…How does it work in your family when you all sleep in one or two rooms and you have little ones that have sleep issues. Although my little ones do generally sleep well at night, if we have teething going on or an illness, there can be a lot of night disturbances…and it seems with more children, the more potential for someone to be “off” causing potentially a poor night’s rest for everyone. How do you handle this? Do the older ones sleep right through? Do they handle the night waking? Do you? Do any of the older ones come to resent having little ones with sleep issues always in their rooms? Thanks for any thoughts on how to handle this!
We have found that children (like adults) can adapt to the situation they are in. With several children sharing a room, there are going to be some learning experiences. Some children will take longer than others to fall asleep. Some will wake up during the night. Some will be heavier sleepers than others.
Adjusting to new roommates – whether it’s just one or 6 – doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s still a work in progress in our home, but I think it’s an important part of learning to live with sinners while exercising love toward one another.
Our light sleepers have learned to sleep through minor disturbances or to drift off easily after they are awakened. They are also learning to exercise courtesy if they simply can’t sleep: keep the light off and don’t wake up the others! Our older children (and even the younger ones) have learned to help soothe a troubled baby back to sleep, or bring the baby to me if necessary.
When one child is having a really bad night – rare, since they tend to become very good sleepers when they have to sleep through the disturbances of others – we all pull together. We naturally take turns, since the person least in need of sleep tends to wake first.
When it comes to having the older ones help out, I try not to take advantage of my older children, but this is valuable training for future mothers as well. It’s a wonderful season in life for hubby and me to have so many helpers around us, and I remember how thankful I was as a new mom to my parents for teaching me to help out.