We have had a routine over the last few weeks that has looked a little like this. I lay with Henley in her bed until she falls asleep. I hear blood curdling screams for “Maaamaaaa” around midnight, go to her room and bring her back in our bed until morning. Around 6am Macie joins the crew and we are all snuggled into bed until around 7am. One night of this wouldn’t be bad, a few periodic nights of this is manageable. Every night like this is not okay.
I am a problem solver. I am not one to sit idly by, accepting situations as the way they are. When Macie had colic at three weeks old, I spent hours combing the internet looking for articles that would lead me to a cause or solution. I spent money buying any product that the internet said “might work”, trying them all. Almost everything I read said she would begin to feel better around the twelve week mark, it’s just colic. This was not an answer to me. I needed to know what was causing it and figure out a way to make it stop. I had to be actively seeking a solution. Through all of my research and purchases, I found a some things that would help for a bit which justified my time spent as “worth it”. Around ten weeks she did begin to feel better but I don't regret any of my searching for a solution. Admittedly, it requires time, money, and most of all frustration, to hunt for solutions. This mentality comes with a certain level of disappointment when things don’t work or when all of the effort in the world doesn’t correct it.
Enter Henley’s life thus far in regards to her sleep.
As a tiny baby she was what I considered “normal” for that age, I would never have considered her a “bad sleeper” in the beginning. She woke to nurse and most of the time went right back to sleep. The trouble began when it was time to get her out of our room and into her own crib. The timeline of everything feels like a blur but I know there was some crying-it-out. There was rocking her to sleep and laying her down with the most gentle, slow motion bend ever. There was holding her hand through crib railing while laying on the floor, trying to quietly let go and twist my arms through the rungs once she had fallen asleep. There were so many nights of her in bed with us that it would be comical to try to quantify. There have been naps and skipping naps. We took the side off of the crib, purchased a toddler bed, and then a twin bed--all with the same results. My kid isn’t a good sleeper. If she is in our bed or if we lay with her, she sleeps. She is just lonely and wants to touch someone. All. Night. Long. She wants a body close to her and after four years of looking for a solution, I am coming to the realization that there is nothing I can do for her other than be with her….or is there?
After much thinking and research I’ve come up with the idea of room sharing for the girls. This is a risky move. Macie is a good sleeper, do I want to risk messing that up? This is the biggest risk factor with this whole idea but bear with me.
Macie is almost two and a half. She is currently still in her crib with no plans of escape anytime soon. She has asked to sleep with Henley here and there and we always shoot it down. I did attempt a sleepover with them a few weeks ago and I think Macie was so excited to be free she was just running around for an hour until I put her back into her crib. I know my days of this are numbered. Macie has a strong personality and at times, enjoys being defiant. This makes me wonder how the transition to a bed will be in general. I know many good sleepers that have been ruined by a bed transition.
My plan is to wait until around October. This will be after our vacation with no major changes for at least six months. I am planning to move her crib, assuming she is still in it at this point, into Henley’s room for a week and let her sleep in there. At this point I am hoping that Henley is staying in her room being there is someone else in there and I hope Macie will be falling asleep ok.
If this works I am planning to take the side of the crib off, giving Macie more freedom. If she and Henley both go to sleep and stay in there rooms at this point, I think we are good to go for operation room sharing. (and the crowd goes wild!)
I have already pinned more than I could ever afford or accomplish in this lifetime in regards to room sharing. I’ve already decided with this move, to turn Macie’s room into a playroom. This would create one space for toys and books. I would add desks for each for a space to craft and to do homework for Henley this year. I am very excited for this to work, not only for sleep but also for the awesome potential for redecorating and remodeling these two rooms. I have created an inspiration mood board here for both rooms.
I know this is potentially a long shot. I’m hoping for a toddler crib-to-bed transition to go smoothly in a new room in addition to praying my four and a half year old finally sleeps, BUT this mama is tired. I am tired of the laying with Henley all night and I’m tired of getting frustrated with her. I feel this solution possibly will be better for her in that I’m working with what she needs, someone in the room with her all night. I’m keeping my eyes peeled for more room ideas in the hopes I have two adorable little rooms to remodel soon.
I’d love any room sharing tips you have, feel free to share or post in the comments.
I wrote this post a few days ago and since then we have had some major upset in the sleep department. Macie has dropped the pacifier which is great news but which also means she isn't falling asleep on her own. She is insisting one of us sit in the recliner in her room "forever and ever" (her words). Because of this, she is waking up in the middle of the night hysterical and ending up in our bed. This is brutal, she twists and turns and tries to crawl under me while she sleeps. Tonight my plan was just to let her cry but Dad can't really handle that. Out of sheer frustration, I stuck her in bed with Henley and they are both asleep in her twin bed. This could go wrong in so many ways, moat of which is that Henley falls out of bed and cries, then waking Macie. Everyone back in our bed, again.
I still intend to get Macie back in her bed in her room as my plan above, I just need Dad to leave the house for an hour or so while she cries. Usually when she goes through these phases it takes just one night of me having her cry to get back to putting herself to sleep.
Ah the sleep drama saga continues...