Sharing a Room: How to get your kids to sleep (so you can)

If you were anything like me, creating a quiet, sleep-inducing room for your firstborn was a priority.

Then, a second or third baby comes along and while it may have seemed like enough to have 3 fans and a white noise machine humming to get the kids to sleep, the reality of toddlers sharing a room may throw a big fat wrench in even the best laid plans.

So, whether you’re taking a trip and your kids will need to share a room, or you need to double up in your own home because of limited space, here are a few tips to get your kids through the transition of sharing a room (without pulling an all-nighter):

  1. Familiar Object. Introduce a blanket or stuffed animal that your babies associate with sleep.  This is a great idea even without the impending possibility of sharing a room as it will help your little one get to sleep when you’re not at home.  Then, if sharing a room becomes a reality, this special “blanky” will be a comforting, familiar object when their surroundings have changed.  It will also signal to your little angels that it’s time to sleep, not play.
  2. Keep them active. In the beginning, make sure to put them down for a nap or to bed when they are extremely tired.  When we’re on vacation, I find that my kids are so pooped at the end of the day that they fall asleep pretty easily.  But during the first week of having them share a room at home, I took the kids outside so they could run around and burn off any excess energy.  Oh, and I slept well too!
  3. Keep up the rituals. In addition to a familiar object, keeping sleeptime rituals the same will also help.  Their routine might be a warm bath, brushing their teeth, and curling up with a good book with Daddy.  This will be source of comfort and important to maintain in the new environment.
  4. Be firm. When my kids first began sharing a room, my daughter decided it was necessary to yell at her little brother to “wake up!” once I’d left the room.  I would let her yell for a few minutes, and then go into the room and firmly tell her to stop.  Apparently I was so firm that my son would begin to laugh (nervously) when I walked in the room.  My daughter eventually figured it out too.

In all, it took about a week before the novelty of sharing a room wore off for my kids.  And while we still get a little giggling or fooling around for a few minutes every now and then, for the most part it seems like they enjoy their new sleeptime arrangement (and each other).


6 thoughts on “Sharing a Room: How to get your kids to sleep (so you can)

  1. I love the tips. Trust me, I'm coming for more. I have a boy and a girl, 6 and 10 respectively.

  2. If you have a room with a big walk in closet…it's almost like they have their own rooms:)

  3. Just wanted to say, hey.

  4. Big walk in closets work well too:)

  5. LOL

  6. so funny!

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