“so crazy it just might work” conclusion

So almost a year ago we embarked on an experiment: put the kids in the same room for the summer.  Were we successful?

Well, that depends on how you define “success”.

If by success you mean that the kids learned to sleep in the same room happily all summer, then no.  We failed failed failed.

But let’s not focus on the negative, eh?  I’m counting the experience as a success because we accomplished two important things: 1) a smooth transition for Graham from crib to bed, and 2) the ability to survive family vacations.

I can’t take total credit for helping Graham deal with the weirdness of moving from a cozy crib to a giant bed.  Violet did all that for me.  He learned by example that big kids sleep in beds, with pillows and blankets.  Seems simple, but Violet had a very hard time with this when she was two.

As for the family vacations, while nights weren’t always perfect, it was such a relief to have flexibility in our sleeping arrangements.  We’ve gone to Oregon, Washington, New York, the hill country, and twice to the beach.  An added bonus is that when people visit us, the kids can be put in one room and the other can be used for guests.  (So come visit!  No more sleeping in the living room!  You’ll still have to wake up at the crack of dawn, though.)

What I’m trying to say is that we may have lost some battles, but we won the war.  (Okay, so technically we just won the sleep battle and the kids are still waging general war.  Update on that in a couple decades.)  Meanwhile, here are some room sharing tips:

  • Don’t expect perfection the first night, or even the second.
  • You may have to sit in the room with them until they are calm(ish).  Also, we are not above threats and bribes.
  • If possible, position the beds so that the kids are out of each other’s direct line of sight.
  • A sound machine can help.
  • A toddler clock can help, especially in the morning.  (Be warned, you may have to physically dismantle the “alarm feature” because it “accidentally” gets turned on.  This enrages me like nothing else.)

Any other tips to add?  Vacations to invite us on?

4 responses to ““so crazy it just might work” conclusion”

  1. Melissa

    The bunny clock has saved us, too. But yes– Damn the alarm feature. We had to sleep in the same room while away recently, and the two surprised me by sleeping deeply. I won’t count on that lasting, though.

  2. Heather

    Ooooh, thanks. Super helpful.

  3. Kristen

    Well, we’ve been “failing” with the sleepovers here. We are doing “sleepover Saturdays” and only 1 of the last 4 were successful (and by successful I mean daddy stayed in there til Drew fell asleep and Dean was calm). Dean can’t stop talking to Drew…who will build an animal wall and ask Dean repeatedly to be quiet. Oh well. We’ll keep trying.

  4. so we tried it again

    […] year we had a lot working for us: Graham is in a regular bed, the kids are expert travelers, missing a nap doesn’t lead to the apocalypse.  But it was still a million trillion […]

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