This is how we do. How we became accidental cosleepers

Before hubby and I became parents, we may have pictured parenthood - the night time routine - to involve tucking our precious cherubs into bed, reading them a story before giving them a hug and a kiss, switching the lights off, blowing a kiss and then closing the door to sneak off to unwind and enjoy adult time for the rest of the evening followed by a restful night of sleep.

How wrong we were.

Any child-free time we have these days involves us trying to get back up-to-date with household chores, or trying to fix the hurricane that 4 kids aged 4 & under cause.

THIS is a glimpse of what most nights look like in our household...

Arms, legs, children, adults. All squished together.

Until our twin girls were born, Mr 3 and Miss 4 mostly stayed in their own beds overnight.

We'd put them to bed - in their own beds - and they might have joined us in our bed at some stage during the night and we would take them back to their own bed, or just enjoy the extra snuggles and continue sleeping peacefully.

When our twincesses were around 12 weeks old and transitioned from bassinettes to cots,
Mr 3 upgraded to a toddler bed (around the time of his 2nd birthday).

Mr 3 and Miss 4 increasingly became difficult to get to sleep, who could blame them with all of the changes that occurred in our household with the arrival of two tiny new siblings who were very unsettled in the early evening until around 4 months.

There was lots going on. It was mayhem.
The twins would be cluster feeding (I would spend hours tandem breastfeeding them on the lounge) and hubby would be trying to get Miss 4 and Mr 3 to bed either at the same time or separately.
There was only two of us and 4 toddlers/babies who required our love, attention and reassurance.

Due to our sleep-deprived haze, hubby and I let our previous sleep routines fly out of the window.
We lacked the time - and the energy - to persist with getting Mr 3 and Miss 4 off to sleep in their own beds.

We don't agree with cry-it-out and prefer gentle/peaceful techniques, so instead followed our natural instinct to be with our eldest two and accompany them as they drift off to sleep peacefully, without fuss.
It was the best solution for everyone.

It took hardly any effort, no tears involved, was quick and was a win win for everyone.

This routine has continued now for over a year.
Usually, hubby or I will get our twins off to bed - which is usually a stress-free process. They sleep through until usually after 7.30am.

Then hubby or I will get Miss 4 and Mr 3 off to sleep.
If I have work to do, hubby might lay in our bed with Miss 4 and Mr 3 and they'll have a chat and pass out. Or I'll lay with one child in one room and hubby will lay with the other, in another room.

Sometimes we fall asleep with the kids (not good if we have work to do) or we'll get back up and do housework/prepare lunches for the next day.

At the moment, we love our routine, it's easy for everyone. We can see how some might think we've formed a 'bad habit' as yes, it did form due to our reluctance to take our kids back to their own bed in the middle of the night during the time when we were already sleep deprived from being up all hours with twin babies.

It seemed ridiculous to, after having just been reacquainted with my pillow, then drag a child back to their own bed and deal with the tears etc. It was precious sleep time. So we just let it all happen naturally, allowed Miss 4 and Mr 3 in our beds so we could all get a good night's sleep.

Some nights, if hubby has put Miss 4 and Mr 3 to sleep in our bed and they're all sprawled out being bed hogs, and I'm up working late, then I may sleep in Miss 4's single bed for a peaceful night's sleep.
If hubby has left for work early, then Miss 4 and Mr 3 will wake and join me in the SINGLE bed and continue catching zzz's.

It's a nice thing to do. Hubby and I enjoy the special moments with our little ones - when we chat about their day, come up with crazy songs and talk about random stuff as they get dreary and fall asleep.
Hubby and I are glad we're both on the same page and agree that the kids will only be like this for a short time (we don't expect them to want to sleep near us when they're 12/13?).
Our boy has sleep apnea (stops breathing for 10-15 seconds occasionally) so it's nice to be close so we can give him a nudge to have a breath.

Co-sleeping works for us and our theory is, until it doesn't work for us, then we'll continue to do it. At the moment it's working and we wouldn't change a thing. That's not to say, on the nights hubby and I do find that we have our bed to ourselves (after transferring the big two to their own beds) that we aren't slapping high-fives.

Thankfully, our twincesses, who are now 17-month sleep happily in their cots ALL night... for now

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