I wake up a lot throughout the night, switching sides with Eleanor who insists on using me as a pacifier for a majority of the night. At one point, I try to put a sleeping Eleanor back in her crib - which is about 4 feet from me - but she instantly wakes up. This is not surprising in the least. I can wear Eleanor down in the sling and pull her out of the sling without waking her up only to have her pop right awake as soon as I put her down. She starts to wail, so I scoop her back up before she wakes Matt and Abigail and bring her back to bed.
More tossing and turning and intermittent sleep until about 5:30, when Eleanor gets up and starts playing in the bed. I roll over so that I'm on the edge facing outward, forming a barrier so Eleanor doesn't fall out while she pulls my hair and climbs on my pillow and I desperately try to eak out some more Zzzz's. Matt gets up at 6:30am and takes Eleanor with him while he makes his lunch and eats breakfast. I sink into a very deep sleep until he takes his shower. Eleanor crawls to the bed and sits on the floor by my head crying until I get up. I chug a cup of luke-warm coffee.
Thursday afternoon - Move Eleanor's crib into Abigail's room.
Thursday night - Put Eleanor down in Abigail's room around 8pm. Eleanor cries/whines/crywhines for about 10 minutes before falling asleep. Matt and I saunter into the bedroom around 10pm, brush our teeth at our leisure and collapse into bed, totally exhausted. No one moves until 6:30am. Matt thinks he heard a solitary wail at 3:00am, but everyone fell back asleep before anyone did anything about it. I get up with much rejoicing.
Friday night - Put Eleanor and Abigail down in what is now "the girls' room" around 6:30pm. Eleanor cries/whines/crywhines for about 10 minutes before falling asleep. Around 4:30am, I wake up with so much milk, I'm about to burst. I sneak into the girls' room and kidnap Eleanor and bring her back to our bed where I fall asleep nursing her. Around 5:30am, I wake back up to an Eleanor who is thinks our bed is party central and wants to play. I take her back to her crib, frustrated about the pending doom and uncertain what to do about it. I put her down, she lets out one wail and is totally asleep before I reach the door. Completely stunned, I gently close the door and tip toe back to bed. We wake up at 8:30am(!!!) on Saturday morning to the sound of Abigail whispering, "Baybee!" "Baybee!" and Eleanor playing with a rattle.
I'm still in completely shock. When people told me stories about how their kids slept better when they were in the same room, I was happy for them and wished it could be me, but I was 100% certain that this would fail. That Eleanor would scream and cry and keep Abigail from falling asleep and then wake up hungry at some point and refuse to go back to her crib. I am in ecstasy over our results. It took me a few days to catch up on sleep, but this morning I willingly got up at 7:15! On Sunday, I made it all morning without my standard 8oz of luke-warm caffeine.
I tried almost every single piece of advice people offered and I read in a book. Nothing worked until this "two kids, one room" business, and nothing about life indicated that this would be the solution.
There are still a few kinks to work out though, including adding a few moments of quite family time to the bedtime routine - preferably in the form of a few decades of the Rosary said in a dimly lit room while I nurse Eleanor - in hopes of reducing Eleanor's cry/whine/crywhine time. Nothing like a good, solid routine to calm and settle a kid.