2 kids, one bedroom
October 21, 2008 2:33 PM   Subscribe

how can i fit a 3-year old and an infant in one bedroom without them waking each other up during the night?
posted by RockyChrysler to Human Relations (16 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
If by 'infant' you mean a child younger than 6 months, many experts recommend that you keep them in your own bedroom.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:42 PM on October 21, 2008

I don't think that's possible.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:48 PM on October 21, 2008

Best answer: I have friends who lived in a typical one-bedroom in Manhattan.

Their first kid arrived, and they put him in the walk-in closet. Room enough for a crib and some shelves; a workable bedroom for a baby.

About 18 months later, the second kid arrives. We assume they will be moving to a larger place.

Nope. Once the new baby has started sleeping through the night (before that she was in the master bedroom with the parents), she gets added to the walk-in closet. New baby gets the crib, toddler gets a kid-sized mattress on the floor (which has an added benefit of skipping the "falling out of bed" phase). New storage space was created by adding more shelves all the way up.

The closet is more crowded, but the kids don't know any different, and the mattress either gets tipped up to free floor space or, more often, it just gets ignored and played on.

A third kid has arrived, and they have finally upgraded their apartment -- but not by much. The two older kids now share a bedroom, while the new baby is still in mom and dad's room -- awaiting the day when she makes the move to the walk-in closet.

So, I think the answer to your question is: They get used to it, especially as they get older. I also wonder if it hasn't created an extra, early bond between the two older kids, as they get a long very well. At some point, of course, everyone will need their own spaces, but for a young family, these seemingly cramped quarters seem to be convenient on many levels.
posted by crickets at 3:04 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Your three year-old might get used to the noise. If not.....you can't.
posted by smart75 at 3:08 PM on October 21, 2008

White noise machine?
posted by piedmont at 3:10 PM on October 21, 2008

Best answer: Wow. Right there with you. Our four month old baby girl just moved into my four year old son's room. So far, so good.

Here's what we did.

Our four month old stayed in our bedroom in the bassinet until she outgrew it about a month ago. She's been a good sleeper so far, she's been sleeping through the night since before three months.

When we moved her in, we put her in a crib closest to the door. The four year old is in the standard size bed farthest from the door. He goes down at 8 and we put her down around 9. She always cries for a few moments but he's a heavy sleeper so it doesn't wake him up. By 9:15 they're both out for the night.

If she needs changing, we can dip in, grab her and change her in another room. If she wakes him up, he's allowed to join us in bed for that night only (and only if he's good). He wakes up early in the AM but just comes and gets us and doesn't wake her up.

We're lucky because they're both heavy sleepers, he adores his baby sister (even when she does wake him up at night, if she's not too bad, we can hear him 'shhing' her) and she's just fascinated with him.

Also, I know it's early in the game but we're gonna have to make do (at least for a few more years) because right now? We ain't moving nowhere.

ON PREVIEW: As Cricket said, they don't know any better
posted by cjets at 3:12 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

The short version: kids adapt faster that we do. They're little adaptation machines. Remember, the infant you've got would have done just as well if it'd been born to someone in Siberia or Mongolia or Ethiopia or Columbia.

They'll get used to it. It's what they do.
posted by paanta at 3:28 PM on October 21, 2008

Mine are four and one and share a room. The one year old still gets up crying at night sometimes and the four year old sleeps right through it.
posted by poppo at 3:53 PM on October 21, 2008

I'm also voting for them getting used to it. I am the second eldest of four kids, and at one stage there were four of us in the one bedroom - aged 6, 4, 2 and 6 months. I don't think there was any particular problem with being woken during the night - although now my elder sister and I are very heavy sleepers, maybe as a result of this sleeping arrangement. It actually makes a great deal of sense now that I think of it, and I actually hadn't before now...
posted by cholly at 4:12 PM on October 21, 2008

I shared a bedroom with my brother when he was an infant to when he was about 2. I'm 2 years older. My only memory of that time is a vague memory of waking up late at night and trying to spring him from his crib. Otherwise, I think it just made us closer buddies.
posted by MadamM at 4:26 PM on October 21, 2008

Best answer: My two are in the same bedroom. While we didn't start it as early as you did, we moved them together at 3 1/2 and 2. The biggest problem we have is when they are going to bed and early in the morning. The middle of the night is no issue.

Once either is asleep, nothing can wake them. When my older child has bad dreams and screams like hell, the younger sleeps through it. When the younger child gets out of bed and into the 4 year old's bed, she doesn't wake either.

My advice would be to not put them to bed at the same time. Put the older one down first. Once you are certain he/she is sleeping, you can bring the baby in. If the baby cries through out the night, the toddler won't notice.

If the baby is an early riser, the toddler may become one too. My older daughter will sleep until 8 if we let her. The younger child gets up at 7-7:30. Child #2 wakes child #1 when she gets up. Not much to be done about that.
posted by beachhead2 at 5:32 PM on October 21, 2008

My younger sibling screamed like a banshee, and woke everyone, the people at the opposite end of the house, and probably the neighbours.
Meanwhile, I, right next to her, would sleep through it. I may have had some preparation by us living in a noisy area to begin with.

It's a good skill to learn early on actually. I'm still a pretty deep sleeper.
posted by Elysum at 8:31 PM on October 21, 2008

My house has four kids in two bedrooms (9-y.o. + 4-y.o., 6-y.o. + 9-m.o). They just get used to it. When I go up to check on them at night, one might snort -- and the other promptly replies, then they both settle into deeper sleep. I love it!
posted by wenestvedt at 10:08 AM on October 22, 2008

Whenever I sleep at my sister's house I wear earplugs: she has a 2 year old who gets nosebleeds almost every night and an infant who...is an infant. I was amazed to discover that despite the fact that the two of them have lungs like Pavarotti, they rarely disturb one another. I say try putting them in the same room, give them some time to get used to the arrangement even if it doesn't work at first, and I think you'll be impressed with how well they adapt.

Extra Bonus: My niece and nephew are growing extremely fond of one another. I think close sleeping arrangements encourage siblings to bond.
posted by RingerChopChop at 10:27 AM on October 22, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks so much for the comments! I appreciate them all.
posted by RockyChrysler at 2:11 PM on October 22, 2008

I had some friends who live in a 1 bedroom apt in downtown with three kids at one point. The oldest slept on a mattress near the parents, the middle child on a mattress near the closetl, and the baby in the closet.
It can be done.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 11:41 PM on October 23, 2008

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