Would you put kids in the master bedroom? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our house has 4 bedrooms- including a very large master. It's been fine till now- 3 kids, each with their own room. DH and I in the master (except that when he goes back to working nights, we'll be sleeping in opposite shifts). Now, surprise baby #4 is on the way. I'm seriously freaking out- it's always been important to me that our kids have their own rooms. Not gonna happen unless we sell and move- not something I want to do in this market.

I keep thinking that the smartest thing would be to put the 2 older kids (both girls, 9 and almost 6.5) in the master bedroom and move our stuff to the biggest kid bedroom and put the baby in the other girl's room. All of my friends are telling me that I'm crazy to give up my huge master bedroom, and the master bath. But honestly, I don't spend much time in my bedroom other than to sleep. And the whole family already uses the master bath (the kids like the garden tub better than the regular sized one that's in "their" bathroom). We have a king sized bed with headboard and footboard (can't be taken off, I checked), a large dresser and 2 nightstands. It will be a very tight squeeze, but I think it would work. Oh, and the big tv that's in our room won't fit- DH is bummed about that, but it's not a deal breaker for me. The rest of our room is empty, because it's simply so darn big.

Am I crazy to think of doing this? It would give the kids the most space, and I think it would be the most effective USE of our space.

Oldest DD's bunk beds and younger DD's twin with trundle would fit beautifully, plus their dressers and their stuff.

What would you do??

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#2 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 10:29 AM
 
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My only concern would be that if there's an ensuite they might go in and play in the bath without you knowing, when they're supposed to be going to sleep.
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#3 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 11:21 AM
 
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at the moment, we're renovating the kids' room so everyone is sleeping in one 10x12 bedroom. however, when the kids' room goes back to being their room, they will once again be in the "master" bedroom - that is, the 500 sq ft finished attic. and we will still be in the 10x12 "kid room". so i obviously have no problem with the idea of the kids having the bigger and better room.

however . . . i'm not sold on your plan. since everyone currently uses the master bath, how would your daughters feel about everyone continuing to do so (walking through their bedroom) a couple years from now when the older one has entered puberty and wants privacy?

what about keeping things as they are for now, with baby in your room for however long that works out and then sharing with your currently-youngest child when you're ready for the baby to move out? how old is your youngest? is there room in his/her bedroom for a crib? or how do you feel about keeping baby in your room for a couple of years, and then kids 3 & 4 share a room with two twin beds instead of a bed & crib?

or what about moving dd2 in with dd1, since dd1 already has bunkbeds?

or what about moving #3 in with dd2, since dd2 has a twin with a trundle?
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#4 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 11:38 AM
 
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at the moment, we're renovating the kids' room so everyone is sleeping in one 10x12 bedroom. however, when the kids' room goes back to being their room, they will once again be in the "master" bedroom - that is, the 500 sq ft finished attic. and we will still be in the 10x12 "kid room". so i obviously have no problem with the idea of the kids having the bigger and better room.

however . . . i'm not sold on your plan. since everyone currently uses the master bath, how would your daughters feel about everyone continuing to do so (walking through their bedroom) a couple years from now when the older one has entered puberty and wants privacy?

what about keeping things as they are for now, with baby in your room for however long that works out and then sharing with your currently-youngest child when you're ready for the baby to move out? how old is your youngest? is there room in his/her bedroom for a crib? or how do you feel about keeping baby in your room for a couple of years, and then kids 3 & 4 share a room with two twin beds instead of a bed & crib?

or what about moving dd2 in with dd1, since dd1 already has bunkbeds?

or what about moving #3 in with dd2, since dd2 has a twin with a trundle?
I agree. Also what floor is the master on? If it's on the first floor then do you really want them having that easy access to the front door at night? (Down the road that is, when they are older.)
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#5 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 12:16 PM
 
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however . . . i'm not sold on your plan. since everyone currently uses the master bath, how would your daughters feel about everyone continuing to do so (walking through their bedroom) a couple years from now when the older one has entered puberty and wants privacy?
I agree - this could be a problem. Could you possibly move the door to the bathroom to open into a hallway?

Other than that, I would have no problem giving up the large room. As a kid I had the largest room in the house.

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#6 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 01:06 PM
 
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I don't think it's crazy.

We have 3 bedrooms and 3 children. Our 2 girls share the master, our son has a bedroom, and we have the other. It works well for us because the master has 2 closets so the girls each have their own.
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#7 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 01:09 PM
 
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Our bedroom is 10 x 10.5 with a half bath/closet. The two kids sleep with us at the moment but they have the bigger room, it's 10.5 x 11. I plan on putting 2 bunk beds in their room. We have another bedroom downstairs (basement) but it's so far away I doubt anyone will be sleeping in it anytime soon. We are planning for another 2 kids so they will probably all be in the one room for a couple of years before splitting up.

All we do is sleep in our rooms. If they want private space, there is a huge finished basement downstairs to play in which includes a craft room, rec room and bedroom.

Like others have said my only concern would be the ensuite bath, which is why we took the smaller room.
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#8 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 01:20 PM
 
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I think it's a great idea. Like you said, you need to use the space that you have. It sounds like the MBR has enough room for the girls to have separate areas as needed.

What I got from the OP's post was that everyone now does use the master bath, but it's not the only bath. If you can make some rules around who uses which bath and when (forex, I think it's fair if someone wants to take a nice bath planned ahead) you should be able to work that out.

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#9 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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No, I wouldn't put the kids in the master.

Let me start with saying that I LOVE kids, my degree is one I chose so I could work with kids and have the same vacations once I had my own, and I was a SAHM to my three kids for a decade before starting back to work outside the home part-time. I am all about the sacrifices we make in order to do all that we do for the kids.

However! We are the adults, the parents, the decision-makers, the ones who model and teach them. Kids are by definition ego-centric. Even though they think it might, the world doesn't revolve around them. Our little world to an extent, maybe so - but it is a very quick trip to losing ourselves, giving up everything for them. Not healthy. Not balanced. Not good modeling. Not what I want my girls to learn and do when they grow up.

And giving up the master suite just seems like the final straw. Mom and dad and their relationship and their privacy and their tiny bit of alone time isn't important. The kids are the ones who matter; mom and dad don't matter. The truth is that kids are kids - they grow and learn and start out at the beginning. Having the master suite at age 9 or 6 would worry me for how they'll fare when it is freshman year of college, sharing a tiny dorm room. Kind of like the high school girl who gets Coach bags in high school, then moves out and can only afford a Target purse. Feels crummy I'd imagine - a huge step backward. Because she was given more than what made sense for her age. If you are in your 20s and making your own way, and choose to spend your money on that, fine. It just seems a little "silver platter" to me.

So no, I wouldn't. And I really do understand the "each kid has their own room" thing. We do that too. We have a four bedroom house and three kids. So ok so far - though we lost our guest room when dd3 was born, and that has been a bummer. And we are D.O.N.E. DONE! But if a baby was on the doorstep tomorrow, dd2 and dd3 would share a room. Not ours!
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#10 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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Nope, I wouldn't put my kids in our master bedroom. I love it too much to give it up , plus there is the huge balcony that I'd worry about them jumping off of.

We also all use the garden tub and stand up shower, the only time their bathroom gets used is when we have house guests. We also have a huge walk-in closet that I wouldn't want to either give up, or have to go into their room to access our clothing, ya know?

I, personally, would have the older two girls share a room. I would guess they won't mind, they may even enjoy it! I could see if they were teenagers and didn't get along it being an issue, but at 9 and 6, I bet they would be fine. Do they spend much time in their rooms anyway? Mine pretty much just sleep in them, they play in other areas of the house-- so as long as two beds fit, I would have them share.

Another idea is having baby share a room with you and DH. That's my plan if we have #5. We have 5 bedrooms but even if we had more, I would want baby with us. If you use a crib you could put it comfortably in your master since it's the biggest of the rooms.

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#11 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 02:09 PM
 
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I know a family (in the NYC area) who give their only bedroom to the kids and they happily sleep in the (larger) living room on a Murphy bed. Everything else is already in the living room (TV, computer, etc). They use the walking closet as their closet. When the kids are in bed, they close the bedroom door and they have privacy. There is only one bathroom. Everyone is happy because the parents' attitude is positive.
I think, though, in the case of multiple bedrooms, the children could share.
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#12 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 02:38 PM
 
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Yeah, this is really just so personal, whatever works for your family -great! Like a pp, I know a family where the parents sleep in the living room. This wouldn't work at all for us (giving the kids the master bedroom) because that bath is where most the extra stuff gets kept and our larger closet houses the dirty laundry and because it's bigger it's the room we all hang out together for family late nights, reading in bed together, or sick days... or if anyone wants privacy (my kids all share bedrooms)... in other words, the master bedroom serves more as a communal room which would not work if it was one of the kid's, since they get to 'be the boss' of their bedrooms (along with whomever they are sharing with). Our bedrooms are so small our king sized bed wouldn't fit in any of the other rooms... also, I really like the privacy of showering with the hubby... I don't think the kids need that sort of thing... also, we all use the master bath when we have guests over so that bathroom's always open. But this is what works for our family, so...
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#13 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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I don't know if I would do this personally, but a newly single mom friend of mine did this because she has 4 boys in a 3 bedroom duplex, and she only used her room to sleep, the boys need room to play, daycare space, ect. So for her it made sense, and gave her a tiny bit of a new start.
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#14 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 02:55 PM
 
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we have had *odd* room arrangements in our past houses before. It just made sense for our lifestyles. For instance, the last house we had had a very large and spacious upstairs it was literally 2 bedrooms and a bath. Although it was meant to be a master suite and another bedroom it jsut made more sense for us to use as an indoor playarea/playroom and office. We only venture into our bedrooms to sleep and Im ok with having a smaller bedroom if it means having more usuable space. Like the playroom the kids live in it almost all day so it made sense for it to be the larger of the 3 rooms. Even now in this house we have used the 2 smaller *kid* bedrooms as our bedrooms and the larger has become the *family room* which is nice. Do what will work for you, if all else fails you can move the furniture
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#15 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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No, I wouldn't put the kids in the master.

Let me start with saying that I LOVE kids, my degree is one I chose so I could work with kids and have the same vacations once I had my own, and I was a SAHM to my three kids for a decade before starting back to work outside the home part-time. I am all about the sacrifices we make in order to do all that we do for the kids.

However! We are the adults, the parents, the decision-makers, the ones who model and teach them. Kids are by definition ego-centric. Even though they think it might, the world doesn't revolve around them. Our little world to an extent, maybe so - but it is a very quick trip to losing ourselves, giving up everything for them. Not healthy. Not balanced. Not good modeling. Not what I want my girls to learn and do when they grow up.

And giving up the master suite just seems like the final straw. Mom and dad and their relationship and their privacy and their tiny bit of alone time isn't important. The kids are the ones who matter; mom and dad don't matter. The truth is that kids are kids - they grow and learn and start out at the beginning. Having the master suite at age 9 or 6 would worry me for how they'll fare when it is freshman year of college, sharing a tiny dorm room. Kind of like the high school girl who gets Coach bags in high school, then moves out and can only afford a Target purse. Feels crummy I'd imagine - a huge step backward. Because she was given more than what made sense for her age. If you are in your 20s and making your own way, and choose to spend your money on that, fine. It just seems a little "silver platter" to me.

So no, I wouldn't. And I really do understand the "each kid has their own room" thing. We do that too. We have a four bedroom house and three kids. So ok so far - though we lost our guest room when dd3 was born, and that has been a bummer. And we are D.O.N.E. DONE! But if a baby was on the doorstep tomorrow, dd2 and dd3 would share a room. Not ours!

I LOVE this post! I'm not against the master for kids if say I lived in NYC and had two small bedrooms and maybe three kids, then I would give the three kids the bigger room. However, i think there are benefits to having a parents room, and keeping it that. I think it becomes sort of a special place for the kids to come cuddle (or in our case come in EVERY night). I would keep it as yours, share with the baby for the first couple of years, and then see where things are at in your family. We have a three bedroom house (well, we do have an in-law unit that we will one day attach with an inside staircase), and three kids. We sleep right now with us in the master, sharing with the 16 month old who still nurses all night. DS1 has a pretty big room, and dd has a tiny room. It is so expensive here that a 4 bedroom house is really out of the question. I think I will eventually put ds 2 in with ds1 until ds 1 is about 12 - 14, and then hopefully we will renovate and have a large master in the in-law unit and a bedroom for all three kids. I think they don't really mind sharing, and I also think in college it is a HUGE benefit when they know how to share their space. I'm all for privacy, but I think kids are pretty adaptable.
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#16 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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Personally, I wouldn't do it. I think there have been some great points mentioned already...

Obviously you are free to make your own decision, however, if it were me I would put the baby in my room for a while (whatever works for you) and then when they are old enough I would put the baby in with the youngest child. OR if it works better I would have the girls use a bunk bed and share a bedroom that way. My kids all have their own room but I would change that in a second if we were to have another.
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#17 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for your well-thought out replies!

We wouldn't worry about the girls playing in the bathroom; if they were told to stay out of the tub/shower/sink at bedtime, they would. No issues there.

We have 2.5 bathrooms- everyone just likes the master best (and they can all take a bath together in the big tub, which is a huge draw to all of them), but there is another full bath down the hall where the kids' bedrooms are. I wouldn't mind showering in there at all, and neither would DH. We don't have an emotional attachment to our master suite at all- it's nice and really big, but it's just rooms, kwim? Oldest DD's room has a huge walk-in closet, too, and I'm confident that we could fit all of our clothing in there with no problem.

We're a very open family- privacy isn't an issue really, and while I can see it happeneing for the girls once they hit puberty, DH and I would be fine with the smaller full bath. Hopefully we can sell this house and find something with a better floor plan for us before then, though. Oh, and all the bedrooms are upstairs.

My oldest doesn't mind sharing at all- as long as she has room to keep her stuff. The 6yo is really sensitive to her personal space (I can sympathize with this- I've been that way my whole life, and I was not able to share a room in college. I always had a private dorm room. I had horrible anxiety attacks when sharing a small space with someone else) and doesn't want to give up her room and move into another that she will share with anyone. Funny thing- the girls sleep together most nights, often in the bottom bunk of my oldest's bunk beds (and it's a twin!), but they like the fact that they can separate into their own rooms when they want to. I guess they do spend a lot of time playing, reading, crafting, etc. in their respective rooms. They each also have their own computers in their rooms and play lots of games, etc. So that's part of what makes their space specifically "theirs", I guess.

I thought it would be easier for my younger DD to share knowing that she could keep her own bed (which she is really attached to, even though she sleeps with her sister most nights) and have room to keep her things. Both of them have way too much stuff to cram it all into older DD's room (the bigger of the 2 girls' rooms) and have it be a functional space. I've gotten rid of as much as we are comfortable doing without, and it's still a lot.

The baby will be in a bassinet with us for several months, so I don't have to make a decision right now, but it's driving me crazy! DS is turning 4 next week, but he's really really physical and impulsive; I would not feel safe having an infant in his room for quite a long time. Of course, the baby isn't due till Sept, and will be with us for awhile, so DS will be considerably older when we do wind up having to make a decision. That's always on the table, but his room is the smallest of the 3, as well.

I just don't see giving up the master as a big deal (we've been here 7 years this summer, and the walls are still white and I have nothing at all hanging on them, or any decor of any kind. Just don't spend enough time in there to bother with it, I guess) but we would be really crowded in the other bedroom-I measured this morning. DH doesn't want to give up our king sized bed with headboard/footboard, and we have matching nightstands and a very large dresser that is part of the set. I'd like to sell the set and get something a little smaller, but need to respect his feelings too, I suppose. He couldn't care less what room he sleeps in (they had 8 people in a bedroom in Vietnam, with no beds, so his perspective is very different on some things).

If anyone has any other thoughts to share, I'd love to hear them while I'm still trying to figure this out.

Half-marathon running Mommy to 3 spunky girls and 1 sweet boy. Spending my days and nights where my kids need me most- at home with them!!

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#18 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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Can the oldest and youngest share a room? There were seven of us in a four bedroom house and we switched rooms around all the time. I probably shared with each of my sisters at one time. It doesn't always have to be the two closest in age.....
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#19 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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I would have the two older girls share the bigger of the other 3 rooms. I'd keep the master bedroom for you and dh.


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#20 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can the oldest and youngest share a room? There were seven of us in a four bedroom house and we switched rooms around all the time. I probably shared with each of my sisters at one time. It doesn't always have to be the two closest in age.....
DS won't leave his sister's stuff alone, or this would work out really well. She has a lot of fragile keepsakes, and she crafts a lot and he's so impulsive- he feels badly when he breaks something or wrecks a project, but I don't think that putting them together would work. That would certainly solve the problem of younger DD not having to give up her room, though.

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#21 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 05:23 PM
 
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Is there a way to set up the master bedroom for your daughters to be separate even though they're together?Like using book shelves to make walls?Or hanging curtains from the ceiling?Or using low shelves as half walls and curtains on rollers hanging from the ceiling so they can have a full "wall"when they want privacy?

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#22 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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rere, that's a great idea! My mom is super creative where I cannot think outside of the box AT ALL, and I bet she could rig something up like that

I'm going to talk with younger DD and kind of see what would make her feel comfortable. Big DD thinks it would be a fantastic thing to have the big bedroom for her and her sister- it's like moving to a whole new house for her- she's always up for an adventure

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#23 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 05:26 PM
 
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maybe sparky was suggesting the oldest & the baby?
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#24 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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I think it's a fabulous idea.

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#25 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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I would do whatever would make the house most functional, regarless of how other people think you "should" (ie parents only in the master, etc).
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#26 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 07:33 PM
 
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I agree that you should do whatever is functional for your family. I was an only child who grew up in 2 bedroom apartments and I always had the larger room. My parents used their room only for sleeping while I had toys, dressers, bookshelves, and most importantly - a desk (my parents were academically oriented and big believers in children having their own desk for homework/creative work). It did not lead me to having a sense of entitlement or affect our family dynamics in any way - it was just a bigger room.
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#27 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 07:55 PM
 
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We gave our master bedroom to our two older boys (it's 3 times the size of the next largest bedroom), because then DH and I get separate home offices in our 4 bedroom house.

Our boys have more toys, they have gymnastics mats they play on, and they get a tiny half bath to use (which has been great for late-night bathroom trips).

Unless you make a big deal in front of the kids about getting THE MASTER BEDROOM, they won't know that they're getting anything special. And if it works for your family, do it.
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#28 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 08:10 PM
 
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#29 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 08:25 PM
 
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I might have missed this, but why not keep everyone where they are and the baby with you? The baby isn't going to notice, or care, about the room situation. Then once the baby gets older you can deal with 2 kids sharing a room.
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#30 of 52 Old 04-20-2009, 10:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maeve View Post
I might have missed this, but why not keep everyone where they are and the baby with you? The baby isn't going to notice, or care, about the room situation. Then once the baby gets older you can deal with 2 kids sharing a room.
Depending on the baby's temperament, he or she might care a LOT, and demand to be close to mom all night every night. I know if I'd tried to keep DS in another room as an infant I'd be awake all night putting him back to sleep.
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