When two boys share a room, naps elude

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Siblings sharing a room provides irreplaceable memories and bonding, not to mention life lessons about common courtesy and selflessness. But much of the time having two boys share a room is not an easy ship to sail. Click through to read an update on the whippersnappers sleeping in the same room. (Or not sleeping.) 

Here’s the scene circa 1 p.m.: Shoebox bedroom. Red and Number Two have full tummies and clean faces (some days). Their diapers are changed. We’ve read a book or two and now they’re both tucked into their respective beds. They’re tired—I know they are even though they don’t show it. (The CIA would love them for their ability to hide severe exhaustion!)

And now it’s nap time. In my mind, that is. Apparently not theirs, because the minute I shut the door, the room turns into a bounce house of fun. Red throws his pillow and blankets and stuffed animals on the ground then jumps off his toddler bed into the cushy pile. Number Two rolls on his tummy and pulls the bumper down to stick a wide grin between the slats, encouraging his brother with delighted squeals and laughs. It’s a party, and Mom is not invited.

The dudes have shared a room for a few months now. At night they do great, thankfully. That’s probably because they’re so tired that they pretty much just go straight to sleepy land without passing “GO.” Many nights, they’ll both be asleep by 9 and won’t wake until about 6, and I can’t complain about that. Usually in the morning we enjoy hearing them giggle and squawk together. I always love to hear them happily interacting—unless it’s nap time.

From 12:30-4 p.m., I do NOT like to hear them happily interacting unless those interacting noises are snoring in harmony.

Every mother agrees that nap time is a sacred pause in the day. Sacred, I tell you. So that means I’ll just about do anything I need to do to secure an afternoon break. These days, my desperation manifests itself in a nap time segregation. Number Two sleeps in our bed (right here in the “living room,” barricaded by pillows) while Red dozes in his room. I’ve found that Red goes to sleep much better without the distraction of his brother, and he often sleeps later too. Number Two enjoys his spot in Mommy and Daddy’s bed, although sometimes I suspect that he thinks he owns the place. I guess it wouldn’t be too far off the truth with the way he sprawls and flops.

Sigh. So the boys don’t actually nap in the same room. At these ages and this stage, it’s much easier to separate them. Some days I try letting them nap together just to see how they do. But Number Two only naps for about an hour at a time, and often I can’t sneak him out without waking Red. It’s hit-or-miss, and I can generally expect a nice peaceful nap time if they’re apart.

At this point I have no glittering advice for getting two young boys to nap in one room. I’m kind of hoping you have some. So here is my plea for advice to all you mothers who have littles sharing a room—what are your best practices for getting kids to nap well together? Should I continue trying to put them down in the same room, hoping they’ll get used to it and learn?

Please post your wisdom below. I’d be ever so grateful!

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  • Ells
    December 10, 2012

    Oh man, no glittering comments of wisdom yet! I’ll be watching for some, because I’d like our two to share a room as well! Right now their rooms are next door to each other and we have a fair amount of premature wake-ups because of that proximity.

    • Evelyn
      December 10, 2012

      Hi Ells, yeah those premature wake-ups are the WORST! I guess it happens even when kids don’t share a room, then? 🙂

  • Heather
    January 14, 2013

    I think you are doing a great job! It’s not a bad idea to separate them for naps if that is working for you. I have two boys, ages 5 and 3, and they both stopped napping at 2. We also have problems with them going to sleep at night, and eeryone’s advice is “put them in separate bedrooms.” We’re not going to get a bigger place just for that, so we’re making do!

    • Evelyn
      January 14, 2013

      Hi Heather! I agree that just making it work is often the best solution. Actually, since I wrote this I’ve conquered (most days) the problem of a shared nap time. I put Red down first and usually he’s asleep within half an hour. I do everything I can to keep Number Two awake and happy while he’s waiting, and then once Red is out I lay Number Two down. The younger one only sleeps for an hour, so I still have to sneak him out in the middle of Red’s nap, but at least I get just that one sweet hour to myself with both boys asleep in their room. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

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