Do your little ones share a bedroom? For some families, its a necessity, for others a cute idea. And for others still, its the stuff of nightmares! Whether you’re happy about it or not, sometimes siblings need to share a bedroom, and when that happens you may find that sleep can become an issue. The trick is to prepare as much as you can, and be ready to make the changes you need so that it all goes as smoothly as possible. Here are five tips for siblings who share a room…
Before we start, I’m sure you’ve already asked yourself this question but its worth asking it again! Is a room share really your only option, and your best idea? Often we have no choice in the matter, in which case move on to the tips! But if you do have other options, take a moment to consider the practical aspects of room sharing. That said, room sharing does not have to be a complete nightmare, and in some cases older siblings can help to calm little ones, and little ones can pick up good sleeping habits from older ones etc. So its not all bad news!
In any case, here are five tips to help you along the way:
Let each child make their own stamp on the room
Whether one sibling is six months old or six years old, both occupants of the room need to have their own personal space in the room, and its a good idea to allow them to make their own stamp too. So older siblings can choose paint or wallpaper for their side of the room, and they can also be involved in choosing for the younger sibling too. You might want to consider buying two of everything- dressers, lamps etc. So that each child has things that belong to them in the room, rather than shared items. Of course, this isn’t always possible so a picture or poster chosen by each child is just as effective here.
Don’t change your bedtime routine
This is probably the most important tip of all. If your younger child goes to bed earlier than your older child, for example, make sure you continue with this. Don’t change things so that they’re both going to bed at the same time. As already mentioned, its important for each child to maintain their own sense of self, and especially for older kids. Likewise, if the baby tends to go to sleep a little later, maybe settle her in a different room so that your older child’s routine isn’t affected.
Remain consistent with get ups
At first, sharing a room might be exciting. Fun. Something new. Your little ones might find it hard to settle, or they might want to get up and play instead of sleep! This is to be expected at first, so make sure you set some ground rules. And be consistent with get ups. Each time, return your child to their bed and remind them that its time to sleep. Older kids might respond well to praise and rewards for staying in bed.
Consider different rooms for naps
If both of your little ones are still taking naps, you might want to separate them. Some kids will nap just fine in the same room, but some will not! Use your own judgement, but if you think they’ll sleep better apart then choose a different room for the youngest one.
Remember that it WILL get easier!
As I always say, this too shall pass. So if you’re finding the transition tough at first, rest assured things will settle down. That said, if the room share does turn out to be harder than you thought its always worth having a back up plan just in case. If you have the room, or you’re able to combine a different pair of children it might be worth considering.
What are your top tips for siblings sharing a room?