We are at a conference for the rest of the weekend, so I am re-posting this one from a couple years ago.

Baby and Toddler Room Sharing

Heather and I both live in Berkeley where houses are small, and expensive nonetheless. Our neighboring city Oakland is pretty much the same.  If you’ve seen the show Parenthood, which is set here, well, let’s just say that the houses in which those characters live would be in the top 5% for spaciousness.

The other day I went over to my friend Karin’s house for the first time since she’s been married and had two sons. When she opened the front door, the first thing I saw was a queen-sized air mattress taking up her entire living room floor. I asked if she had weekend guests, and she sheepishly explained that she and her husband actually sleep on the air mattress and let their baby sleep in their room while their toddler hogs the room that is intended to be shared by the brothers. Eventually.

They were struggling to figure out how to put two kids in the same room such that they would allow each other to take their naps and sleep at night.

I had no advice for her, although since my kids are older and have been sharing a room for a long while now, I could hardly register the situation as a problem.  I remember letting Scarlett cry it out and Julian, age 3, just slept right through it.  I now realize every toddler does not sleep as soundly as Julian, who could be carried into a playdate if he had fallen asleep in the car, plopped on the host’s couch, and be jumped on by his excited little friend, and sleep through the whole thing. As I drove home from Karin’s, however, I suddenly remembered a few scenarios that may have comforted her.

Documenting a lost battle: Scarlett naps on the floor in my room

When Heather’s baby #2 Milo was born, she worried that his night wakings would disrupt Holden’s sleep, yet she and Alec had learned from their rookie parenting stint that they prefer not to sleep in the same room as the baby. Therefore, baby Milo slept in his infant “bucket” carseat in the office area just outside their room. Every night. For four months.

When my own second child was born, we made half of our bedroom into a babycentric space, expecting her to stay with us for a couple months.  She tricked us by being a good sleeper for about a month, but then lost her knack for staying asleep past midnight. Taking a cue from our good friends who called their children “swing babies”, we set up the automatic swing in our bedroom, and there she slept, swinging at full speed, all night long. For three months.

And Julian? He slept swaddled and strapped to a changing table pad on the floor when we visited our parents for the first few months.

My point is that we do a lot of crazy shit as new parents. We sing potty songs, attach electric pumps to our breasts, and read books to kids who can barely hold their heads up. Sleeping in your own living room is the least of it. (That reminds me…  my second cousin’s husband used to sleep on the porch.)

If you’ve got two children who share a room, tell us more.  How did you do it?

{ 38 comments }

We are so happy to tell you that we have partnered with Amy McCready’s company Positive Parenting Solutions to bring a free webinar to you guys on the topic of getting kids to listen – without nagging or yelling. The format includes Amy presenting material and a live chat session where we can all ask questions in real time.

We have taken a similar online parenting class with Amy in the past and both really enjoyed it. The last time, we were sitting in a web-enabled playspace — the day before I gave birth to Sawyer — watching Scarlett and Milo go crazy in a day-glo foam pit, so it is time for a refresher course. Each time, I feel empowered with new ideas for positive discipline solutions (and a commitment to stop yelling completely. Ahem.).

Get kids to listen without nagging
This valuable class will take place online on July 29 at 10 AM Pacific (that’s 1PM Eastern for some of you).
Parents of kids ages 2½ – 16 will learn:

  • why kids really misbehave — it’s probably not what you think!
  • how your personality may actually fuel misbehavior
  • the 5 R’s of Fair & Effective Consequences so kids listen the first time you ask
  • training resources to reduce your parenting stress & stop nagging, reminding & yelling

Here’s how the webinar works:

  • Sign up here to be reminded when it’s about to start.
  • Sit in front of your computer to watch and listen to the presentation.
  • Come as you are;  no one will see you.
  • Type questions whenever you have them and Amy will respond when possible.

Whitney and I will be in on the class as well, asking questions alongside you.

Click here to join us.

+++ Taking the class is free to you; Amy offers deeper courses for a fee if you’re interested. We have an affiliate relationship with Positive Parenting Solutions.

{ 0 comments }

Going all Mary Poppins on my bedroom {Rookie Moms Challenge #29}

July 22, 2014

When school was cancelled for a snow day this Spring (argh!), the first thing I did was jump to the list of Rookie Mom challenges and see if there were any I could complete while home with the boy all day long. There was a perfect one: Challenge# 29, Refresh your bedroom. I took Weston […]

Read more →

Activity #24: Be a tourist in your own town

July 21, 2014

Today’s challenge is to strap on your fanny pack and be a tourist in your own town with your little sidekick. Ok, I’m kidding about the fanny pack. But how about you two go somewhere only the visitors ever enjoy? If you’ve never taken the time to see your hometown’s greatest hits, choose a destination […]

Read more →

What Not To Wear: Baby Edition

July 18, 2014

Poor Winnie the Pooh. Such a nice guy, but moms are not into him these days. We asked our Facebook page about what types of clothing they refuse to put on their children. While this is a very subjective topic, and I don’t imagine we all share the same opinions on these styles, here are […]

Read more →

Bikini at 3.5 months post-partum? Yep! {Rookie Moms Challenge #35}

July 17, 2014

The Rookie Moms Challenge #35 is Buy some new jeans but I switched it up because I needed a swim suit. I should also probably claim credit for taking a baby swimming, but I’ll tell you more about that later. Ok so I confess, I headed out to Old Navy about week 2 postpartum because […]

Read more →

What I wish I could do over: Introducing my kid to food

July 16, 2014

My nine-year old son is a very picky eater. I was the same way. The world will not end over this, and he is certainly not lacking in the nutrition department — red bell pepper, raw spinach leaves, and hummus are on his limited list of approved foods. More than anything, it’s inconvenient. Going to […]

Read more →

STITCH FIX delivers current clothing to lazy moms

July 15, 2014

I’m pretty sure that STITCH FIX was invented just for me. Since it started in the Bay Area, it is highly possible that someone overheard my weird clothes-shopping peculiarities in some coffee shop and launched it into a startup. That really happens out here. The deal is that real-life human stylists create a box of 5 items […]

Read more →

Activity #23: Build muscles at bootcamp

July 14, 2014

By the time my first baby was 10 weeks old, I had not exercised for about 6 months. Baby Bootcamp was my re-introduction to sweating and I loved it. I was not a gym-goer in my normal life, and Baby Bootcamp was perfect for me. Here’s why: Exercising in the company of other sleep-deprived, temporarily […]

Read more →

Still crushing the {Rookie Moms} Challenges – Part 2

July 11, 2014

Hi – I’m Leslie from And Her Little Dog Too and my little man, Brooks, is 4.5 months old.  I’ve been working hard at crossing items from the Rookie Moms 52 Week Challenge off my list – Check out Part 1 of my Journey – And I’m back today to share more of how I’ve […]

Read more →

I visited a high-security office with a baby {Rookie Moms Challenge #11}

July 10, 2014

Ever since my husband Mike and I were dating, I’ve wanted to visit him at work. He always kept me at bay, telling me that no one else’s girlfriends/fiancees/wives have ever visited, there was nothing to see, and that he wasn’t even sure it was allowed for him to have a visitor. Because he does work […]

Read more →

Water toys and gear that make swimming more fun for rookie moms

July 9, 2014

{Photo by Kate Marzo} When your children can swim independently, the word vacation takes on a whole new meaning. Relaxing at the pool while my kids wear themselves out with cannonballs is my happy place. Here are some fun items that I keep seeing at the swimming spots we’ve hit so far this summer. 1. […]

Read more →