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Old 08-18-2010, 07:57 PM   #1
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Separate Bed rooms?

When we purchased this house 3 years ago we set up one room as a playroom and the other as a bedroom for Kearnan who was 6 at the time. He still slept part time in our bed, and Tharen was only 18months and still full time co-sleeping. 2years ago Kearnan moved to his own bed full time and about a year ago Tharen moved into his room with him. I had intended to let them share a room for several years so they could have a room just for toys. They are a bit far apart in age (4.5 years) but Kearnan is ASD and a bit delayed so he isn't bothered about hanging out with a 4 year old even though he is 9 now. It was working fine, but for months now they have been playing instead of going to sleep at night. As a result I don't think either of them is actually getting enough sleep. Many nights they are still banging around in there until 11pm and they are up by 8AM at the latest. They are also fighting in bed a good bit. Though they each have their own bed Tharen refuses to sleep separate from his brother when they are in the same room. Dh thinks it is time to split them up. Kearnan just turned 9 and for many kids his age now would be a good time to add some privacy. But like I said, as far as that sort of thing goes he doesn't care. It is more an issue of them fighting and Tharen crowding him in bed. If we did this we would seriously have to reduce toy numbers. Honestly we need to do that anyway though. I recently purged many of their toys but they still have too many and I just feel like they don't take care of them. Kearnan doesn't play with toys a whole lot any more. He may play with a few things but for the most part he is more interested in books, video games and movies. I could put some of his toys in his room for him (he has a toy chest that really only has his sparring gear for Taekwondo and the bionicle toys Tharen is too small to play with in it). However Tharen has some larger toys I don't want to do away with so it would be a bit trickier in his room.

I think the other reason I am a bit against doing it is because I'm afraid Tharen will wind up back in our bed. I don't mind co-sleeping at all, I actually enjoy it, but Tharen is a rough sleeper. He never stops moving, even in his sleep. I can't take the constant wiggling and touching. But then I guess it isn't fair to force poor Kearnan to put up with it either. I could try to force him into his own bed in the room they share now but it is harder to get him to stay there when it is so easy to climb down into Kearnan's. At least if he were across the hall it would put some distance between them. Plus I think it would be a nice gift to Kearnan to finally have his own room, decorated just for him. He is a big boy now and he deserves that much. His bedroom still has the wall border that the previous owners put it. It was their nursery but the border isn't too babyish, it's realistic tropical fish, but it doesn't really suit Kearnan.

So I guess I am asking, what would you do? Would you move your kids into separate rooms even if it meant doing away with their playroom? Do you feel like 9 is too old to still be sharing a room with a younger sibling anyway (this is what dh thinks, he says since we have enough rooms for them to each have their own they should)? Should I try something else to get the current configuration to work even though they will probably be splitting up in the next 2 years anyway? Do you think I'm just being to wishy washy about the whole thing and should just shut up and make a decision?

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Old 08-18-2010, 09:16 PM   #2
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Re: Separate Bed rooms?

IMO, I would turn the playroom into your youngest son's room. You'll have to do it eventually, and this way they will hopefully get more sleep.
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:58 AM   #3
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Re: Separate Bed rooms?

My 4-year-old ASD son wouldn't go to bed and kept on "playing" with his toys so we purchased a lockable cabinet from Ikea where all his toys are. He gets to have a doodle pad in bed most nights but that's it. It really helped him with winding down at night. Anyway, not the same situation as yours but you might try to "lock up" the toys for the night? My boys will have the same age difference as yours, I'm curious to see if we'll be able to have them share a room.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:33 AM   #4
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Re: Separate Bed rooms?

I think it's time for separate rooms too if you think they aren't getting enough sleep and if they are beginning to fight about sleeping in the same bed.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:10 AM   #5
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Re: Separate Bed rooms?

I'd do the separate rooms. But I also don't think your 9 year old is too old to share a room. If neither are sleeping well now because of playing/fighting at bedtime, then it's worth a shot to split them, I think.
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Old 08-19-2010, 12:23 PM   #6
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Re: Separate Bed rooms?

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Originally Posted by lullaby80 View Post
My 4-year-old ASD son wouldn't go to bed and kept on "playing" with his toys so we purchased a lockable cabinet from Ikea where all his toys are. He gets to have a doodle pad in bed most nights but that's it. It really helped him with winding down at night. Anyway, not the same situation as yours but you might try to "lock up" the toys for the night? My boys will have the same age difference as yours, I'm curious to see if we'll be able to have them share a room.
At this point they don't really have accessible toys in their bedroom except the stuffed animals they sleep with. Kearnan has a trunk in his closet but it is pretty much just his sparring gear for Taekwondo. That is the benefit to them sharing a room and having a separate playroom. Their bedroom is really just for sleeping and reading and the occasional movie. But they play with each other. Kearnan would just go straight to sleep but Tharen fidgets and chatters at him. Next thing I know it is full fledged wrestling in bed. I tried forcing Tharen up into his bed but he screamed for 45 minutes and I finally gave up since they weren't getting any more sleep that way than they were with him in bed. The past week or so it has ended in injuries when some one flops out of bed and hits their head or elbows some one else in the face ect. Kearnan is exhausted in the morning and Tharen has been cranky during the day which I think is from lack of sleep. I am a bit concerned that if I put them in separate rooms Tharen will either scream for his brother all night or wind up staying up just as late playing with toys because the majority of the toys will be in his bedroom.

Does anyone know how many hours of sleep are recommended for 4yr olds and 9 yr olds. Is it different or the same? It is especially important that Kearnan get enough sleep because he already has a growth delay so I want to make sure he is getting a good nights sleep. I think I have about come to the point where I have decided we will just do it. Kearnan is totally sold on the idea but Tharen isn't so sure. I think I will show them some pictures of kids bedrooms and see if maybe the idea of decorating will excite them.
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:00 PM   #7
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Re: Separate Bed rooms?

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Originally Posted by iris0110 View Post
Does anyone know how many hours of sleep are recommended for 4yr olds and 9 yr olds. Is it different or the same?
"Experts" agree that children 5-12 years old should be getting 10-11 hours of sleep. Of course each child is an individual and some may need more or less than others. My almost 3 year old, 5 year old, and 7 year old are allotted 10 hours of sleep per night, adding a 1.5 hour nap for the 3 year old. (And my 5 year old would be happy with less.) My 13 year old gets 9 hours of sleep per night. She would be happy with less as well, but she is a hard core athlete, practicing her sport 20 hours a week, so food and rest are even more important for her body.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:19 PM   #8
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Re: Separate Bed rooms?

Well we did it. I spent the weekend re-arranging furniture and sorting toys. Tharen and Kearnan now each have their own bedroom. Tharen's room is pretty much all set up. A friend is going to come over and help me paint trees on the walls to give him a nice forest theme I think (he wants David the Gnome) but other than that he is all set. Kearnan's room still desperately needs redecorated but that is going to wait a little while because I am not looking forward to moving all of his furniture out, peeling off that wall border and painting. Eventually we will get to it though.

Last night was the first night in separate rooms. Kearnan was perfectly fine with it (as I expected, he slept alone for a year before). Tharen was really excited until bedtime actually hit. I read their bedtime story in his room to encourage him but no sooner was the light out than he was out of bed crying at the door. I had to take him back in a few times and he wound up sleeping on the floor but by 11pm he was asleep in his own room and he slept until 8:30 this morning. So it is a good start. I am hoping tonight will go even better. Kearnan slept from 9:30-7:30 which is great for him.

Thank you all for your advice and support. I am a little sad to see the playroom go and to have to split the boys up. Just drives home how fast they are growing up. But I am glad that they seem to be sleeping better, which is what is important.
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