A few weeks ago I shared with you all how we were moving our youngest daughter into our oldest son’s room. We’re preparing for baby #3, who is due really any day now, so our two oldest have to share a room. We wanted to get everything started so that when the baby comes our daughter will be comfortable and used to being out of the crib. She’s quite the territorial almost-three-year-old little girl and my hope is that she’ll soon start to see her new shared room as hers. One can really only hope when dealing with a toddler, right? Yes, I thought so too so we’ll have to wait and see.
I’m happy to report that actually moving her into the room was an easy process! About a week before the big move I started moving her clothes into her new room. Once the clothes were all moved we started using the room to change in. She was resistant at first; it just didn’t make sense to her why she was getting dressed in her brother’s room. Slowly but surely she got used to it though and that was step one completed.
Next we really started talking it up with her. We had slated Wednesday, April 16th, as the big move in day. The morning before the 16th my husband started talking with Kendall, our daughter, about how that day was the last day she was going to sleep in her crib and wasn’t that so exciting that she’s going to be a big sister. He must’ve done a great job because that afternoon she announced to me that she was going to sleep in her, “I a big sister now bed.”
We weren’t home on the 15th because my husband is an accountant and every year his firm hosts a end of tax season dinner. She slept in her crib that night because we weren’t certain how she would handle us being gone and the big change into a new bed and new room.
The next day was move in day. She took her nap in her big sister bed with flying colors. Since she’s the only napping child in the house going down for a nap was the easy transition. It was just me and her doing the nap routine and then she was alone to rest. The nighttime transition is what I was worried about the most. Both of my kids are excellent sleepers (a lot of work went into it though, it didn’t come naturally to my son at all) but they’ve always had their own bedrooms. The few times the kids shared a room it took a good part of an hour to get them to settle down enough to sleep. This consisted of my husband (he’s the patient one in our marriage) sitting in the room with them shushing them as needed. Needless to say we were prepared for a few long nights…
We couldn’t have been more wrong. So far, they’ve needed a few reminders that it’s time for sleep and not for play. The mornings have definitely been early since Brennan, our oldest, is an early riser and Kendall, adores her big brother so she’s willing to do whatever is asked of her. Other than the mornings the transition has been relatively painless and I’m really shocked.
As far as tips go, here are a few that I’d suggest:
1. Keep age in mind – the older your child is the better able he/she will be to understand what is happening and why.
2. Make it fun! Let them be a part of the process from decorating the room to moving stuff into it.
3. Look at life as a whole – What big changes are in the near future? A new baby? A major change in schedule like daycare or school? Any big change that’s happening in conjunction with the move will have an impact on your child.
4. Make a Plan B. If you are able to have a backup plan I would highly recommend it. Now, some living situations just won’t allow for that but if at possible always look for another way to approach a big change just in case the whole thing back fires. If this entire thing hadn’t worked out for us we would’ve been fine and would have just waited to move Kendall into Brennan’s room after the baby was born.