Ask Elizabeth: How did you/ when did you put your girls in the same room? Asking because I’m pregnant and #2 will be sharing a room with my oldest!
YAY! Let’s talk about sleep. But first I want to put a huge disclaimer on this post. Every baby is different as is every season. Just because something works for us at this point doesn’t mean it will work for you or even always work for us. The best thing when it comes to sleep is to learn your child and try new things until you find a rhythm that works for your family!
Okay, so now let’s talk about room sharing! We didn’t have to put them in the same room but we wanted to. At our old house, they would have had to share so I was already planning on that. When we unexpectedly moved in my 3rd trimester, I kept the plan and gained a guest bedroom. We moved Hilde out of our room pretty quickly when she was a baby – I think it was around 6 weeks. But with Millie, we’ve been a bit scared to move her in with her big sister for fear that they would wake each other up and mess up their sleep!
After chickening out a couple nights, we finally tried a night of them sharing. It took us telling Hilde they would get to be in the same room and we didn’t want to let her down! It honestly went better than we thought – it actually went great! Here is how we do that:
- We waited until Millie was sleeping a larger chunk. We didn’t want to be in and out of the nursery all night risking multiple events that could wake Hilde. We did Taking Cara Babies with Hilde when she was a baby and started putting those into practice with Millie as well. Starting around 6 weeks, babies “should” be able to sleep as many hours as they are weeks old.Honestly the Taking Cara Babies class was so helpful for us to get to this point! Once Millie was sleeping 6-9 hours in a row consistently, we felt better about putting her in with Hilde.
- We started doing naps in the nursery for Millie so she could get used to sleeping in her crib and not freak out in the middle of the night when we tried to put her to bed there.
- We keep her out with us/ in her bassinet until her last feeding around 11 pm. That early part of the night is more hit or miss with her sleeping. She typically likes to cluster feed to stock up on food for the night so we wait to put her in with Hilde until we go to bed. (Hilde goes to bed around 7:30 so she is already fast asleep when Bruce comes in to lay down Millie.
- We put down Millie when she is sleepy (heavy eyes, yawning) and full but not asleep. Often when you transfer a baby when they are sound asleep, they are woken up by the change. But if they are sleepy, they can look around, see where they are and doze off in bed. We have found that Millie rarely cries when we put her down at that time of night and she hasn’t done it yet while sharing a room with Hilde.
- We go in when we hear one of them crying. Most mornings Hilde wakes up first and plays with her dolls in her crib. She can also grab some books off the shelf so she does that too. Then once she is ready to be awake and out of her crib, she starts crying for us. Then Bruce goes in to change her diaper and bring her downstairs for breakfast. Millie has slept though this every time. Haha. Which makes sense because her naps are rarely completely quiet! Sometimes Millie may wake before Hilde to eat again. When this happens, we go in and bring her back to nurse in our bed. Then we put her back down. Hilde hasn’t woken up for that either!
As far as sleep training goes, we took what we learned from Taking Cara Babies (as I mentioned above) to start creating sleep habits for Millie. It worked so well with Hilde and was a game changer for us to get more sleep at night! We also did the Ferber Method as she got older which worked like a dream for us and we plan to do that as Millie gets older if she needs to. I know people have strong options about “cry it out” and some of them are based around misunderstandings. You do need to wait until your babies are older and you don’t just let them cry forever, you keep going in to reassure them but you don’t always pick them up/ nurse them back to sleep every time. I’m not telling you that you need to do this too but we did it with Hilde and we may do it again with Millie. I’m a bit nervous about how that will go with another kid trying to sleep in the same room but we are not at that point yet so we don’t have to worry about it!
Until then, we are very excited & pleased about how sleep is going now and we hope that even these half night chunks, get each other used to sleeping in the same room and the noises the other one makes.
PS: In the realm of sleeping, we also swear by the Halo Sleepsack swaddle and Mille sleeps in it every nap & night!
So if you are in the same boat and trying to have two babies sleep in the same room, you got this! Maybe try to ease into it or do some of the things we have done to make the transition smoother. Not every night will be perfect but that is okay! It isn’t always perfect when they have their own room either! haha!