Hello there! It has been somewhat quiet here on the blog lately. I wish I could say the same about the kids’ nursery, but I can’t. Honestly, this shared nursery transition has been one of the hardest things my husband and I have dealt with when it comes to our children. Maybe our situation is unique and others’ get through this more smoothly, who knows. I recently polled a Facebook group that I am in and asked for help in this area, and I got the same responses, “It’s just really hard.” Knowing that up front has made it somewhat easier to deal with and we have very little expectations. I got a ton of advice, and a lot I already knew or was experiencing, so we still had to come up with a system that worked on our own.
About 6 weeks ago, we decided that we wanted our bedroom back to normal and gave Sully the boot. We already live in a small house, so the idea of me not being able to get in our room after 7pm to do laundry, clean, etc was starting to bother me. Plus, the baby was keeping us up with his noises and we were tired of always tip toeing around. Sully sleeps in a crib when we visit my parents in Louisiana, so after we got back we just continued that trend since he did so well. Plus, our daughter and son share a room at my parents house too, so we just figured we keep that up since it went well while we visited. When we got home, we did bedtime like we did in Louisiana; I’d put our daughter down in her bed then head to the chair to nurse Sully. When he was done, I’d place him down in the crib and they both drifted off to la la land without much of a fight. We went in 1-2 times at one point to comfort the baby, but that was it and we thought that was pretty good. When we got home, we did the same routine, and it worked for about 5-7 days, then all hell broke loose. One night Scarlett was singing ABC’s, would not be quiet, and the baby was screaming. Everytime he cried, she sang louder and was not listening to us. It was really really rough. That night we removed her from the room and had her stay up with us until the baby fell asleep. It was close to 9 before she went back to her bed, which is NOT ideal when bedtime is 7:30. So then we came up with a system we thought was better. Bump up baby’s bedtime to 7 and send in Scarlett in somewhere between 7:30-8. That worked for maybe 2 nights and the same thing would happen. Baby would wake up and Scarlett would start talking or singing. It took a lot of long nights for us to realize that we needed to work on Sully first then handle Scarlett when the sleeping arrangements were perfected. About 4 weeks into our shared nursery journey we lightly sleep trained the baby so that he would drop his 10-11 pm feed. That was the feed that was causing havoc between the two of them since neither was completely sound asleep by then. During this time, we just decided that it was best for Scarlett to sleep in our bedroom and to move her once it was time for us to go to bed. No, not ideal. Here we were again sharing our bedroom. But, our daughter is much easier to deal with in this situation rather than the baby. She has done really well with this transition and actually is excited to sleep in our bed most nights. On nights when she asks to sleep in her bed, we tell her she will be moved to her bed in the middle of the night and is content with that.
Fast forward to today. The baby is sleep trained til about 12 or 1 am most nights, but it still varies. We want to see a good month of no wake ups before we throw them back together for bedtime. Our routine now goes like this. Husband does baths for both around 6:30, hands baby off to me, we get kids dressed for bed, I take the baby and feed him in the nursery at 7, my husband entertains Scarlett, and then we put her to bed in our room at around 7:30. Both have been sleeping peacefully in separate rooms from about 7-11 for many weeks now. When we decide to go to bed, we move our daughter to the shared nursery and put her in her bed. She is always sound asleep and doesn’t even know we’ve moved her. Sully usually wakes up around 12 or 1 am and thankfully she is knocked out and does’t hear him cry. THANK YOU sound machine!! I go in and feed him and lay him back down til the next wake up which is around 5 these days. Next wake up (around 5am), I do the same thing. I like him waking at this time because he will sleep til about 7:30 which is perfect! Scarlett will sleep til about 8 most days so this is a huge win for us when it comes to morning wake ups! Occasionally he has woken up before 7 and Scarlett is either sleeping through it or has woken up but goes back to bed til she’s ready to wake up.
Right now we have just really lowered our expectations. The baby has several GI issues and food allergies, so in general things have been difficult. We know a lot of his wake ups before 12 are due to his tummy hurting, so it’s been really hard to find a groove and get everyone on a schedule when that kind of thing is happening. We know that Scarlett is already trained and can be bribed to do certain things, so our focus is the baby. Keeping him on a schedule and sleeping in his crib is key. When we feel the time is right, we will probably stick to our same schedule and just quietly have Scarlett run to her bed. Hopefully at this point she will be a little more mature and won’t start singing or chatting so much everytime he makes a noise, ha! We can only hope!
So, if you are thinking about room sharing or are going through this currently, I just wanted to shed some light on our situation in hopes it will help others. Our situation could be totally different from yours (And if so, please tell me what you are doing) but I think everyone who has a toddler and baby share a room is going to come across some type of obstacle. What I learned from the other moms most was to delay one child’s bedtime to give them time to doze off before adding the next child. All agreed that this was the most effective method. Ours is just very very delayed for now until we sort out the wake ups 🙂 This has been hard, but it also has been do able. Sure, some nights are more stressful than others, but it has been okay. I think ideally, toddlers sharing a room is more feasible, but an infant really throws a wrench into things when they don’t consistently sleep for that first year or two. If your baby and toddler are sharing a room, I’d LOVE to hear from you! I feel like this kind of situation really does take a village!
Ps- you can see the inspiration for their nursery Here! I am hoping to be done decorating their room very very soon and will share 🙂