This is the fourth in an occasional series on our experience of co-sleeping with our toddler (or baby, as he was when we began). You can see the series list here.
Lucky us, we’re staying in a fabulous studio apartment in Bath this week while we catch up with family in the United Kingdom.
Among the excellent features of the room is an (unrequested) trundle bed at the foot of the main bed. Time for a change on the co-sleeping front!
For a month when he was about seven months old, we were staying in a house where we could put a mattress on the ground beside our low bed, so we experimented pretty successfully with the Montessori toddler bed idea. We put SBJ in his own bed to start the night, and either went to him or brought him to us when he woke for feeds.
Since then we haven’t had the physical space to try it again, but we have been thinking, having just moved out of our apartment in Wellington, that it would be good to try again if we have room in a new place. We enjoy co-sleeping and don’t mind at all if SBJ wants to carry on for a bit longer, but we’d also enjoy having our own space if he were happy and settled in his own bed. We haven’t decided about whether he would sleep in a separate room or not – that’s a whole nother issue.
This week the opportunity has presented itself to experiment further. I don’t tend to wake properly in the night when I feed SBJ these days, and I’m not totally sure how often he feeds or wakes at night or whether he would sleep solidly if the tempting aroma of milk wasn’t so tantalisingly close. Night feeding doesn’t bother me so I haven’t tried to stop it, but if he doesn’t usually need to feed in the night, that’s a significant milestone when it comes to moving into his own bed.
It’s been about three hours now, and he’s hardly stirred. I’ll keep you posted!
The new bed trial – and my reporting thereof – has been limited by a nasty vomiting bug we’ve all had, so finally, here’s a partial update.
SBJ woke up pretty much as I hit ‘publish’ on this post, but settled immediately as usual, but this time in his own bed, hurrah! That was about 10.30pm. He slept through till around 5am, which is also usual.
When we’re sharing a bed, he will sleep and feed for another couple of hours from that first wake-up, so I have slightly disturbed sleep, but at least we’re all getting another couple of hours in bed.
This time, when SBJ woke up in his own bed, my husband brought him in with us for a feed, but he didn’t go back to sleep. I think it was the novelty of the two beds. He darted back and forth between the two with great glee and couldn’t settle. An hour of these hijinks, with his parents in denial (and therefore bed) and he finally crashed in our bed and slept for another three hours.
As soon as he woke up after that, he vomited all over me, and so began a horrendous 48 hours. We’ve been recuperating at my in-laws’ home, bed-sharing, so it won’t be until tonight when we are back in Bath that we try again with SBJ in his own bed. I think he’ll be up for it – he seems favourably disposed so far (I’m not interpreting the vomiting as a protest just yet!)
I think for us the key will be him getting used to settling again at the 5am mark. Perhaps next time I’ll join him at that point. I’m thinking quite a large toddler bed could be handy when we get back to New Zealand.
This is part of an occasional series on our adventures in co-sleeping. You can see the series list here and find out from the comments that heaps of people are doing this! Please feel free to leave a note with your own experiences or thoughts.
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