three to a room [sleeping]

I recently wrote about our plan for our three kids, aged three and under, to share a room. Our first obstacle was finding room for them all, which we conquered with a $100 trundle bed from Kijiji. The second obstacle has been by far the greatest challenge and truthfully, we're still in it - getting them all to SLEEP.

Chloé still sleeps in a pack-n-play in our room for now and will until she can sleep through the night (right now she's sleeping 5-6 hours straight at night). Once she can go down at 11pm and sleep until 7am, she'll be in with the big kids, but I don't predict that happening for a couple months still, best case scenario. Provided Lily and Oli are asleep at 11pm and also sleeping through the night (which is the case most nights), it shouldn't be too bad. The real problem is getting them to sleep, now that Oli is free as a bird...

Lily transitioned to her big girl bed quite seamlessly for the main reason that there was no one else in her room to distract her. Within a couple days she was golden. Oli has been a whole other story! I have a couple theories:
  1. It's his personality - he loves to party! Boundless energy has he.
  2. It's his sleep habits - he has more energy and gets tired less often than Lily. He's not tired when she is, meaning he isn't going to stay in bed quietly. 
  3. But the most obvious reason for the challenge is that there are now two of them in a room, without the confines of a crib. It's FUN to be free to roam around their room, together, all night long if they like.

We recently cut out Oli's nap and only now is he tired at the same hour as Lily, who still naps for 2 hours a day. Initially we tried putting them to bed at the normal time - 7pm - and just letting them work it out. This is what we did with Lily and it worked really quickly and well. The first few nights they played until 9pm or later and eventually passed out wherever they were. Spoiler alert: it was almost never in their respective beds.

Then we tried time outs every time they got out of bed. This was exhausting for Brad and I and took up our entire evenings. And each night it was the same story. That form of discipline didn't seem to be effective with this type of "crime". We also tried putting Oli back in the crib after he got out of his bed as a more severe punishment, but there was such a long time between being relegated to the crib and the next night to try again, that I think the punishment was lost on him. 24 hours is a long time for a toddler to connect the dots.

Finally we tried staggered bedtimes and cutting Oli's nap. Eureka! Staggered bedtimes without cutting his nap didn't work because he would take SO long to get tired. We'd either lose our evenings (putting him to bed second) or have Lily, our sleepy girl, up incredibly late (putting him to bed first and waiting for him to fall asleep). Now we cut his nap altogether and put him to bed as early as 6pm (HELLO!), wait for him to fall asleep which usually doesn't take more than 30 minutes, and Lily, who has napped that day, follows afterwards.

So now that we have two kids, out of cribs, sharing a room, in a trundle bed, our three to a room challenge continues with adding the baby.

When Chloé starts sleeping 11pm-7am we'll sneak her into the crib at 11pm since the older two will be fast asleep. Right now she goes to bed at 11pm but wakes around 4am for a feed and I'm not willing to have them all in the same room with the possibility of waking the older two every night.

I'll keep y'all posted :)


  1. We have three to a room as well. They are 8, 6 and 4 but have been together since the beginning. I have no idea how we did it back then. The mind has a wonderful way of making you forget the dark times. lol. But i'm sure it went something like this. And they love being together so that makes my heart happy. Enjoy!

  2. Wow! I'm a little tired just thinking about it! :) so glad you figured out what works for the older two and hopefully it will be seamless when Chloe joins them.