Hubby and I had never intended to co-sleep with our children. At the beginning, when we had Gavin, we both tried very hard to get Gavin to sleep in his own bed. Suffice to say that our efforts were unsuccessful and he ended up in our bed. Co-sleeping for us was something that began out of necessity and convenience which ended up being beneficial for all of us.
Since Gavin had already set the precedent, it was never even a consideration that Gareth should sleep on his own. The only problem was that when Gareth was born, Gavin was still co-sleeping with us and our bed was definitely not going to be big enough for the four of us. Although hubby and I have learned to control our violent thrashings in our sleep, Gavin appears to have inherited this genetic flaw for violent sleeping.
So we knew we were going to co-sleep again but we also knew we had to change the arrangement somehow. Our original arrangement was the Queen Bed with a cot with its latch open and placed flushed against my side of the bed. If we wanted, we could slip Gavin into the cot where he could sleep “by himself” but next to me, or I could sleep with him in the cot, or he could sleep between us on the bed.
While I was pregnant, I wondered how we could possibly sleep with Gareth and Gavin together on the same bed given how much Gavin moves around at night. After consulting with my BFF who also co-sleeps with her two kids, and observing the sleeping arrangements of Gavin’s god-family, we figured that the ideal arrangement would have been to add another single bed beside hubby’s side of the bed or to have two Queen beds side by side. Unfortunately, our room isn’t wide enough for that arrangement so we decided to remove the bed-frame and sleep on mattresses on the floor – another great arrangement so Gavin wouldn’t roll off the bed.
For the duration of my recovery after the delivery, hubby suggested we temporarily add a single bed mattress on the floor so I wouldn’t have to get up off the floor which he felt would be difficult with my stitches. The idea was to remove the bed-frame later but so far we haven’t gotten around to it yet. Initially, hubby tried to convince Gavin to sleep on the floor with him so Gareth and I could have the bed. Gavin would start off the night on the mattress and end up on the bed by morning. Somewhere in the middle of the night, he would make his way up onto the bed. After a while, we gave up trying to get him to sleep on the mattress on the floor altogether.
To keep Gavin from inadvertently hurting his little brother at night, I would sleep in between the two boys and become the barrier between them. Whenever Gavin tried to cross to the other side of the bed, I would move him back. It worked well until I discovered how well they slept next to each other by accident. So I trialed a period of letting them sleep side by side until Gavin turned his little brother into a pillow one night and laid his head on Gareth.
When Gavin was little, Daddy would always sleep on the open side of the bed so there was no way that Gavin could roll off the bed. Now that Daddy has been relegated to the floor and I have to sleep in between the two boys, one of them has to sleep on the side closest to the open end (the other end is barricaded by the cot). Since we’ve started this sleeping arrangement, Gavin has managed to roll off the bed three times. For the time being, Gareth has been relegated to the side with the open end since he doesn’t move much in his sleep. In time to come, we’ll either have to put up some bed rails or change the sleeping arrangement again.
What sleeping arrangements do you have with your children? Do you co-sleep? Do they sleep in their own bed? I would love to hear from parents who previously co-slept with their children and have successfully managed to move their children into their own beds. To those parents, my question is: How did you manage it?