I sleep share with my 3.5 year old, my newb and my partner. We have what is called a family bed. My three year old has her own room, however when she sleep it is still with us. Which was the most natural path since she herself is still nursing.
First… the how:
We took a crib and removed one side, we have it on the lowest setting because the mattress we have is a memory foam mattress and pretty low to the ground. The bedframe for those who are curious is a IKEA bed frame that has the option of a lower position for memory foam mattresses. This arrangement is called a side car arrangement and is normally done with a co-sleeper. This can be a much cheaper option. Since drop side cribs are now illegal to sell, you can find them on craigslist often for free. Remove that pesky side… and BINGO instant co-sleeper that didn’t cost an arm and a leg only to have your chunk of a baby to outgrow at 6 months.
Its important to fill the gap between the crib and the bed so a rolled up blanket works for us. Then a quilt spread over my half of the bed into the crib does a great job bridging the gap.
My 3 year old gets the majority of the crib, and my newb will rotate from in between her and I, and her father and I depending on which boobie she is nursing.
Now… the why:
Breastfeeding! Let me tell you, breastfeeding so SO MUCH easier while sleep sharing. It involves minimal effort. Both mom and baby get more sleep. Neither has to fully wake up to feed. Mothers have been sleeping with their babies since the beginning of time. There is a reason that it feels right for both mom and baby. Kelly Mom has some great info on the benefits of co-sleeping and breastfeeding. As well as a safe co-sleeping checklist. It was the best way to get through growth spurts!
Bond! At the end of stressful days it helps us really appreciate each other again. I can be so irritated at my 3 y/o and when she falls asleep next to me I just want to drink her up. Its so nice to have my entire family in my bed <3
Co-sleeping is a biological norm, we are meant to sleep with our babies. If you read any article on co-sleeping read this one! There is some eye opening information there!
When sleep-sharing you do not just throw the baby in bed as is! There are ways to safely co-sleep. Dr Sears has a great checklist for safe co-sleeeping.
I wouldn’t have it any other way. Personally, I co-sleep until my children decide to sleep in their own bed. However you can do it as long as you are happy with baby in your bed. I love it! I have a difficult time sleeping without them next to me.