When Siblings Become Roommates: Room sharing Tips
by natalie fitzgerald
Here in California, many of us who have more than one kid don’t have enough space for everyone to have their own room, so bunking up isn’t uncommon. The question is – when to move siblings into a room together, or who to make roommates if you have more than two little ones. I’ve put together a few points to consider before making the big move!
1. GET BOTH KIDDOS SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT
Before moving your roommates in together, consider getting both sleeping through the night consistently, first. It can be distracting to the sound sleeper if you have to go in and feed or soothe the non-sleeper. Helping your little ones learn how to fall asleep independently can help decrease your chances of having to go in and assist.
2. HAVE TWO SOUND MACHINES – ONE NEAR EACH CRIB OR BED
Set up a sound machine near each child’s bed or crib. This can help drown out noise from the other if one wakes before she is supposed to. White noise that is constant is best and oftentimes most soothing for babies because it sounds like the womb!
3. CREATIVE SLEEP SPACE ARRANGEMENT
Try to arrange the beds or cribs in a way that each child has their own space, and possibly across the room to minimize distractions.
4. LET THEM GET USED TO EACH OTHER
It’s inevitable your little ones will make noise at some point during the night. Try not to rush in at the first peep and let the roommates learn how to get used to each others’ sounds.
5. NAP SEPARATELY
If your little ones nap at the same time, or the naps overlap, you might consider napping them in separate rooms. Nap sleep is different from night sleep, and it can be harder for your little ones to nap together especially if one wakes earlier than the other.
6. PUT YOUR BEST SLEEPERS TOGETHER
If you have more than two kids and are trying to decide who should share a room, consider putting your best sleepers together. We made this decision based on who had similar sleep styles – both of my girls are more sound sleepers than my son, and both sleep later in the morning, so we decided to pair them together and it’s worked out well!
Remember, as with any transition, it can take a couple of weeks for everyone to adjust, but with consistency your little ones will get used to their new sleeping arrangement. And watching the little bond between sibling roommates form will make it all worth it!
Natalie Fitzgerald is a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Postpartum Doula. Natalie’s approach to sleep training is tailored to each family she works with, meeting them exactly where they are and developing a customized plan to help them reach their sleep goals, based on their unique baby’s needs and their parenting style. Natalie walks alongside families during the time they need the most support, encouraging parents and helping them find a rhythm that works best with their baby and lifestyle. Before consulting with families, Natalie taught high school English and Campus Ministry. Natalie and her husband Danny live in San Diego with their three children Connor (6yrs), Kate (3.5yrs), and Makenna (1yr).