Last month, we started sleep training our baby who was nine months at the time. He made the decision easy for me because a) after not sleeping well for nine months I was exhausted and b) he had stopped nursing. This was enough motivation for me to think that he was ready. At this point he had been waking up once or twice a night for a feed.
But how do we do this when we have a three year old in the room? I didn't want to interrupt his sleep with a screaming baby. I also didn't want to disrupt his routine. I had asked others and was told they get used to it and not to worry so much about it. We found a balance and decided to move Stephen to the bedroom and William along with his bed to the living room for a week.
At first, William hated this idea. He cried and fussed and refused to drop the subject. His current phrase is "I don't like that idea." But Chris, who knows his son so well, made a game out of it and made it a fun adventure and then there were magically no more tears. In their place were bright excited eyes and an eager little boy who from that moment on looked forward to sleeping in this new spot.
Stephen adjusted fairly well too. He did wake up a number of times the first couple of nights and cried for a while, but not nearly as long as we were expecting. Maybe 20 minuets at the most (if I remember correctly). And by the end of the week if he woke up, we only heard him cry for a few seconds before he went back to sleep.
Then came the tricky part. Putting William back in the room! Again William "didn't like that idea." But after some discussion and a game of making signs of where the boys were going to sleep and putting a sign on the wall that said "The Brothers' Room." He seemed okay with it. (I had suggested the sign say "The Boys Room" but William came up with "The Brothers' Room" and so it was). We put Stephen down first and then about 30 minutes later ushered William into the room "quiet, quiet" like and basically hoped for the best. William usually sings and talks to himself for a while so we knew this would be weird. He still did his usual self-calming but Stephen didn't really seem to respond. I sitting to the baby monitor so stressed and angry that William wasn't being quiet but in the end, Stephen didn't care. Only I did.
There have been a handful (maybe two handfuls?) of frustrating moments where the boys wake each other up; especially with these never-ending coughs. Stephen doesn't sleep as late as we'd like, but that took a while for William to get used to. But overall, it seems to be working out okay. Chris and I are enjoying having our living space back and even watched a TV show together to celebrate! (oh the life!)
Coming back from Vegas has brought some bad habits back into play, such as a 4 a.m. feed and needing to be rocked to sleep more often, but I know we'll get over this hurdle soon enough. At least I hope we do!