We fit all four of our kids in one room. True story. It’s not that we don’t have space to split them up – the kids have a dedicated playroom that could easily be converted to another bedroom. For our family, however, keeping one room dedicated to all the kids sleeping and one dedicated to all of their playing? Well, it’s worked perfectly. There have been just a few hiccups along the way, like when we transition each dude out of the crib. Not gonna lie, that part is always chaos.
Ah, yes. The big boy bed. It’s a big step! We currently have two bunk beds pushed up against each other head-to-head, one raised up higher than the other so the kids are at different levels. This guy was the most recent to make the move from toddler sleep space to big kid twin, until the 1-year-old made the change this week. And what a change it’s been!
We actually decided to go ahead and move Bam into the empty bed that’s been waiting for him, NOT because we felt like he was developmentally ready. No, he’s still pretty immature…but he outgrew his crib. Yup. Our littlest baby is now wearing size 3 clothes and was starting to actually scoot his crib around the room. He would grab onto one side and hop so vigorously that the entire crib would bump up and down until it reached an adjacent wall. Anchoring it didn’t help: he started simply flopping himself up and over the railing. Short of putting some sort of lid on the thing, there was no choice left. It was time to for him to go to the big boy bed.
The first night, I tried swiftly moving him into the lowest bunk and seeing what happened. I blocked off the closet with a baby gate, locked the bathroom door, baby-proofed as much as I could and let him go nuts. And he did! He climbed the ladders, crawled all over his brothers, flailed around on the ground and managed to trap his arms in the crevices between his mattress and the wall. It was a mess. I propped myself up in there to try to settle him down, and spent half the night fighting his urge to defy me.
We’ve had several baby monitors in the past, but they’ve inevitably been taken down as our babies get older and renovations happen. We decided it was time for one LAST one to ease the transition of four kids in one room, all in their own big boy beds.
We’re still working with Safety 1st (remember their RIVA stroller that I’ve been raving about?) so it made sense that I give their baby monitor a try. I’ve been out of the baby monitor groove for a bit, but friends have raved about this one for its customization options, ability to listen and speak directly to the kids through it, and ease of sharing monitoring capabilities with multiple caregivers.
It can also capture high-quality video clips triggered by motion or sound alerts. They’re saved on the app on your phone with the ability for you to download or share them for up to 24 hours. Motion sensitivity and noise sensitivity can be adjusted so you aren’t constantly recording or being alerted to insignificant movements, which is an absolute lifesaver with loud older kids who like to talk and fiddle around in their beds until late into the night. I set it to the least sensitive mode, so it only alerts me if there’s extreme movement or loud noises.
The colored photo of the app up above was in full daylight. When the room is dark, night mode activates for a crisp black-and-white peek into your kids’ room. I snapped this picture directly in the app when I happened to glance over and catch the youngest kid crawling under his big brothers’ lofted bed.
Note to self: now is probably a good time to convert that empty space to storage, before the toddler claims it as his play area.
What really sets this monitor apart is the Smart Audio unit. A pet peeve of mine with app-run baby monitors in the past has been the inability to know what my kids are up to without pulling out my phone. What if I need my phone for something else? What if my screen times out and I don’t hear important alerts? This audio unit solves that problem by streaming audio independently, regardless of what my phone is doing. It filters out unnecessary background noise and pipes in important sounds based on the sensitivity levels that I’ve set.
It even lights up when noise alerts are going off, which is perfect for deep sleepers like me who don’t necessarily wake up to sound but are highly sensitive to light. I can push a button on here to talk to the kids through the camera in their room, and I can also talk to them through the app on my phone – no matter where I am in the world. Perfect for a busy parent who wants to keep the kids’ night consistent even when work takes them away during the bedtime routine.
Another thing that helped us out a ton was unscrewing the middle rung on the big boys’ bunk bed ladders so that the little guy can’t crawl up there. The big kids are old enough to hoist themselves up. We also tucked BIG body-length pillows down into the crevices between the mattress and the wall so that the little guy wouldn’t get stuck in there. Finally, the trick where you stick a pool noodle under the sheet so the kids don’t roll out inadvertently? Works like a charm.
How many kids do you have bunked up? Would you ever put four kids in one room?