Sleep Training if your Baby Shares a Room
If your baby either shares a room with you or a sibling, there are ways we can still go through the process of sleep training while giving everyone the space they need for sleep. We want to first focus on your baby learning to initiate sleep at bedtime and naps. These are the times that we want them to have a space that’s separate from you or their sibling. Let’s not worry too much about middle of the night wakings and see how things shuffle out after a couple of weeks. Use white noise to your advantage as well - make sure you have a white noise machine close to your baby’s crib to minimize distracting noises like their sibling getting into bed, or you rolling over in your bed during the night.
Okay, So how do we accomplish this? There are a few options.
Make some temporary dark space for your baby that you can use during sleep training. There may be some closet, bathroom, office or other room where you can temporarily fit a crib or Pack ‘N Play (or portable crib). Make sure you can get the room/space to be really dark and also ensure that there’s enough space around the crib that your child can’t bump any part of their body.
There’s also solutions like the SlumberPod which is a canopy/tent that goes over a Pack ‘N Play to make a dark sleep environment. The SlumberPod also creates a division from the rest of the room so that they are not distracted by a sibling or you sleeping nearby. If you plan to travel with your baby, this is a great product to invest in early on. My number one favorite product for traveling.
You can keep your baby in your room or in the siblings room and temporarily sleep somewhere else. So you and your partner sleep in a spare room or on the couch for a week or two. Or your toddler sleeps up in your room with you for a short period of time. Once your baby can start to initiate sleep and they’re not crying as much or creating disturbances, you can all go back to your usual beds.
If your baby is in your room, you can create some division between their crib and your bed. For example, a curtain or some sort of room divider. There are some solutions out there that use a tension rod across the room that you can hang a curtain from. You just need something that just provides a physical division so that your baby can’t see you when they’re trying to fall asleep and during the night.
If your baby shares a room with a sibling, we don’t want the older sibling to have to deal with any cry it out. So you would put your baby down for sleep first and after the baby has fallen asleep, that’s when you would have your toddler go in to fall asleep. Just make sure to communicate with your toddler ahead of time and set clear expectations about being quiet when they go into their room. If you are trying to drop a night feeding and having yout baby protest during the night, you may want to have your toddler sleep up in your room for a week so that, again, they aren’t in the room with the crying baby.
If you are looking for more support and guidance with your child’s sleep, let’s connect. I have a range of consultation options to help get a plan in place and support you along the way. My online video series is also a great option if you learn all of the fundamentals of sleep and sleep training without the need for a 1:1 personalized consultation.