You know how you think you’ll be a certain type of parent before your littles are born? There’s a checklist of what to consider with binary options like breastfeeding or formula feeding and co-sleeping or nursey room. I knew not to set any decisions in stone, because parenting and your choices can change in a second. Also, every kid is different.
We were very fortunate with our first born, because he slept like a little rock until he was teething. He always slept in his crib or swing unless he was sick. Then, he’d fall asleep on my chest, and I would carry him to his crib. It wasn’t until our second child that our sleeping dynamic changed as a family.
When my daughter was born, both her and I almost didn’t make it. There were complications during her birth, and things progressed too far to be able to change from natural birth to a C-section. She was born with the umbilical cord around her neck and blue, and my blood pressure dropped so low, I lost consciousness and had to be put on oxygen
There were more complications, but it’s a story that makes me nauseous to this day. When we took her home, her and I slept in a separate bed than my husband and 1 1/2 year old son. The boys had a room and so did us girls. That was when my littles started co-sleeping, and I was okay with it.
I was terrified after that birthing experience, and co-sleeping scared me too. Honestly, I felt clueless and scared. I read so many books and articles about the debate on sleeping, but in the end, I decided to do what worked best for us.
The thought of judgment made me even more nervous and scared, so I didn’t share our family sleeping arrangements. Once we bought our new home, the kids had their own rooms. It went great at first, because they loved having their own space.
Same Old Song and Dance
After a few months, the kids started crawling into our bed in the middle of the night. As they were getting older, it was becoming more crowded. So, we bought a king size bed, and hoped they would grow out of it. A year later, we sleep all over our damn house.
Some nights we fall asleep on the couch as a family. Other nights, there’s tuck-ins and “proper” goodnights exchanged. However, the littles still seem to find their way to our bedroom, whether or not we snuck back to our big bed after they fell asleep on the couch or in their rooms.
At this point, I don’t care what people think about my parenting choices. Judgement is something I don’t fear anymore, and that’s my personal progress as a mother. Do I feel a bit cramped sleeping 4 people to a bed? Sure. Do we sometimes end up with the entire household of 4 people, 2 dogs, and 2 cats in our master bedroom? Obviously.
We’ve been planning on a way to get the kids reacclimated to sleeping AND staying in their beds. There’s also been a few discoveries that we’ve made as a family. Our littles don’t like to sleep apart from each other.
Our son is 4, and our daughter will be 3 in February. They fight like enemy nations. There’s bloodshed and tears sometimes, and I used to worry about their relationship. My big brother was my best friend in the world when we growing up, and I always wanted that for our kids.
Closer Than I Thought
What we’ve realized these last few months is that our little ones sleep their best when they are near each other. Even if they fight like they are in a boxing ring sometimes, they often hold hands or make sure their feet are touching when they sleep. If they don’t notice you, you can even seen them acting like they are the best of friends.
With the littles being closer than we thought, we decided to pitch the idea of a joint bedroom. They loved it, so I’ve spent some time attempting to rearrange rooms. Now, they share a bedroom right beside ours, and we even have a window into their room.
Our son’s original room has become a play room, and they seem to really love this new layout and sleeping arrangement. I’m sure they will make their way to our bed still, but at least there is some progress and positive changes.
More to Come
Currently, our littles share a queen size bed. We’ve tried separate twins, but that was a no-go. After the holidays, we plan on getting a nice bunk bed setup, and they are in love with that idea.
We plan on slowly allowing them to make their room special to each of them, so as they get older, the idea of their own rooms will be fun. At first, I was worried our 4 year old son would want his own space, but it was just the opposite.
Thinking back, my brother and I shared a room for awhile as well. Even when we didn’t share a room, we would crash on the couches together and hang out in each other’s rooms. I know our littles aren’t going to share the same sibling dynamic, because everyone is different. But I’m looking forward to seeing them grow together.
I can’t wait for the next few months, because there’s more to come for our house rearranging and renovations, including more for the kids’ rooms. Did you share a room with a sibling, or did your littles share a room? I’d love to hear about your experiences.
Update: They have slept in their room every night without waking up and coming into our bed.