Having two daughters close in age has its advantages, and one of those has been co-sleeping. My eldest daughter was sleeping in her own room from 5 months old, she slept all the way through without a peep. My youngest however has not had the same experience. She would wake up at least twice a night. Having a cot near our bed I thought she would sleep better as she wasn’t hungry and didn’t need changing. But no, she would just get restless at night. This put me off the idea of room sharing for the meanwhile as I didn’t want to disrupt my eldest.
The age gap between my girls is 22 months. Amaía is 2 and 9 months, and Sienna just under 11 months. So they are still quite young. But when Amaía started asking if her sister could sleep in her bed (2 months ago) co-sleeping started to play on my mind.
Knowing Sienna wasn’t a great sleeper I didn’t want to leave her the whole night at first. So I would put them to bed together and separate them once they had both dosed off. After a couple of weeks I felt ready to try and leave her in there the whole night. The first night I decided to put her travel cot in their bedroom and see if they could both sleep in the room together. When checking on them I found them both in the ‘big bed’ fast asleep cuddling each other, so thought I would leave them. They slept really well and woke a little later than usual. Since then with some nights better than others they have been co-sleeping.
There are a few things to bear in mind if you are considering co-sleeping for your kids.
A child safe room goes without saying but there are things we can do for safer co-sleeping.
- If the bed is against a wall, there must be no gaps what so ever.
- Using the correct tog duvet for you children’s age range.
- Some people find using a pillow as a barrier between kids helps.
- Do not over load the bed with pillows.
- Check on them through the night.
Patience And Persistence.
These are both crucial to success. It is going to take a little time before co-sleeping becomes a smooth operation. Bare in mind both children have to adjust to this change, as frustrating as them not settling is you have to stay persistent. Don’t let bedtime become a screaming match, it will only dishearten you and make it easy to give up. Also they are not going to get a great nights sleep being screamed at untill they sleep.
Change Of Bedtime Routine.
Both Children will have their own routines, and the independent sleeper will already know how they are most comfortable. So creating a new routine is a great way to help them adjust, maybe bedtime stories together or lullabies.
Keeping the door open not only allows you to hear what is going on in their room but also lets them hear that you are near. Staying close also helps you ensure sleep actually occurs and the night doesn’t become extended play.
Get Used To Tiny Whispers.
Many people believe co-sleeping is a great form of bonding between siblings. Conversation before bed is inevitable and you may even hear laughter or singing. This is normal and usually just becomes part of their routine. Getting out of bed and playing is another story.
To me co-sleeping is a great idea. Some of my fondest memories are from sharing a room and even a bed with my sisters. When we had our own beds we would put them together like one huge bed in the middle of the room. I know everyone is not the same and it really is finding what works for you, but I truly believe co-sleeping made my siblings and I close.
Did you co-sleep with your siblings?