Sleep Training When Siblings Share a Room
It can be scary to think about sleep training with two kids in the same room! When your kids share a room, there are a few things you can do to make the process as smooth as possible.
- Use white noise. I can’t emphasize this enough. White noise will block out loud breathing, sniffles or coughs that all roommates have to put up with. If you’re not on the white noise train, get on.
- Use this ikea hack to create separate bedrooms for your kids. Your toddler will especially enjoy this, as it can meet his growing need for independence while still giving him the security of knowing that he’s not really alone all night – his brother is just around the curtain!
- Put the deeper sleeper to sleep first. This will make bedtime easier when you put your second child to sleep. Follow their sleep cues and base their bedtimes on that. Even a 20 minute gap between bedtimes can make the night go much more smoothly. This can mean putting the baby down at 7 and then starting your 2 year old’s bath at that point. Change into pajamas and read a story in the hallway and put then put your toddler into bed at 7:30. If your toddler no longer naps and needs to go to sleep earlier than your baby, simply reverse the order.
- Relax. It can be nerve-wracking to room kids together because of the fear of baby waking toddler. It wakes us right away, so it will definitely wake our toddler, right? Not so fast. For some blessed reason, older siblings have a much easier time sleeping through baby’s wakeups than mothers do. That’s not to say that your toddler won’t ever wake up from the baby crying, but its happens much less frequently than most moms fear. Don’t let that concern stop you from rooming your two kids together.
- If your toddlers stay up talking to each other, just put them to bed earlier and chill out. I’m a big fan of letting siblings talk to eachother until they fall asleep mid-giggle. There’s no point in trying to force your kids to be quiet (it won’t work or it will and give you a hernia) and this is one of the beautiful bonding experiences that comes with room sharing. If you want them sleeping at 7:30, move bedtime up till 6:30. Leave the room at 7 and expect them to bounce around in their beds until 7:30. The less tension there is around the matter, the easier things will be for everyone.
Sharing a room can bond your children in a positive way for the rest of their lives – as long as it’s set up in a way where each of your children’s needs are met in their own way. Don’t shy away from this chance to help your children develop a lifelong bond.