When Dylan was born over 3 years ago I just assumed he would sleep in a crib. Every baby I knew slept in a crib (or so said their parents). Dylan, however, had other plans for us. He wanted nothing to do with the lovely crib in his room with the beautiful bed skirt I agonized over at Pottery Barn Kids! He also wasn’t a fan of sleeping in the brand new pack ‘n play that we set up in our room. Dylan was happiest sleeping snuggled right next to me in our bed. I struggled with this the first few months and wasted many hours trying to get him to sleep on his own. After doing a lot of reading and research online, I discovered that many parents co-sleep with their kids, here in North America and especially around the world. By the time Dylan was 6 months old, we gave up on the crib and began to happily accept our sleeping companion. At a year, we dismantled the crib and put a double bed in Dylan’s room, and haven’t looked back since!
When we found out I was pregnant with Benjamin, there was no doubt in my mind and Jake’s mind that we would co-sleep with him. In fact, we didn’t even set up the crib this time – it remains in storage. It has been so easy this time without the sleeping struggles. Benjamin’s sleep has really been a non-issue since day 1.
During the first few months after Ben was born, I’d put Dylan to sleep in his own room. Then, Ben would sleep in the swing downstairs for a few hours each evening. When I was ready to go to sleep, I’d bring Ben upstairs into bed with me. Dylan would usually wake up at some point in the night and climb into bed with us. And Jake would join us too! I was always sure to keep Ben near me and away from covers, pillows and everyone else. We have a king bed and we found the four of us fit quite easily.
We kept up this sleeping arrangement for probably 5 or 6 months. Everyone slept quite well! During the summer, we were up at the cottage and the sleeping arrangements changed a bit. At the cottage, we had one room with a queen bed and one with a double. I didn’t think it would be comfortable or safe to have four of us in a queen bed. So, I’d put Dylan to sleep in the room with a double, and Jake joined him when he was ready for bed. The two of them slept in that room all night. Ben and I shared the queen in the other room. When it was just me and the kids at the cottage without Jake, Dylan would start out in the double and then join Ben and me in the queen at some point.
We kept this arrangement when we came back home in September. Dylan and Jake sleep in a double in Dylan’s room, and Ben and I sleep in the king bed in my room. This way, each child has an adult to snuggle with! Ben wakes a few times a night to nurse, but always goes right back to sleep. Dylan sometimes wakes up to pee, but otherwise sleeps well. I should add that I now put Ben to sleep in our bed and sneak away once he is sleeping. He doesn’t move much when he sleeps and I listen carefully on the monitor – if I hear him stirring I quickly go to him. He also naps in our bed – I nurse him to sleep and then sneak away.
Today I told Dylan that when Benjamin gets older, the two of them will share a room and a bed. Dylan was really excited! I’m not sure when this will happen – perhaps when Ben is 2? Then Jake and I will have our comfy and spacious king to ourselves again. But for now, our sleeping arrangement maximizes everyone’s sleep, and meets the needs of both the kids and the adults in our family. I wouldn’t change it for anything!