Do you let your older kids sleep with your newborn baby? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 02-10-2014, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I only have one sibling and he's 4.5 years younger than me. To give you some context, here we are, THEN vs NOW: 

 

 

We grew up co-sleeping, mostly because we didn't have enough bedrooms and beds in the house, and because it is pretty normal in our culture for kids to sleep in the same bed and/or for parents to sleep in the same bed or room with the kids. 


That said, there's something that happened when I was about 5 years old (probably one of my first memories as a child), and my brother was about 6 months old. My parents put us up for an afternoon nap in the master bedroom. As the older sister, I was in charge of "keeping an eye" on my baby brother (whatever that meant). He started crying at some point and to make him quiet I flipped him over with his face down on the pillow. I was really proud of my strategy, because he did actually stop crying instantly. Poor baby didn't have any air to breathe. 

 

Luckily a few minutes later my mom walked into the room to check on us. I remember the fear in her eyes when she saw what was going on, and how she immediately reached for my brother to turn him around. Even to this day I can't stop thinking of what would have happened if she didn't walk in. Could I have suffocated my little brother to death? 

 

Does anyone else have similar stories? Is there something that my parents should have done differently? Do you let your older kids sleep in the same bed with your newborns? Is this considered an unsafe co-sleeping practice? Would you have to train your older kids first about how to handle babies? Would love to hear your thoughts. 

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#2 of 7 Old 02-10-2014, 07:36 PM
 
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Generally, no, I wouldn't leave a small baby unattended with young kids. I think it is considered an unsafe practise to leave the baby sleeping with anyone other than a sober, healthy adult.  Sometimes if they are both sleeping already (if I had been laying with them for example) I have left them that way but in those cases I was pretty aware of them and listening for a wake up from either.  
I think you do have to look at your own situation. I didn't feel there was much risk leaving a sleeping baby and sleeping preschooler on opposite sides of a king sized bed, but I wouldn't tuck a newborn and a toddler into a crib together, or something like that. 
It sounds like your mom was not just leaving you, but checking regularly, but it still doesn't take long for a mishap to happen. If he was 6 months old I would expect him to be able to turn his head to get a breath if needed, but I can see why that would be a scare memory for you.

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#3 of 7 Old 02-10-2014, 07:54 PM
 
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My four year old and my almost four month old sleep in a king sized bed with me, and for a few hours just the two of them. But I have a video monitor that I check A LOT and I'm always listening as well. Young kids seem to just throw their legs and arms around too much and aren't really aware of their surroundings when sleeping as much as an adult. That being said, I'm sure as I write this, all over the world millions of babies and kids are sleeping soundly right next to each other.
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#4 of 7 Old 02-10-2014, 08:21 PM
 
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My 5 and a half yr old occasionally gets in my bed, we also have an 11 month old in the bed. I'm aware he's there. Sometimes he will fling an arm on to the baby and I just move it back... Usually he just snuggles with his baby brother tho. BUT I am in the bed too. I would not leave them alone sleeping together, cuz like a PP said kids aren't very aware of their surroundings while sleeping and he could easily hurt his brother without meaning to.

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#5 of 7 Old 02-10-2014, 10:45 PM
 
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Hubby and I cosleep with our 6month old and there's no way I feel comfortable transitioning him into my 3yr old's bed yet. It's just not safe at this young of age. Many things could happen and it's not worth the risk.Plus he cluster feeds in the early mornings. I don't even leave my kids in the same room alone ever.

. Cosleeping advocates demonstrate proper safety such as with sober adult on firm mattress, not a waterbed or couch.

My brother and I are 3 yrs apart and growing up we often slept in same bed but that was after about 2 years old. We were closer in weight and size then. I have very fun memories of our nights together.

Yes you train older kids (regardless) how to handle babies and siblings, however you cannot ever expect a 5,6,7 yr old to watch or handle a baby without adult supervision. Scientists along with common sense knows their brains aren't developed enough to understand consequences, dealth etc.

I can't speak for what your parents did bc I don't know the circumstances. Just know they did the best they could at the time. It sounds like maybe your mom kept checking on you regularly. Your brother is very lucky!
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#6 of 7 Old 02-11-2014, 09:19 AM
 
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Maybe after a year old I would let them cosleep if the bed were big enough (a full or more). Not before that unless we were all in the bed together. My preference is sharing a room with different beds after the younger can climb in and out of bed and sleeps through the night

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#7 of 7 Old 02-13-2014, 05:11 PM
 
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you and your husband can try each having a child on your side of the bed between you and the edge i grew up in a roomsharing family the three of us kids from the time we hit the year mark shared a bedroom instead of being in mom and dad's room but usually it was one in the middle one by the wall and depending on space one at the foot of the bed if a storm happened and scared us out of our room I'm sorry i have no advice until they are older.

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