I’ve mentioned it before I’m sure but I attribute my sanity to breastfeeding and co-sleeping with the twins. Those nights when they’re unsettled are made much easier by having them no further than arms length away. Plus, not having to get out of my snuggly warm bed on the very cold winter night has been LOVELY.
I often get asked about how co-sleeping works for our family and the logistics around making it work. So I thought I’d dedicate a post to it.
We’ve been co-sleeping in one way or another since the babies came home from hospital. Even in hospital I co-slept with Sebastian from night 2. They’ve been in together since a couple of hours after birth. When they first came home their cot was next to our bed, seperated by about 50cms or so. Through out the night they’d wake for feeds and come across to our bed. In those first weeks we were getting breastfeeding established and hadn’t yet mastered the art of feeding laying down.
As they grew our bed wasn’t cutting it. Queen size bed with 2 adults and 2 babies is very squishy. So we sidecar-ed the cot which had been our plan all along, we just hadn’t gotten around to it. To sidecar the cot we removed the drop side, the cot was placed in a corner against the wall and our bed pushed up against the open side.
We demand feed and most of the time their overnight feeds haven’t been at the same time, so feeds are just a matter of bringing the bubby across from the cot to snuggle in next to me for a feed. They’d barely wake up and we’d both drift off to sleep during the feed. Then, when the other baby woke up it was simply a case of rolling over and snuggling him into the other side and generally the first baby would snuggle themselves into my back in their sleep. Certainly are worse ways to wake up than sandwiched between 2 snuggly babes!
They started waking more at the same time the last couple of months, I think it’s more that they’re waking each other up, so I had to work out how to feed them both lying down. The method that has worked for us is one baby lying down as I would normally feed lying down (usually Ollie) and the other over my side. It’s not pretty but it works and Sebastian (the one “hanging”) usually falls asleep happily and can then be laid down beside me.
Then they started to move around and things started to get funny. Ollie is our night owl, he likes to stay up late and sleep the morning away, whichmeans 9 times out of 10 Bas is awake before him. Generally the big 2 are awake before the babies so often I have to sneak out from between 2 babies in the mornings. This is one of the views I came back to:
Bas trying to kick Ollie awake!
Now they’re both crawling/scooting around and it’s gotten harder again. Day sleeps are no longer a time for me to relax, I’m constantly checking and listening, waiting for them to wake up, attempting to swoop in as soon as they wake up, preferably before they decide to go exploring. We’ve had a couple of tumbles from the bed, luckily I thought ahead and piled clothes all round the bed on the floor to soften their landing (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it).
But it all came to a bit of a head the other night. 10.30pm and sleeping babies became babies who want to PLAY! I just wanted to sleep. I tucked them into their cot and lay down in the bed beside them (I’m on the side closest to the cot) and closed my eyes. I opened them a minute or 2 later to see Bas on hands and knees looking at me. As soon as he saw my eyes open he grinned and scooted straight over to me. Ollie was very soon to follow. Being attacked with love by 2 babies is one of my favourite parts of the day but not when I’m trying to sleep!
Now we’ve finally got their room together we’re trialling them in there. So far Sebastian is happy with it but Ollie not so much. We haven’t removed our side car and we won’t for a while. We’re following their lead as much as possible. Sebastian was happy to settle back in his cot after a feed at 11pm (he then slept until 7! Bliss!), Ollie wasn’t so he came back to bed with me. We’ve got their cots back to back so they can still see and touch each other, they’ve been together all this time so we’re aiming for gradual seperation, and again, only what they seem comfortable with.
As for how we get them to sleep, it’s different every night. Sometimes they want to be fed to sleep, sometimes rocked, sometimes Bas is happy to go in his cot and suck his thumb, sometimes Ollie just wants his VTech My Pal Violet. Again, we just do whatever works.
Our other problem is keeping adoring big brothers out of the room when they’re trying to sleep. Now that one I’m not sure how to solve!