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Monday, April 14, 2014

How our kids sleep (it's weird)

When Anton was born, he slept in our master bedroom for ages. We were nervous about moving him into Toby's room—would they wake each other up every morning? how would their staggered bedtime routines work?—and kept waiting to pull the trigger. A few readers have asked for an update on our sleeping situation, and I'm happy to provide one, as long as you don't judge, haha...

O.K. Here's how it works...

We gave Anton his very own room...our second bathroom! (Insert cringing emoji here.) During the day, he shares the nursery with Toby when they're playing, but for naps and bedtime, he cuddles up in his travel crib in the bathroom. We put a pillow between the crib and the toilet and plug in our trusty noise machine.
#keepingitreal

Funnily enough, Anton actually seems to like his little space. As soon as we carry him in there and begin singing "You Are My Sunshine," he'll immediately lean his head against our shoulders and start sucking his thumb. :)

Meanwhile, Toby has transitioned from the crib to the double bed in the nursery...
Since the bed is pretty high off the ground, we thought about buying rails, but then our friend Samantha had the best idea: a pool noodle! We tuck it under the flat sheet, and it keeps him super snug and secure. You can see the bump in the photo, above.
I'm sure we'll move Anton into the bedroom soon enough—I think there's something wonderful about sharing a room with a sibling—but for now, this set-up actually works really well for us! Anton goes to bed at 7pm, while Toby goes to bed at 8pm, so we can spend the last hour reading books and singing songs in Toby's bed instead of in the living room; and every morning one of the boys invariably wakes up around 6am, while the other will sleep later, and we want to let each little guy get as much sleep as possible. (Here's a floor plan of our apartment, if you scroll down.)

What about you guys? Do your kids share a room? Did you share a room growing up? Have you ever tried a pool noodle? It would be great for traveling, too!
P.S. Sleeping training (what worked for us), and my friend Leigh on co-sleeping. And our mama/baby sleepover.

126 comments:

Scarlet Jane said...

Don't worry-- my family lives in a sprawling 3 bedroom ranchhouse and my dad STILL put my little sister to sleep in the walk-in closet when she was a baby (using the travel crib as well). He said she slept better in the complete dark/quiet. And they don't have the Manhattan apartment excuse! :)

collette said...

Right now, 6YOD and 4YOS have their own separate rooms, but prefer to sleep in sleeping bags next to each other on the floor of their room. Two unused twin beds. And the 4YO is not going to bed until 10:30. Fantastic.

poisonwood said...

I love that pool noodle trick its so affordable and crafty! Also I think its perfectly reasonable to have Anton sleeping in the bathroom, its nice and close to you guys and he gets a little of his own space! I've heard of babies sleeping in closets before too (I think you posted this?) and I don't see how this is different from that, its just being creative with space!

gordon-j said...

Seriously, I think the only people who judge other kids sleep habits don't have children of their own. We have been through so many "phases" and it just keeps changing.

simone antoniazzi said...

I think whatever works for all of you, then just do it!

We lived in a 3 bed apartment so my 2 children did have their own rooms, we still had "musical beds" going on many nights though, sometimes it was the only way.

On another topic, I was in Amsterdam over the weekend with my family & saw so many of those family bikes with the child carrier carriage in front - I thought of you every time I saw one!

Maelles said...

haha, whatever works!

My mum used the pool noodle trick with both me and my little brother, it worked perfectly! :)

http://maellesmarie.blogspot.fr/

Lauren Knight said...

Hey, no judgment here! I am a firm believer in keeping all options open, especially when you're short on space in a big city.

Our older two boys sleep in the same room now, but it was a juggle before they were old enough to handle it (we put them in too early, then had to pull the younger one out because it just wasn't working out). Now it is great, but our youngest is a wild child and we can't trust him with the older two just yet, ha ha!

Blythe Bartel said...

I'm the oldest and have two younger brothers and I never liked to sleep alone when I was a kid. For years all three of us slept in my brothers bunk beds. The youngest had the bottom bunk and my other brother and I slept end-to-end in the top bunk. There was also the year all three of us spent sleeping on the floor in that same bedroom in a teepee and another year we spent sleeping on the floor in a big tent. (Ironically, my parents bought the tent, but we never went camping so I guess we put it to good use!)

Kelli Anderson said...

Joanna, your skin is looking amazing in that photo! Share you secrets! Or maybe I missed the post...(:

sumslay said...

Not going to lie - I was prepared to judge!;) But I think this is awesome! Good for yall for figuring out a system. I'm sure in time they'll be roomies, but this sounds perfect for now!

Taylor R said...

The best kid's room I've ever seen was on Oh Happy Day - Jordan managed to create a bedroom for her two kids (toddler/baby) in a closet!

http://ohhappyday.com/2011/02/moses-and-romans-closet-part-iii/

Kids love small cozy spaces so using the extra bathroom doesn't seem odd at all! :)

Tracy Carson said...

No judgement here, Mama! We are all in this together! Our boys are almost 7 and 5 and they have shared a room since our youngest got out of the crib…about 3 years ago. They have the same bedtime and wake up routines. It helps keep things sane at night because there aren't any fights about staying up later, etc. We have the space for them to have their own rooms, but much preferred the shared space as it gave us a guest bedroom. We are about to have our third, in June and HE (oh my stars, a third boy?!?!) we have a nursery…but not until he co-sleeps with us for a few months!

Flourish said...

I'm all for doing whatever works for you! I have heard of many babies sleeping in closets and getting a great sleep because it is so cozy. Our ten month old shares a room with his six year old brother. They need to wake up at the same time anyway so that we can get the six year old off to school. Most days, I wake up to both boys giggling and playing peek-a-boo through the crib...super cute :).

Flourish said...

I'm all for doing whatever works for you! I have heard of many babies sleeping in closets and getting a great sleep because it is so cozy. Our ten month old shares a room with his six year old brother. They need to wake up at the same time anyway so that we can get the six year old off to school. Most days, I wake up to both boys giggling and playing peek-a-boo through the crib...super cute :).

Audrey said...

You are definitely keeping it real and I appreciate your honest sharing! You are also proving that their are no specific rules when it comes to parenting, just things that work for some people better than others. I am expecting my first child in August and I hope I learn to strongly trust my mothers instinct and not worry so much about what others say and think.

Jacob Phelps said...

What a neat setup. Whatever works, works!

Lael Dalal said...

Very innovative!! SO cute. I like your idea! We are thinking to try for a baby this year...but we live in a TINY apartment with one TINY bedroom with no closet. No room for a real crib. I was thinking to move our bedroom to the living room, and then have the tiny bedroom be a nursery. Thought that was weird but maybe I will just do it. Or do you think its not worth it, since the babe will just sleep in a little crib next to the bed anyways? xoxo

Lana said...

I don't think anyone should judge the way people put their kids to sleep. It's so hard to get little ones to sleep and stay asleep! I have a 2 year old and a 3.5 year old. They share a room and have twin beds side-by-side. BUT...one or both of them inevitably end up in our bed EVERY SINGLE night. My husband and I are usually too tired to put them back in their own beds. Besides, I secretly like the co-sleeping and being able to cuddle with my babies :)

Mrs. Miller said...

Love it! We did the exact same thing with our second baby and it worked like a charm. We moved him in with his sister when he was 16 months old.

Toby said...

We had the same situation with kids two years apart. But my pediatrician gave us the best advice, he told us that the older child will adapt and will be able to sleep through anything! He was right! Our son who was three at the time, slept through his baby sister screaming in his ears and through us sleep training her!
I wrote about how we did it in my blog here: http://amyboonsiriseth.com/weblog/weblog_0113.html#point16
Sharing a room is the best for siblings, now our kids are inseparable!

Katie said...

Hi Joanna! I love your set up! Whatever works! I'm just wondering what you did prior to this set up? Was Anton sleeping in a mini crib or a side-car type crib next to your bed? Maybe some co-sleeping? (it sort of seems inevitable to me!)
I'm just curios because we will most likely be sharing a room with our little one come Dec. and I would love to hear what worked for you!
So glad to hear the boys are sleeping well! Congrats on finding what works best for you!!!

Lisa said...

I like it. If it works, it works.

I am compelled, however, to comment on the link to the cosleeping post. My hospital cared for an infant this weekend accidentally suffocated in bed by her undoubtedly loving parents. It is the second case I've seen in my relatively short career and one of the saddest things I have ever seen. I will never, ever forget the parents' faces and their feelings of guilt.

I really do agree that everyone knows what's best for her/his own family, but there is a risk (as is certainly true with many things in life.)

Lashley said...

Cute and cozy! And, like most things, this too shall pass, so no worries.

Legitimate question - do you put the noodle under the flat sheet or the fitted sheet?

Rhett said...

Way to think "out of the box"! We use a pool noodle for our youngest. It's great!

Annastacia said...

No judgement here! You have to do whatever works for you, I think it's creative! We have a family bed, because our 3 Year old with Autism has a severe sleep disorder, and we've tried everything else.

pennysaver said...

We have the EXACT same setup! It's also been perfect for us- our 2 yr old has the bedroom and our 9 month old has a bathroom :) (which she seems quiet thrilled with).
Any tips on transitioning toddlers to big boy beds? Our transition has gone terribly thus far- he is waking up ALL NIGHT LONG and was previously the worlds best crib sleeper but began catapulting himself out.

Any tips from anyone would be so appreciated!

Alex said...

I would 100% do the same thing in your situation! I would love for my boys to share a room when they're a little older, but at 3 and 2 it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

kz said...

My guess is that in NYC apartments, less typical sleeping arrangements are not unusual. Use any available space!

jill cavanaugh said...

We have a very tiny house..with two tiny bedrooms (we all share one closet just to give an idea of how small it is). We have one twin bed that is in our children's room that both my 4year old daughter and my 2.5 year old son share. The other room (our room) only has a full size bed. However, most nights one, if not both of my kids, will end up in our room. Other times I find myself in the twin bed with both my son and daughter while my husband has the full bed to himself...Oh and the pool noodle thing sounds great...we haven't used anythign like that as our beds are pretty low to the ground (but our kids do sometimes fall out of it when they sleep and sometimes just continue to sleep!).

Mary E said...

Doesn't sound weird to me. No kids yet (1st one due in 8 weeks!!), but I have friends who do and several have said that their kids sleep better when in their own space. That's awesome that you find something that works and lets everyone SLEEP and be happy!!

Lacey Eldersveld said...

So funny! Our kids (4 and 2) share a room and while it has been a great experience overall, it comes with challenges. They sleep in the same room at night (with staggering bedtimes) but our little guy naps everyday in a pack n play in our guest bathroom while big sis has her nap/quiet time in their bedroom! You do what you have to do. :)

Sonel said...

We used the bathroom attached for our master bedroom for our first son. We originally started putting him in there when we had overnight guests who slept in his room, but then we noticed how great he slept in there and we just made it permanent for several months. Then we were on to the next thing. Sleep is constantly changing when they're little, I think it's important that parents bend with it.

michelle said...

How is Anton sleeping now? My 4 month old is up every 30 min all night long and I'm losing it.

Joy said...

That's an awesome idea, thanks!
I never thought of putting the little one in the bathroom and giving him his own space - wow!

Celeste said...

This post and thread are pretty awesome to me. So interesting to see how people make due!

Mary Schaubert said...

I think you just have to do what you have to do! Our first baby will arrive in June, and we only have a one bedroom apartment. So, in order to make sure we have a nursery that is "closed off" so that we can still enjoy some mommy/daddy time after she goes to sleep, we literally moved our bedroom into our dining/living room area, and gave the baby our bedroom. Yes, we now essentially live in a studio apartment with a closed off nursery, but we think it's worth it! It's definitely a situation I never saw us living in though!

Thorne said...

we have 4 kids in a 3 bedroom and have been through every possible sleep arrangement possible too. our oldest actually slept in the bathroom too, but he was quite a little snorer and the bathroom made it even louder. fun stuff. love the noodle idea.

Eliza Lewis said...

I guess when you live in NYC you have to get creative:) I have 3 girls 4,2, and 1. They all share a room and it works out really well for us. They are so used to sleeping with someone else in the room, that they can sleep through any noise. The other night the extremely loud fire alarm went off in our building, and none of them woke up!

I've noticed that everyone uses those noise machines to put kids to sleep. Doesn't it worry you that they will become so used to it, they won't be able to sleep without them? They seem so unnecessary to me...

amandajjr said...

When our first was born she slept in our huge walk-in closet for 2 years. It was seriously big enough for a crib and changing table but I still cringed every time I had to tell someone she slept in a closet. Whatever works right?

hanner said...

if our co-sleeper would fit through our bathroom doors, we'd totally put our 5 month old daughter in there too! we're in a tiny 1br in DC with no big closets (before we move to a 2br in philly in a couple weeks) so once our daughter started getting too noisy for our room, we just started putting her crib in the living room after i give her a dream feed at 11. not ideal but it works for now!

Kari said...

I think that's an ingenious solution. And I wish I'd known about the pool noodle thing when my kids were little. That's brilliant. My only caution is about the noise machine. I read an article recently that said some of those noise machines were actually dangerously noisy for babies. I wish I remembered where I read it so I could send you the link. Anyway, you might just want to consider the volume on yours and remember that babies ears are more sensitive than adults.

Megan Warren said...

I don't have any kids... but I do live in a teeny apartment in DC and think this is AWESOME.

One of the biggest things my husband and I worry about when thinking about kids is "where would we put them!??!"

It's nice to see that other people have this issue too, and are being creative with the space we do have!!

Thanks for #keepingitreal!! :)

Renée Anne Bouffard-McManus said...

Whatever works for your family is the best thing! I have a friend who used a walk-in closet for her baby's room. Our boys share a room and I think it's a good thing, even though they are 4 years apart. The youngest one feels more brave when his older brother is around.

marni zarr said...

the creativity of parenting when it comes to sleep is boundless. what a great idea and i love the fact that you have a little song routine that tells anton is night night time. xo, m

samantha hahn said...

Ha, thanks for the shout out. Happy my Macgyver pool noodle trick is working for you. I honestly don't know what we'll do when Vivian arrives but Dave suggested the closet. I'm starting to think it's not a bad idea. Look, the main goal is to give both kids a good nights sleep and when they're old enough they'll have bunk beds but we'll have 3 years of makeshift till then.

Sophie Mason said...

I love all the evidence of your obvious love of stripes in this post! Same shirt in different colors on you? Plus Toby's jammies and striped bedding galore! Stripes are my favorite too :)

Melanie Price said...

I laughed when I saw the title to this post. I was JUST wondering the other day how you and Alex have tackled the sleep 'situation' with both boys. Hey, whatever work go with it in my opinion.

My daughter Dorian is turning 3 at the end of May and we STILL have her in a crib. She loves it so we haven't done the switch to a big girl bed yet. We are talking about trying next month though so any tips would be appreciated.

And your boys are so adorable!!! If you ever move to CA we must get our kids together. I'm sure Dorian would be crushing on Toby in no time...haha!

Cheers my friend.

Liz said...

Not weird at all!!! Just got back from visiting my sister in her Boston north end apartment and we put my son in the bathroom!! Anything for sleep!

Gina said...

This is awesome Joanna! I laughed out loud but didn't judge; I think you're really innovative and you should do whatever works for you, no matter what. Love the photos of your boys, they're so sweet! Also, Anton face expressions melted my heart, he's such a cutie!

Megan said...

We put our 4 and 5 y.o. boys to bed separately, and have since they were born. They each sleep with one parent in one of our two bedrooms. We take turns every night. Yes, it's as bizarre as it sounds. We have tried several times to get them into the same room but have yet to conquer this. The problem is, they are GREAT sleepers under this system. However, when the younger turns 5 this December, I am DETERMINED to get them into the same room.

Nat said...

Our 9 month old sleeps in the kitchen nook! You do what you have to in order to make things work. When we found out I was pregnant I spent so much time trying to find other tiny nurseries- it turns out babies don't need a lot of space! :)

Joanna Goddard said...

thanks for these comments!!! :)

Joanna Goddard said...

katie, we had a mini co-sleeper from target that we put up next to our bed:
http://www.target.com/p/arm-s-reach-mini-arc-convertible-co-sleeper-bassinet-natural/-/A-14514615

it worked super well. when anton started rolling over we moved him to the travel crib (still in our room) for a couple months before the bathroom idea occurred to us!

Joanna Goddard said...

sumslay, LOL :)

Joanna Goddard said...

kelli, you are so sweet:) my real trick is instagram filters, haha. but i also love bare essentials powder foundation:

http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-to-feel-gorgeous-on-date.html

Alison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate said...

Our second baby, Cormac, slept in our bathroom in a pack & play for the first six months of his life. (I remember fibbing to our pediatrician about having transitioned him to a large, comfy crib because I was embarrassed.) But he loved it! And we also loved the extra time that it gave us with our older daughter after he went to bed. And thanks for the pool noodle trick. Brilliant.

Megan said...

You know what, Joanna, some day you are going to laugh so hard remembering Anton sleeping in the bathroom. I can just picture you all sitting around visiting when he's 25 and one of you saying, "Hey remember when Anton slept in the bathroom?" :)

The summer of 2012 was ca-razy for us. My husband is in the Navy and was gone for some training. Our girls were 6, 2, and 4 months. The baby slept in a porta-crib in our bedroom because we weren't ready to transition our two-year-old to the bunkbeds. My sensitive 6-year-old was missing her daddy terribly and slept on the floor of our small bedroom with her blankets and stuffed animals. We did what we had to do during a chaotic time, but it was a bit rough!

Alison said...

Thanks for the noodle tip, Joanna! I love Toby's little fox sleeping buddy - where'd you get it? Hoping I can find one here in the UK!

Rebecca said...

I'm laughing out loud, mostly in relief. :) We've had our share of sleeping arrangements in the past couple years too, including my three year old's stint sleeping on his reading corner pillow on the floor. My mom-in-law was always so concerned whether that was okay when she babysat, and I would just smile and tell her not to worry--she didn't do anything wrong. But I never did tell her that that was the norm!! :)

Nicole Spencer said...

We only have one baby... so he sleeps in his own room! But, I think giving Anton his own space in the bathroom is great!

I love Toby's stuffed fox! Where is it from?

Jess said...

I love it! I have a two and a half year old and eight month old sons and they've been sharing a room for two months now (the baby was in our room for the first six months). I definitely understand your hesitation - I was scared to take the plunge too! My older boy goes to sleep around 8 and wakes around 7 and my baby stays up until just before 8:00 now too (and we creep in with my toddler after doing stories and songs in our bedroom). When they first started sharing there were many times I was rocking my baby to sleep in our dark walk in closet for naps and then putting him down in their room for the rest of his sleep but now I am able to rock him to sleep at nap time in their room while my toddler tries to fall asleep in his own crib.
I love the idea of brothers sharing a room and bonding - when they're older staying up talking when we think they're asleep - and I think it's already a good part of their relationship. We'll come in in the morning sometimes and they're both just laying in their cribs singing or cooing or whatever kids and babies do. It's pretty funny. My toddler is better at sleeping through the sounds the baby makes but I'm hopeful that one day the baby will be able to do the same.
I like how you're doing it now, and good luck when you choose to make the transition!

bethviola said...

For two weeks our younger son (then 10 months old) slept in a bathroom for naps. He's totally fine now and a great sleeper.

Our boys are 17 months apart and have shared a room since the little guys was 8 months old. I was so scared to put them together, but it was the easiest thing in the world.

We adjusted them so bedtime was the same time for both. And the little one's pack n play is still used for his nap in any spare room.

They love the company and hate being apart now. I love your honesty and I wish you well when you make the plunge to put them together!

Eleanora Buckbee said...

Are you ever going to write about your birth story with Anton? I'd love to hear about it!

ohnomyboots said...

When I gave my daughter the huge bedroom in our one bedroom apartment and carved a small bedroom for myself out of the living room, I found I slept much better in the small space. Wondering if Anton is responding similarly to the coziness of the small (bath)room :)

Rustical said...

We did sleep training with our first but I think probably around 7/8 months (we kept on putting it off!). Now that we are about to have our second I was wondering how old Anton was when you decided to sleep train him?

Erin said...

This is hilarious - I've been feeling so guilty for having our baby girl sleep in the (walk-in) closet, but apparently all the cool kids are doing it. It does sound awful, but it's really the place in the house where she sleeps best. And yes, I'm so hoping to transition her into her big brother's room soon, but she's only 4.5 months and needs to get her own sleep down a little better first. Love this - thanks for sharing!

sarah said...

Are you able to use the bathroom between when Anton goes to bed and wakes up? What if you have to pee in the middle of the night?? Does he stay asleep? Curious minds... :)

Mrs. White said...

My mother used a dresser drawer (pulled out and placed on the floor, of course) for my brother when he was born and when we would travel. Whatever works!

Jessica said...

This is funny because we are on vacation and we decided to put the travel crib in the bathroom for nap time so that we don't have to hang out in a completely dark hotel room with the sound machine on! Whatever works ;)

The Higher Common Sense said...

My 21-month old girl won't nap in her crib, so I stroll her around the block and then push the stroller into the bathroom once she is asleep. The fan is a great white noise machine :)
I'm so nervous about how to work it when we have our second child. We live in Brooklyn and have space, but not really a whole other room that is walled off, and having a separate nursery was so clutch when we sleep-trained my daughter.

Nikki said...

When I was pretty young, my family of 6 lived in a teeny tiny 600 square foot apartment above a garage, so I shared a room with all 3 of my siblings. My parent's favorite phrase was always "You know, sound travels" because they could hear us talking and giggling (and fighting) every night instead of sleeping. Eventually when my brother and I got to stay up later, my sisters moved to the second bedroom and my parents put their bed in the living room and slept out there!

kate said...

I don't have kids or anything but I bought myself that fox from Anthro because I couldn't resist. I tried to leave the store, turned around, and took him home. He hangs out in the living room.

L8Blmr said...

This is hliarious! I don't have kids, but I have lots of siblings - this is SO something I would tease them about now that we're adults... "yeah, but mom and dad put you next to the toilet, so". Hah! It will make a good story for them when they're older.

Mario DebtBLAG said...

That pool noodle idea is so creative, simple, and effective. I love it :)

trish said...

I'm for whatever works! ��. On a different note, where did you find the adorable fox stuffed animal?

nguyenlann said...

We live in an open space loft-y 3 level townhouse with our little 7month old. He co-sleeps with me while Daddy sleeps on the couch :S !!! He think's he's gonna squish the baby. I was forced to co-sleep, because waking up every 10 minutes for 3 hrs in the night when he was wee was exhausting! I've tried the "cry it out" but after 30... and 40 minutes.. its just not working... Anyways... I was just wondering if you did sleep training with the new little man as well? Care to share how that went?

Anna with Altitude said...

You New Yorkers are creative! Whatever works for you. My cousin was in the middle of building a 3 bedroom house for her 2 kids and found out she was not in fact done having kids, #3 was on the way. Baby Lyla now sleeps in mommy and daddy's walk in closet. Whatever works for your family is what works for your family. Parental judgement is so 2013. ;-)

Ashley and Katie said...

That's not weird... It's resourceful! Our seven month old sleeps in our bedroom closet in a cradle he will soon outgrow. We actually shut the closet doors on him for a sound barrier. He's very cosy! In parenthood, and in small apartments, you gotta do what you gotta do!

Nichole said...

The pool noodle trick is GENUIS! I'm definitely trying it when I transition my little guy from the crib to a bed.

All Things Big and Small said...

I love the #keepingitreal! What wonderful ideas--we are totally going to use the pool noodle idea when my daughter transitions to a big girl bed. We too live in a small apartment, in a 2 flat. It is under 800 feet for two adults, two great danes and my daughter. Our daughter's room is off the kitchen and is so small it doesn't even have a door. We use a thick curtain and a sound machine and just don't cook/ do dishes past 7:30. I have loved seeing how your apartment has evolved and your featuring other small spaces like Jordan Ferney (of Oh Happy Day) and Ashley Muir Bruhn (of Hither & Thither's) apartments. I just did a post on how we keep the baby stuff under control/ how we do a small nursery on my blog:
http://allthebigandsmallthings.blogspot.com/2014/04/how-we-do-it-raising-baby-in-small-space.html

Thanks for sharing! I love your apartment and your family!

Karen in VA (was CT) said...

Those children of yours are so darling ... how fortunate you all are.

I love the bathroom idea .. when my nephew came with his parents, we put him in the ever so tiny laundry room. Whatever works!

Cheers

Kara said...

This post made me smile. Thanks for sharing, it's so refreshing to hear honest parenting!

www.aredapron.blogspot.com

Jessica Pearson said...

I have a 4 year old and a one year old and I finally put them together in the same room several months ago. I am seriously kicking myself for not doing it sooner. I had your same concerns but after a few nights they had the routine down and were sleeping together! One nighttime routine, one bedtime, and two happy parents!

Susan M. said...

I love it. What a perfect solution. I would have a hard time having the baby sleep with the toddler, too. Question: we use the bjorn travel crib, but the mattress is so thin. Do you put anything extra underneath it for Anton? Or is he fine as is? And I love Toby's fox. Has he given up his pillow pal you wrote about previously? Love learning about sleeping strategies from you and other posters.

Alexa said...

thumbs up to finding a creative solution that works for your family, especially in new york's small spaces!

with lots of nyc friends having babies lately, baby corners and closets have been a topic of conversation over the past few weeks, so this is really timely :)

Laura Tischler said...

We live in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment and our two boys have shared a room since the second was 3 months old. We had our first in our room for more than 4 months, which in hindsight was too long (we woke each other up!), so I couldn't wait to move my second out ASAP. We gave my 2 year old a brief introduction to the concept (although the crib had been set up in the room since before he was born, so he was used to the idea), and told him that when his brother woke up in the middle of the night, he should hug his bear and go back to sleep. Fortunately, he has had no problems doing this (he slept through my accidental home birth so clearly he's a pretty deep sleeper). The baby goes to sleep at 7 and the toddler at 8, so we read stories in our living area and then tell him to try to be quiet as he goes to bed. But he inevitably sings or chats to himself for a while (sometimes an hour!), and I think because they've been doing it for so long, the baby just sleeps right through it. So it turned out to be way easier than we anticipated.

melissa said...

ha, thanks for nothing joanna! i've got two kids each just a few months younger than yours, we live in a little 2-bedroom house and i was rather hoping you'd have a good suggestion for me...but we don't have a second bathroom! we did sleep training for our oldest similar to the way you did, but it's so hard with our baby because she wakes up the older one. so it's still zombieland around here. :)

Renae said...

I think it is really clever - you do whatever works best for everyone to get as much sleep as possible.

juliet saturn said...

i love the fox stuffed animal. can you tell me who makes it? Thank you!

RR said...

To keep your little one in bed, try My Tot Clock. Worked like a dream for us. You program the clock to turn blue st bedtime & cannot get out of bed until it is yellow. You cannot argue with the clock, it is what it is. Wonderful find for us!

wakako said...

haha. this post totally made me smile! Our little one (currently 10 months old) has her own room with her crib!!! but our (almost) 4 year old sleeps in her kid's bed next to the kitchen. We always thought it is funny that our littlest family member is the only one who has her own room right now. It's good to hear we are all weird in our own way:) Thanks for sharing!

-wakako

Awnie said...

We will definitely be using the pool noodle trick. Also, I second the request for Anton's birth story! And you should really move to Brooklyn :) - so much more space here! We just made the move from Manhattan and are absolutely in love with our new neighborhood, tons of playgrounds, parks, amazing restaurants - and we can finally afford a three bedroom.

Alex said...

3 kids, ages 5 and under in one room. I think they all love it!

susan pagor-walsh said...

I think your set up is awesome. I lived in a 3 bedroom 900 sq foot beach house when my third was born we were also creative with our sleeping arrangements. I am all for siblings sharing rooms my high school age daughter had to share with her elementary age sister for years. I had my own room growing up but remember sneaking into my sisters room and sleeping on her floor just to be close to her.

angie k said...

thanks for being REAL! I appreciate that! We coslept with all our kids, now our third baby sleeps in her crib in our room and then wakes early morning and comes in bed with us. My 7 yr old daughter is begging to share a room with her little sister, we are moving back to the states in a month and in the new house I am totally down with it! Good luck!

Kieran and Ciara said...

My reaction to this post: "The TOILET?!?!!?!.....genius!" :) We live in a tiny two bed Russian apartment (in Siberia). Our sons are 3 and 1 and we have another due in Sept. but will be moving into somewhere bigger next month, hurray!
Here most families live in studio apartments and sleep all in one room. The idea of a child having a room all to themselves seems a bit ridiculous to most locals I've talked to! Our landlady also can't understand why we don't 'use' our main bedroom because it is only use it as a bedroom for my husband and I when we already have a sitting/living room.
On the advice of friends here we put our youngest in with his big brother when he was just 4 months old. I waited until he was sleeping 8 hours straight consistently and then gave the baby a 'dream feed' every night at 10pm without waking either child. I think a key for us was that neither child can see each other from their bed/cot as it's a long narrow room. In our new apartment I'll have the wardrobe in between them again so they are not staring at each other and being distracted. At the moment our boys go to bed around 7.30pm and wake at 8am or later.
Good luck :)

E Mom said...

I think what ever works works, until it doesn't!

I see you have the same sound machine as us and I just read this article about them affecting hearing in children:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/03/health/infant-sleep-machines-at-maximum-volume-reported-as-hearing-risk.html?action=click&module=Search&region=searchResults&mabReward=csesort%3Aw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26contentCollection%3DOpinion%26region%3DTopBar%26WT.nav%3DsearchWidget%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26pgtype%3DBlogs%23%2Fsound+machine

Kathleen Heffner said...

My daughter has her two boys sharing the same room--3 YO and 11month old. 11month old goes to bed first, at 6 pm! 3YO goes to bed at 8 pm. it works out really well.

Meadow said...

Lol that's cute. I say do whatever works!!

Lynn DontBlameTheKids said...

As a parent who shares a bedroom with TWO little children (thanks to the whole tiny one-bedroom condo situation), I absolutely do not judge you for the bath/bedroom! Brilliant idea, if you ask me.

http://dontblamethekids.com

foreground.photos said...

your honesty is always refreshing! we mothers do what we have to do to make our children sleep comfortably, however weird it may seem from the outside.

Becca said...

Well, I've never heard of a "normal" sleep situation, so I'm pretty sure one doesn't exist without some weird aspect thrown in! We did the pool noodle with our oldest son and it worked like a charm…such a great idea. Also, I'm so glad that my boys aren't the only ones that switch off the days that they wake up early…I swear those little stinkers plan it!

Kara Love said...

Ha! Both of my babies slept in the bathroom once they transitioned out of my bed. The bassinet would stay in there and we would turn the fan on and run the water until they fell asleep. After they fell asleep my husband or I would sneak in and turn the water off. The noise was hypnotic to them. It's funny but it worked for both girls. Once they got to big for the bassinet it was off to their "real room" (where we still use the sound machine years later).

My sister on the other hand had her son fall asleep in the kitchen where he could hear the stove fan.

We are a family of white noise.

Stasha said...

I love this! Way to keep it real! We live in a small space too and use the bathroom for all kinds of odd stuff like tool storage!

Marissa said...

The pool noodle works great! We do it when we're up at my in-laws place in the poconos. As long as your sheet is actually fitted tightly it works like a charm!

SarahJo said...

When I was young we lived in a two teeny bedroom apartment. My two siblings shared a bedroom, and then I, the baby, slept in a crib at the foot of my parent's bed until I was 4 and we moved and everyone got their own room! I don't know how my parents fit in alone time during those years, but I was the last baby... so maybe that's an answer.

Haley said...

Our fourth babe is 7 weeks and we rotate his basinette between the end of our bed and our walk-in-closet..I'm just not ready to bump the 2 and a half year old from his crib into a shared-room (I am always slow to switch things up when the kids are sleeping well!). I will definitely be trying the pool noodle trick, thanks!

tt said...

This is too funny. We also live in a two bedroom two bathroom and expecting our second child this fall. I had the same idea to turn a bathroom into the new nursery. We are also debating using our walk in closet. A few questions - what do you think about noise/echo? I guess the white noise helps with that. And do you find any issues with temperature? I guess it's generally cooler in the bathroom, esp if no windows and that's also what babies prefer.

Lastly, in reference to a post a few days back - you should definitely move to CA. After having lived in NYC for all of our adult lives, we moved to Oakland from Brooklyn a year ago and haven't looked back. You'll miss new yorky things but the weather and outdoors and everything else far outweighs what you will miss.

Hope said...

We put our 2 year old to bed in our kid's shared room, then half an hour later, our 4 year old in our bed. Once he's asleep, we move him to his room. I think weird night time setups are totally normal, especially at these ages :)

Brooklynbee said...

Seems like a typical Manhattan setup/solution to me!

Deb C said...

Hee hee...I totally understand the bathroom situation. We have 2 littles and only 2 bedrooms in our condo. The older one (3) gets her own room and the baby (8 mos) gets the walk in closet in the master bedroom. So far it's worked great! He's only in there for sleep anyways, so he doesn't need his own room yet.

NotesFromAbroad said...

I think I would prefer putting the baby in a walk in closet to the toilet .. but I have this thing about bathrooms and germs.
My children shared a room for 3 years .. a girl and a boy , 4 years apart.
They did fine. They are both adults and still very close which makes me very happy.
My daughter jokes with me and asks me if she can visit, she will sleep in my closet ( I have double huge walk in closets) ... lol

Audrie said...

Hehe my cousin set up her daughter's crib in the closet, and that's where she slept for over a year before they moved to a larger place. Do whatever works for you, don't worry about the judgment police :)

Ashlee said...

We are currently room sharing as a family. We have a 3 bedroom house. I eventually want to set it up so they can nap during the day in their own rooms but a night time both our 1 year old and almost 4 year old sleep in our room. Both in their own beds which makes is crowded as heck, but we love it. :)

Jessica Korner said...

our children are 18 months apart and share the nursery - as my daughter just turned 2 this week and our son is almost 6 months, we're a two-crib family at the moment! we moved baby boy in after he mastered sleep training (yay, sleepeasy solution!) about a month ago and their bedtimes are just slightly staggered. he goes in at 7pm and she follows by 7:30pm. he's usually sleeping when she comes in and doesn't wake as she babbles herself to sleep. every morning around 6:30am is a stealth attempt to sneak him out without waking her - sometimes it's successful, sometimes she wakes up! i was so nervous to pull the trigger too, but am so glad we did! i can see how it could be more challenging with the toddler in a big bed, though.

Ioanabv said...

I shared a room with my little brother (2 years younger) until I was thirteen and it was great. We had some awesome bunk beds my dad built and we had not issues with sharing toys and space. It was actually really great to have someone there with me during the night, it's comforting and it made things less scary. It's really nice to have a partner in crime. We used to have contest of who could stay up longer but neither of us made it very long.

everydayshine said...

So NOT weird :) The bathroom/nursery is a great idea and a great use of space. We live in a 3 bedroom so we're lucky enough for each of the littles to have their own room. HOWEVER they each sleep with 3 layers of blackout drapes, the same stuffed puppy/lovey and a white noise machine running (on low). Honestly...my parents think we are crazy :)

Kristy said...

My second slept in a pack n play in our second bathroom until he was 15 months old. It worked really well for us and he never complained! The only reason he moved into a real bedroom was because we moved into a 4 bedroom house. Sharing a room has been really hard for our boys and though they do now, I'd still separate them if I could (we are in another house now with only 3 bedrooms and I've since had twins).

Fun_Girl said...

We do this on holidays and have done so for the last. 4 years! Space is space!! Lol! As long as it's not musty in the motels, who cares?!!! Good on you for being fabulous caring parents.

Chloe said...

Have you seen this beautiful photo series about children's bedrooms around the world? Captivating & through provoking...
http://jamesmollison.com/books/where-children-sleep/

Mina said...

Love this post, your set-up, and especially the way you keep it real!

We have a 3-year old, a 20-month old, and a baby due in a few weeks and we live in a 3 bedroom city apartment in Stockholm, Sweden. Our boys have each had a room until a few months ago when we moved our eldest in with our youngest in the smallest bedroom - a maid's room off our kitchen. We love how it turned out! Their little bedroom is bright and cozy and they obviously love sharing. During the day they have a big play room, and since their reading nook is made up of a double bed in there, it'll be the perfect escape for my husband during the new baby months. It's also a good guest room when we need it.

Moving them has caused a little bit of change in their sleep habits - both good and bad. Big brother seems to really take comfort in the company - he falls asleep quickly and sleeps through (he used to wake sometimes), but is woken earlier in the morning by little brother. Little brother on the other hand used to often wake up early and make some noise and then sleep on for another hour or two, but now they are both up from that early waking (around 6).

All in all though, I'm so glad they're sharing now. It looks so cozy and lovely to sleep right beside your brother!

www.minipiccolini.com

Kimmy & Bear said...

I think it is lovely for siblings to share a bedroom. I have twin girls - they are eight months old and still share a cot, sleeping top to tail. It is the sweetest thing to see them sleeping together. I can picture them sharing a bed when we move to that stage in a few years time.

Jesselyn said...

I shared a room with my sister growing up and hated it but grew to love it. I don't think I would change a thing.
When I go visit, my sister and I will still share a room and even a bed and stay up and talk till the wee hours.
Definitely teaches you to live with someone. You can't close the door on them, avoid them, they are right there!

maria jones said...

Faced with the same dilemma I got a murphybed for the living room.
It really is great to be able to give the kids the space they need, and it is very comfortable. really worth considering.

Keira E said...

Sweetie, I know you're short on space but I hope you are up to date on your building's egress fire codes? I'm saying this out of concern. A sleeping room needs a minimum size for a window in order to be safe and legal. Bathrooms don't.

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