Their beds, which are cots without one side on, are positioned head to toe. The door has only just enough space to open and close, but we found this configuration frees up a lot of room for play.
I remember when we first put them in the same room, I was a little apprehensive and wondering how many times I was going to have to get up to settle two crying toddlers! I needn't have been so worried.
Putting them together was a really good idea. It freed up time as I could put them down to sleep in one go, rather than two separate rooms at two separate times. It also freed up an extra room for a guest room.
It took a couple of nights before JJ totally ignored SamSam's cries in the night, and soon SamSam stopped waking up too - I realised he was having dreams because I'd dressed him too warmly! (they have totally different heat and cold sensitivity).
The first year they shared a bedroom was very good. They went to sleep really well. We would tuck them in, pray with them, kiss them good night, turn on their bedtime music, and switch off the lights. They'd fall asleep with no issues.
However, as they've grown they've become more playful and a bit mischievious. To add to that, now that they can communicate verbally with each other it's been taking a really long time for them to go to sleep. There's just so much laughter going on in there! Sometimes I have to go into their room five times before they finally settle down. Sometimes I find toys in their bed, or JJ is reading in the dim glow of the window light! But most times they're rolling on top of each other in SamSam's bed!
The solution I've come up with a few nights ago seems to be working. I sit on the floor at the entrance of their room until they sleep!!! Night number 1 and number 2, it took them 45 minutes before they slept! (I had a sore bum afterwards). But last night, it took only 15 minutes. I think they now understand my no-nonsense policy, so they've given up trying to play, and just settle in to sleep. We'll see how they go tonight anyway!
I'm hoping that after a week of getting used to my watchful eye, they'll just automatically go straight to bed, and I'll quietly slip away.
An unexpected benefit of sitting and waiting for them to sleep (which was so boring the first night), is that I decided it was a good opportunity to start reading. Not only that, but I've realised I can really make the most of this time by praying for my boys. The book that I'm reading and praying through is 'The Power of a Praying Parent' by Stormie OMartian.
'The Power of a Praying Parent' is a really good, practical book, that has chapters about different areas of your children's life that you may want to pray for. At the end of each chapter is a specific prayer that you can pray for them. Some examples are for their protection; resisting rebellion; good family relationships; purity; freedom from fear and many other areas that I would not have thought about, but I now see are very important.
Hey, I should pray that they sleep faster!!
I had started to read the book last year, before I went to bed, but somehow I got distracted - probably by sleep... Now that I have a set time to sit and wait for the boys, I have very good discipline and good motivation!
I couldn't recommend this book highly enough.