Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where do your babies sleep?

Like all pregnant women we had a nursery with two cots waiting for our babies and I, knowing nothing, already had rules for the babies.

No babies in our bed and no babies sleeping in our bedroom. Ha!

South African houses are not made for the cold and our lovely, open plan house is freezing cold in winter. Sometimes we think it's warmer outside than inside :)

When Connor came home we put him in their room but we were up and down between our room and theirs the entire night worrying about him literally freezing to death. Remember he was discharged at 1,93 kg so was a tiny, tiny baby.

Eventually I just said to God, "this is Your baby; You protect him" and then I slept without worrying.

Still, the next night we broke my two rules and co-slept with him in a wedge protector thing IN OUR BED for the next 10 days. It became easier to get to him if we kept him with us – also warmer for all!

Then Kendra came home so we dashed out to buy a camp cot (some of you call it a Pack and Play) which we put IN OUR ROOM.

They happily slept like that for about 3 months. During this time Kendra would scream and Connor would sleep through it all. We were amazed at his commitment to his sleep when it seemed the whole neighbourhood woke when Kendra screamed.

One day it all changed.

Connor started waking when she screamed so we moved him to their room mainly so he could get away from Kendra's screaming. Of course they both slept better this way.

On the nights we used to have the night nanny they'd both sleep in their room, no problem. I'm sure they'd wake each other on occasion though.

Eventually they were both sleeping there quite happily until something happened.

I don't know what the something was as is usually the case with the babies. One day something's fine; the next day you'd swear we were trying to kill them.

A few weeks of this craziness - one setting the other off and then still waking for their own feeds and I thought, "oh my word, we need to buy a bigger house to separate these two permanently".

Will we never have any sleep? Will I have to give up my study? Where will all the computers, files, books go?

But we can't afford to buy another house now, not with the twin expenses. Our debt is very low - tiny bond (mortgage) and only one car so I was freaking a bit.

I really hate debt (hence the tiny bond and only the one car to still pay off) so I panic a bit at the thought of paying a big bond again (we've been in this house for 5 years, we only financed about 2/3 of the purchase price and have paid off about 60% of that already... that stopped when we needed to start paying for IVF) even though who wouldn't want a bigger nicer house?!

Somehow I like security of having spare cash more than a tight budget with a lovely big house.

But just as I was about to start calling in estate agents for valuations and so on, things settled down.

Lesson to me - always wait things out for a few weeks before panicking!

We still have the odd night where I separate the quiet one from the niggly one but those are few and far in between. BUT we have moved the camp cot to the guest bedroom now so the niggly one isn't disturbing my sleep (babies are NOISY, especially Connor).

Of course this is not a long-term solution as eventually we will have to move house when we need to move them to their own rooms. I'm hoping only when they're about 4 - 5 years old as I really, really REALLY hate moving house.

Will your house able to serve your family's needs for a long time? If you have twins, what are your plans for sharing rooms vs having their own? And if you have boy/ girl twins, when do you plan to move them to their own rooms?

P.S. the new schedule seems to be working and I'm almost too scared to write this BUT last night they only woke once! K at 12.30 (7-hour stretch) and C at 3.45 (10-hour stretch)


  1. Our house could probably serve our "needs" for a long time, but we wonder whether it'll meet our "wants" ;) We always dream of more storage etc. However, we're then caught - do we upsize the home loan to move, do we sacrifice the fantastic inner city location we currently have for 'the burbs', or do we suck it up and manage with what we have and the neighbourhood and lovely neighbours we know (and we also spent 3 years lovingly renovating the place too!).

    PS: We call camp cots "porta cots" here :)

  2. PS: Sending sleepy night time vibes to the babies :)

  3. Thankfully, this house will serve our needs for quite some time. Hopefully, until everyone graduates public school and move on to university. But this is especially true as they are boy/boy twins. They will probably always share a room, but so far they like it that way. They sleep in separate cribs, but when we travel, they will share one pack n play and they snuggle together when they share. It's so cute.

  4. With number 3 on the way (and going into our "guest" room) then there is no way we can separate teh twins. I prefer to have them together anyway - they are on the same schedule and I think sharing a room builds teamwork and teaches cooperation - I should know, I shared one with both my sisters until I was 8 years old. Eventually I suppose the two girls will share and Ned will get his own room. I hope to heck we aren't in the same house though! We could totally make it work but it would be tight as they need space for schoolwork etc. Our issue is that with the market decline we've lost $150k in value in our house. Shudder.

  5. mmm... I was talking to someone about this just yesterday. How old is too old for boy and girl to be sharing rooms?? I don't know. For now, they share one cot, so separate rooms are a fair way away!

  6. The home I live in now is our "forever" home. Purchased 16 yrs. ago when all four of our children still lived at home. It's a two story with the lower level (basement) completely finished. There are two bedrooms, a bathroom and den upstairs. On the main level is the master bedroom and bath, living room, kitchen, dining room, laundry room and sun room. The lower level has two bedrooms, a bathroom, a recreation room (pool table, tv, exercise equipment) and the mechanicals (hot water tank, heating and cooling systems and other storage)are in another room down there. We love the set up of our house. We've always had plenty of room. The kids each had their own bedrooms, they shared a bath with another sibling and they had a tv room to share as well. It made for a very peaceful time when they were all home. We liked having our room on the main level away from the kids. Our thoughts are that when the day comes that using stairs is difficult for us everything we need is all on this main floor and there's no need for us to venture up or down stairs. Now that our children are grown and out on their own the house at times seems entirely too large but when they are all here for holidays or just coming to visit with the grandchildren there is plenty of room for all of us. Room for them to stay over if need be and room for the grandchildren to play, be noisy and not disturb the adults.

  7. Oh a much bigger house is in our future. This is the first house we actually bought after years of apartment/house rentals and we got such a deal from my uncle that I couldn't pass it up. My state had one of the highest home prices in the country-lovely! Our two bedroom house just won't cut it! I've lost the guest room to the girls and I foresee losing the office/craft room to a play room! My living room and family room are slowing being taken over as well! I think they will always share a room though, but we shall see!

  8. Current house will do (just whether we want to stay there if something else pops us) Esp once the basement is done.

    The girls have always slept in the same room from day 1 - were in the same crib until size became an issue.
    Since October or so we've had very little overnight issues.

    Guess we'll sort of leave it up to them if they decide at some point to want separate rooms.

  9. We have a small house (1st home, and had no idea twins were so near in our future back then). It's about the square footage of a 2 bedroom apartment, except it's a 2 bedroom house. There's space to build and add in the back, but when we REALLY think about it, what would be more cost-efficient? An addition or a slightly bigger home? I'm thinking I have at LEAST 10 yrs to figure it out - and that's having the boys bunk together all the while.

    I shared a room w/ my sister until I was 15, and she was 21 (she got married), so I'm not opposed to sharing long-term, but would love to one day give them a room to their own one day.

    Hope the sleep and schedule keep up!! They're growing momma, so things will start to fall more in to place.

  10. We are about to move into a new house, and the plan is for it to last for at least 10 years or so. We hope to look at building after that, but we'll see. The girls will be sharing a room for the foreseeable future, and we are going to make the extra bedroom a playroom. If they eventually want their own rooms, that will be fine, but they will have to give up the playroom.

    Yay for good sleep!!

  11. We live in a 2 bedroom house with us in one room and Josiah in the other. It's not a very big room and I'm not sure that we could fit another bed in there. If we end up having another boy, I think that we would try to squeeze them both in. If we have a girl, depending on their ages and temperaments, it may work or may not. If we have twins, we HAVE to move! No matter what, it's not going to last that long. We've been here nearly 2 years and I was counting on 5 years total.

    The big holdup on moving would be that our economy is really tough around here, especially in Oregon. So, we may not have enough equity in our house or be able to sell it very easily in order to buy a bigger house. In a few years that could be totally different, though. So, we'll just play it by ear...

    Your post makes me think about something I want to write about: in one of my online baby groups, we were talking about all of the bad mommy habits that we have and it was really freeing to talk about it all. Your post also makes me think about all of the things I always said I would NEVER do before having a baby that I do now. I think it'd make an interesting topic for discussion...

  12. I totally want a new house...the only thing that is good about our small house right now is that I generally know where everyone is! Less chances for kids getting hurt! We slept the kids in their cribs from DAY ONE! It was the best thing I ever did. We have broken our "rules" occasionally when they have a fever or something, but other than that, they're in their cribs. I'm hoping to make it to 4 before giving them their own rooms (although we plan on moving before that, so we'll see how that goes). Interesting questions!

  13. We have a small house by any standards... but I wouldn't change it for the world... more to clean and keep tidy - no thank-you. Not to mention in a country where most people live in a shack smaller than my kitchen I couldn't really justify it. We have two bedrooms... one is mostly for playing and the other is mostly for sleeping. Our little guys sleep in our huge bed (two double futons pushed together) - works for us!!!

  14. Anonymous8:59 am

    Our twins (boy/girl) slept in the same cot in the same room in the beginning but at around 10 - 11 months we realised that they are two very different babies with different sleeping patterns and it worked well to seperate them into seperate room. In the mornings they love going with me to wake the other up. Charles is also started waking at odd hours of the night, crying and this way he doesn't wake Cedar who is very grumpy if she doesn't get enough sleep. When all else fails do what works best for your family.

  15. We live in a small house and are quickly outgrowing it. The babies share a room but sleep in their own cribs. When we brought them home, they shared a pack n play in our room. Finley is a super active sleeper so we made the switch to their own cribs pretty early around 5 weeks or so.
    We hope to add a second floor to our house which would give us quite a bit more space and when that happens, we will give them their own rooms. Hopefully sooner than later! Luckily they are not too bothered by each others crying at night.


Thank you so much for leaving a comment and filling my love tank. I appreciate it!

I'd love to answer your email so please make sure your email address is enabled. In Blogger, go to Edit Profile, and under Privacy, tick the 3rd block and then Save Profile :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails