Updated: Aug 15
Want your kids to share a room?
Let’s dive in!
Honor the sleep schedule
It's very likely that your children don't go to bed at the same time, so figuring out the logistics of how to figure out bedtime can be challenging.
Whichever child goes to bed first, continue to put them to bed first. For most families, it's the younger sibling.
You may have to adjust where you do the bedtime routine, like reading books, as the baby may already be sleeping.
Reading books in the living room, or in the parent's room is a good option!
Separate room for naps
If your children still nap, consider separating them for nap time. It's easier for naps to get out of hand when there are two sharing a room!
Consider setting up a pack-n-play in another room so that each child can have their own nap space.
Using white noise can be a helpful tool to reduce stimulation from the other sibling. It also helps you sneak the toddler into bed after the baby is sleeping:)
Some parents play a couple of songs instead of white noise at bedtime and the expectation is that everyone is quiet and laying down during the songs.
Lights out boundary!
Create some sort of 'lights out' boundary: let them play for a while in their room, then at a certain time, lights out!
Some families have a 'no playing' rule once in the bedroom at bedtime, others set a timer and allow siblings to be goofy and play.
Whatever you decide, stick to it!
Have a backup plan!
Have a backup plan! If room sharing isn't going well, then consider some alternatives!
Do you have a closet that can be turned into a sleep space? Can you hang a sheet to create some separation?
This leads to my next point.
Toddlers may try to help the baby- cover them with a blanket, etc. They can be unpredictable and have good intentions- if that's the case, id rather you room share with your baby to keep them safe.
Expectations- it takes time!
Going into siblings sharing a room with proper expectations will help your sanity in the long run:)
Set up a bedtime routine and bedtime rules chart, practice during the daytime everyone laying down and going to sleep (pretend play goes a long way!), talk about it as a family, etc.
Your kids initially will be excited about the change, that's to be expected!
Timing is everything!
If your children need to room share due to another sibling on the way, consider moving them together sooner than later.
Adding a new sibling is a big adjustment for the whole family, so let's give everyone extra time to adjust to the new changes.
Don't use room sharing as a way to solve sleep issues
It may be tempting to use room sharing as a way to solve sleep issues.
In theory, it sounds like a good idea! If one child gets lonely or scared, they have a sibling close by!
In practicality-this often backfires and it causes disruption for your other child, and now everyone is cranky.
Ideally, we'd like everyone to be sleeping well before we put them together in a room!
Are you wanting to move your kids together to the same room but one of them isn't sleeping well?
My client Courtney had the same issue!
She wanted her 13-month-old to room share with his sister (as they only had two bedrooms) but her son was waking up allllll night long and was nursing to sleep.
Within a few days, her son was falling asleep on his own, sleeping all night, and napping like a champ!
She was able to move them together and finally sleep all night herself!
If you'd like to sleep more or get more sleep for your baby, let's talk!
Here for you,