Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Where Does a New Baby Go? ~ Big Family Idea Bonanza Series

Before we get too far into this, let me share the disappointing news that no, I am not with child. J But since that possibility looms on the horizon for many of us, I thought a post on where a new baby would sleep might be in order.
Our newborns have always slept in a bassinet in our room. There’s just something comforting about hearing the breathing of the baby as well as something convenient about not traipsing down the hall to nurse at three in the morning. By about three months, we move the baby into a crib.

It wasn’t until we had our fourth baby that we weren’t sure where to put a new wee one at the three month mark. Our first two were girls, so it was natural that they would share a room. The third was a boy, so he went in our second bedroom. But we knew that we didn’t want a newborn to be in a bedroom with a restless two-year-old.


I know it’s not radical to most of you, but it sure seemed like a major life change to us at the time. We left baby #4 in our bedroom, in the crib, for more than a year. Now, we’ve had three babies in our bedroom until they were sleeping through the night consistently. That’s usually at least a year.


Here are a few things we’ve done to make this parent-child room sharing easier ~

Put the crib as far away as possible from the primary light source.

Function by nightlight or bathroom light when the baby is old enough to be sensitive to light. Books can be read by a book light. Socks can be taken into the bathroom to see if they are black or blue.

Drape a blanket over the edge of the crib that faces out to reduce distraction. We only did this at the very newborn stage when we could position the baby far enough away from the blanket that there was no danger of the baby pulling it down over himself.

Put the changing table in our bedroom. That way, if a diaper or outfit needed changed while a Little was napping, I wouldn’t bother the napper.


If you don’t want the crib in your room, here are a few other options ~

One friend put the crib in her adjoining walk-in closet.

With a two-story house and the crib upstairs, keep a bassinet or play yard downstairs for napping.

A den or a large laundry room could become a temporary nursery. Perhaps the swish-swish of the washing machine would be soothing!

Put a room divider around the crib, like an old-fashioned folding dressing screen. Maybe something like this that I found on Amazon ~



I wish I had thought of this a few babies ago!

No matter where the baby sleeps, enjoy those precious moments that fly by so fast!






If your bedrooms are full of children already, where do you put a newborn?


Other posts in this series ~

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31 comments:

  1. We put our fourth child in our walk in closet because we were short the rooms. Our fifth was in her own room because we had the space. Now, we will have the sixth in our room when she comes. All together we will have five girls and one boy. Our son is actually using the "office" as a bedroom. The oldest (14) has her own room. The 8 year old has her own room. Our four year old and 2 year old now share. I believe when this baby gets older, there will be room in their room for another bed. We will reassemble the bunk bed and put a twin in there.

    I know it is possible to make room. I think about the old days when they made room. Kids shared beds and little ones slept in drawers. :)

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    1. Another great idea -- a drawer! We have done this while on vacation, but carefully. Obviously, don't close the drawer! When we were traveling, we removed the drawer completely and set it on the floor. We also lined it with a heavy blanket (nothing mushy like a pillow), making sure that the edges of the blanket draped over far enough that the baby couldn't pull them in on himself. Another obvious observation - this only works with smaller babies! Thanks for the great suggestion, Rachel!

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  2. We live in a tiny house that includes 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen (no storage or closet space to speak of). Our 5 year old daughter and 2 year old son share a room and the 4 month old will be sleeping in our room as long as we can pull it off before having to move her in with her siblings. Bedtime isn't too bad (although the older two can keep each other awake for hours after being put to bed), but naptime is very difficult. My husband works the night shift and is often home sleeping during the day, the 2 oldest kids still need naps frequently, and the baby is a very light sleeper who needs a quiet room to sleep in. I've had to resort to pulling the pack n' play into the bathroom for my son to nap, but that still leaves me without a place for the 5 year old to nap. Since my husband was put on night shift, our whole family has been perpetually short on sleep which makes for some very unhappy children. Any suggestions on how to handle this?

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    1. b
      Hannah, I am the mother of six children back to back (all under 9). I would suggest that you continue with the baby in the bathroom, and then, bring the two olders into the livingroom, lay them on the floor by your feet, and sit and read a book (to yourself) while you keep your children from misbehaving. Require that they keep their eyes shut, or that they place a blankie over their eyes (not their whole face, mind). Do this daily for a week or two, and then they will stop testing you, and be acclimated to sleeping on the floor, and you will be able to go back to doing whatever you typically do during naptime. BTW, if you stop their antics/opening of the eyes etc IMMEDIATELY then you probably won't have to wait a whole two weeks, and you will greatly diminish the crying about it.

      Hope it goes well for you!
      God Bless
      Mrs. Logan

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    2. Great advice, Mrs. Logan. I was also thinking, Hannah, that perhaps it just comes down to a matter of discipline. For room sharing, set the rule that they lay in their beds quietly. No talking, giggling, playing, etc. Then enforce it, however you think best. You could put the older two in their beds and then hang out in the hallway, ready to swoop in with discipline when you hear a problem. It could take several days and then reminders every now and then, but it will be worth it.

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    3. hannah- dr.sears suggests having older ones make a little nap nest for themselves, behind a couch, under a desk, in a closet. it's fun,cozy and tucked away and can be cleaned up afterwards. . does your hubby use a sound machine to shut out the noise?

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    4. Great suggestions, Barley's. Thank you!

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    5. Thanks for all the suggestions! I will definitely be trying these!

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  3. Our baby stays in our bedroom too!

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    1. Don't you love to hear their breathing as you're going to sleep? :)

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  4. Hello, I am expecting my fourth child and loved this post! We have all girls and bunk beds, so it works for us for now. This baby is a girl as well and will be in the room with hubby and I for awhile, but I really love all your tips.

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    1. Congratulations, Del! Thanks so much, and I'm glad to have you here!

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  5. Baby #9 is still in our bedroom at 2 since we cannot take the crib apart (the screws are stripped). Thankfully she is a great sleeper and will be moved as soon as a she can sleep in a real bed. Fun post.
    Keep up the God work.

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    1. Excellent reason to keep the toddler in your room! Thanks, Lori.

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  6. Our two year old still insists on sleeping in our room most nights, we are hoping to get him adjusted to being in his own room before another baby comes! Two babies in our room (as much as we love them) just isn't appealing.

    I know this isn't a very wonderful idea but my grandmother grew up in a family of seven children in a tiny two bedroom house. When she was small, she and her sister slept in the bathtub (!) because the couch and bedrooms were full. Later her father built an extra room off the side of the house - of course with no electricity or heat - making sharing a bed essential in the wintertime! Oh the things they did back then!

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    1. It is so interesting to learn what families did to get by in years past as compared to how we expect life to be now. It's amazing how attitudes have changed. It's still not a bad philosophy, though -- you just do what you gotta do. Thanks, Kourtney, for sharing that bit of history!

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  7. we cosleep with the baby, and at nap time she nurses while sleeping. i wish we had a king size bed lol.

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    1. I haven't had the baby sleep in my bed, but I can see why you would want something big! Thanks for commenting!

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  8. Great ideas for making life with a baby easier! I had a hard time putting my youngest in his own room at 6 months, but couldn't come up with a way to keep him in my room and still have me get sleep. Love the closet idea! Thanks for linking to Mom's Library!

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    1. Thanks so much, Ashley, for your work with the link-up. I'm glad this was helpful to you.

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  9. We have three rooms. Grandma moved in last Feb and is sleeping in the downstairs bedroom (love her!). Our 5-yo boy and 3-yo girl sleep in a bunk bed in the same room with our 1-yo girl who sleeps in a pack and play. We have the other upstairs room and share it with our two month old. Fortunately, there's a little nook in the hall where a crib just fits. Miles will move there next month sometime. For us, good sleep training, sound machines, fans, and loud air purifiers have kept the peace in our comfy little home!

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    1. Your little nook in the hall sounds cute -- and handy! Sounds like a great plan. Thanks for visiting and sharing your circumstances.

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  10. I just have to say that I love that photo for this post! :)

    Our little ones have been in our room, as well.

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  11. Our last three babies were in our room without us needing to be careful about lights as they were used to it. One of them in particular was a wonderful alarm clock in the morning as he would wake joyfully jumping in the crib like it was a trampoline. He was a sturdy 30 pounds by a year, so we had to buy a new mattress for the next baby, lol!! We never thought to mind.

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    1. Our babies have typically been fairly tolerant to lights. I thought to include that because I saw on FB a few weeks ago a friend's picture of her rocking her baby to sleep. The little guy was wide awake, but I noticed she had on every light in the room. Some babies just seem to be a bit more sensitive to stimuli, especially as they get older. Thanks for sharing your memories, Judith. Love it!

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  12. What a fun series. We, too, kept our baby in our room in a cradle. I found that when I put them in the crib at 3 months they slept so much better. But my momma heart just needed them close at first. I don't think I'll need to make that decision again--just where the visiting grandbabies will sleep!

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    1. Yay for grandbabies! Thanks for visiting, Pamela!

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  13. We only have a one bedroom house with two children 17 months and 1 month. So we have a crib and a pack and play in our bedroom. Most nights we end up with all 4 of us in the full size bed. They will only be little once.

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    1. So true, Alicia. Time passes so quickly, so soak it all up before it's gone. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Alicia, you just gave me hope that two littles in our room CAN work! Our son will be 15 months when baby #5 is born next month. He, in our opinion, still needs to be in his crib (which is in our room). He still wakes up most nights, at least once. Our newborn will sleep in a bassinet beside me for the first couple of months. We have bunk beds in our boys' room and a daybed with trundle in my daughter's room. Our 15 month old will eventually share a room with her. My question is this: do the two baby's tend to wake one another up? Everytime my son cries in the middle of the night, it jolts the baby (in my womb) awake! Not kidding!

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