16 weeks and already stressing about 2 kids and sleep

I know it is early and I have no idea how this new guy will be sleep-wise but I’m spending a lot of time lately worrying about our future sleep situation. We currently co-sleep with Monkey in our bed. We have a queen and he sleeps in between the two us. He goes to sleep there a few hours before we do and we use bedrails during that time. I’m having a hard time imagining what the new arrangement will be once the newbie is here. We have already resigned ourselves to buying a king size bed prior to his arrival, so that will help. I’m just wondering where everyone will be while the baby is really small. Monkey on the outside, between DW and the bedrail with baby on the inside right next to me? With Monkey, he basically slept in my armpit (between my body and my arm) and didn’t really move at all during the night. Who knows if this guy will be the same? Maybe he will be fine in the co-sleeper and we won’t have to do anything different (Monkey was not – he would only really sleep in bed with us, hence the co-sleeping).

I’m also trying to imagine bedtime. Sure, early on the baby will just hang with us until we go to bed and Monkey will do his usual routine. But when it’s time for baby to start a schedule, then what? Put baby down first, then Monkey? Will baby sleep through Monkey’s bedtime shenanigans? Maybe put baby down in the soon-to-be boys’ room and Monkey in our bed, then bring baby into our room when we go to bed? And what about when the baby wakes to nurse in the night? Will this wake Monkey and have us partying for hours in the middle of the night like we do now when, God forbid, he happens to wake?

By the way, I’d have no problem trying to transition Monkey to his own “big boy” bed in the new room prior to the newbie’s arrival, but DW is not on board. Sigh. Maybe if she were pregnant and trying to sleep with baby knees in her back she’d be more open to the idea πŸ˜‰ I’m also having a hard time picturing me getting any sleep at all when I am hugely pregnant with Monkey in the bed. It’s a little terrifying.

Another concern I have, though it is super temporary, is how Monkey will do with my parents while we are in the hospital after the birth. He has never been away from us overnight before and no one has ever put him down except one of us. Are my parents up to the task? My sad heart is picturing him crying all night long, inconsolable at us not being there. Argh. This parenting thing is so hard! I’m just trying to prepare however I can (like buying the bigger bed) and hoping that it will be a non-issue because the new guy will be a perfect sleeper. I can dream, right?


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12 responses to “16 weeks and already stressing about 2 kids and sleep

  1. Joy

    Have you thought about sidecaring a crib? Basically, you take one side off of a crib and bungee it to your bed–that way the baby (or toddler) has their own sleep space but everyone gets to co-sleep. If you google sidecaring crib you should find lots of how to sites.

  2. My thought was the same as Joy’s. I was going to point you to West Philly Mama’s blog – she recently posted photos of their sleeping arrangement. Maybe Monkey could be in his crib right beside you and the babe could be between you and DW? (http://www.westphillymama.com/2012/10/synchronized-sleeping.html?m=1)

    As for cosleeping while hugely pregnant? It’s awful. Bird is generally in her own bed, but has been waking lately and wanting to come into ours. I moved downstairs to the guest room – sleeping is hard enough at this point without the thrashing elbows and knees of a toddler. O.M.G!!

  3. I could have written this post! I am right there with you, well in a nutshell I am! I was just getting ready to do a post asking for advice on bed transitioning so I will let you know if any good ideas come in πŸ™‚

  4. another option to consider, sidecar with a toddler bed.

    bunny would never sleep in his crib even next to our bed, but we recently bought a toddler bed from ikea, pushed it against the wall, and pushed our bed up against it. we rolled a couple blankets into the gap between his bed and ours. it’s perfect. he does still often crawl up (ours is about 6″ higher than his) into bed with us when he wakes up in the middle of the night, but he’s getting used to having his own space. in fact, he actually flops himself into his own bed to sleep. he also often sleeps upright with his arms folded under his head on our bed while sitting in his own bed.

  5. chunkandmommy

    I think in the end, you are going to have to do what’s best for your family, but I personally can’t envision co-sleeping with an infant and toddler and anyone getting any sleep. Does monkey have his own room? Could you slowly start to transition him to his room as a “big brother” so that once the baby is born, he is already in his new space and you don’t have to worry about one or the other waking up? You are right… this parenting thing is HARD, and I just posted about my own woes. There are no right answers, just trial and error, so I wish you good luck in figuring out the correct balance and solution. And, I also hope you get some quality sleep in the upcoming months!

  6. We used an Arm’s Reach (mini) co-sleeper until about six months with The Bean and it worked well for us, but each kid is different. I think you’re wise to plan out a few scenarios. If you’re going to try to transition Monkey to a big boy bed, it’s probably best to do so well before new baby arrives so he doesn’t associate the two. Also, could you do some date nights so your parents get practice putting Monkey to bed beforehand?

    Hopefully it all works out much more easily than you’re anticipating!

  7. RDR

    Our little one still sleeps with us (17months). Our twins always slept in their own beds and the third and last baby just loves co-sleeping. I agree with allison re: transitioning to big boy bed. I try to anticipate resentment possibilities with baby #3 although our older kids still seem to find them :). I would try having sleep overnight with a trusted adult so he tries it out without the pressure of you being at the hospital. I am thinking of you three soon to be four, take it one step at a time and you two and monkey and baby #2 will do wonderfuly. πŸ™‚

  8. We coslept with both but mostly our toddler was in her own bed to start. She would join us in the middle of the night and it was fine with a king, her in the middle and our son tucked in my arm. I slept holding him as you described.

    Another option is maybe a bed in your room for your toddler and then eventually move it to his room. Or getting a bigger bed for his room (twin or bigger) so you can have your partner sleep in there with him if necessary and get him to sleep by laying next to him, if you choose to continue what you’re doing. Right now we have our toddler in his own bed (we adopted him at 11 months and he was used to going to sleep alone) but our older two who are used to cosleeping have me in their bed a lot. It’s just easier. But our house layout makes me nervous to have them joining us in the middle of the night because they’d have to navigate steep, dark stairs. You do what works for you.

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