If you enjoyed co-sleeping with your first child, you may find that you want to continue the practice with the other children you plan to have. But let's say that next baby comes along sooner than expected and you're not ready to transition your toddler into their own bed. Can you co-sleep with a toddler and a newborn? It may sound like a lot of bodies in one bed, but it's possible to accomplish this goal, and do it safely. It all comes down to discovering what works best for you and your children, and making sure everyone gets enough shut eye each night.
The highest priority for a family bed situation is knowing the safety guidelines for mixing babies and adults when sleeping. One of the reasons co-sleeping is so controversial, is due to the fact that some people don't follow proper safety protocol. As the website for Very Well pointed out, there are many rules for creating a safe sleeping environment for your baby, specifically if you're choosing to co-sleep. Having the right type of mattress, placing your child in the right spot, and keeping the bed free of loose items such as extra pillows will help set your bedroom up as a secure place for the family to sleep together.
Once you know your family's sleep environment meets the safety standards, you can begin to decide what the sleeping arrangements for your family will be. According to Parents magazine, there are a few ways to co-sleep comfortably with more than one child. One option is to place the newborn in a crib or co-sleeper that is right next to the bed, and place the other child in the bed with you. Another option is to have one parent in the middle of the bed, with one child of either side of her. However, if you are not a single mom, this means your partner will need to sleep elsewhere on those nights.
If neither of these options seem to work for you, try a room sharing approach. This keeps everyone in the same room, but moves the toddler onto their own bed somewhere in the parent's room. This could be helpful if your newborn and toddler are on different sleep schedules. As the Baby Sleep Site pointed out, room sharing works fine for kids whose sleep times don't align. In fact, after putting your newborn to bed, you'll have some extra quality time to spend with your toddler.
When deciding what best suits your family for co-sleeping arrangements, keep in mind that both parents should be on the same page. As the website for Dr. Sears pointed out, the adults need to agree on the details of co-sleeping or bed sharing in order for it to be successful. As long as you're putting safety first and considering the venture a family effort, co-sleeping with a toddler and a newborn may be some of the sweetest sleep you ever enjoy.