Sharing Spaces; From the Womb to Sharing a Room
Growing up, I never had to share a room, though a lot of my friends did, and even with having a space all to myself, I was a little jealous of their bond, and the late-night conversations I was not a part of. I would listen to them laughing about something, and wishing I were a part of it. Back then, and even now, It is quite common for siblings to share a room due to various reasons, and whatever the case may be, when your little ones are sharing a room together, new challenges appear with sleep patterns and sleep training.
Who Benefits from Sharing:
If you are a parent with multiple children and two share a room, and one has their own, you may question how this affects each child. Each of our children have their own sleep patterns and habits; One may go to be easily and sleep through the night, waking well rested. Our other child may turn into a sleep terror resisting bedtime, waking often, keeping their sibling up, and in turn, may be cranky throughout the day.
There are other challenges where one child may need a nightlight, and the other may need total darkness. One may need total quiet, and the other benefits from music or a distraction of some kind, which more often than not is conversations with their sibling, keeping them awake.
If you have multiple children around the same age and are not sure who would benefit from sharing a room, or riding solo, let us help! At Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby, your sleep consultant is here to help you, and to guide you through these transitions with your little ones.
Bunk Beds or Twin:
In our Pinterest world, we pin amazing bedrooms for our kids, (I cannot be the only one who has wanted to build bunk beds into a wall) and while for most of us that is just wistful thinking, it is possible to take some ideas from our dream boards and import them into our children’s bedrooms and utilize the space in what makes the best sense for the kids. While a hanging bed would be really fun, a more practical idea once they outgrow cribs would be bunk beds. They are a great way to open up more space in the room.
A Trundle bed is another option where you can hide one of the beds under the main bed and create that open space for play. However, this creates a bed that the kids are right next to each other and may induce late conversations and lack of sleep. Working with a sleep consultant can help with this situation if it is one you may consider.
If you have the room I really prefer two separate beds on bed frames (no mattress on the floor) so they have their own space.
Whatever you decide, know that you can always change it as they grow, and that for the time being, what you decide is the best solution for your children, and you are creating a sleep schedule that works for each child.
Creating consistent bedtime rituals is key for children who share a room, though it is also one of the most challenging for parents and this is where your sleep consultant will be most helpful. If there is a significant age difference and one of your children goes to bed earlier than the other, it is imperative that you create a routine that is accommodative to each of your children, all while eliminating duplicate efforts as much as possible for both you and the children.
If you are going through two different nightly rituals with teeth brushing, story time, winding down, etc. you will burn out.
Work with your sleep consultant on how to group what you can together with the younger sibling. Not having two separate schedules for your kiddos will give you more one on one time to spend with the older child, and that is important to them. If there are going to be two nightly rituals that have to be separate, reading a book might be the best one, especially if they are on different reading levels. Don’t forget, you’re not in this alone, share the load with your significant other so you are not burned out.
There may be occasions where one sibling is a lighter sleeper than the other and may not be thoroughly sleep trained with a sleep consultant. These nights will happen, and when the do, remember it is temporary, and it will get better. Remember to stay calm, and as tired as you are, and as frustrated as you might get, you are not alone, and it is perfectly normal to feel this way. Just know that it will get better as you work with your sleep consultant.
If you were to ask me the perfect time to for siblings to start room sharing – it would be once both of them are sleeping through the night. This is ideal. If you are not there with 1 or both of your kiddos. Reach out, this is our specialty!
Studies have shown that sharing a room can help reduce anxiety in a child who is more at ease when they are not alone. Often, toddlers and older children develop anxious feelings when they are nearing bedtime when they are in a room to themselves. By creating a cohesive sleep schedule for both children in the same room, you can create a safe space for both to be well rested and sleep through the night, often on the same sleep pattern, even regardless of age. It also creates a closer bond for the siblings.
No matter what you decide to do, Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby is here to help you every step of the way. Sleep schedules is one of the hardest for both parents and baby to develop and adhere to and it is our goal to create a plan so you are both getting the sleep you need.