Personally, I think the biggest challenge for parents with infants is to get them to sleep. We, from the very beginning, believed that co-sleeping is what we feel comfortable with. However, due to our travel with no permanence (still not yet), the co-sleeping arrangement can be really challenging.
Before the babies could sit up, putting them in the same bed was not a problem at all, my dad made these awesome wooden guards around the bed to prevent them from falling off the bed and it worked great. Lin and Li could sleep in the same room without waking up each other much, as a matter of fact, one could sleep no problem while the other one screamed, for a few minutes anyway. Then in March we went to the States, living in and out of the hotels and friend’s house was hard because they didn’t quite like the cribs. In Cary, the apartment complex provided us two pack-n-plays, which worked well. They didn’t mind sleeping in it, only when they were soothed to sleep for at least 10 minutes. We usually take them out and put them in bed if they cry at night.
So we purchased the GoCrib and a Graco pack-n-play when we returned to Shanghai, knowing that at 10 months, they wouldn’t do well sharing one room, and they could crawl out of the big bed and fall. It worked okay, but if they wake up at night, they didn’t want to stay in there. So Michael had this brilliant idea of putting the GoCrib in the big bed, send one boy in and when he wakes up, he wouldn’t cry. I got a tatami mattress for the living room play area, so the other guy can sleep on the floor with plenty of space. The problem I think for them now is that they like to roll around and the crib or even a child’s bed is to small for them. They would roll and sit up and cry. So the current setup is pretty good, they seem to be sleeping much better now, keep in mind that their molars are coming in as well, Lin had two on the top right, one on the bottom left coming through the gum, and Li had two on the top, about 4 days ago. Today I can feel more molars coming in, they look really big underneath the gum. So I am not complaining their sleep schedule, which is about an hour in the morning, another hour to hour and half in the afternoon, then between 7~7:30pm to 5~5:30am. For Lin, he can sleep through the night most of the time, but Li does wake up more often at night.
The very interesting thing is, they now don’t really want us to rock them to sleep any more. After we returned from the States, the boys somehow go to sleep at 7pm, and we just need to lay down with them but not leaving them alone and they roll and roll and fall asleep. So I guess that’s why we sleep train our kids, just watching them, this is so much easier than before!
Since they started playing with the old mat and digging holes and trying to eat the little pieces, we had to get some new flooring, I shopped on taobao.com and found some really neat puzzle mats. They are about 2.5cm think and come in plain four colors. We expanded the play area to about 100 square feet, which is much bigger for them to crawl and walk around. Just imagine two drunken sailors on these things, they are so cute! For the night, I bought some tatami mat for extra cushion but the boys, especially Lin, seems to like roll off the mat and settle on the floor. It was funny that I would wake up at night, and looking for him, he’s always somewhere else. Often I found him in the corner and it would take me a while to find him.