Room sharing tips can be so helpful to second-time mothers. When I was pregnant with my second son I worried about how sibling room sharing would go.
I looked all over the internet for reassurance that my baby and my preschooler would be fine sharing a room. We live in a very small home and while baby would be staying in our room at first, the two boys would have to bunk together eventually.
My baby and preschooler have been sharing a room for over a month now and I’m happy to report it is working just fine. So for all those mothers in a similar situation, I’m here to say, it will be okay! Better yet, I’ve got ten tips to help make the transition easier on everyone!
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10 Room Sharing Tips for Baby and a Big Kid
1. Wait until baby is sleeping fairly consistently. My baby still wakes once or twice in the night but not every hour or two. If you can wait until your baby is sleeping most of the night you will cut down on the disturbances to the older sibling. (And save yourself from having to get up and go to a different room several times a night).
2. Change your older child’s bedtime routine location, but keep everything else consistent. Since the baby goes to sleep first we moved my preschooler’s bedtime routine to our room. We read a story, sing a song, and have a little snuggle just as we have always done. The only difference is we do it in my bed and then sneak quietly into the shared room for sleeping time.
3. Get baby used to the room as it is set up for your older child. For us, that meant a wave noise machine and nightlight, for others it might mean silence and darkness. Baby’s are generally more adaptable than older kids and your older child is already coping with a lot of change.
4. Make it fun. We talked with my older child about how fun it is to share a room. Their room got a special decor update. We also make sneaking in to fall asleep, fun by pretending to be super stealth ninjas.
5. Employ a (safe) bumper. We use a dark breathable bumper to help create a little bit of privacy for baby. It seems to help block the light from the door opening and closing when we put our older child down, or when he gets up to use the bathroom.
6. Make the rules very clear. Safety is very important, which means you will want to set up a few simple rules for your older child. Make sure they know they cannot climb on or into the crib. It is also important that they don’t put objects into the crib, even though it is nice that they want the baby to have a toy or blanket. And if your baby is a light sleeper it is important that the older child learns to be extra quiet.
7. Be flexible with the monitor. This one is totally up to what works best for your family. I discovered that we all slept better with the monitor off. Again, our house is very small so I hear the baby if he needs me. However, other parents might rest better if they are able to keep ears (or eyes if you’ve got a cool video monitor) on the room.
8. Get organized. Set up an extra changing station outside of the room so that you can change baby in the middle of the night without disrupting their sleeping sibling. Likewise, be sure to gather items from the room you might need for your older child’s bedtime routine such as pajamas and books, before you put baby down.
9. Explore your nap options. Usually a baby sleeps much more during the day than an older child. We chose to put baby down for naps in the crib and have our son nap in our bed, but you could also use a pack n’ play for baby to sleep outside of the room at nap time. If your older child plays a lot in their room this second option might make more sense.
10. Remember that all transitions have an adjustment period. This too shall pass. If one or both of your children are struggling with the change, rest assured that with time they will adjust. Your family will find it’s new rhythm and soon everyone will be sleeping like a baby.
Wishing you the best of luck and congrats on your newest addition!
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- 21 Tips to Help Siblings Get Along
Leave a comment: Were any of these tips helpful for you?