Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sleeping arrangements

babies in bed!

Like he did yesterday, Tobin had me smiling first thing this morning.

He came out of his room at 6:30 on the dot and told me, "Evan's snoring."

I queried, "Oh, did that wake you up?"

Tobin said, "Yeah, but then I got confused because I thought it was Dad snoring, so I almost went back to sleep."

Now I was the one confused, but amused, and asked, "What do you mean?"

Tobin clarified: "Well, I thought Dad had come to sleep in our room like he does on the weekend sometimes, but then I thought it was weird he was in Evan's crib. So I got up and peeked out of my bedroom door and saw that you and Dad were up and it wasn't a weekend!"

Tobin has told us many times that he loves weekends because Daddy is home all day, but the only thing he doesn't like? That he has to sleep until 7:00. (We will enjoy reminding him of this when he is 16 and have to pull him out of bed at 11:00 on Saturdays.) As Tobin mentioned, Matt sometimes goes into the boys' room on weekend mornings to try to delay their waking. More often than not, he goes in because Evan is awake and loudly singing/howling/chanting at some unreasonable hour like 5:00. If it's that early, Matt will actually take Ev out into the living room and snuggle with him on the couch to to coax him back to sleep. Sometimes when the boys wake up after 6:00--which makes it unlikely that anyone will go back to sleep--he'll take Evan from his crib and they'll both crawl into Tobin's bed and "rest" until 7:00 or so.

Our sleeping arrangements require some creativity because we live in a two-bedroom townhouse. Our plans and aspirations to move to a larger home are better left to another post entirely, but the short version is this: We live in our small home because it has a small mortgage payment, which plays a large part in allowing me to be home with the kids full-time as we live on one (public school teacher) income. Although it feels as if we are on top of each other most of the time, the kids seem to like this. For instance, if one of us sits down on the couch, within a few minutes the kids are snuggling up next to us, usually sharing the same cushion. Another advantage to our cozy living is that it's really easy for me to keep tabs on the kids as I try to do chores around the house. If they're not under my feet, they're in the next room; every room in this house is "the next room."

Since Evan was about 10 months old, he's slept in a crib in the same room where Tobin sleeps on a full-sized futon. Overall, this has worked well. Evan has been through phases when he's had more night-wakings than others, but a lot of times his wakings don't rouse Tobin. Before Lauren arrived, if Tobin did have trouble sleeping and Evan needed assistance, Tobin would just come sleep with me and Matt would go to sleep with Evan on Tobin's bed. Most nights, however, Evan is consoled by a pat on the back or a short snuggle and then will sleep just fine in his crib.

With Lauren in our room now, we don't let Tobin come sleep with me for fear he'll wake her up. She slept most of her first three months in bed between Matt and me, but since then she's been sleeping in a Pack 'n Play set up at the end of our bed. She still wakes a couple times a night, but nurses back to sleep and transfers back to her bed easily enough that we're content to leave her in the room with us.

I am considering the possibility of whether and when I could move Lauren to the crib in the boys' room. Since the futon's full-sized, Evan could sleep with Tobin and she could take over the crib. Of course, I worry about a whole new scenario of siblings-waking-siblings. And honestly, I think that just worrying about them waking each other up would cause me to sleep lightly and restlessly even if it is in my own completely child-free room. Then there's the midday nap situation. Lauren takes her second nap of the day while Evan takes his only nap of the day, and it's nice having them in separate rooms so they don't wake each other up. Moving Evan out of his crib is a transition I'm willing to put off for now.

The funny thing is that we might actually sleep better as a family of five crammed into two bedrooms than we did as just a family of three. Tobin slept with Matt and me until he was three, just a month before Evan's birth--and two and a half of those years were in just a full-sized bed. Our king-sized bed may be my single most valued material possession, and I'm thankful that most nights I share it just with Matt. We are content to leave our nighttime arrangements as they currently exist because they work, and we are mostly happy--i.e., everyone sleeps well enough. And good sleep leads to sweet mornings and days, for which we are ever thankful.

fresh baked baby girl

No comments: