A couple of lost winks here and there are no big thing… but if all my kids are frequently causing me to lose sleep, well I just wouldn’t be able to function. I know a lot of families go for years without getting consistent sleep, and I envy those parents’ ability to get by with little sleep. I just do not have that stamina.
We are not uptight about much around here. But sleep is definitely an exception. We run a very tight ship and expect our kids to sleep from 7pm to 7am. However, about a year ago, Elise was waking up with nightmares a few times a month. I’d get up and try to calm her down and get her off to sleep. Often she’d be so anxious that I’d have to lie down with her for a few hours… which was no fun at all. That night, for me, and the next day for hubby and the kids.
Finally, out of desperation, we decided to put Caleb in her room. Our thought was that having her brother nearby might make her feel safer. So poor Caleb got tossed into the cryer’s room.
Surprisingly, this strategy has worked out great for us. Elise loves having her big brother keeping her safe. If she’s having trouble falling asleep, we hear him sing her songs. She has had a couple nightmares since big brother has moved in, but I have been able to calm her down (washing her hands helps), then I can leave her to fall back asleep. Miraculously, there has only been a single time when Caleb’s sleep was disturbed by Elise waking up.
A few items that have helped our room sharing situation:
The Twilight Turtle is a little nightlight that Caleb likes, Elise has a cute Ladybug Nightlight. These lights are awesome for a not yet sleepy kid, they can play with it for a few minutes, and it automatically turns off after 15 minutes. As for keeping them in bed for the whole night, we’ve been using the Onaroo Alarm Clock . This clock is fairly child proof (has survived 2 toddlers so far), and is easy for kids to understand… “do not get out of your room until the clock is GLOWING”. If they don’t follow the rules, our handy child safety gate goes on the door. This threat only needed to be carried out once …or twice.
Isabelle is in the very next room, and putting the older kids to bed can get quite noisy. We’ve been using this HoMedics Sound Machine , and it is awesome for blocking out sibling noise. She also uses these Halo Sleep Sacs, in cream, for maximum pass-down-ability. The sleep sacs are amazing at discouraging little ones from climbing out of a crib, we’re hoping to keep her in her crib for another year…or two.