Co-rooming with 4 year old and newborn?

I would love to see what other parents have done in this situation (even though it's still theoretical for our family at this point).  I am due with my second child in about a month and my daughter will be almost 4 at that time.  Our current sleeping arrangement is that she sleeps in a toddler bed next to our bed.  This suits our family great as we love being together but I was never able to co-bed successfully and get much personal comfort or sleep.  When our new baby arrives we plan to have him in a small in-bed co-sleeper at least for the first few months.  We keep a noise machine on throughout the night in the bedroom but I am concerned for my daughter's sleep quality with the baby waking up multiple times.  We have talked about my husband and daughter sleeping in a different room but that would be a last resort for us.  A couple of months ago we tried to transition her to her own bedroom but felt that we didn't want to pressure her or make it a traumatic thing (I have terrible sleep issues from my own childhood and a lot of fearful experiences surrounding bedtime).  She would start in her room and stay about 10-15 minutes max and then say she was ready to come sleep in our room and that she "will be ready to sleep in my own room when I'm 5 years old."  We didn't force the issue and are fine with her in our room.    Without knowing anything about this new baby's sleeping habits until he arrives, is there anything I can do to prep for this?  Has anyone successfully co-roomed with a preschool-aged child and newborn without the older child's sleep suffering?  I would say she's a moderately heavy sleeper.  She doesn't wake up if my husband and I are talking in a normal voice (again, we do have a noise machine on near her bed) or normal noises around the room with us up and down at different times and through the night.  I know every family/parent/child is different and we all have to find what suits us best.  Just looking for some thoughts from people who have navigated this new transition before.  Thank you!

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My advice is to wait and see what happens.  We had a 2.5yo who I thought we'd never get out of the family bed, but the day we brought his (noisy!) baby brother home from the hospital, the 2.5yo announced he was ready for his own room and never looked back. Since she has her own room ready, you have options - just be flexible and try not to sweat it and my bet is it will work itself out.

I think you have a good, flexible attitude about it and things are likely to work out just fine.  There's no reason to upset your daughter by forcing a different bed arrangement before you even know whether everyone being in the same room is a problem, and from your description there's no reason to think it will be a problem.  After all, plenty of families with a new baby all share one bed, let alone one room, and everyone sleeps very well that way.  And if it DOES turn out to be a problem, you'll know what KIND of problem and can work out an appropriate solution. 

My elder child was about 3 1/2 when my younger child was born.  I'd been a little concerned about how the sleeping arrangements would work out, because although the 3yo did ordinarily go to sleep in his own room, he routinely got up during the wee hours of the night and joined me & his dad in our bed (a routine which suited all of us perfectly well).  But ultimately it all worked out fine without my having to really do anything special!  I put a bassinet next to my side of the bed for the baby, though I had no firm plans about how much it would be used - I do just fine with baby in bed with me, so it was mostly going to depend on the baby. After baby was born, it turned out that the 3yo would, when he came to our bed during the night, finding the bassinet in front of him, automatically check for baby's presence (and several times when he didn't see her right away, he woke me to ask where she was! I never instructed him to do that, he just did it).  If she was in the bassinet, he'd climb in right next to me in the bed.  If she was next to me in the bed, he'd lie down at the foot of the bed, well away from baby. This went on until the baby was old enough that I was no longer concerned about her safety with her brother in the bed, and neither child's movements or noises ever seemed to disturb the other. Over the next couple of years, with no particular encouragement from us, the older child made a gradual transition to sleeping in his own room all night, just as the baby gradually began starting the night in her own bed next to mine and then in a different bedroom.  I now can't really even remember exactly how old either of them was the last time I woke up in the morning to find a kid in my bed.  You're of course right that every family/parent/child is different and you'll figure out what suits your own family best.  Go with the flow is the best plan IMO.  :)

Our 3.5 year old and newborn shared their room (not ours) from the first night the baby came home.  Our eldest child is a relatively heavy sleeper and almost never stirred with the baby crying.  Newborn cries are relatively quiet so it will probably be fine.  They have shared a room for almost a year now and I think the older kid has been woken up by the baby maybe 4 or 5 times.  

I think the best approach is to not disrupt the current sleeping situation too much before or after the baby arrives as it is just another reminder of all the "change". If you displace the elder child but keep the baby in your room I fear that will be upsetting to the older child.  But if  you do need to make a change in the sleeping arrangements, it is not the end of the world.  Kids adapt.  :)