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?