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Written by Lavinia
Certified Paediatric Sleep Consultant
20 November 2020

Sleeping training with a sibling in the same room

The dilemma here is: I want my children to sleep in the same room, but how do I sleep train one of them without him waking his sibling?

After all, the only thing worse than having one baby up in the middle of the night, is having them both up.

However, although it is a valid concern, I don't have a solution to magically ensure that your children will not wake each other up in the night time.

But ask yourself, is it better to cause an interruption in your child's sleep for a week or so in order to get the whole family sleeping through the night, or should we ride out a few years of nightly wake-ups instead?

So once you have decided to sleep train your little one and get her sleeping in the same room as her sibling, here are some suggestions I have for you.

1. Start the sleep training with your baby in your own room. Place your baby in a cot or pack and play in your room and create some privacy by hanging a curtain/blanket or placing a room divider between the two of you. It won't look great, but it will prevent baby from seeing you which is important.

2. Once you have gotten your baby sleeping well and independently through the night, then transition baby into your toddler's room.

Talk to your older child about this new sleeping arrangement, and reassure him that you (not him) will be the one to attend to baby in the night time if baby cries. There might be a period of adjustment, so plan for the transition to take place on a weekend where you don't have a lot of obligations.

For naptime, it's best that they sleep in separate rooms if that's possible. Sleep training at naptime tends to be the hardest part of the program, so to help them sleep as best as possible at naptime, I recommend separating them.

One last thing to add on this topic: I know some parents tend to take this approach of wanting their children to sleep in the same room at night, despite having an extra bedroom because they want to hold on to the spare room for visitors who might need to spend the night. But if the extra bedroom is an option, I strongly suggest you use it. Sleep training when siblings share a room isn’t impossible, but it can make it a little more difficult and increase parental anxiety, and so you’re better off moving one child into the other’s room on those occasions when you have visitors, than trying to get them both sleeping in the same room on a permanent basis.

To summarise, it is absolutely possible to get your little ones sleeping well together, and I assure you that the results will be worth the effort.



Article written by Lavinia
Certified Paediatric Sleep Consultant
Based in Singapore
Trained in the Sleep Sense Program

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