Room sharing is a hot topic! Keep reading below to learn tips for having your baby share a room with you, sharing with a sibling, sharing during vacation and tips for how to talk to your toddler about this transition!
Whether in the beginning weeks or due to small spaces such as apartments, room sharing in the beginning is common.
When babies are very young (we are talking in the first 8-12 weeks), room sharing is typically a bit easier because of the age of the baby. However, babies have a very strong sense of smell, especially if you are breastfeeding!
Tips for Room Sharing with a Baby
If you want your baby close, I suggest a bassinet rather than a sidecar sleeper. Baby should have their own confined space and there is potential for danger with the sidecar sleeper. A portable crib (use code BUMBLEBABY20 for $20 off $200+ purchase) or bassinet is also an option, too. Avoid inclined sleepers and containers as they pose a risk for accidental positional asphyxia. See more in my “Safe Use of Containers” post.
I always found it difficult to sleep with baby’s little noises and grunting (a sound machine will help with this!). Every week or so, I moved baby a bit further away from the edge of my bed until I was ready to transition baby into their own room.
Alternatively, placing baby in as much of their “own space” as possible can help with sleep for both you and baby. To achieve this, you can place baby in a bathroom or closet, just make sure the space is well ventilated. You can always add a fan!
If this isn’t an option or you don’t feel comfortable placing baby in that type of space, the Slumberpod (use code BUMBLEBABY) is one of my favorite sleep products especially for baby. This pod can be set up and placed right over a portacrib or mini crib. The light blocking material also drowns out sound and provides a environment that promotes sleep while still being in the same room as you. It’s great for travel, too! Read more here.
Room sharing with a sibling
If you’re planning on having your children share a room, the transition can be daunting! Typically kids do pretty well, but here are some tips:
Toddler and baby
Having your toddler and baby share a room can be out of choice or necessity. Whatever the reason, prepping yourself and the older sibling is important.
If at all possible, try to wait until the baby is sleeping longer stretches at night to move baby into the toddler’s room.
Talk to your toddler about the transition. Even if they are very young, they understand much more than we give them credit for. Stay positive! The toddler will feed off of your confidence. Try saying things such as “Your brother/sister will be sharing a room with you while you sleep! You’re going to do so great with baby in your room! You’re so good at sleeping and will set such a good example to your sibling”.
Try to keep bedtimes the same. This can be difficult if the toddler is much older. Have the toddler be a part of the baby’s bedtime as the big helper. Doing the baby’s routine first and then the toddler’s will be helpful. Reading a book in a different room or a designated spot in another room will help the toddler stay in routine and feel they have special time with you.
The Slumberpod (use code BUMBLEBABY) is another great option for a toddler and baby room sharing. It will help baby feel as if they have their own space and help baby sleep better while room sharing. It’s great for travel, too! Read more here.
Allow the toddler to have sense of their own personal space. This is the perfect time to have the toddler pick a special blanket or stuffed animal that suits their personality. Finn picked these glow in the dark dino sheets and chambray cover, Bee chose a princess quilt and glow in the dark star sheets! suits their personality. These are a great amazon option too! Creating an environment that allows them to have their own personal space is important.
Prepare for a transitional period. Even if both children are “good” sleepers, there may be a transitional period in which baby and toddler will need to adjust. This is normal! Try your best to keep routine and reinforce with positivity. Typically there is always one child that does better with the transition than others. If you’re having issues past 7 days, reach out to Kate through a text or video chat consultation.
Toddler and toddler
Allow the toddler to have sense of their own personal space. This is the perfect time to have each toddler pick a special blanket or stuffed animal that suits their personality. Finn picked these glow in the dark dino sheets and chambray cover, Bee chose a princess quilt and glow in the dark star sheets! suits their personality. These are a great amazon option too! Creating an environment that allows them to have their own personal space is important…
Prepare for a transitional period. Even if both children are “good” sleepers, there may be a transitional period. This adjustment period is normal! Try your best to keep routine and reinforce with positivity. Typically there is always one child that does better with the transition than others. If you’re having issues past 7 days, reach out to Kate through a consultation.
Have you seen our Transitioning to Toddler Bed E-Guide? It also goes over tips on how to get your toddlers to stay in their room!
An amber night light helps promote sleep but allows the toddlers to see just enough if they wake up. Waking up in a blackout room can be scary to some toddlers, so the amber light can help. The Hatch also has a OK to Wake feature so the toddlers know when it’s time to get up. This OK to Wake light is budget friendly and a bumblebaby favorite!
Weighted blankets can make a huge difference too. We love this one!
Choose a way you want to encourage your child to stay in their room and be consistent! It can take up to 2 weeks to see changes! Be positive give positive feedback when your child does something well!
Room sharing on vacation
Know that changing up baby and/or toddler’s environment and routine will undoubtedly throw sleep off. It’s basically about survival!
It’s going to be a change for everyone – try to keep things as consistent as possible. Bring your child’s pillowcase, favorite blanket, sound machine etc. to keep the environment as familiar as possible. Talk to your child before about what the situation will look like. It’s ok to rock your baby to sleep at this time or lay with your toddler for a little longer in a new environment. Get back to routine when you get home!
(The Hatch is my favorite sound machine that I use with all of my clients and my own kids! The ROHM travel sound machine is great for traveling, but try to bring the sound machine baby is used to as it is not as loud!).
Try to stick to a loose routine if you can.
Toddlers and babies thrive off of routine, so keep it as consistent as the travel allows. Try to aim for 1 nap a day in the room and the others can be on the go.
The Slumberpod… again! (use code BUMBLEBABY)
I’m not just saying this! It truly is a lifesaver for room sharing, especially for babies under 15 months.
Need to rent baby items on vaca, even a crib? Check out BabyQuip and use code BUMBLEBABY10 for discount!
Check out our travel post for more tips on how to travel with baby and kids!
**This post is educational and not meant to take the place of your provider. Bumblebaby makes a small commission on some of the items listed above