Many of us have more children than bedrooms, meaning someone (or two) is bunking up. Parents often find themselves trying to decide which children to pair together, with the obvious pairing being 2 boys / 2 girls or twins. However, what if the children of the same sex are several years a part and therefore on different napping / nighttime schedules?
Generally speaking, our first choice is to give the infant their own room. Baby is learning how to fall to sleep on his own and in the beginning, that may involve some help from mom (or dad) in the form of pacifying. Ideally, we don’t want to risk waking up other children during this brief period. Furthermore, the other children may be on more similar nap schedules, leading to less interruption during the day for baby’s naps.
However, if baby having his own room is not an option, you will need to determine which of your kids is the ‘most challenging’ sleeper. For example, is your baby is extremely sensitive to other people? Some children wake when they hear the door to their bedroom open. Or, more likely, is your toddler incredibly tough to get back to sleep if anything ever wakes her in the middle of the night? Perhaps you have a child who can sleep through anything, and that is the child you pair with the baby.
And of course, do not forget your friend the white noise machine! White noise is our secret weapon. Even if your children are not sensitive sleepers, it’s never a bad idea to use very loud white noise in the room both children are sharing. As we like to say, it should sound like the Amazon when you are walking by your children’s bedrooms! White noise will serve to block out any cries, coughs, or other sounds from disturbing either child
Each family is different and will have their own set of personalities, so think outside of the box and be creative about your room sharing pairs.