A few weeks ago, maybe even a month now, we decided to combine Oak’s nursery and River’s room. We had originally planned to keep Oak in our room for about a year, but that plan, like most plans when you add a new baby, went out the window. In fear of sounding redundant, I’ll simply say, we did so because it was a better choice for Oak and the entire family. Honestly, I feel as though life is incredibly easier with these two in a room together. They both love it, and so do Peter and I. It has been a smooth transition, but I don’t think it could have been so without a few very important tools and tips from friends.
Today, I’ve teamed up with Munchkin to share a few things that has made this transition a rather lovely one. I hope if you find yourself in the same boat as I, you can look back and find these tips helpful, and put them to some use.
When we found ourselves approaching the “should we” or “shouldn’t we” portion of this journey, Peter and I considered many things. We found ourselves primarily asking; How would this affect their routines? River and Oak were both on established bedtime routines before combining their rooms, and I can’t recommend that enough. I personally have found that my kids are just plain happier kids when their day is pretty predictable. They know what to expect, and we as their parents know what to expect. If both kids of your kids are on a routine, and they happen to be on the same routine (Stop reading this right now and give yourself a pat on the back. That is freaking awesome!), then the transition to a combined room will be a breeze for the entire family. Though, keep in mind, every child is different, and even if your children aren’t on established bedtime routines or routines in general, they might take to the combine just as well.
The next dilemma we found ourselves facing was who should go down first, because we can’t possibly have both kids fighting their bedtimes at once, or one distracting the other. I reached out to my friend Lindsay for some sound advice on this subject. And, that is a tip on its on. DON’T BE AFRAID TO CROWD SOURCE. Some of the best advice I’ve gotten were from friends who just faced some of the same issues as I.
Back to bed timing.
Lindsay recommended staggering their bedtimes. Something that I really didn’t think of, but it’s quite easy! Oak goes down first. This gives him and I time to bond during baths and feedings, but it also gives River and I time to bond as well. I recommend giving the kids an hour or so gap between bedtimes just in case the little one decides to wake up. It’s was a small piece of advice that has went a long way. Thank you Lindsay!
When adding an infant to a toddler’s room, you might be hit with a stinky situation. Seriously, kids and babies are terribly cute and stinky. Since moving Oak into River’s room meant moving his diaper changing station into their room, we needed a new simple and clean home for stinky diapers. Munchkin’s Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail, does more than its job. Every time you open and close the diaper pail it lets out a little bit of baking soda which absorbs odors. Truthfully, when considering putting anything like this in a room, I immediately think of River and how she could possibly break it, or worse, hurt herself. The design is so simple, even the bag and the door. It’s actually been River’s chore (which she personally requested) to throw stinky diapers in the pail after every changing. Every day she opens the door to see if its full. I’m not worried that she’s touching it or helping out. Since their room wasn’t really re-designed for Oak, having his diaper pail in there makes it feel more like his room too. As silly as that may seem.
By now you’re probably wondering, how we keep noise at a minimum to keep the room quiet for a sleeping baby. By now, you’re probably shaking your head in disagreement of all this, and declaring that you can’t do this yet because maybe your toddler is too loud. Right? I get it. Toddlers are loud and sometimes rude, especially when there is a baby around. Because you need them to be quiet, but they need a drink of water or a toy, and they just need to wake the baby in the process. To combat our sweet but noisy toddler, and to give Oak the most peaceful rest we can give him, we’ve been using Munchkin’s Magical Firefly Crib Soother and Projector. During the day, when River is up playing in her room, Oak will play with his new friend in the mirror. His new friend is awfully cute, and makes Oak smile and laugh. Oak doesn’t mind that the new friend is himself, and neither do we. Mirrors are fascinating.
Honestly, to give Oak the best sleep possible, we put his crib soother on, we lay him next to it, and off he goes into la la land while looking at the stars above. Sometimes in the middle of the night, when he stirs a little in his crib, Peter and I will just turn it on and off he goes again. It’s been more comforting than having us pick him up and potentially disturbing him even more. A bonus is that River finds comfort in the crib soother as well, which came as a total shock to me. As someone who was on the fence about the importance of a sound machine, I’m definitely swayed. It’s become a huge piece of sanity in our little apartment.
When in comes down to it, I’ve never been more proud to see my two kids in a room together. Despite it being on the small side, I’m proud of the space they share and of the comfort they find in being in each other’s presence at night. I hope you found some of this helpful. I will be sharing more of their room as we do a bit more in it.
This post was in partnership with Munchkin but all opinions are my own. Munchkin rids the world of the mundane by developing clever, innovative solutions that make family life safer, easier, and more fun. You can find Munchkin products at Munchkin.com, Target, Babies’R’Us, Walmart, and Amazon. It’s the little things!