So you are thinking about room sharing kids under 2 years old. You may be the parent of multiples, or just need the space. Either way you’ve come to the right place! Let’s discuss how to best accomplish this task…
1.Get a feel for your older child’s sleep temperament
When deciding how to tackle room sharing kids under 2 years old, knowing their sleep needs is key. Is your older kiddo a sensitive sleeper? Or can he sleep through fire engine lights and sirens going past his window? Get a feel for how easily your older child wakes, and especially how easily he falls back to sleep when woken up. This should give you an idea of when to have the younger baby sibling join in the same room.
If your older child is a light sleeper, it’s best to wait until he or she is sleeping as solidly through the night as possible. However, if the older sibling seems to sleep through just about anything, having a few-months-old infant in the room who is still waking through the night should be no big deal.
2. White Noise
White noise is this sleep consultant’s secret weapon! Even if your older child is not a sensitive sleeper, it’s an extremely wise idea to use very loud white noise in the room both children are sharing. This is a critical key in successfully room sharing kids under 2 years old! As this will serve to block out any cries, coughs, or other sounds from disturbing either child.
3. Put the older child to sleep first, if possible
This tip can really go either way. Usually whichever child seems to be the deeper sleeper should go to sleep first, followed by the lighter-sleeping sibling going down about 20-30 minutes later. This can be tricky in cases where infants are the ones that fall asleep earlier but are also light sleepers (this seems to be most often the case). In this scenario, the younger sibling can be put down first, but Mom and Dad should work very, very hard to try to teach the older sibling to go to sleep quietly instead of being loud and rambunctious and waking up their baby sibling.
One of the most common mistakes parents make is transitioning their older child out of a crib too soon, in order to give it to a new sibling. I favor keeping children in cribs as long as it is safe to do so. Many kids can stay in cribs until they reach the age of four! Unless an older child is crawling out of the crib, it’s wise to keep crib-aged siblings sharing a room in individual cribs instead of having the older sibling able to get up and walk around, disrupting the sleep of their younger sibling.
5. Consider a room within a room
In some cases it might be a good idea to create a “room within a room” for the younger of the two babies. Ikea’s Dignitet curtain wire makes it possible to create a curtained off space anywhere walls and a ceiling are present. Curtaining off an infant’s crib (while leaving a video monitor and white noise within the curtains) can allow the older child more freedom to move around, read a book, or otherwise just co-exist more comfortably while sharing a room with a baby brother or sister.
Room sharing kids under 2 years old is possible!
With a little forethought and preparation, you can be successful in having your kids share a sleeping space together!
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Do you recommend waiting until the baby is sleep trained to put them in the same room? Also do you have recommendations for sleep training and room sharing? Is it possible or does baby need to be in their own room?
I agree with not moving the older sibling out of the crib until they’re ready. Often we press the transition upon them to make way for an infant and it may not be well received by the older child. I like the idea of having a second crib if it is necessary and possible so their sleep comfort is not interrupted.
This is probably wiser for the parent as well- imagine waking up at night to both the infant and toddler!
I have a 4 year old with Down syndrome and an almost 20 month old that share a room. They sleep great together IF my 4 year old falls asleep before putting her to bed. If I try to put her to bed awake she is constantly in and out trying to wake up her sister. Sometimes this can go on for hours. She is now getting too big to continue letting her fall asleep downstairs, so would you recommend putting her to bed before the 2 year old who goes to sleep easily without issue.
If you’re able to do so, yes. That sounds like a great solution.
We had to convert our 20 month old crib to a toddler bed because she was climbing out at night. She’s always self soothed and put herself back to sleep but with her new found freedom is having trouble. She now wants to be rocked to sleep which she has never wanted and roams at 2 am. We already have a 3 yo that shares a room with her that takes an eternity to fall asleep and ends up in our bed at night. How do you recommend sleep training a toddler who has all this new found freedom?