My room, your room, our room?

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Categories Infants, Sleep

I was so thrilled when my kids finally seemed to notice each other when they were about six months old.  The first time they laughed at each other was a shining moment, for sure.  Now that they almost play with each other (OK, so they grab each other’s toys and ears, but it’s a start), I just love it.  The two of them giggling and babbling at each other is one of the best parts about having twins so far.

Sometimes, though, it’s a little too much fun.  Like at nap time.  Oh my lord.  For two babies who used to not even notice each other, now they can’t be stopped.  Their cribs are lined up end-to-end in the little room they share, and now that they can both crawl around and stand up, it’s party time.  Sometimes, when I hear them shrieking at each other over the monitor, it’s hilariously cute.  45 minutes later, when Rebecca has finally fallen asleep and Daniel is standing at the edge of his crib, glaring down at her, and screaming… not as much.  And he has been fighting the afternoon nap tooth and nail for the last week (they’re only 11 months, and definitely not ready to drop a nap).  Once or twice he has skipped it entirely, other times he takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to finally go to sleep.  The resulting nap (if there is one) isn’t great, so it makes for a rough rest of the day.

It gets me wondering, as I occasionally do, exactly why I have them sharing a room and how long I want to continue doing it.  Back in the days when they were still waking up at night a lot and taking bottles two or three times, I really preferred having them in the same place.  We went through a phase when M freaked out that they were waking each other up, so we separated them, and it drove me nuts.  Because they’d still wake up at the same time, so now I had to be two different places to soothe or feed them.  No thanks, back in the same room they went.  We kept them right next to each other when we Ferberized, and that really did help them learn to sleep through each other’s noises.  And I really do like the idea of these two little kids sharing their room.  I like that they entertain each other, that they make each other laugh.

Except, you know, when I want them to shut up and GO TO SLEEP!

So that’s when I wonder.  Why, truly, do I have them in the same room?  Is it better for them?  Better for me?  Or does it just seem cute but is entirely impractical for the sake of sleep?  The main problem is really naps.  At night, they go down pretty well.  But sometimes those naps… ooh, man.  And maybe separating them wouldn’t help, and it would turn out that Daniel’s just in the midst of a nap strike regardless of who else is in the room.  Hopefully it’ll pass, but I know this is something I’m going to come back to over and over again in the next few years…

What do you guys think?  Do your twins share a room?  Why or why not?  If they do/did, how long did you keep them together?

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Cross-posted at Goddess in Progress

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23 thoughts on “My room, your room, our room?”

  1. What about putting Rebecca down in their room and keeping Daniel with you or in the pack n play in a downstairs room so you can see if that will help his napping? No direct experience with any of this but I was thinking that might be worth trying.

  2. My 21 month olds still share a room. At time they amaze me with how well they can sleep through the other’s crying. Other times, especially when one wakes up early from nap, I’m sure they disturb each other. We did separate them a couple of months when we were doing sleep training, but now I think we all like them sharing. They like saying goodnight to each other and seeing each other in the morning, and I at least like to think they get comfort from having each other there. Not sure how long they’ll stay together, but it works for now.

    Are you sure your son isn’t ready to switch to one nap? I’ve read that kids go to one nap at 15 to 18 months, though I think our daycare pushed our kids to 1 nap a bit earlier than that. For a while ours would alternate, sometimes only doing an afternoon nap, sometimes doing 2. Of course, if your kids aren’t both ready to go to 1, that could be a nightmare.

    Is there anything quiet you could give him to look at (books?) so he’s not so loud? Clearly I don’t have any great brainstorms.

  3. So far I have been lucky that my boys are not interested in each other once they get in their respective cribs. They still share a room by necessity – we don’t have anywhere to move them to! Bedtime is not a problem and they no longer seem to wake each other if someone gets up in the middle of the night. Their cribs are not touching though, they are a good distance away from each other.

    As for naps, they are generally so darn tired for their morning nap they just crash and crash hard; they don’t bother each other. And in the afternoon, they are not on the same schedule. I’m not sure when they started to do their own thing in the afternoon but somewhere along the way it happened. Even though it makes planning a little harder we have stopped fighting to get them to go down at the exact same time. They are generally happier if they go down when they’re ready rather than when their brother is ready. So they are almost never in there at the same time. Occasionally one will miss a nap altogether and so far it hasn’t made a difference during the night. As long as they get their solid 2 – 2 1/2 hour morning nap, we let the afternoon happen as it may. Thankfully they’ll sleep anywhere so it doesn’t stop us from doing too much. We just make sure we always have a blanket and they’ll zonk out wherever when they’re ready!

  4. I’m in the same boat as Cynthia: my twins share a room because we have a two-bedroom house and there is no other option.

    Maddie and Riley just turned two. They do chat a lot before they fall asleep for naps or nighttime, but overall they do fine sharing a room. I think the pre-sleep chatter is soothing and relaxing for both of them, actually. Riley has a really hard time sleeping and wakes up screaming a few times every night, but it never wakes up Maddie. Likewise on the rare occasion that Maddie wakes up crying, it doesn’t bother Riley. We are all lucky in that way.

    On the rare occasion that Maddie has woken up to find that Riley is not in the room with her (if, for example, I’ve taken him in bed with me!) she becomes HYSTERICAL and screams for him to come back. I just don’t think they could handle being apart, which is good since I can’t separate them.

    Goddess: are you sure your two aren’t ready to go down to one nap/day? If they are really fighting that afternoon nap, it might be time to start nudging the morning nap a bit later and later until poof! it is the only nap. M&R take only one nap/day but at 11:30; they were always better AM nappers than PM, so we keep the one nap earlier and it works well. We did that switch around 18 months, but I know lots of people who have done it earlier, closer to a year. Just a thought. Feel free to ignore my assvice, of course :).

  5. Six and half years together in the same room and counting. :)

    They’ve declared when they are seven, they want to move to the guest room (significantly bigger, especially if we get loft beds) but they still want to share.

    We have good friends with triplets (B/G/G) and they split theirs upon entering school. Now in the third grade, they still traverse to each others’ room.

    Think there are always phases and stages of sleep transition…navigating them for the seemingly short duration has proven easier than shuffling the sleep arrangements for us. :)

  6. We split our kids up from 4-12 months, so feel free to ignore my advice. However, when we put them back together at 12 months (for nighttime sleep only) it became party time in there. Instead of them falling asleep right away, it is 45 minutes to 1.5 hours of chatting, throwing toys and pacis and generally making noise. This was a direct result of us putting them back together—we’re holding out another month to see if they settle down or if it’s back to two rooms. For naps, I can’t handle this (nor can my kids handle not sleeping), so Abigail naps in a pack n play in the guest room.

    I’d hold out on going to one nap as long as possible. While my guys have each had a week or so since 11 months where the afternoon nap was iffy, they always went back to a solid afternoon nap when they needed it. And boy, is life better then!

    Good luck. Poor napping sucks.

  7. Thanks for the comments, everyone! I could be wrong (stranger things have happened), but I really don’t think he’s ready to ditch the PM nap. When he does finally fall asleep, he usually sleeps for about an hour and a half. When he skips it outright, he’s so tired that he’s positively hysterical for the rest of the afternoon. I suspect it’s just one of those phases, in particular because he’s digging his new and improved mobility… hopefully the fascination will pass. :-)

  8. We’re in the same boat as Rebecca. Our ID girls have slept in separate rooms from 4 months on as well and we are wondering when we should put them back together. They bugged each other from the very beginning! They are 13 months now and we are terrified that they will keep each other from sleeping and/or wake each other up in the middle of the night. We’re already so exhausted, I can’t fathom the idea of adding this trouble to our already heavy load. We’re thinking of putting them together again around age two. I’d love to hear other people’s experiences with this.

  9. My girls are 24 months old and have always shared a room. They shared a crib for 6 months (except when sick and contagious). Once they were too long to sleep sideways, we split them into the two cribs. They love being in the same room, although there are nights they wake each other (usually during growth spurts or teething). More often than not, though, I hear one of them stir through the baby monitor and then put herself back to sleep. Once, I heard Jessie say “Sissy here” under her breath before going back to sleep.

    This morning, I was woken by Melody yelling “Wake up, Sissy. Wake up! Wake up,” so it’s not always ideal. Yesterday, they stayed up singing for an hour and half into naptime. Still, we’ve decided not to move them to separate rooms until they ask for it. They really do love one another’s company.

  10. when our guys turned 11 months, oz started boycotting the pm nap. it was awful. abel still needed/wanted it, but oz would keep him up the whole time. i “manually” had to put oz to sleep in the pm (i.e. about 15 minutes of rocking until he was out cold and then VERY CAREFULLY putting him down) for about 2 months if i wanted him to sleep at all. i just wasn’t willing to give in. from 13-15 months we bounced back and forth from 1 to 2 naps and sometimes i thought they were ready and then sometimes not. at 15 months they were ready and we’ve been at 1 nap since. i think some kids start making that nap “transition” earlier than others, and i hate to break it to you, but it isn’t pretty for anyone. i think abel would still be at 2 naps if it weren’t for his brother.

    but as for the room sharing, they’ve always shared from the beginning and despite some frustrating nap times, they love each other’s company so much i can’t imagine splitting them up. i think the phases they go through re: naps are something you may just need to weather and trust they will acclimate. and know the other bonus is, for the most part, keeping them on the same schedule…sleep deprived or not!

  11. My b/g twins are 11 months old and they have always shared a room. However, they don’t nap in the same room. My son sleeps in a pack n’ play in the next room. This works well for us. At night, he goes down in the pack n’ play and then we move him to his crib (in the room with his sister) after he is settled and asleep. We’ve used this system for the past 3 or 4 months and it works well, even though we have an extra step each night moving him to the other room. I love that when they wake up in the morning, they see each other and will “talk” for about 30 minutes before we go in and get them. Eventually, we’ll have to put them down together, but we’re not ready to cross that bridge yet. They are on the same schedule and are sleeping well, so why push my luck, right?

  12. My b/g twins were together early on, in our room, then he seemed to sleep better alone and they werent exactly on the same schedule so not wanting to ruin a good thing we kept her in our room for many months. Then went to sharing a room again and that didnt work since she has acid reflux that keeps her up at night but now we are back to seperate rooms and she’s even in her own room, not ours! It works GREAT! I wouldnt of minded them sharing if it would have worked out, I just like how if one is a little more tired and needs to sleep longer I dont have to run like a bat out of hell to go and snatch the other one out of the room, hoping not to wake the other one up! And we have the 4 bedrooms up so i figure why not!?!

    As far as the naps, I would keep trying for the two naps as much as it works out! Like Rebecca said, it makes a world of difference!

  13. My ID twin girls are 3 1/2 years old. They have always slept in the same room except for right after they were born and were in the hospital (one was there 9 days, the other 7 weeks). For the most part, they have learned to ignore each other. A couple of times we have dealt with Abby trying to “entertain and perform” for Maggie but I just moved Maggie to my bed for a day and that made Abby so sad she promised never to do it. They still talk sometimes before falling asleep but like someone else said, I think it is just comforting to them. We have a third bedroom but I like keeping it as a guest room. If we had a fourth bedroom, I would let them decide when they got older.

  14. At 13 months, my kids are still in the same room. We had a similiar situation happen, and I had to “break up the party.” The cribs are no longer side by side. Faith’s crib got moved across the room, and this seems to have helped tremendously. We have gone through periodic afternoon nap strikes, but then we are back to 2 a day, with happy kids and happy mama. Good luck and hang in there!

  15. We have always had our girls in the same room but at around your kiddos age — like 10 months to 14 months or so — we separated for naps. I would try to put them down together, but if they wouldn’t sleep I removed the same one each time. Funny, I can’t remember who now. Boy, that just goes to show how each stage is certainly a phase that does pass. Now, they rarely have trouble going to sleep they are so tired. That happened when they went to one nap.

  16. I wanted to add that we considered putting up a screen … so that could be an option. I think two rooms would be nice, but I can’t imagine dealing with it or with one of my girls who needs her sis around for sleep sake.

  17. Our 18 month old twins are in the same room. NOT only that, but my almost 4 year old is in their with them(they have their cribs and she has her toddler bed). They are squished in very close quarters. They never wake each other up. The 4 year old is not bothered when the twins wake up at 530a, she’ll sleep right through it.

    This past weekend my niece was over, so i took my 4 year old and my sisters 4 year old and we went upstairs to one of the two bedrooms that will hopefully one day soon, be the girls rooms. The big girls slept on my 4 year olds, big girl Queen bed(that she refuses to sleep in, unless someone sleeps with her). The twins actually freaked out & woke up crying a few times in the middle of the night. It’s like they knew that their sister wasn’t in the room with them. I have this feeling, all 3 will stay in the same room, for a while.

    Makes me wonder why we rushed and bought this big ole’ house as soon as i got prego with the twins, when we have two bedrooms upstairs that only have furniture, but no children. I think when they finally move upstairs…all 3 will move up together.

    Naps are fine too. My 4 year old still has one nap a day, but she naps on the couch. The twins take one nap a day and i put them in their cribs. They cry for a bit…but i have never had problems with them in the same room. I always have a baby bedtime cd playing at ALL times to drown out the sounds i make in the living room. I still feel like they should be taking two naps a day. About 3/4ths of the time they fall asleep on the floor, while i’m cooking lunch because they are so exhausted and i am cooking, so i can’t entertain them for about 10-15 minutes. At MDO, they only take one nap a day, so i figured, if they can do it at school, they can do it at home.

    I think the one nap has a bit to do with what time they wake up, how many hours they sleep at night, etc. My girls go down about 8p and get up about 530a every morning. So they are exhausted by 1p for sure. You have to use your own motherly intuition on the naps. I asked our moms group and everyone had a different answer for me…so i finally decided i was ready and now i just have to work to keep them up long enough for one long 2 hour nap v/s 2 short 1 hour naps.

  18. liz, i have had the same experience as tracey. we started to have trouble with mace in the afternoon at 11 months and just did what we could to get him some sleep. now the one nap transition is better….still some days when things are rough (like today when o slept 30 minutes…the whole day. argg) but for the most part they are down at 1130 and up around 2. i actually have to go in after 1.5 hours to put o back down, he will wake and cry and mason will sleep 2-3 hours if i take o and lay down with him. not ideal, but it is was it is. i hope they settle into the one nap in the next month or so, like t’s boys.

    one room since they were 7 weeks old. nap time and otherwise. we do not have another option and i think it is all they know.

  19. I have 22 month old triplets and I separate them for naps, but not night time sleep. I started separating them when they were only a couple months old because they napped differently and when the non-sleeper woke up the sleepers, it made for a rough day. With separated naps, I’m able to let one just be up while the other two keep sleeping and I don’t worry that the sleepers will get woken up. Yes, they probably stay up a little later at night than they would if they were separated, but I love hearing them talk and laugh with each other. I may separate them later, if it becomes a bigger issue, but for now, what they don’t get at night, they are able to make up for during naps.

  20. My 14-month-old twin girls share a room. They shared a crib for the first 3 months, and they don’t wake each other up during the night. I think they probably do wake each other in the morning but since I want them on the same schedule (as long as possible!) I don’t mind. There have been a handful of times when one does NOT want to nap and tries to throw blankets, animals, etc. at her sister; I’ve put one in a pack-n-play then.

  21. There’s so many contributions here…. wow… All I can add is that when my twins were keeping each other from sleeping in the afternoon, I separated them till they fell asleep, then put them in together. That way, I didn’t need a whole separate room, it only took each girl 5 minutes to fall asleep without having the other around. See if that works for you. Also, I notice my girls seem to like to know they are together while they sleep – they usually end up close together, with an arm or leg or something thrown on top of each other.

  22. Our girls have always been together and have never disturbed each other unless the second one was already on the verge of waking. I do have a friend whose boys share a room a night, but during the day, one of them naps in a pack ‘n play in another room because they won’t fall asleep in the same room during the day, but are fine at night.

    Also, my girls dropped their second nap at 15 months (12.5 months adjusted). It was a rough couple of weeks, but they went from 2 naps lasting 1/5 hours to 1 nap lasting 2-3 hours. So maybe he still needs the sleep, but would do better with consolidated sleep? We ended up moving lunch time, adding an extra snack, and napping smack dab in the middle of the day from 11-2 for while. As they got older, the nap got later and shorter, finally ending up with a single nap from 1-2:30 before they finally gave up napping which is another tale all its own.

  23. I have no answers about the sleep situation, but I do have to say that the pics you posted are ADORABLE. Sleeping babies are so precious, aren’t they? And not only because they’re sleeping, but because they are so stinking GORGEOUS!

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