PLEASE HELP!! - toddler and newborn sharing a room...ideas?

Amy - posted on 04/30/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Ok, so my son is 21 months, sleeps in a crib, and has been in his own room for a year and a half. He sleeps for about 13 hours every night). I had another son in February - he's almost 10 weeks now. He sleeps in a bassinet in the bathroom off of our room (I know it sounds weird, but it's only a 1/2 bath and we don't use it ever...it's just quiet and close to my bed). He sleeps for a 7-8 hour stretch, with a 3 hour stretch before and after it. We have a small house with 3 bedrooms, and we use our guest room very frequently, so the boys have to share a room. It's not really up for debate, sadly. I know it can be done, I just need some tips! My older son is an incredibly light sleeper, so that puts a lovely kink in the works! What I've been doing for the last couple of weeks is this: I put Noah (older son) down to sleep around 8:00. I feed Greyson (newborn) after I lay Noah down, then put him in his bassinet about 8:30. Around 11:00 or 11:30, I wake him up to feed him, then lay him down in his crib in his and Noah's room. When he's in the bassinet in our bathroom, he'll sleep for 7-8 hours, but in the crib, he's only sleeping 5. So he'll wake up around 4:30AM, and I'll feed him and put him back in his bassinet, and he'll sleep until about 7:30, then I'll feed him and put him back in his bassinet, and I'll wake him up around 10:00 for the day. Noah wakes up around 9:00. I haven't put Greyson back in his crib after the 4:30 feeding because I know he'll wake Noah up at 7:30-ish since Noah's such a light sleeper. In the middle of the night if Greyson wakes up, it only wakes Noah up sometimes, and he goes right back to sleep since it's not morning yet. I'm just afraid if he wakes up at 7:30, he won't go back to sleep, and he'll be losing out on at least an hour and a half of sleep (although sometimes he sleeps until 9:30 or 10:00, so it could be more sleep he's missing!).

SOOO I suppose, my questions is this: has anyone done it successfully, and if so, what works and what doesn't? Should I just sort of stick them in there and let them figure it out? I just don't know how to go about it! Please help!

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Jayna - posted on 04/30/2010

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Well, seeing as how I only have one... This is just from outside gained knowlege. Children will adapt to the schedule you put them on. If Noah is such a light sleeper, it might take a bit but eventually he will tune Greyson and you out if you have to wake up with him. Greyson however is not quite used to the change of atmosphere yet being in his bassinet and his crib (although it doesn't seen like much of a change, it is.) Bassinets are more closed than cribs and they can sense the change, they feel more at home in the closed quarters, but he'll adapt eventually. Working with Noah will take time, but it can be done. Just be patient. He's been so used to having things quiet but now that he has to share a room things are going to be different. The kids will adjust and mommy will be just fine. Give it some time... Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

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Amy - posted on 05/02/2010

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thanks for the tips - we do have a pretty loud humidifier that runs all the time in their room. I suppose I just need to bite the bullet and try it out! And then just deal with whatever happens! maybe Noah will just sleep right through it!

Melanie - posted on 05/02/2010

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This will be my plan when we have another child. We also have a small house and it can't hurt. Ever since my daughter was born we have always made sure she was around noise. She sleeps through anything it is great. When she moved to her own room we also put a fan in the corner of the room because she got the point where she would fall asleep quicker with noise. I don't see why it would hurt to have them together ;o)

Medic - posted on 05/01/2010

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I have a sound maching and it plays different white noise in my daughters room and my son has classical music playing in his room...I know your kids are in the same room but I can go in and out of their rooms and put things away without waking them with those things on.

Abbie - posted on 05/01/2010

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We too live in a very tiny house, in fact im guessing its smaller then your house as we have 2 bedrooms and only 1 bathroom. What we do now, because honestly we have NO space, we use WHITE NOISE, by using a box fan. Lowes sells the best one :) I have one by my bed, and my son has one in his room, NO it doesnt' point at him, it actually sits in the corner of the rooms to make a more constant noise. But anyway you would be amazed at how well it drowns out noises. Our sons room is next to the bathroom, I can run the washer, dryer, or shower and he hears nothing! But also why I think its better then a radio is because its constant! No variables in music. If you can't get your 3rd room back I guess I'd start doing the fan thing.

Amy - posted on 05/01/2010

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Thanks, Carrie! I like the idea of the sleep room! Our house is just too small to do it, though. Their bedroom is only 10'X10', so it's cramped already, otherwise I'd definitely section off the room. Our living/dining/kitchen is one area, so we have to have the toys in their bedroom. :( In a few years, we're going to build, and it won't be so bad then, but for now, we have to figure out a way to make it work!

And Louise, like I said, it's not really debatable whether or not the share a room. I just need help executing it. Both kids are in cribs, and Noah has never even attempted to climb out of his crib. It's not even on the lowest setting right now. It just hasn't been a problem. So I'm not worried in the least about them harming each other...aside from causing each other to lose some sleep.

Louise - posted on 05/01/2010

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Do you really feel comfortable with a new born and a child under two sharing a room! Can you trust your two year old not to do something silly like get out of bed and put his toys in the cot! Could you not give your older son the spare room and just move him out when you have someone to stay. I don't think I would sleep a wink leaving two very young children together all night. I know people do but raising two boys myself with the same age gap they got up to all sorts of trouble and I would never of left them together at night.

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We've always have had 2 sharing a room when they were under 5 (and even beyond that). Right now, we have the bedroom space to split up, and we still kept our boys together (now ages 3 and 5). Here's what we do. The room with the beds is not called a "bedroom" it's called a "sleep room." I have NO toys in that bedroom. NONE. With older kids, I have had playrooms either in the extra room, a dining room, or anywhere else but that sleep room. We have a bookshelf in that room with free range of reading all they want. We also have a magnetic board on the wall with quiet magnets. The books and magnets will keep the one not wanting to sleep in a quiet mode if needed. As for beds, we use toddler beds very early (either taking the side off a crib and adding one of those rails or an actual toddler bed). We put beds not side-by-side but one against a wall and one at the opposite end of the room (not a big room) with heads at opposite ends. With my older son I bought a pop up tent - shoved a twin mattress into the opening of the pop up tent and kept it on the floor. That actually got his head totally in a covered area so that he and his sibling didn't have face-to-face contact. We also got a battery camp light to keep in the tent. Have something that mesmerizes in the room --- we have that silly nightlight of rotating fish with my boys now. I've also used a lava lamp. It just adds to the mood of being a sleep room. They adapt very easily to the noise of a younger one crying or waking up. (Always the older sibling is a heavier sleeper. They will adapt to not waking up pretty fast.) The bigger trick is when they wake up in the morning and keeping them from waking up their sibling.....

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