Sibling Room Sharing Tips & Tricks
Introducing a new baby to an older sibling presents both a precious family moment — and a new set of logistical challenges. If the siblings will be sharing a room, it means setting up a space that’s welcoming, safe and conducive to sleep for everyone in it. Yes, it can be done — and it can set up the siblings for an especially deep lifelong bond.
Three essential things to consider for a baby sharing room with an older sibling:
Think safety first
A well-meaning toddler in a shared space could cause danger to a baby unknowingly. This could be by trying to feed the baby (choking hazard) or covering it with blankets (respiratory hazard). Take the time to educate the older sibling on how these good-intentioned behaviors can actually hurt the little one. Be sure to repeat the importance and potential consequences. When possible, remove potentially hazardous objects like small toys from the shared bedroom.
Make a plan for bedtimes
Babies and toddlers will naturally have different sleep schedules, both at nap times and at bedtime. Interrupting either child’s sleep pattern will have ripple effects across the whole family’s ability to get adequate rest. It helps to stagger your kids’ bedtimes so you can devote time to each one’s needs. This may even be a necessity if only one parent is available to do the nighttime routine.
For instance, you might put the baby to bed half an hour earlier than the toddler. You’ll read to the toddler in another room before putting them into bed for a final quiet cuddle and tuck-in. Remember that a baby might actually adapt to a later bedtime than a toddler if the younger sibling naps more during the daytime.
If both children are winding down for sleep at the same time, lull them gently into slumber by playing calming music. Moshi’s tracks are soporific for babies and toddlers alike, with magical stories presented through dreamlike narration amid soothing music. This is also a way to encourage a positive, peaceful association with bedtime for both kids.
Empower the toddler
Impress upon your toddler the importance of their own responsibility to play quietly when the baby is sleeping – to avoid taking any actions that could harm the baby. In turn, they’ll be both a good roommate and a good big brother or sister.
Brothers and sisters sharing a room can be a teachable moment. It’s not only a practical necessity for safety and functionality within the home but also a way to make your toddler feel important, acknowledged and praised.