Thursday, September 22, 2011

2 kids + 1 bedroom = disaster

If you ever have to make the decision whether to put your two young children in a bedroom together, or give them their own room, always take the latter. If you happen to have the luxury of the extra space, do it, I'm telling you, I'm an expert. You know, since I actually have two young children, and I actually made the decision (i.e. WRONG, very very WRONG decision), to put them in the same room together. In fact, I even had an extra room, a couple of extra rooms in fact, and yet, still when we moved into this big ol' house, I thought, "hey, why don't we just put them in the same room together?". Nope, wrong answer, guess again Mommy.

Actually, if I am being completely honest, it was Nik's decision. I was iffy on the idea, but went with his opinion. See, that is what I get! And of course now it is too late to back track because both of those "extra" bedrooms have been long since dedicated to another purpose (office and guest bedroom).
So now you want to know why this is such a bad idea right? Not just bad, read it - disaster. Well, I don't know, maybe if you don't mind letting your kids stay up all night, or maybe if it doesn't bother you that in the middle of the night ultimately one will wake up screaming and frighten the other and then you'll end up with both of them in your bed. Maybe you like to be all squished together in one bed. If so, go for it. In fact, don't even bother putting them to sleep in their room, just throw them right in your bed. This way they can at least get a full night of sleep, even if you can't, what with all of the arms and legs protruding into your back all night long. And of course let’s not forget those frequent smacks in the face when they change positions. AWESOME.

So because of our great big mistake, we spent weeks and weeks playing musical beds. Christina always slept somewhere other than her own bed. One night it was the bed in the office, one night it was the guest bed, one night it was in our bed – rinse and repeat. She was afraid that Gwen would cry and scare her. Then, when we would convince her to actually sleep in her own bed, either she would purposely wake up Gwen after I had just put her to sleep, or Gwen would wake up crying and that would wake up Christina. This house was very restless at night for many months.

Now I am happy to report that I think we have gotten over the hump. It seems that for the most part, both girls can sleep through the other one waking at night. Gwen sometimes wakes up and whines or even cries, but CC seems to sleep right through it, or at least it doesn't bother her enough to even open her eyes. But, I am telling you, it took a lot of sleepless nights before we could get to this point. If I could do it all again, I would definitely have separated them. I'm actually still worried about what is going to happen when I have to actually put them to sleep at the same time.

Right now, the routine is that we all get ready for bed together, CC gets into bed, we give kisses and say goodnight, then I take Gwen to my room where I nurse her and then I bring her back and put her into her crib. CC is never actually asleep when I bring Gwen back in, but Gwen doesn't know that she is laying in her bed, in the dark, awake. It took weeks and weeks of telling CC not to make a peep when I bring Gwen in, so as not to wake her up and she finally is doing it. Gwen is starting to nurse less and less and it seems that she doesn't even need or want to nurse before bed anymore. So now I have to figure out how to put both kids to sleep at the same time, without them thinking it’s a slumber party where they get to stay up all night and giggle. Hmmm. Well, I am going to put it off as long as possible I guess.

I don't want to jinx it, but not only have they been able to sleep in the same room together lately (FINALLY), but they have both been sleeping all night in there. At least they have for a couple of nights recently. This is really awesome for Gwen since I have had a really hard time getting her to sleep all the way through the night.

Ok, now will someone remind me of this timeless advice when we have a third kid?  And again when we have a fourth?  I just can't keep track. :-)

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