Our 23-month old son has co-slept with us from day 1, both naps and nighttime (minus one week where DH and I thought we would be slick and try the crib - one bout of hysterical crying and we put DS1 right back in our bed), but now with 2-week old DS2, we need a little more room in our cramped queen size bed. DH plus DS1 plus DS2's cosleeper plus me plus the pillows I use to support my arms to nurse...we are all miserable.
Thus, we brought the crib into our room with the intent of moving DS1 out of the middle of our bed and into the crib indefinitely, until he was ready to move to a "big boy bed." We took one of the long sides off the crib, and side-carred it to our bed. This thing is POSH - it's soft, warm, we made sure we used all of his favorite blankets (even the stinky-drooly ones, so it smelled more familiar), and he still has complete access to whichever parent is sleeping on that side, plus, he can climb right back into the bed and sleep between us if he feels the need. Even with one wall of the crib missing, it's structurally sound - I sat in it pre-delivery and it didn't budge. It's anchored to our bed. There's no drafts. His choice of snacks. (he occasionally wakes up hungry at night, so we let him pick out what he wants before bed) His choice of jammies, stories, songs, how long DH rocks him before he goes to the crib, DH stays with him until he's completely asleep...
It's not working. He. Will. Not. Sleep. In. The. Crib. Period.
After one wake up, we go from sniffly-awake to full tilt hysterics to him hurling himself over crib-parent, clobbering-other-side-of-bed-parent, and sending me into a panic that he may hurt DS2 in his haste to get into our bed. I have been sleeping on the couch with DS2, which sucks.
BEFORE anyone suggests "Well gee willickers, just put DS2 into the crib, he's an infant and doesn't know the difference" - no. One, we feel we need to make the transition with DS1 due to his age, the amount of space he takes up while sleeping, and for the sake of our family and our sleep. Two, DS2 is a near constant nurser, and I'm not good at side lying nursing. DS2 is also high-needs for touch, so plopping him by himself in the sidecar isn't going to work. We tried that too. He criiiiiiiied...
What do we do? Suck it up and be miserable for a week and just keep putting DS1 back in the crib? I feel like we're going to make him anxious about bedtime, and my husband had serious night anxiety and night terrors growing up. I have no ideas on how to keep DS1 in the sidecar, we will not CIO, and putting the 4th wall of the crib back up makes me worry that DS1 will just try to climb out and end up getting hurt. My PPD isn't helping, either. Anyone have any suggestions, or things that worked for them? Oh - and we can't currently afford a king-size bed, but that still wouldn't solve the "how do we make this transition?" problem. The situation isn't functional right now.
We did this for night weaning, but moving our older child to her own bed was similar: http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html We also went to "dad only" at bedtime and night wakings. That might be less of an issue with a weaned child.
Book loving, editor mom to 2
I would suggest your dh co-sleeps with ds1 in another room. This way, the whole family will be getting some sleep.
I would also not put ds2 in a crib, I wouldn't be able to handle night nursing with a baby in the crib.
We ended up trying the seperate-but-together solution proposed by Nightwish - kinda. We put DS1 in the sidecarred crib, then DH, then DS2 in the middle in the cosleeper, then me. And we actually made it til 3:30AM! Bliss!
Then DS1 woke up, so DH took him downstairs to the sofa and they spent the night there. We all got sleep, and we figure we can try to lengthen the stretches DS1 spends in the crib til it's just "normal" for him. I wish the hammock was a possibility for us - it sounds really neat, and DS1 *loves* things that are "neat" like that - but ours is a converted farmhouse type dealie, so the ceilings are literally all odd angles. Eaves here? Parallelogram shaped window there? Yup. I can barely hang shelves. :-(
@Nightwish - I should have been more clear. We wouldn't have DS2 in a crib with all four sides in a separate room - he'd be in the sidecar setup, so I could just roll over and side nurse if I had to. I just don't have the aim or the skills to do that, and DS2 and I will end up frustrated - I know DS1 and I did!
But, progress! If you have any ideas, keep them coming!