Baby Sleep: Multiple Rooms

April 5th, 2022
kids, sleep
Babies wake up a lot, and it is worth putting quite a lot of thought and effort into figuring out how parents can still get sleep. One approach we've found helpful is trying to reduce the time when the baby is able to wake us both up by sleeping in multiple rooms.

For example, here's what last night looked like:

  • 9:30: Nora (9m) goes to sleep, in her room.

  • 10:45: we both go to sleep, in our bedroom. Being able to talk and cuddle before sleep is important, and we almost always start the night in the same room.

  • 12:45: Nora wakes up. We both hear it on the monitor. I go get her and give her to Julia to nurse. We are trying to reduce night wakings, so this was a tapered feed. I set a timer for 3 minutes. When it goes off, I bring Nora back to her bed and put her down. I go to sleep in Nora's room. Julia turns off the monitor.

  • 1:00: Nora did not go to sleep right away, and after a bunch of thumping her feet and then some crying I settle her. She takes maybe another 10 minutes before she goes to sleep.

  • 2:55: Nora wakes up again. This is late enough that she gets a full feed, so I let Julia know that she's awake, and go to sleep in Anna's room. Julia feeds Nora, turns the monitor on, and goes back to sleep.

  • 6:00 Julia hears Nora on the monitor and feeds her

  • 7:15: My and the older kids alarms go off to get ready for school. Because I'm not in the same room as Julia, this doesn't wake her up.

  • 7:30: I hear Nora thumping on the monitor, and bring her down to while I get the older kids ready for school.

  • 8:00: Nora is eating breakfast and Julia is still asleep, so the older two walk to school together.

This is more complicated than our typical nights: when Nora is sleeping well she wakes only twice, and I move to Anna's room at the first waking.

We have extra beds partly for playing on, but also to facilitate this. Nora's room has a guest bed, while Anna's just has an extra mattress on the floor.

When Lily was a baby, I think we overly prioritized being in the same room, and we'd both wake up every time Lily woke. Eventually we started using multiple rooms, but it took us much longer than if we'd been thinking about it from the start.

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