We moved our kids into the same bedroom last weekend. With a brother and sister sharing a room for the first time, you could probably imagine this week has been very long for everyone. Yes, some of the reasons why this transition has been a little trying may be obvious, but others may not.
Why Move the Kids Into the Same Room?
When we moved back to Phoenix, we moved into a house with three bedrooms. Rocco and Gigi had their own rooms. Yay! We thought separate rooms for the kids was essential because, at the time, our daughter was less than a year old and still colicky. This meant her alternating pattern of uncontrollable screaming and momentary sleep could be contained to one part of the house.
Over the last couple of years, our daughter has matured, her sleep pattern more or less jibes with the rest of house, but unfortunately, her room has morphed into a bit of a storage closet. It wasn’t intentional, it just kind of worked out that way. She wasn’t yet walking and we didn’t spend much time in her room, so we put that space to good storage use, don’t judge.
However, the problem recently is that she’s old enough to climb into and out of her crib and get into things – an obvious safety hazard. We decided it was time for brother and sister to share a bedroom and organize the now spare bedroom into my husband’s office and de facto wardrobe. (In a battle between my shoes and his clothes: game, set, match shoes.)
Getting Kids to Fall Asleep Takes Much Longer Than Usual
The first night they slept in the same room was pretty rough. They didn’t fall asleep until almost 8pm (Gigi is usually asleep around 6:00 – 6:15pm). They were so excited, talking to each other, singing songs, jumping on their beds.
In the week since we made the change, nothing much has improved. Each night we still struggle to get them to actually fall asleep. However, once they are asleep, they have been doing a good job of staying asleep. Even when my son calls out for someone (read: me) to take him to the potty, they generally go right back to sleep, that is, except the very first night.
Nighttime Trips to the Bathroom are Complicated
That very first night sharing a room, Rocco woke up around 1 am to go potty. With the stealth of a ninja, I entered the kids room, if that ninja was a sleep-derived thirty-something woman with questionable balance. Gigi popped up in her crib and started screaming. She cried for about 15 minutes straight. My attempts at soothing her were like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube in the dark, after being jolted awake in the middle of the night. Eventually, however, she fell back asleep.
Around 4 am, Rocco woke up again, and this time, I had to calm them and remind them it was too early to wake up. Thankfully, they slept for a little over an hour. Jade and I were definitely tired that first day. Despite a few struggles, there seem to be a lot of great reasons for the kids to share a room.
Positives of Them Sharing a Room Outweigh the Negatives
First, they love spending time together. They seem as close as ever. Also, they have a much larger shared space by moving them into the same room than they had with the previous situation. They have a space that is truly theirs and quite large for toddlers. Also, it is great to have them on the same schedule, in some respects. Now I only read books one time, brush teeth one time, change pajamas one time, rather than doing it separately for each child. Moreover, now Jade has his own room for his closet and his office.
The biggest negative of them rooming together is that Gigi is getting way less sleep than she used to get while sleeping on her own, but so far, it doesn’t seem like it has affected her general mood.
Overall, the kids seem quite happy to be in the same bedroom. Last night, Gigi started getting upset when she thought Rocco wasn’t in the room. I can tell she really likes having him near her. She was crying and when Rocco got back into bed he said, “It’s OK Gigi, I’m here.” Heart. Melted.
Just his presence soothed her, and for a baby with a history of colic and a high-need baby, it is so nice to know she has her brother to rely on. It is also so heartwarming for me to see the love grow between them. I’m one lucky mommy.