the dance of the toddler-newborn sleep

In our tiny apartment, deep in the night, we perform the dance of the baby sleep.

We cosleep, with NK in her own bed next to ours.  We put BT to bed with us, and all four of us sleep a few hours.

Then it begins.  BT has no sleep pattern.  And NK is a light sleeper who started waking up at 4:30 in the morning, and then skipping her nap.

So we have to be very very careful.

Sometimes E gets up first with the baby and goes into the tiny second bedroom.  Sometimes she tries to stay in bed.  Sometimes I get up.  We start switching around with each feeding.

Then it gets real dicey about 4.  NK could wake up at any moment, and she really wants both of us in bed.  But that is when BT gets fussy.  So we have to perform the dance steps quietly, hoping for no diaper changes or fuss, hoping that NK will wake up and close her eyes again, not sit up and cry out for mamma or daddy.

We talked about moving NK into her own room before BT was born.  But that would change nothing, because she would clearly need comforting at some point, would start wandering in, sleeping lightly.

This is an issue in any two-child household, of course.  But we have no extra rooms, no space between the rooms we do have.  It makes the dance more intricate and more on the edge.  Because if we make a misstep, no one sleeps, and then, well, everyone is more likely to get miserably sick for a week.

Oh wait.  That has already happened.

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