By Nicole Pelletiere
Mommy, Daddy, toddler and baby makes four. If you don’t own a three-bedroom house then it doesn’t quite add up. Many siblings are required to share a bedroom—when it’s an up-all-night baby and an explorative toddler it may sound a bit frightening. However, there are solutions to this common dilemma that parents can turn to in order to make it work when your baby and toddler share a room.
“I’m big on consistency, so find a rhythm that works for your family and things should be pretty simple” says Summer Hartman, founder of SleepingSweetPeas.com and Certified Newborn Care Specialist. Here, Summer shares with us some tips on what Moms and Dads can do to help make their children’s room-sharing a little bit easier for the whole family…
Keep the room dark.
Curtains or shutters should do the trick for naps and bedtime. Also, try and refrain from using any night lights. Avoiding night lights will keep your toddler from staying up and playing. If you need to use a light, use the one in the hall.
Use a white noise machine.
This will help keep baby and toddler from waking when one wakes up. Again, use for both naps and bedtime.
Plan a routine based on your children’s sleep habits.
Normally, Summer would advise to put your baby down first then toddler, BUT if your toddler is hard to get to sleep then it’s best to put your toddler down first. Bedtime should be the same time every night. If the time is 7 or 8pm, then put your baby down 30 minutes later.
Maintain a bedtime routine for BOTH children.
For your toddler: bath, book and bed. For your baby: bath, massage, and breastfeed or bottle—then swaddle and put him/her to bed.
Prevent unwanted interruptions.
A mobile toddler means a lot of getting out of bed. If your toddler is one to wander around the house, then a temporary baby gate is a good solution here. Eventually, they will learn to understand and respect the ‘stay in your bed’ rule—in which case the gate can be removed.
Create a private space for both children.
Sure, they are sleeping in the same room, but a little privacy will still be beneficial in this situation. Can you put a curtain around the crib, or section off a big kid area for your toddler?
Remember what you are working with.
It’s important to remember that a baby takes 3 days to make a habit and a toddler 3 weeks. So take your time, be patient, maintain your routine, and be consistent. Follow these steps and it is sure work out!