In the comments of this post someone asked me how our sleeping arrangements work. First I'll tell you how. Then why.
We've got four bedrooms. Technically one is the boys' room, one is the girls' room, one is the master bedroom, and one is the guest room. But those designations are really only accurate as far as who's stuff is where. We try to keep toys out of the bedrooms, but the boys' clothing and sports trophies and pocket knives are in the boy's room. The girls' clothing, hair bows, and collectible figurines are in the girls' room. Out of rotation clothing and a few of my parents' things are in the guest room, and the husband and I and whoever is the new baby keep our stuff in the master bedroom.
The beds are a different story.
I have written before about a family of eleven kids that I met when I was a young mother of just two little kids. We stayed at their house for the husband's college reunion, and one of the many, many things that totally blew my mind about them was that not only did their kids not have their own rooms, they didn't even have a particular bed that was "theirs." The kids bunked in two rooms, each with a bunch of beds in them, and they just picked who they wanted to sleep with and where on a particular night. Their dad told me it just made things easier to have the kids be flexible about where they slept.
I had never heard of such a thing. Of course, at the time, I only had two kids and they each had their sleeping arrangements. But the idea of it made an impression on me, and I filed it away in case I ever needed it.
As our family grew, I learned that my babies and toddlers are pretty light sleepers, but as they get older they have all become very heavy sleepers. My new babies all sleep with us for a while, then move into a crib, then get moved to a bed once the next baby needs the crib. Since the baby and the toddler seem to wake each other up, I