When Emily was born, Ben and I both agreed that she would sleep with us until we were ready. By 6 months – when she started playing rather than sleeping with us, we moved her to her own bed. We did the same routine for Andrew. Initially, the kids slept better in their own bed than when crammed into ours with us.
And then came that magical age of 2, when pretty much everything changes for the, er, better.
Emily started having nightmares (typical for this age) and feeling scared about things in her room – shadows, monsters, bugs, etc. We tried leaving the light on. I went through months of checking on her every 5 minutes until she fell asleep. She would do fine for a month and then would return to her previous freak-out-whenever-we-shut-the-door state. (Yes, we did try keeping the door open but she would come out every 10 seconds.)
Soon, she was keeping Andrew up until 11 pm or later. We finally had to separate them so Andrew, our fabulous sleeper, would get his much-needed sleep.
Once we moved to our new place, which was significantly smaller and had two rooms instead of the three, we used all our old tricks. Once again, she started screaming and creating such a ruckus that we had to move her out of the room. We put her the only space we had available: our room. For a few weeks, she slept in our bed with us. Then Ben and I came up with the brilliant idea of moving her bed into our room. And we had two weeks of pure bliss.
But, the joy of having two kids close together is as one moves out of one stage the other one moves into it. Andrew began having nightmares and fearing everything in his room. We tried the same techniques we did with Emily for a couple of days and then said “screw it” and brought him into our room as well.
When Ben and I go to bed, we move the kids to the toddler bed and enjoy a nighttime of relatively few interruptions. Funny how that works, huh?
Now if they could just learn to stay in bed and fall asleep before 10:30, Ben and I would not feel so overwhelmed (and would have some desperately needed couple time).
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