Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Strategies for Rooming in with Children

All in the name of a good night's sleep...

My husband and I generally attempt to avoid sharing a room with either of our children if at all possible.  However, given that we enjoy the occasional family trip away from home we inevitably end up bunking in with the kiddos.

Our first strategy is always to find somewhere else to put the kids other than the room we’ll be sleeping in.  Occasionally there will be a suitable laundry room or quiet hallway and on very rare occasions even a separate bedroom.  But, more often than not we end up at a friend’s house staring blankly at a cozy spare room, dreading the night before us.  After a quick peruse of the room the closet begins to emanate this glorious golden glow, practically shouting hallelujah!   What child wouldn’t want to sleep in that wonderful space?  Yes, confession – we have set up the bassinet in a closet and the playpen will even fit in a roomy walk-in.

Now before you comment on how ridiculous this sounds I feel as though I must tell you that our girls are known to toss and turn in their sleep and open their eyes to confirm whether or not it is still time to sleep.  Well, if they so much as catch a glimpse of someone else’s arm, toe or heaven forbid face we might as well just turn on the disco ball and shout out “Let’s get this party started!”  Therefore, we have learned to take all precautions to avoid being seen by the children so as to prevent the 3:00 am party, which will inevitably lead to the 3:30 am meltdown. 


We recently shared a hotel room with both girls.  Willow was the lucky one who got to sleep in the cozy closet and Sophie was in a big bed next to my husband and me.  In this scenario a well-positioned nightstand meant that Sophie couldn’t see our faces to tell if we were awake or not.  So if she tossed and turned in the night we would remain deadly still until she rolled over and went back to sleep, I imagine similar to how one would act when in the presence of T-Rex.

"Nice try Mommy, I can see you"

Naptime in the hotel room was also a bit tricky and required some stealth moves on my part.  I found that getting Sophie to go to sleep for her nap in the hotel room wasn’t too difficult.  Once she was asleep I’d read my book in peace and enjoy the quiet, but the moment she began to stir I quickly did my well-rehearsed tuck and roll and hid out of sight until she fell back to sleep.  The times when I wasn’t quite quick enough I’d avert my gaze and close my eyes hoping that maybe there was some truth to the childlike assumption that “If I can’t see her she can’t see me.”  Of course there isn’t, but it doesn't hurt to give it a shot right?


  1. Ah yes, I'm dreading the shared accommodations at the lake this summer. Glad I'm not the only one!

  2. Well done....this is a GREAT !!!!!!
    Love the sleep ideas. Think it, see it!!!!
    Flexibility and an imagination will take you to new levels of motherhood. Proud of you!!!!!!