June 12, 2019

Our Sleep Story: How We Got Our Kids to Go to Sleep - and Stay Asleep - in the Same Room

A few weeks ago, I posted a story on Instagram of the girls playing in their bedroom. From that story, I got quite a few questions - specifically if they share a room, and how we make it work. 

So, whether you are just curious OR are in similar situation, living in a small space with kids sharing a room, read on to learn about our sleep story.

How We Get Got Our Kids to Go to Sleep - and Stay Asleep - in the Same Room

First, let me go back to the very beginning when our oldest daughter Morley was born. We were living in a one bedroom apartment, and from day one we all shared a room. From day one, she was also a very good sleeper. By the time she could walk, she was literally putting herself to bed - she would walk to the bedroom and wait until someone lifted her into her crib. Yes, DREAM sleeper. 

Morley was just over two years old when we moved into our current 750 square foot, 2 bedroom condo. She went from having us in the same room to having her own room and sleeping in a big girl bed, in a brand new place. We honestly thought it would be a nightmare. BUT, again, dream sleeper. 

How We Get Got Our Kids to Go to Sleep - and Stay Asleep - in the Same Room

Then all of two point five seconds passed and little sister Berkley was born. 

For the first few months, Berkley was in the bassinet in our bedroom. But big sister wasn’t ok with that, and ended up in our bed too. 

I know what you’re thinking - why didn’t I just put Morley back in her own bed? Well, unlike Morley, Berkley wasn’t a good sleeper. The little energy I had from waking every few hours I wasn’t willing to spend on fighting with a toddler in the middle of the night. I needed my sleep, and that came at the cost of sharing our bed with someone who loves to sleep horizontally. 

Those first few months flew by and Berkley moved into her crib in the room they now share. We immediately did a happy dance, thinking it meant we’d have our room back. Wrong! Morley stayed in our bed. Berkley was still a terrible sleeper, waking too many times a night to count. And so her fussing, and me going in and out throughout the night, didn’t wake Morley (again, not willing to fight with a toddler int he middle of the night), we let her stay in our bed. 

Most nights I would be playing musical beds - I’d start in my bed, go to feed Berkley and come back to find my side of the bed completely taken over. As a result, I’d either end up on the couch or in Morley’s bed. I know that sounds awful, but it really wasn’t - it meant I got to sleep. Without fear of being hoofed in the head.

But eventually, that got old. It was time we got our bed back. We knew we needed to find a routine that worked, and commit to it. 

How We Get Got Our Kids to Go to Sleep - and Stay Asleep - in the Same Room

Before we could establish this routine, we had to deal with a few challenges that come with living in a small space, and with the girls sharing a room.  

First off, being 2 1/2 years apart, the girls have different sleep needs and habits. It’s not as simple as putting them down at the same time, and walking away. If one is sleeping, the other will fuss. It’s a vicious cycle of waking each other up. (Just one of the reasons we decided sleep training was not an option.) Reading them stories at the same time also doesn’t work. Morley can easily relax through two books, while Berkley is not able to sit still. 

The noise is also an issue. Our small space is anything but quiet. While the girls take care of the noise during the day, we also try to keep a certain noise level during bedtime so that they learn to fall asleep with it. Besides the soothing, this is one of the reasons we play “sleepy time music” at bedtime. We also have a white noise machine, and try to keep the TV at a certain level before dad and I go to bed for the night.

And then there was the issue of the second bedroom itself. Condos are a funny thing - in order to call a room a bedroom, it must receive natural light. The workaround? To create a glass wall, with a glass sliding door. No privacy, and all light all the time. Our solution was to frost the glass. It may not keep the light out, but it does prevent them from seeing us out in the kitchen and living room, and keep their severe FOMO at bay.

How We Get Got Our Kids to Go to Sleep - and Stay Asleep - in the Same Room

And so, ten months later, we’re currently working with this…

Our bedtime routine typically starts around 7:30pm. After bath and snack, dad will read Morley her two books (of her choosing) while I nurse Berkley out in the living room. Once I hear the sleepy time music start, and Berkley is drowsy enough (but not completely out), I put her in her crib. We both leave the room and let the sleep time music do the rest. If all goes well, both girls are down by 9:00pm. On a good night, they both stay asleep the entire night. There are, of course, variations of this schedule - teething, sick kiddos, visiting family, etc. Yes, it may not be perfect, and is a constant work in progress, but it’s what works for us and our current situation.

For us, maintaining this routine also means having items of comfort nearby. When it comes to bedtime favourites, they’ve both been very different. White noise, sleep sac, soother, books, headlamp, stuffy, glass of water and bottle - are just a few of the items they both enjoy to help them sleep. 

Some of mom and dad’s favourites? 

Philips Avent Natural Bottles - These BPA-free bottles have an ergonomic shape for maximum comfort, making them easy to hold and grip in any direction. The ultra soft nipple more closely resembles the breast, making an easier transition from breast to bottle.

Philips Avent Anti-Colic Bottles with Airfree Vent - These bottles are designed to reduce colic, gas and reflux. The shape of the nipple allows a secure latch and stays full even when the bottle is horizontal, allowing baby to drink in an upright position so that they swallow less air as they drink.

Philips Avent Soothie Snuggle - The same great Soothie that many families and medical professionals know and trust, but with a soft, lightweight snuggly toy to help make babies feel secure.

How We Get Got Our Kids to Go to Sleep - and Stay Asleep - in the Same Room

And so, that’s where we’re at in a nutshell. Like I said, not ideal, but we’re working with what we’ve got. And I’m happy to report that I can finally start using multiple hands to count the number of nights I’ve actually slept through the night and have not been woken up by a bed-hopping toddler or fussy baby. Snoring husband is a whole other story though…

What’s your sleep story? What does your kids’ routine look like? What works for them? I’d love to hear!

You can find more about our parenting adventures, and our favourite Philips Avent products, here:

*Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Philips Avent. I received products and/or compensation in exchange for this post. All opinions and advice shares are 100% that of To & Fro.


Our Sleep Story: How We Got Our Kids to Go to Sleep - and Stay Asleep - in the Same Room

Blog Design Created by pipdig