Today on the blog – in conjunction with Touro Infirmary – we are absolutely thrilled to be opening a dialog about sleep through our “Rest Assured: You Are Not Alone” series. As moms we are all often sleep deprived, and we struggle with making decisions around our children’s sleep habits as well. Should we use a crib or a bassinet? Is co-sleeping safe or not? Should we sleep train? And who IS the expert on sleep training anyway? Will the baby ever sleep more than 2 hours at a time? Why does my toddler have night terrors? When do I move the toddler to a “big kid” bed and oh my word why won’t they stay in the darn thing? Our goal through this series is to create a safe place for all of us to open up about the sleep issues that trouble us and to acknowledge that no matter our struggles or choices, we are never ever alone.
My little ones are as different as night and day when it comes to their sleeping habits. From day one, my oldest tempted me with the idea of being an only child with her lack of sleeping. She loves the adventure of life so much that sleeping is the last thing on her list. Whether it is at 2 am or 2 pm, when she should be sound asleep, her favorite saying is, “I’m awake!” My youngest is the complete opposite. I truly believe the one above looked down and granted me a reprieve, blessing me with a little one who slept through the night within a few weeks of life. Before his first birthday, he would grab his blanket, point to his crib and say, “Bed!”
Despite these differences, I did not think twice about separate bedrooms. I grew up in a home where we outnumbered bedrooms; my parents had my closest sister and I share a room until I reached high-school. To be honest, I never questioned having my own room until I became a teenager. I recall my sister and I talking about our day, I doing most of it, as we both fell asleep at night. We would argue about what radio station to listen to and I would usually wake her up asking, “Are you awake?” They were great memories! I shared a room with my first best friend, and as I tell my own children, no one knows you better than your sibling. It was a daily sleepover and those memories of sharing it with your best friend is priceless.
I will not deny that it was not easy at first, but with time we have developed a routine that both our children enjoy and look forward to. After lunch they each pick out books and hop onto my oldest’s bed; we sing, read and giggle while my youngest has the time of his life leaping into his sister’s pile of stuff animals. At bed time, it is a similar routine, led by my husband. They both cling to their own blankets as we pray together and tuck them into their own beds. Within a few minutes we hear them giggling, talking and my oldest likes to currently serenade her little brother with “Jingle Bells.” I cannot imagine a greater gift than sharing a room with your playmate.