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January 21, 2009

Comments

Laura K.

In our bungalow, we were on a different floor than the kids - they were in the downstairs two bedrooms and we were upstairs. It kind of bothered me, but I think I would have felt better if it were the other way around...if they were up and I was down. I think you might as well try it out. You can still keep most of your clothes in the upstairs closet and just use a dresser in the downstairs bedroom for your everyday things (would your current dresser fit in the room on the first floor?). I suppose it would be worth a try, at least with the bed, to see how it goes. If it worked out, you could always put the big girls in the big room and C in the little room. I don't suppose there's any way, in the long run, of making the larger room into two? Or is it not quite large enough for that?

Laura K.

Do you like how I totally just verified what you said in the post, while making it seem like I was offering new idea (with the dresser in the office)? Apparently I missed that! I'm a dufus! :)

Amy F

We moved Leo (at age 30 months) into Peter's (age 4.5) room in September. Same double bed, actually. They'd said a few months earlier that they didn't want to, but suddenly seemed willing. Leo had been on a mattress on our floor for a few months. It went really smoothly. We'd read a couple stories, pray, turn on a CD, and leave. If one loses story or music privileges, then they have to go to bed in our room alone in the quiet (and we transfer them before going to bed ourselves) and they definitely see that as worse than being together. Lately, Leo's been crawling back into our bed in super-early morning, but I'm just grateful he doesn't beg to nurse and just snuggles in next to us, so I'm okay with it for now.

Katie

E and J2 are in bunk beds in the same room. J2 takes forever to wind down for the night and will talk to himself. I was worried about it starting out. He still is up and out of bed a few times before he is done for the night but E is asleep in no time and she does not wake when he is up and out of bed with excuses. By happy accident we found a fan worked better for him (could not use ceiling fan with bunk beds during summer). Now we have a white noise CD. We still use the music part of their Tiny Love mobile to help.
I would temporary move you and A downstairs then once the older two are done with school make the big change. Maybe letting them get in on the process with new bedding or other decor.
I grew up in a room with my two sisters. We had many disagreements but are still talking with each other.
As an aside, I know people in the Resident Life office on campus and say they have more roommate troubles because of small families and the children all have their own rooms then are force to share a room the size of their closet.

wavybrains

We're doing the closet conversion thing here. Email if you want tips. We assembled the crib in there b/c there's like only 8 inches to spare, but there's something really cute and slightly European about it. You can get a white noise machine just for her space, and that helps a lot.

Gina

As the parent of a truly horrific sleeper (think waking up 4 - 9 times a night until 18 months or so - he's now 26 months and is down to 0 - 2 times a night) we have a few things that have helped:

-He also cannot be in the same room as us (me). I think some sort of boobie radar (we're still nursing). I am hoping that he and his little brother due in April will be ok with each other because we've only got 2 bedrooms.
-White noise machine. We have this one:

http://tinyurl.com/7vo4wm

It is pricey, but awesome. We also have an old house with squeaky floors and have no problems any more. My husband was even using a power saw right outside his bedroom window last weekend and he slept right through it.
-Big boy bed. For whatever reason he seems to sleep better in a "big boy bed" rather than a crib. If the crib won't fit in your closet, maybe just the matress or a toddler bed would.

And FWIW I think the idea of sleeping in a closet sounds cozy, like a den or cave. Then again, I am a big old introvert.

karen

When we tried having Houston and Katrina share a room, it was horrible. You may remember. (At that time, H was 4.5 and K was 2.5)

But now we have Houston and Zane sharing a room, and it's great. Zane usually wakes up when i wake up Houston, but then Zane usually wakes up pretty early anyhow. And when Houston CAN sleep in, he generally sleeps through Zane's calling us (as long as we get him fairly quickly). Falling asleep was a problem for a few nights, but Houston was told in no uncertain terms to be silent and ignore Zane, and although Zane occasionally tries to talk to Houston for a few minutes, but he adapted pretty quickly to falling asleep with his brother in the room.

So basically, i'm no help at all. I think it just depends on the personalities of the kids.

karen

Um, also, Houston totally slept in the closet on a pile of blankets on the floor for about a year from 1.5 to 2.5. His own choice. So i don't think the closet idea is a bad one.

Beth

My kids (3.5 years and 20 months) share a room. There are a few problems, but in general they seem to like it. For now, they go down to nap at different starting times so that 20 month old is asleep when big brother goes in (your girls don't nap, so that wouldn't be a problem as long as you have somewhere else for quiet time...). The same thing happens at night -- baby goes down earlier and is solid asleep when brother shows up. Mornings would definitely be a different story if big brother was still in his bed (he almost ALWAYS ends up in our bed by 3:00am and we're too lazy to work on breaking him of this snuggly habit...) But if your girls all sleep until almost the same time, I suspect it would be just fine. And likely they wouldn't bother her b/c, in theory, they'll all be sleeping solid all night, right? We actually use the threat of removing baby sister from the room as a way to keep brother quiet during the transition times ("if you can't be quiet while you're getting into bed, we'll have to move your sister into the other room...") He adores having her there. ANyway, I'm rambling -- I suspect it will work out just fine and C might even be sad not to be in there as she gets older and figures out that her sisters are together. Let us know what you decide!

Amy

My two year old and nine year old daughters share a room and it actually usually goes well. The room isn't particularly baby-like because my older picked the decor theme but obviously the cute nursery-type room is more for the parents anyway. Besides, she's our third and we're kind of over that. The biggest problem is that when the two year old is having a cranky time, we end up rescuing her rather than having her learn how to soothe herself because we don't want her to wake up her older sister. As a result, she's a prima donna who gets the luxury treatment with regard to sleeping. The blanket falls off, she yells for us and we retuck her in. She's lost her doll and we fetch it. She needs a water refill and we rush to the faucet. The girl does not endure a moment of discomfort so we can be sure that her older sister can sleep soundly. This routine is annoying but since she does got right back to sleep afterward, it's not too bad. By the way, I had read that siblings don't wake up nearly as easily to each other's crying as a parent wakes up to their child's cries. This adage appears to be true but full-out wailing, as my youngest is prone to do when we're not tending to her every nighttime whim, will wake up anyone.

If you take the sleep part out of the equation, though (which I realize is a huge chunk of time), the room sharing is really cute. My daughters adore each other and my youngest is closer to my oldest than she likely would be if they didn't share a space together. When she climbs into her sister's bed and cuddles with her, it's pretty adorable.

I'm not sure how well the arrangement will work out when my oldest is a teenager but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Interestingly, I live in an affluent area and my girls are two of the only kids I know who have to share a room. At first I felt bad for my kids but now I feel like it's a great experience for them. They're developing a close relationship with each other and they're learning how to negotiate issues like personal space and privacy.

I think C will love sharing a room with her sisters down the road. As twins, your older girls share such a close bond with each other. By having C share with them, she'll also be able to have that kind of connection with them, despite the age gap.

Sorry I'm so long-winded!

amy

Several months ago we split up our twins in order for them to share room with their same sex sibling. So now my youngest daughter ( a week older than C) is sharing a room with my 3yr old daughter. It works out well. My 3 yr old goes to bed and then i nurse the baby and she is usually in a milk coma when she goes in. They don't seem to wake each other up at all. ( I was a bit worried cause my 3 yr old is a bit of a crazy rocking moaning sleeper!)
The closet idea is a good one.... we have a walk in and my daughter slept in her playpen in the closet for months.

Today Wendy

No advice, just commiseration. My daughter sleeps exactly the same way. The day after we figured this out, we drew diagrams, rearranged furniture, and got her into her own bedroom. Sleep was had, and it was good.

On the other hand, no point in just assuming that sleeping in a room with her sisters is going to be the same as sleeping in a room with her parents. You never know.

Andrea

In an effort not to curse it, Joey JUST started sleeping through the night (seems he may have a milk allergy, who knew that and the itchy eczema were keeping him up?). This means that I now have to try and get the 4 year old back in his own bed and out of mine. I am dreading it and use school as the reason not to try it yet! My husband says February break, I say summer....

Chaya

We have an almost 6 and almost 3 sharing a room together, totally of their own accord. So far we haven't had any problems. They go to sleep at around the same time, and either one can fall asleep first, it doesn't seem to make a difference. They can wake each other up in the morning, but again, the wake up times are similar enough that it's not an issue. The middle of the night I thought would be a problem, because the little one used to be a very very light sleeper (when he was in our room!), but so far so good, and it's been several months. Sometimes I put the baby (13 months) in with them too (when we have guests in her room, which is really, technically still her big sisters room), and also, she does fine with them, as opposed to the first 10 months of her life when she was in with us and was awful. Something about the space from mommy makes sleep easier, somehow, for her. Now if I can get my oldest to stop crawling into bed with me EVERY NIGHT...

karla

zeke slept in their closet when we lived in GR. I stuck a pack in play in one corner of it, and it worked great. he couldn't see his siblings, and that seemed to help when he would wake up in the night and want to play/talk.

Jerri Ann

My boys are 4 and 6 and they've shared a room, been separated, shared again, separate again and now share again....they do fine...they don't wake one another in the mornings and the only time we have problems is when one of them wants "someone" to sleep with them and the sibling won't do it...one night Walker cries because Jace won't sleep with him, the next night Walker cries because Jace won't get out of his bed...silly non-sense, nothing serious. good luck.

Elizabeth

sorry can't help with the sibling thing - but all the way through college, I kinda wished I slept in a closet. Fascinating to read this post - we just started sleeping on the office floor, leaving the bedroom to my 9 mo daughter and she is sleeping much better. So far. We are going to have to arrange something more permanent I think.

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