40 answers

Advice on Newborns & Toddler Sleeping Arrangements for Small Spaces?

Hi, I have a question for those of you who have been in similar situations. I have a 20month old, who we FINALLY got to sleep in her crib starting last month, in her own room. (we tried co-sleeping for a long time but all 3 of us ended up sleepless and miserable). I'm expecting a new baby in a week. We have a 2BR apt, and the guest room/toddler room is not big enough for a bed and the crib (it's a murphy bed so we have it against the wall most of the time).

My parents are coming to stay with us and help (thank god) - but I am trying to figure out what would be the best sleeping arrangement. sorry for the mammoth details below, but just to try to explain our sleeping conundrum:

I'd really love to keep my daughter in her crib as we have tried co-sleeping before, and none of us get any sleep. Plus, I figure I will be up breast-feeding the newborn during the night and don't want to disturb everyone else. Dad is willing to sleep with our toddler, my parents have even offered to sleep on an air mattress in the living room (but i really don't want them to do that). i am probably gonna have a C and so i know the family won't let me sleep in the living room with the newborn, at least not at first.

I was thinking to have the baby with me in my room, my folks in the other bedroom, and have dad sleep in the living room with our toddler daughter so he can sleep without waking up with the baby all night. if we did that, we would put our toddler in the crib at first and then he'd take her out and sleep on a futon in the living room with her. but i am concerned - will this totally un-do her ability to sleep in the crib later? should we try rolling out the crib in the living room in the middle of the night instead? should we keep her crib in the bedroom with us and the baby?

i want to make sure she doesn't feel isolated, but i don't want to undo her ability to sleep on her own or get her sleep disturbed while we are dealing with our own sleep issues with our new baby!

if any of you faced similar issues with a newborn, toddler, and small spaces, i would really love to hear about what worked best for you! thank you so much!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Will the crib or a pack and play fit in the living room? That way you can keep her in a crib like atmosphere for the time being. You can get pack and plays at second hand stores or on craig's list for good prices and they don't take up as much space as a crib. Maybe Dad will sleep better too since he won't be sharing a bed. Good luck!

More Answers

You don't want to disrupt your toddlers sleep arrangements. She is already going to be out of sorts with a new baby and trying to determine where she stands. If you have her sleep with Daddy she'll expect it all the time. I know it is not the most attractive idea, but your parents on an air mattress is probably the best solution. That is what we have to do when our family comes to visit. I have 3 kids (4,3,1) all sharing 1 room and I've tried moving my 4 yr old into our room when company comes so someone can have a bed and she just doesn't sleep that way. Your children are most important and your daughter needs to feel comfortable.

Hi S.,
I am a mom of four.
I was reading your situation and just one thought I might try is: Keep your todler in her crib. It is safe and she needs not to be cranky for you when the new baby arrives. Put Dad in the room with her in his own bed. Put your parents in their own room and I would buy a Portable Crib for the new baby and sleep in the living room with the new born. Your always getting up anyways and for naps you can always use one of the bedrooms. Congratulations on your new arrival and good luck.

Honestly? Your toddler's life is about to get turned upside down with a new baby in the house. The last thing you want to do is disrupt her routine anymore than is necessary. Esepcially if she is just now starting to sleep in her own crib! If I were you (and this is just my opinion- I have a 20 month old daughter myself), I would leave her in her own room, in her own crib, put the newborn in your room with you, and have your parents either take over the living room or get a hotel room! Your parents are much more adaptable than your toddler and will understand the change better than she can! They can come early and stay late, but it doesn't sound like you have the room for 4 adults and 2 little ones.
My biggest concern would be changing your daughter's sleeping arrangements. I know how much mine thrives on routine and only sleeps well in her own room, in her own crib. I'd leave her in her room and let everyone else work around her. You're going to have your hands full with a newborn. The last thing you need is a sleepless, cranky toddler.

Hi S.,

I'd keep your toddler in the crib! You and your husband should sleep in your own bed with the baby in your room in a basinet nearby. Either put your parents in the room with your toddler or let them sleep on a air mattress in the living room. N., mother of triplet 3 year olds and an 8 year old (I once made the mistake of letting him sleep with us).

I would keep the two kids in separate rooms, definitely. If your parents are only staying for a short while I would put the toddler to sleep in her room and then move the crib every night. If the stay is a long one, I'd let her sleep on the futon with dad and re-teach the crib.

You are totally overthinking this! You are giving birth shortly AND having a c-section! Keep your daughter in her crib in her room, have your parents sleep in the LR on the air mattress and keep your hubby in bed with you and baby. If your parents are fine with the LR and air mattress, then just do it! If you are worried about their comfort, invest in an aero bed. We purchased one for my parents visit and they loved it. Don't undo an important step for co-sleeping kids by moving her around and taking her away from her comfort zone. And remember, you'll have a new baby who needs rest too and having a house in chaos won't help any of you.

Go relax and have a baby.
Good luck & happy sleeping,

Hi!! I totally fell your situation. My son is 18 months and toke us forever to get him to sleep on his crib. But now he dont sleep anywhere else on house, for naps and night time!! I think this because your parents will be living with you forever you should let your girl sleep on her crib all night in her own room. Because after they go back home you will be the one dealing with the fact she want sleep in another place in house! Maybe will be lil easir for you stay on living roon with your newborn, both of you will be bonding and feeding all night. Your parents can maybe sleep on your bedroom and daddy can get cozy with you somewhere on living room too. That way everyone get some rest! And your daughter will realized that nothing will be changing with sleeping routine! Once she out of her crib for lil while will be very hard to get her back into!

Good luck!!!
Take care

How about your husband and toddler sleep in your toddler's room, your parents sleep in your bedroom and you sleep on the futon with your newborn in the living room? I had a C-section with my daughter (she's now 15 months old and has been sleeping in her crib since 6 months?) and she slept on top of me on the futon in her room for the first 3 months.

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