-old and 6-year-old in a bed together.
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#5 of 6 Old 01-01-2009, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I was all set to try and get him to sleep at the foot of our bed tonight and then he stayed in his own bed!

I think that for now flipping the 4 yo to the foot of the bed is what I will try to do since it solves the problem and is the easiest for now.

Thanks for all the suggestions...now at least we have back up plans if the flipping doesn't work.
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#6 of 6 Old 01-01-2009, 10:48 PM
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I haven't been there, but here are my thoughts:

Try talking to your 4 year old. Tell him that you really need his help to keep this new baby safe. (I've never known a child who didn't adore the new baby) Tell him that you just can't have so many people in the big bed while the new baby is getting used to being outside Mommy's tummy, or even that he is too big and moves too much and might accidentally hurt baby in his sleep. Anyway, most 4 year olds want to help, so tell him that his way of helping is to be a big boy and sleep in his own space. Whether you tell him not to come to your room at all, tell him to come get you and you will go back and tuck him into his own bed, or make him a small bed beside yours, just make sure that he understands where he is supposed to be. Then, in case he really does just need the snuggle time, in the mornings he can get in bed with you and the baby and snuggle for a while before time to get up.
Try to talk about what a big boy and a big helper he is, and how important it is for the new baby to be as safe and happy as he is.
Good luck!

Proud Army wife and Momma of two.
Jay-my precious boy 2/20/08 & Caroline-my beautiful HBAC baby 8/22/09 :
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