Co-Sleeping Arrangements with a Toddler and a Baby

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?

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

15 thoughts on “Co-Sleeping Arrangements with a Toddler and a Baby

  1. We are also planning to co-sleep with our toddler and baby after I deliver in March. The cot is already attached to our queen size bed just like your earlier arrangement as our condo master bedroom can’t fit another single bed.

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  2. Lau Chee Lan – That’s great. Keep me posted how you go with that arrangement.

    MieVee – yeah, I’ve been Gavin’s pillow for a long time. He lies on my arm, my chest, my belly, my leg – even the hollow behind my knee! I don’t know how he can be comfortable but he always finds his way back there. Gavin moves a lot in his sleep so I guess falling off the bed was inevitable. If I wake in time to see him close to the edge, I’ll move him.

    These days, my arm is pillow to Gareth so I guess he’s going the same way as his brother.

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  3. Hey ShenLi, i’m pretty convinced my babies are high needs babies too 😦 i’m planning to get the Elizabeth Pantley books. Doesnt Amazon.com send to Msia too? Let me know if u want to tumpang. i might be asking them to send to my aunt/ friend in spore – i dont really trust the postal service here.

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  4. Hey Cm – You don’t have to get it from Amazon. The No Cry Sleep book is available from Popular (it’s on special now – 20% off) and I’m sure they also have them available at the other bookshops. With all books I usually try the local bookshops first. If they don’t have it, I’ll ask if they will bring it in for me. Usually find that it costs about the same if I were to buy it online plus shipping. Plus I don’t have to worry about whether it will go astray in the post.

    I have bought two books online from Amazon – Tools of the Mind and The Complete Secrets to Happy Children. Both were delivered in good time and I didn’t have any problems receiving them.

    I think the key with online purchases is not to order too many things in one bundle – big parcels are likely to get stopped. Single books, single DVDs are usually okay. I think DVDs are usually more risky though because of the import regulations. Also avoid ordering large value items. Anything above US$500 may get stopped. These are the tips I remember reading on the lowyat forum some time back.

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  5. Thanks for the tips, Shen-Li. I haven’t tried buying from Amazon yet. Got my No-Cry books from Times & Borders. I’ll try to get the local store to bring in too, if books are out of stock. The postal service in Singapore is certainly much more reliable than in Malaysia. For parcels to Malaysia, I’d always request for registered courier service, even if it means paying more.

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  6. Thanks for the info, ShenLi! i was even planning to by a few more items for them to bulk ship – just to save the shipping cost. i’ll check it out at popular first. cant wait 🙂

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  7. MieVee – I definitely trust the postal service in Singapore more. There have been items which I have sent to my brother in Singapore just because I was worried it wouldn’t reach me in Malaysia. Any parcel that I think might have trouble because of size or value, I immediately send to Singapore. It’s just not worth the headache – as I have learned the hard way when they blocked a shipment of Signing DVDs I bought for Gavin.

    CM – Definitely check the bookshops here first. I would also avoid trying to save costs on bulk shipping. I learned it the hard way when I ordered Signing DVDs from US for Gavin. I tried to bulk ship to save money and ended up paying up to twice as much because the first shipment got returned before it even reached me. The second shipment got held up at customs and I had to pay a runner to receive it and pay the fines – what cost me RM2k ended up costing RM4k. Now I am very wary when I order things – only small items or else I send it to my brother in Singapore and we pick them up when we visit him or when he visits us.

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  8. An extra RM2K is ridiculous!
    Anyway, the customs opened a bottle of shampoo that I ordered from S’pore and it leaked all over. Luckily, the supplier sent a new one.
    Nowadays, I also try to get international shipments to my S’pore place instead. No issue at all!

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  9. Yeah… the supplier re-shipped the items for us, but I had to pay for the additional shipping charges. The bulk of the additional cost was due to various things needed for clearance at customs. Don’t ask me what for though – I honestly don’t know. I just think that it is ridiculous that they have censorship even on DVDs for children’s education!

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  10. Shen-Li, last week I went to Popular @ Ampang Point and they said they dont have it. They even checked the system and said the book was in the system but the last stock was a long time ago. Which popular did u go to?

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  11. I was at Popular in Ikano. They had lots of copies available. I can’t believe they could be sold out. You can try Ikano, otherwise see if they can do a special order for you.

    Popular Ikano – 03-7725 9188 / 03-7725 5823 / 03-7725 5708

    For other popular stores, you can check out their store locator:
    http://www.popular.com.my/StoreLocation.aspx?STATEID=13

    Alternatively, you can call around to the other bookstores to check if they have the book available before you go in.

    Times Pavilion – 03-214 88813
    Times BSC – 03-20953509
    Times Hartamas – 03-62016871
    MPH Midvalley – 03-2938 3818
    MPH 1Utama – 03-7726 9003
    Kinokuniya – 03-2164 8133
    Borders Times Square – 03-21410288

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  12. Wow-ShenLi, i’m speechless! Thanks for all the info! will call tmr 😉
    btw i also tried MPH @ Great Eastern Mall – no luck.

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  13. No prob. I usually call up all the bookshops whenever there’s a book I’m looking for. I find it’s easier than lugging the toddler and baby around to all the different bookshops to see if they have it in stock.

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