October 08, 2008,
J.C. asks from Seattle, WA on September 29, 2008
Newborn & Toddler in Same Room?
We're expecting a new baby in April, and our 1st daughter will turn 3 in February. We are considering options for room arrangements and would love feedback about what's worked (and hasn't) for you.
Important details: we will be bottlefeeding again due to my medication, a situation which allows for optimum sharing of duties between me & my husband. Last time around we each took 3 hour shifts during the night of being "on duty." With our first we had her go to sleep in the crib from day 1, but she often ended up with one of us on the couch or futon (not in our bedroom or the nursery) at points during the night. We know things may be completely different with a different baby...
Our house is small (1200 square feet Lovell house from 1951) but has 4 smallish rooms that can be used as bedrooms. One is currently our family room/office, one is nursery, one is our bedroom, and one is storage/craft room. The upstairs storage/craft area has a built-in bed & drawers/cupboards but no door and includes the staircase.
Option 1: put our bedroom in the larger room upstairs (with door) and have both kids in the larger bedroom downstairs. Use monitor (obviously) and take the baby out to the living room for feeding/soothing during the night as needed. (Would the 3-year-old be able to sleep through the crying & interruptions? Does it matter if the 2 kids are girl/boy?)
Option 2: give 3-year-old her own room (either larger room downstairs or small door-less room upstairs) and put baby in our current nursery downstairs, again with our bedroom upstairs. We would have to sacrifice any kind of family room/office until for a little while, then move both kids into the larger downstairs room once the baby is a little older. (Would older child feel more hurt than she had her own "new" room for a while then had to share after a few months, or would it be harder for her to share a new room with the baby from the get-go?)
Eventually we will give the entire upstairs to the kids, either each having their own room or sharing the big room and using the smaller room as a play area.
Sorry for all the details, but I hope they help you get a sense of our options and provide much-needed advice!
Many thanks for your help.
M.C. answers from Seattle on September 29, 2008
Do what you want/need to do! The kids will adjust! We started with our son in our rooms closet after he was born and our daughter in her room (the only other room in the house) they are two years apart in age. Then at about 6 months we moved our son into her room because we just couldn't stand being able to hear ever noise he made. They did great had no real bad problems adjusting (we had to find a way to keep her out of his crib that was the hardest adjustment)and our daughter slept through most of his middle of the night wake up calls. They are now 3/5 and 1/5 and are in twin bunk beds and do great! We have actually found that they both sleep better together then they ever did apart from each other. Best of luck!
1 mom found this helpful
S.M. answers from Medford on October 08, 2008
We moved into a smaller house when I was pregnant with my third. Previously, the older boys both had their own room. The new house did not include a playroom and just has two bedrooms, plus our own. We decided to make one bedroom a playroom and put all three kids in the same room for sleeping. The boys, 11 and 4, sleep in bunk beds, and our daughter, 17 months, sleeps in the crib. We put our daughter to bed about 1/2 before the boys, and we haven't had any problem since she was born. The boys, as most males will, sleep through any fussing. We are moving the 11 year old into the playroom sometime in the next year because I think he is getting old enough to need his own space, but so far, he has taken everything really well. I think he still enjoys the playroom as much as the younger ones.
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A.E. answers from Seattle on September 30, 2008
My first was in has own room at 2 days old also, but you're right . . . things change with the second. We had our second in our room until around 4 months and he wasn't waking up in the night as often. (most nights he slept through the night.) Then we put them in the same room. They sleep very well together. I believe they even sleep better with each other than alone because they're used to each other's noises. Your toddler might wake up when the baby cries for the first few times, but they get used to it.
Do what you need to do, but I think kids sharing a room is fine. They get used to it and then it's not a problem. My boys are 3 and 15 months now and can go to bed at the same time in the same room with beds right across from each other and they don't usually bother each other. (of course we'll always have those nights when they play for a while instead of going right to sleep, but it RARELY happens.)
Good luck and congrats!!
N.B. answers from Portland on October 01, 2008
Just thought I would share my own personal experience with the room sharing, maybe it will help in your decision! My son was 2 1/2 when my daughter was born. For the first couple of months my baby girl slept in a bassenet in my room by my bed then we moved her to her crib in her brother's room. The key here was making sure he had made the transition to a toddler bed and that whole new routine before she was even born! (sounds like you have many months to do this if she's not allready) There were nights when the baby would wake up my son (still happens on occasion) but they got used to eachother pretty darn quick! (And he goes right back to sleep usually) I don't think that there is any concern with their genders being different at this age or for quite a while. I think it's great in this day and age of people living in houses so big they never have to see or talk to eachother that you guys have a cozy home to raise your family! (Mine's not much bigger!) And what a great way for kids to grow-up close and learn to share with eachother by starting out in their bedroom! Good luck!
M.D. answers from Seattle on September 30, 2008
Currently my 3 yo son and 1 yo daughter share a room. They have been sharing a room since she was 4 months and we moved her out of the cradle in our room and into the crib in our son's room.
They seem to be fine. We put them both to bed at the same time, and they are both awake. Our son is a heavy sleeper so he sleeps through her crying. He rarely wakes her up and if he does she will usually settle back down with a pacifier.
My daughter was also went on formula at 6 weeks because I have to pump and bottle feed, so by three months she was mostly sleeping through the night. The only hard thing with the two of them sharing a room was that even if she fell back to sleep after her 6am feeding, my son usually woke up then too and was ready to be up for the day. So, we had to start a routine of my husband getting up with him and making him breakfast and putting a movie on for him before he left for work so that I could get a little more sleep.
I'm sure that whatever you work out will be fine, but I highly suggest NOT putting your toddler in a bedroom without a door unless she is really disciplined about staying in bed and not getting distracted with noise and other things. Oh, that is another thing we do, we have a stereo in the kids room and play soft music (Enya & piano solos) for white noise which helps them from being startled by random sounds.
M.F. answers from Seattle on October 01, 2008
I'm not sure what to tell you as far as the room arrangements go, but I will just let you know what we did that is working well for us. My daughter was born Oct of 2007 and my son was a little over 3 at the time. I also have two teenage stepchildren. Prior to my daughter's birth, each child had their own room, my son was in the smallest room. We decided that my son would share his room with the baby eventually, so we moved him into the biggest of the kid's bedrooms (my stepdaughter only stays at our house every other weekend, so she was ok trading to the smallest room). After my daughter was born, she slept in the bedroom with my husband and me until she was about 7 1/2 months old (when she was becoming restless at night). At that time, she began sleeping in the room with my son (we had set her crib up in the room with him before she was born). I sometimes put her in her crib for naptime during the day so she could start getting used to it. We also put a crib tent on the crib, just in case my son ever wanted to crawl in there, he couldn't. We put them to bed at the same time and have a bedtime routine that seems to work really well. Also, my son sleeps like a rock, so he usually doesn't wake at all even when my daughter wakes up and is really crying. It has worked out great for us so far and eventually when the older kids go off to college, it will be the perfect time to let them have their own rooms. Hope this helps and remember to listen to your instincts! :)
J.C. answers from Anchorage on October 01, 2008
My boys are 20 months apart. When my youngest was born we put him in a bassinet in our room until he was done night feeding (I had him fully weened from night feeding and sleeping through the night before 3 months), and then moved him into his brothers room. My 2 year old had a toddler bed and the baby in a crib. I made sure there where no blankets or stuff toys that the older one could toss into the crib. I would put them both to bed at the same time and I never had a problem with this arrangement. In fact they are now 3 and 4 and just now got their own rooms, but still sneak in to be with each other at night.
C.P. answers from Bellingham on September 30, 2008
The only thing that I can see is that you may end up with a cranky toddler because, as we all know well, baby doesn't sleep through the night. It a good possibility that your older one will wake up with the baby fussing all night.