I can still remember the day clearly (April 20, 2012) when my 19 month old son, Osias, figured out how to climb out of his crib. He decided that he wasn’t ready to take a nap since his Mimi and Papa were visiting from out of state. His Mimi read him a story, put him in his crib and came out of his room…a few minutes later so did he! We got a commemorative video of his new trick and hubby converted his crib into a toddler bed, thus beginning the next chapter in our life… Some people find this an exciting growing experience. With #2 on the way, I thought “Hey why not get this out of the way now?” Ha! Little did we know what adventures lay ahead for us. We spent the next 10 months trying everything to get him to stay in bed. I searched the web endlessly for a solution: we changed around his bed time hundreds of times hoping to nail that perfect moment, we tried camping out in his room and putting him back to bed whenever he got out, we stuck to a rigid routine, and recently we bought him something called a Sleep Sheep, which he loves, but did nothing to keep him in bed. Not one of our techniques worked. Every single night he got out of bed at least once, sometimes countless times. He emptied his dresser drawers, at one point crawled into said drawers, chewed on mini blinds, chatted with the neighbors through his closed window, and frequently fell asleep on the floor (sometimes underneath his bed). Each night took 1-2 hours for him to fall asleep, and ultimately reduced his nighttime sleep from 12 to an average of 10 hours. Yes, he used to be an excellent sleeper and even 10 hours isn’t so bad, but when you consider the 2 hour loss, it was quite frustrating! We eventually settled into an “I give up” routine where we would put him to bed and simply go in to his room every 15 minutes to silently put him back into his bed until he finally stayed.
Meanwhile, our daughter, Avia, was born in June 2012 and as we did with my son, we kept her in our bedroom. First in the bassinet, then we set up the crib (moving Osias into a twin bed). Normally we would have moved her out at about 4-5 months, but since we only had a 2 bedroom house and our son had such wonderful sleep habits (insert rolling eyes here), we kept her with us. Five months, six months, seven months…we were getting quite antsy. Every noise she made woke us up and visa versa. We even slept on an air mattress in the living room for a little while.
Finally, we decided to attempt the impossible: put both kids together in the same room. We were pretty sure it would fail and we’d be back to where we started, but no one was sleeping well anyway, so we figured we may as well try. The first night, Avia went to bed first and was sound asleep when we brought Osias in…that’s when the fun began. She stirred as we walked in and then Osias started chatting rather loudly about this and that, as only a two year old does and that was the end of that. She was awake and crying, to which Osias responded with “Avia’s crying, Avia’s crying!” Thanks bud, we hadn’t noticed. These shenanigans continued for about an hour and a half before the two of them had finally given up and fallen asleep. Sigh…
Night two went quite a bit better at the start. She may have stirred and cried for a couple seconds, but quickly ignored Osias as he continued with his nightly routine of getting out of bed over and over. However, that night’s experience was her middle of the night crying…even after she had gone back to sleep, Osias could not. I had to put him back to bed a number of times before it finally took.
Night three. Avia woke up when Osias went to bed, but this time they were just room-sharing buddies now. No crying from Avia, just babbling away for about an hour while Osias continued his nightly shenanigans. Cute, but still frustrating. We want our kids to SLEEP, do we not?
Night four, bliss! Relatively speaking anyway. It took just 3 nights for the two of them to learn to ignore each other. Yes of course there is the occasional exception, but generally speaking they share a bedroom wonderfully! Why oh why did we wait so long to do this? We have our bedroom back and are sleeping so much better! Woohoo!
Fast forward to one month later, both kids slept until 8am. Both! Normally, the kids are up sometime between 6:30-7 am. Sometimes together, sometimes at separate times. For those of you with just one baby or toddler, you know how wonderful it is when they randomly sleep later than usual. They are rare moments, but we LOVE this don’t we? Well, introduce a second child and that rarity loses it’s appeal because statistically speaking it’s about as likely as lightening striking the same place twice that the two of them will sleep late on the same morning. Well this one little joy was a precursor to what my son did that same night. For the first time since he climbed out of his crib almost a year ago, I put him to bed and he stayed there! He didn’t get out of bed once! A-mazing! Even if this doesn’t continue, it is still significant progress to me and I wonder…could this have anything to do with him sharing a room with his sister? Has he learned that getting out of bed and making lots of noise occasionally wakes up his sister and he’s decided that he doesn’t enjoy her crying any more than we do? I don’t know, but I’m excited to see how things progress from here.