Sleeping arrangements can be quite challenging with the arrival of a newborn, particularly if you don’t have a lot of space or you need to make sure an older sibling gets the sleep they need. This is a post I wrote just after Sienna turned 1 year old in August. I have added an update of our situation so you can read about how are we doing at the moment.
When Sienna was born a year ago we decided that we would put her in a co-sleeper next to me in our bedroom for the first 6 months. My eldest, Bella was sleeping in her bedroom on her own and Nick and I in our bedroom with Sienna. We only have 2 bedrooms so this was important to get sorted by stages so we could have a good sleep….. well at least Nick and Bella could, not so much me due to the night feeds! 😞
Sienna used to breastfeed during the night for the first few months so we decided that it would be better if Nick slept in Bella’s room so he wouldn’t have to wake up during the night while I was breastfeeding Sienna so he wouldn’t be so tired in the morning to prepare Bella’s breakfast, drop her to school and then go to work. Bella’s bed expands out from the side so it can be changed from a single bed to a double bed.
We kept this arrangement until Sienna started to grow out of her co-sleeper and needed to be moved to her cot which was in Bella’s room. At this point it stopped being Bella’s room and was now “The Girls” room. I was always very worried about this move and although at 6 months Sienna was sleeping through the night she was still breastfeeding before bedtime and again very early in the morning as soon as she woke up. The morning feed was the one that was worrying me because sometimes Sienna would wake earlier than 6 am and started to cry for her feed or she would sometimes just cry at any time and I was so worried that she would disturb Bella. I didn’t want Bella to have less sleep because of her sister, especially as she needed energy for her first year at school (Reception).
Considering this, we thought that the best solution would be to delay them sleeping in the same room until Sienna was 1 year old. What did this mean for us? This meant still sleeping in a separate room to my husband for another 6 months! Crazy right? Yes I know but these are the things you have to do in order to get some peace and quiet for as long as you can and to do what feels right for your kids!
Sienna was now sleeping in her cot in the girls room and I moved to that room with her. Bella therefore slept with Daddy in the master bedroom. I know this is not the best solution as it got Bella used to sleeping with Daddy but it was practical for us all at that time. Also Bella had so many changes since her sister was born that we wanted it to be as smooth as possible for her. You can read about these changes here. She wasn’t the only child in the house anymore and wasn’t getting all the attention from me as before so a little bit of extra bonding with Daddy wasn’t going to be that bad!
A couple of weeks ago Sienna turned 1 year old and it was finally time to get everyone where they were supposed to be! We needed to put the girls together sleeping in their room for the first time! Which finally meant: DADDY AND MUMMY SLEEPING TOGETHER AGAIN IN OUR OWN BED!!! Yes yaay, HAPPY TIMES FOR US!!! LOL
I was so worried about this change which is why I was delaying it as much as I could because I was worried about them waking each other up for whatever reason. Having said that, I thought that if we didn’t give it a try we would never know! It was the night before Sienna’s first birthday so I put them together. I think I didn’t sleep all night thinking about them but you know how mums are, right? We just worry ALL THE TIME! I was particularly worried about the morning feed.
Surprisingly they actually slept well! In the morning Sienna started crying as usual but I went to the bedroom very quickly and grabbed her so that Bella was able to keep sleeping. I brought Sienna to our bedroom and breastfed her there, so we had another 40 minutes where we all had some peace. After this, Sienna was properly awake and of course with this the whole house was awake now too! Lol
This worked pretty well for the first week. Bella would even sometimes come and let me know that Sienna was awake so I could go and pick her up and bring her to our bedroom to breastfeed her – so really happy times! However, the happiness didn’t last forever as after the first week Bella had a cough which she passed onto Sienna! I had Sienna really ill coughing a lot and of course sleeping together didn’t work at all as it was waking Bella up! I had to swap with Bella again so she moved back to my bed and I went back to the girls room to be next to Sienna! Then when Sienna was a little better Nick got a stomach bug which he passed to us all! This unsettled us all for a couple of days, it was a horrible bug, I really hated it! This is my worst nightmare really!!!! Eeekkkkk
Anyway, after the cold and the tummy bug we had family staying over one after the other one, so for this we left Bella in our room with them and Nick and I were with Sienna, so our sleeping arrangements were all over the place again! 😞
After our guests left we finally decided to come back to our final arrangement and it didn’t work as Bella then came to our room four times!!! Grrrr, what a nightmare!! The following day I tried to tire Bella out as much as possible so she was shattered by the end of the day. We were out all day and brought the girls back to the house half asleep. We managed to put them back in their room and they finally slept there with no issues all night! Sienna woke up near 6 am the next morning. I went to grab her and Bella was still sleeping! She wasn’t disturbed! She then woke up about 40 minutes later justs after Sienna had finished breastfeeding so they were happy and ready to play!
That is pretty much my story about our sleeping arrangements during the first year following the birth of our youngest. As you can see we had ups and downs but hopefully we are finally now in a happy place and fingers crossed things will stay this way!
Our sleeping arrangements are still in the process of reaching our goal of having Bella sleeping all night in the girls bedroom. We can have some days even almost a week when she is happy and stays all night in her bedroom but suddenly we have those days when she just doesn’t want to sleep there and she only wants to sleep with us. Also there were some moments that I woke in the morning and she was back in our room and we didn’t notice. These moments are rare as when she sleeps with us we really notice her presence as she sleeps in a horizontal position!! Exactly, that is the way that she likes to sleep when she is our bed!! WHY?? Can someone answer me that? grr So it is a nightmare for me. I think is worst for me than Nick as he is that type of person that will keep sleeping even though there is fire in the house! LOL He really has that strong sleep. Lucky him because it is normally me who has to deal with all the “night disturbances”!
What we normally do with Bella, is that she has a bedtime story with daddy in our room as Sienna is already sleeping in the girls room. After the story she then falls asleep. She stays in our bed for a couple of hours and then we move her to the girls room. She will stay there until 3 or 4 am in the morning that she just have to come back and sleep with us! This last week, for example she has come to our bedroom every day! Yes I know! I want to cry!! But what can we do? I guess we just need to keep persisting and putting her back to her bedroom until one day she just stay there all night every day and not just for phases!!
So my update is still similar!! Not as great as I thought it would be at this stage. 🙁
Do you feel this story is familiar to you? Did you or do you still have issues with your sleeping arrangements? Of course all depends on the space that you have, the bigger the space the better but having limited space like me can really be a nightmare!
Thanks for stopping by,
Love you all ❤️
Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks says
We are all about the obsession with sleep and lack of in our house. The boys don’t share a bedroom but they are opposite with their doors open so they hear and wake each other. Nightmare. We baby gated the E ldests room because he kept coming in at 430 awake for the day!! #KCACOLS
I know! Lack of sleep is always an issue!! U can’t use a gate because my eldest is too ild for that! She will come regardlesss! I’ll have to wait and I hope for this phase to end soon!! Thanks for your comment, 🙂 xx
Cheryl @ ReimerandRuby says
I can totally relate that we mums have to deal with nigh time disturbances while dad are in deep sleep. Well, I didn’t really have any problem with my kids when we moved them to their respective rooms after they turned 1, apart from when they’re not feeling too well that they want to stay in our bed and sleep beside me for comfort which is totally understandable. Hope Bella and Siena will soon sleep through the night in their own girls room as it will surely make a big difference in your sleep routine too. Lovely post! Thanks for sharing! #KCACOLS
Thank you Cheryl! I do hope this improves too!! Thanks for your comment! 🙂 xx
Mum in Brum says
Ah this sounds like such a nightmare for you! Sleep disturbances really are the worst but you’ve made the best of your situation – it must be pretty difficult having two rooms and always being worried about the girls waking each other up. I do think that you’re right with trying to persist with putting Bella back in her room, I think that they always get the idea eventually. Good luck! xxx
Ellie @ Hand Me Down Baby says
Our sleep situation is different but similarly tricky.
Little Miss A is currently still in the nursery in her cot. We’ve been working on getting her “Big Girl Room” ready and it’s almost there, at which point we have to transition her into a bed that she can get out of. I’m not looking forward to that as I imagine she’ll come into our room a lot, which will wake up Master J as he’s still in with us.
Fortunately we have enough space that they’ll both eventually have their own rooms, but if Master J had been a girl I’d have definitely had them share a room and I had exactly the concerns you’re experiencing.
Hope, for everyone’s sake, it all sorts itself out soon. x
hARRY'S hONEST mUMMY says
I count my blessings as Harry is a brilliant sleeper nowadays. We have a routine that we stick to rigidly and he actually gets upset on the odd occasion we don’t follow it (tonight for example). We bath him, read him a story whilst he has a cup of milk, then tuck him in and switch the light off. He stays in his bed until we all get up in the morning. If he wakes early he just quietly stays in bed playing with his dinosaurs. He has never attempted to get out of bed nor come in to your room. We are so lucky. I will continue to keep my fingers crossed as I am aware that this could change at any time. Good luck. #KCACOLS
Oh I’m a firm believer in you do what’s right for you and your family. Everyone is different with different situations and you’re doing what’s right for you and your girls. I bet you can’t wait to get your bed back properly and be settled. A really insightful post, thank you for sharing it #kcacols
loved reading this Franca – ive no idea how i will do it when we decide to have another, at 10 months Arthur still doesn’t sleep through. He goes to sleep in his cot in his room at 7pm until about midnight ( this used to be 2am but has got earlier lately with teething!) then he wakes for a feed and a cuddle at which point he comes into our bed so i can feed him lying down and then we all co-sleep for the rest of the night. This means we all get more sleep as lately with his teeth coming through he has been waking up every 3 hours wanting to feed and it is much easier if he is next to me. We are lucky we have a very big bed so we all fit no problem! I am looking forward to him waking less though, but at the moment i think, he is only little once and it wont be forever, i should make the most of the cuddles! x #KCACOLS
Maria @ Suburban Mum says
My boys have been in the same room together since M was around 8 months old. Before that he was in the box room on his own but we needed to free up that room for nanny when i returned to work! I think we have been really lucky as both boys are prettty good sleepers so it just seemed to work for us. In the early days M would also go to sleep before E. LIke you E would have a bedtime story in our bed before then going to his bed for the night.
We do have the issue of him waking up and coming into our room for various different things though “my leg hurts” or “i had a dream” “can you tuck me in” at its worst it was at least 2-3 times a night and it drove us mad! We tried rewarding him for not getting up which worked for a bit but then the cycle would start again! Thankfully he has stopped doing it recently but I’m sure it will return! I hope you manage to stop playing musical beds soon! #KCACOLS
becca farrelly says
oh my goodness, I had never even thought about what we would if we have another baby, we have 3 bedrooms but 1 is an office and storage room so a new baby would have to go in with Mia! by the sounds of it, its a nightmare!! 🙂
Martin - At Home With The Boys says
It would appear that everybody has their own bedtime nightmare to tell when it comes to sleep (or lack of it!).
Even though Harrison is almost five, he only sleeps through maybe once a week, if we’re lucky. The norm is to call out at about 4.00am for me, but I have to say. once he’s cuddled up to me, he goes straight back off to sleep.
As for sleeping horizontally, we solved this by buying them both a double bed. Now if they spin round, they don’t bang their heads on the wall, waking themselves up in the process. Also, the beds are now big enough for one of us to get in and sleep with them too. Everybody’s happy, well, kind of!
Oh not good news about that nasty stomach bug – it’s the worst being ill, especially with young children. Happy birthday to your little 1 year old. Lets hope you have more good nights than bad, and enjoy the bed to yourselves while you can and whilst little one hasn’t snuck in! #KCAKOLS
Oh gosh! I wouldn’t be able to handle that at all. We are lucky enough to have a 4 bedroom house (i say lucky, that was one of our criteria when buying last year!) so all three boys have their own space. I also wouldn’t be able to not be in the same bed as James for such a long period of time, but you’re right, you do what you have to do in order to keep the peace. And keep as many nights disturbance free as you can! Hopefully it will all settle down soon, but yep, consistency is key with Bella! xx
Ruth @ MUMMY and the Mexicans says
It sounds complicated, but you have to do whatever works for you and your family. We had a bassinet cot which my daughter slept in from newborn. It was really handy as it had wheels so I could move right against my side of the bed at night and for her daytime naps I could move it to wherever I was in the house (we lived in a one-storey house then) and wheel it around to get her off to sleep. We finally got her a proper sized cot when she could barely fit in the bassinet cot anymore but since we didn’t have a spare bedroom, the new cot stayed in our room, so it wasn’t a very big change and I think Emma was glad to have the space to stretch out. We moved house about six months ago and the new house has a small bedroom which we’d decided was going to be Emma’s room…eventually. It’s currently full of boxes, furniture and other stuff, so that’s not going to happen yet! So Emma still has her cot in our bedroom. She’s always been a good sleeper (usually not even waking up during a nappy change!) but recently she’s been waking up in the night and we’ve got into the habit of putting her in the middle of our bed and she settles back to sleep immediately. But she’s getting accustomed to sleeping in our bed, which is probably not a great idea. I’m not too worried about it though, as long as everyone’s content and getting a good night’s sleep! #KCACOLS