Harrison has always been a good sleeper, sleeping in a cot in his own bedroom from eight months old. Alex, although getting better, is a completely different story! I think it is probably something to do with being breastfed on demand, whereas Harrison had formula. We didn’t intend to co sleep with Alex, but with him waking every two hours for a feed up until a few months ago, and not settling anywhere apart from on or next to me, it was the only way we could get any sleep!
We followed all the safe co-sleeping guidelines, with Graham being relegated to a single bed in the corner of our room, whilst Alex and me had the double. He is a smoker, so it wasn’t safe for him to be in with Alex as well. Luckily, we had a huge room so we could still be in the same bedroom. When we moved into our house last summer, the room that was originally going to be the boys room needed some work doing, so we also had Harrison’s toddler bed in our room (it really is huge – as well as three beds we had two double wardrobes and chest of drawers in there and still had plenty of space!). When we eventually finished the decorating earlier this year, we tried to move them into their own room, with Harrison having the single bed and Alex having the toddler bed, but Alex was still having night feeds so I was up and down, and Harrison had gotten used to being in with us so struggled to settle so we gave up. I wasn’t worried though – I knew when he was ready he would go into there. However, when we found out we were having another baby, we knew we needed to encourage him to move in there sooner rather than later. I didn’t want his sleep disturbed by a newborn baby, especially with him being at nursery. Not long after, Alex gave up breastfeeding, and it seemed the ideal time to try. When we found out we were having a third boy, it made sense for the boys to have our room, the biggest, and for us to move into the smaller room. About six weeks ago, we did this.
They have both settled into their own room pretty well. Alex is usually asleep within a couple of minutes of getting into bed, whereas Harrison takes a little longer. I usually sit in their room with them until they’re both asleep – my choice, as I love that quiet time with them and watching them fall asleep. Usually I use that time when Alex is asleep to have an extra little cuddle with Harrison, and it’s our special time, which we both look forward to. Harrison then sleeps through most nights, occasionally climbing in with me when Graham goes out to work at 5/6am. Alex is a little bit more hit and miss, but doesn’t do too badly at all considering he slept with me for over 22 months! Some nights he will sleep through in his own bed all night. Other nights we hear a little whinge over the monitor and one of us has to go in and just tuck him back up and pat his back for a few seconds . Some nights he comes toddling in our room and ends up with us around 2 or 3am. Those nights are happening less now, but I am fully expecting him to have a bit of regression when baby arrives, but we will deal with that as and when we need to.
We have no intention of co-sleeping with Ben when he arrives. The moses basket and big cot are ready (Harrison was in the cot by 8 weeks – he hated the basket!) and hopefully because he will be on formula he will sleep a little better than Alex did, although I know there’s no guarantee! As soon as he is sleeping through the night regularly we will move his cot into the room with Harrison and Alex.
Although it is lovely to have a room back to ourselves, and able to share a bed with Graham again (although on the nights where he is snoring and muttering in his sleep I sometimes wonder!), I do miss waking up and seeing the kid straight away. I’m also a lot more paranoid – I wake up at every little sound and when I get up to go to the loo (at 30 weeks pregnant, that’s quite often!) I always go in and check that they are ok and breathing. I have had to fight the temptation to sit in the chair in their room and just watch them!