siblings sharing a room

Baby and Toddler Sharing a Room

The only thing worse that one child up in the night is two children up in the night. When you bring your new baby home to an older sibling most parents choose to have the newborn sleep in the same room with them for the first 6 months.  But eventually parents want their room back and sometimes the only option is to move in with older brother or sister. With the right strategies, this arrangement can lead to a peaceful sleep environment for everyone involved. In this blog, we’ll explore tips on how to handle protesting from the toddler, what to do if the baby wakes in the night, and address the fears of one child waking the other.

Creating a Calm Sleep Environment

Communicate Before the Move-

An older sibling may be excited to have a new roommate but don’t be surprised if there is some pushback. Their space is being intruded upon. It doesn’t mean they don’t love their sibling, it simply means they’re experiencing an adjustment. 

  • Give them some options for the move in date. 

“Would you like your little brother to move in on Friday or Saturday?” 

  • Let them pick out a new toy, stuffy or decoration for their side of the room. 
  • Keep to their routine as well as possible but add in baby to the mix. This is easier if both kids go to bed about the same time. Generally children ages 4 months to 6 years do very well with a bedtime between 7-8 pm so a consistent bedtime should work well. 

Handling Protesting from the Toddler:

Empathetic Communication:

If your older child says uh heck no I’m not sharing my room. Here are some things you can say:

“I hear that you feel mad about sharing your room. You don’t want to share your room with the baby.”

“I hear that you feel nervous about things changing. You don’t want things to change.”

“ I know this is a big step, you are a good brother/sister. Thank you for sharing your room. Change is hard, this is what we need to do for our family but I will listen and help you solve problems.”

This kind of reassurance reflects your child’s feelings so they feel heard. You can acknowledge their emotions without changing the outcome. They are allowed to feel mad or sad or scared of the change. Focusing on their important role in the family can help them feel needed and feel a sense of belonging. All kids want to know they are needed and valued, sharing a room with a sibling can support connection and that sense of belonging.


Addressing Nighttime Wake-ups:

If your baby is still waking in the middle of the night you have a few options. If your baby is at a good weight and stage of development we can talk about helping them learn to consolidate their sleep to avoid those night wakings. If your baby still needs a night feed that’s ok, respond quickly and quietly, keep the lights dim, offer the feed and quickly leave the room. Most children sleep through these disturbances. 

If the baby’s cries wake the toddler, reassure the older child that everything is okay and remind them it’s not morning, you’re just feeding the baby. 

Use a white noise machine to provide a consistent background sound that can help drown out any sudden noises.

Ensuring that both your baby and toddler get a good night’s sleep is crucial for their development and your peace of mind. If you’re finding that your baby is still waking frequently or your older child is up and down often at night we can resolve these concerns before making the big move. 

Sharing a room can be a positive experience for both babies and toddlers when approached with patience and a well-thought-out plan. Be calm and set a positive tone around the move. Our children pick up on our emotions, I can help you manage this anxiety and make this transition seamless. Sweet dreams!

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