Co-sleeping toddler and Baby on the way. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 09-02-2011, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is 14 months and we are expecting number two this March. She has slept with DH and myself since day one and doesn't even nap without being on/wtih me or him. I really don't have a problem with her in our bed, actually I love it and am really not ready to give it up, but I don't know how things are going to work with a newborn and a toddler. DD is pretty much attached to the booby at night so even if she falls asleep on the other side of DH she'll sleep crawl to the boob, she's also a huge thrasher.  I've tried gentle night weaning, but after she woke up the first time she refused to go back to bed. Sadly, I even attempted to put her in the pack in play by our bed and let her CIO and it went horrid. She actually kept herself up screaming until I gave in at 5:30am, she was beside us and at one point I even got in it with her to try and comfort her and she wouldn't have it.

 

 

My problem is I can't expect her to not crawl over a newborn in the middle of the night even in one of those sleep nest. I've considered a arms reach co-sleeper for the baby, but I'm still afraid she'd crawl into it. I'm really lost as what to do. I don't want to make new baby sleep in a crib or bassinet and deprive him/her of the amazingness that is co-sleeping but I'm going to feel terible about making DD sleep on her own and I worry she'll feel replaced. 

 

Sorry if this is pointless,but I'd love to hear any suggestions you may have or about others experiences with similar situations. 

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#2 of 14 Old 09-03-2011, 09:24 PM
 
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My DD1 was older (and night weaned) when her sister was born, but the 3 of us we were able to cosleep for a few months with me in the middle. (DH sleeps in another bed because he is overweight with sleep apnea, so unsafe for him to sleep with a baby.) She was old enough, however, to understand that she HAD to stay on her side of the bed. After a few months she asked to sleep alone in her own bed (shared room). 

 

If I were in your shoes (with the parameters you described) I would attempt night weaning again following Jay Gordon't method (http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html) and I would have your DD and DH sleep together separately from you and the baby if possible. It's not an ideal solution, but it would keep the baby safe and still meet most of your older daughter's needs. Tandem nursing can be a little intense/overwhelming at times and once the baby arrives you might appreciate having a period at night when you only have to nurse one child. Also, your second child will be a sturdy/mobile baby before the end of the first year and at that point you could go back to a family bed (if desired) with no safety issues. 

 

Sorry that isn't super helpful. I give you props for nursing through pregnancy and planning to tandem nurse :) Good luck with whatever you decide! 

 

ETA: If I just did the math right you're about 3 months pregnant? I night weaned DD1 while pregnant and it was relatively easy. I had tried 3 times previously when not pregnant and it was really stressful and not successful. I think the dip in my milk supply helped the process. 


daughter #1 10/13/07
daughter #2 10/08/10
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#3 of 14 Old 09-06-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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bporte00, I'm in a very similar situation, but I'm writing to give you some hope! We're expecting DS #2 in late Dec., and DS #1 is currently 20 months old. DS #1's sleeping and napping habits are pretty much exact to your DD's...except he's now weaned. I didn't even have to consciously wean him. As my pregnancy has progressed, he's gone from wanting to nurse every hour all night long, to less and less frequent overnight, to only nursing when he first woke up, right before a nap, and right before bed, to finally, not wanting to nurse at all. This not wanting to nurse at all thing JUST started up, so give your DD some time...she may decide to lessen the frequency of her nursing, or give it up until your milk supply is back (which is what we're pretty sure DS #1 is doing). As for bedsharing, DH and I came up with an idea that we're hoping will work. We're going to keep DS #1 in our bed, in between us, where he's been every night since the day he was born. DS #2 is going to be in an Arm's Reach mini cosleeper open and attached to my side of the bed...that way, we're still basically sharing a sleeping space, but DS #2 is out of harm's way when DS #1 flops around all night, as is customary. We bought a very gently used cosleeper from a local parent who no longer needed hers. I'd check out Craigslist and see what you can find in your area. Good luck! :)

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#4 of 14 Old 09-06-2011, 03:36 PM
 
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I am trying to night wean my 14 month old son. We are expecting in April...

He sleeps some of the night in the pack-n-play, and some of the night with us. I would like him to "graduate" to full time in the pack-n-play because I would prefer to have just the newborn co-sleep once he/she is born. We have enjoyed co-sleeping, but I am not up for 2 babies in bed! And, like was mentioned above, I'm sure my toddler would be bruising the newborn crawling about in the night.

Any thoughts on method? we are working on having Daddy rock him to sleep, and somettimes having him judt cry for a short while at a time...

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#5 of 14 Old 09-07-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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Honestly, my advice is to let it happen naturally. As your milk supply diminishes, which it will because of your pregnancy, your child will slowly wean. My toddler was a nursing fanatic just a few short months ago...then I hit the halfway point of the pregnancy, and the frequency of nursing really started dropping off, and now he is completely self-weaned. You're not due until April...give it until at least 20 weeks or so and see what happens. You might be pleasantly surprised!

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#6 of 14 Old 09-07-2011, 01:05 PM
 
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rparker, thanks for the Jay Gordon article. I really like that. I am already doing some of it now with my son, and will integrate more of this.

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#7 of 14 Old 09-13-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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I am 37 weeks, and my DS just turned 2 at the end of August. We are planning to co-sleep with the new baby, and continue with our son as well. That's where the plan ends. I have no idea how we are going to organize this, since DS still nurses 2 or 3 times at night, will rarely sleep with anyone else (and only for a short while), and needs to be somehow touching me while he's sleeping. I noticed a drop in nursing when I got pregnant, but at about 7 or 8 months he is definitely nursing more often again. The only saving grace is that we have two queensize beds pushed together, so we do have lots of room. I'm not ready to give up having him sleep with me, or nursing him yet, and he is DEFINITELY not ready! :)  I know it's not exactly "advice" but I thought I would share my experience anyway. I hope you find a solution that works for you! :)

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#8 of 14 Old 09-13-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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That sounds exactly like my DD, four months ago. (she is 18 months). Since then, she has not only night weaned, but self weaned. She will fall asleep anywhere now, as to where she used to have to be right next to me, in the bed, nursing. No co sleeper, no blanket on the floor, nothing. I let her help me make her bed, which is a toddler bed on the floor. She loves playing with the quilt and will drag all her toys onto it and wallow all over it, knowing it is "hers". She hasnt slept there yet, but we are working towards it, and I think we should be there by December. Also, she has started saying "ni, ni" when she is sleepy. I give her a sippy cup and put her floor pillow down and she will go to sleep in minutes- if she is ready. Just saying, there is hope. The difference between 14 months and 18 months is HUGE, so Ill bet the difference between 14 months and 20 months will be even bigger. Four months ago I could not fathom how we were going to have two in one bed. Now I can totally see DD sleeping in her own room and new baby in bed with us.

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#9 of 14 Old 09-13-2011, 03:07 PM
 
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Amanda M, kudos at just being okay with what you want to do and doing it! Its hard sometimes with so many opinions to just say, this is what works for me....! and lucky for you having 2 queen size beds! sounds awesome!

We are starting week 2 of our night weaning, and last night, my 14 mo slept from 9:30 ish - 7:30 ish! The longest stretch he has ever done! 2 nights prior he was up a lot and we were all cranky the next day, but still, there is hope!  :)  We arent to the place yet where he will just lay down and go to sleep, he still needs to be nursed or rocked. We don't nurse at night, but when he wakes, we offer him a drink of water, and he lays on our shoulder and we rock and massage him back to sleep. he is getting more used to it, and sleep usually comes more quickly than it used to! :)

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#10 of 14 Old 09-13-2011, 03:44 PM
 
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We're adding a newborn to our bed any day now!  Our dd is 2.5 yrs old and is a deep, thrashy sleeper.  

All the info I can find on safe co-sleeping with a infant and any additional children says to put the infant on the outside of the bed, with a bedrail or bolster to keep baby from rolling out of the bed, and then have mama, and then have the older child, and then have the partner on the other outside. 

I'm not sure that would work for us. 

We're going to play it by ear, and certainly start off with the newborn on the outside, then me, then dd, then dp.  But my guess is that dp and dd might want to sleep in the spare room for a few weeks. 

I guess this ramble indicates that I don't have a clue how we're going to pull it off, initially.  We don't have a bed rail either.  Geez.  Got to start figuring this stuff out before the baby is born! 


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#11 of 14 Old 09-13-2011, 09:46 PM
 
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My mom used to make us bolsters to keep us from falling out of bed. Take an old sheet, cut in half (so its about as wide as a pillow), and sew 1 end into a tube, just large enough to cram a pillow into. take the trailing end and lay across the bed and tuck in under the mattress on the other side to keep it from falling off. (You may have to sew some of the rest of the sheet on to the "tail" to make it long enough).  I hope that made sense.  Pretty easy if you have a sewing machine.

 

My DD1 is going to be 3.5 when baby #2 comes along.  We are planning to bring in a toddler bed, and put it next to our bed.  Need to do this soon, since I'm due at the beginning of November.  She still sleeps mostly on my arm, but seems to want a big girl bed. We'll see how it goes! Back up plan is to have her sleep with my husband, possibly on our queen size futon for a while.  We have a king size bed, but I think it would be too small for 4, and I want to be able to nurse the baby to sleep on either side.

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#12 of 14 Old 09-13-2011, 10:06 PM
 
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We have a king sized bed which is on a loft, so it's secured very safely to the wall (no worry about anyone getting stuck between the wall and the mattress.

 

here's how our sleeping arrangement goes:

 

Wall - DS (10 months) - ME - DD (3.5 years) - DH

 

It's great.  I am the "barrier" between the two kiddos and everyone has plenty of room and is very safe.

 

Night weaning can be tricky, but I did find that pregnancy milk changes led naturally to my daughter wanting to wean herself.

 

Good luck!

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#13 of 14 Old 09-14-2011, 01:14 AM
 
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We were able to train our 2 year old to go to daddy's side of the bed and stay there.  This allowed me to nurse baby on both sides while we both went back to sleep, which was really a big sanity saver.  Even if you plan to tandem nurse, I would consider the first few days or even weeks as a special case - baby needs dibs on that colustrum.  Read your favorite breastfeeding book for more tips.

 

Does the milk supply get complicated if each child has their own boob at night?  Not sure how the lopsided supply (!) question works since weaning happened during pregnancy for me too, that's just speculation on my part.

 

In any case, having our older child transfer her sleep loyalties to daddy was a huge help for this transition.  

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#14 of 14 Old 10-25-2011, 09:10 AM
 
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I thought I would update since our daughter has arrived. She is now 3 weeks old and we are continuing to co sleep, with my two year old still nursing almost as much as baby is. At night they tend to wake at the same time to nurse. My two year old has been kneeling behind my back and leaning over to nurse while I nurse baby lying down. When he is done, he pops off and lies back down and goes back to sleep. Y working great. :) I hope your transition is as quick and easy!

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