Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Room sharing

It took us over three years to get Will sleeping through the night. Even after Owen’s birth, Will was still popping up four or five times a night asking to be tucked in again, needing to pee (usually just a few scant drops) or complaining of nightmares. But what finally put all that restlessness to rest was simply moving Owen into a crib in Will’s room. Now Owen sleeps a little more soundly, and Will -- who thinks of it as his duty to protect Owen, but is also obviously very comforted by the presence of his little brother in the room -- stays put most nights.

And Rob and I have our bedroom back to ourselves. The only down side is that when Owen wakes up to nurse (which happens at least two or three times each night) I get grumpy at the thought of having to heft myself out of bed and march into another room to feed him rather than just reaching into the co-sleeper beside our bed. Of course as soon as I see his sweet face all that resentment turns to bliss. But before that, when I’m still trying to wake myself up, Rob gets to hear the nightly grumblings about why men too should have breasts – real big milk-producing ones.

I’m imagining that one day several months from now (our pediatrician recommends waiting until Owen’s at least a year old) we may consider putting Will’s double mattress back down on the floor if he and Owen want to sleep together. I’ve heard it’s a good strategy for sibling bonding, but I’ll also be wary of changing anything up if we’ve got them both sleeping well in their own beds by then. For now I’m just happy to have the two little guys sharing a room and sleeping better because of it.

Any strategies for sibling room-sharing that have worked well for your family?

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