My toddler and baby will be sharing a room. Many of us have had the situation where a baby and older child shared a room. While a toddler and baby sharing a room, or any aged older sibling, seems like a really difficult scenario, the truth is that it is a common issue and there are many ways that toddler and baby sharing a room or older child and baby sharing a room can work and be a blessing. Here are some real world advice to handle room sharing problems.

When preschooler and baby share a room - Kids Activities Blog - preschooler and baby in a crib laughing together
Room sharing CAN be a blessing!

Toddler & Baby Sharing a Room

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.  

Related: 3 kids in one bedroom

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

Text: Siblings sharing rooms - 10 Room Sharing Tips - Kids Activities Blog - toddler and baby at crib looking at each other in a shared room
Siblings can share a room successfully!

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. The schedules stay the same, but we want lots of noises away from the toddler’s room until they are ready to sneak into bed.

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.

text: room sharing: 10 tips for baby and big kid - brothers snuggled in bed - Kids Activities Blog
Brothers get closer when room sharing.

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. And you’ll have to be flexible. Stagger bedtimes if need be, get some black out curtains, make sure the floor space is always clean so you can get in and out of the room and so you can get to your child’s bed. Get a room divider if they’re keeping each other up at night. There are ways to make this work.

Wishing you the best of luck and congrats on your newest addition!

How can I help my toddler and baby share a room without disturbing each other's sleep?

Having a baby and toddler in the same room might make sleep time a little tricky. But don’t worry, parents throughout history have faced this issue in much less square footage than modern homes! One option is to stagger the baby and toddler bedtime. Parents have found use of white noise machine to make a soft, steady sound can soften the other child’s noises. Also, try to have a special sleeping area for each one. Your toddler could have a big kid bed and your baby can sleep in a crib. And don’t forget, bedtime stories are super fun and they help kids fall asleep easier and can be read together.

What are the best sleeping arrangements for a toddler and a baby sharing a room?

The most common arrangement is to have a toddler in a toddler bed and the baby in a crib. This allows each child to have their own space and can make transitioning to bedtime easier. Sharing a bed is not recommended due to the baby’s risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS (Check out this SIDS information for more details).

How can I create a room that is age-appropriate for both a toddler and a baby?

  1. Pick Good Beds: Your toddler can have a big-kid bed, and your baby needs a safe crib. This way, both have comfy places to sleep.
  2. Make Play Spaces: Create a fun play area with toys for both. Your toddler might have puzzles and blocks, and your baby can have soft, safe toys.
  3. Create Storage: You’ll need places to put toys and clothes. Shelves that are easy to reach for your toddler and bins for baby’s things work great. Create separate spaces in the closet for each child. Use the high shelves in the closet to store things that might be handed down from toddler to baby in the future.
  4. Decorate: You can decorate the room in a fun way that both kids will like. Maybe pick a favorite animal or color.
  5. Safety First: Make sure everything is safe. No sharp corners or small toys that baby could swallow!

More Baby Fun & Advice from Kids ACtivities Blog

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Parenting is such a roller coaster!

Leave a comment: Do you have advice for when baby and older kids share a room?



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5 Comments

  1. My oldest will be 5 when baby is ready to room share in a small bed room. Wondering if you have pictures of how the room was arranged? not sure how we will fit a crib, twin bed, dresser, all the toys in the space we currently have.

  2. Sharing room with a baby is really a cause of concern for new parents. sometimes have to face some problem with a newborn baby and this getting upset mom. Thanks for sharing nice blog how to sharing a bedroom with the baby.

  3. It is common mom and dad have to share the room with a newborn baby. They have to make room for baby. Thanks for sharing a nice blog with for preparing to make room for baby. Really helpful for every new mom and dad.

  4. The arrival of a baby is certainly a cause for joy but sometimes it becomes a cause for concern for parents.Special when they have to share a room with a baby in one bedroom apartment. Thanks for sharing some nice tips for sharing room with a baby. It’s really helpful tips.

  5. Thank you for putting these out here! Very helpful. I’ve got 4 little ones and I’m considering putting my11 month old in the room with the others but I’m not quite comfortable with my 2 year old having access to him! He’s very.. helpful lol. I may make the move in a couple more months.