I Dreaded Moving Our Baby Into Our Toddler’s Room – Here’s How We Survived
We live in a tiny two-room house, so when we got pregnant with our second child I knew that one day I would have to move the baby in with our toddler. I dreaded it. I had no idea how to do it and I doubted it would even work.
I imagined that the baby would cry and wake up the toddler. And then the toddler would wake up the baby. And things would just continue to spiral. Eventually, we’d end up with everyone in our bed in an act of desperation to get sleep.
I didn’t know anyone who had kids sharing a room, so I lacked advice and direction on how to transition our baby into our toddler’s room. At the time, I had a 2.5-year-old who slept great but had a hard time falling asleep. She resisted bedtime and was constantly yelling out for us to bring her water, Kleenex, cream for her imaginary itches, and more. Our baby was 6 months old and a truly challenging sleeper. She was still waking up at least every 2 hours (or less).
As parents who were stretched thin and not sleeping, we felt more than ready to have our room to ourselves. I decided to face my fears and moved the baby into our toddler’s room. And do you know what? It wasn’t that bad. I would even recommend it. Here is what helped us find success:
We first moved the baby into the toddler’s room alone, while we moved our toddler temporarily into our room for about two weeks.
This allowed the baby to get used to her new environment and crib without added distractions. It also taught our toddler to sleep through the noises of others in the room (turns out my husband’s snoring is great training for preparing my toddler to sleep with a baby).
We sleep-trained the baby while she was in her new room, before moving our toddler in.
Since the sleep training process involved some extra crying, we wanted this done before they shared rooms. By the time we moved them in together, our baby was only getting up two times a night. She was still occasionally crying and fussing, but it had improved significantly.
When we moved our toddler back into her room with the baby, we made sure she could access things she asked for at bedtime;
Like tissues, water, blankets, and more. We also taught her that her room after bedtime was a quiet zone. Only whispering allowed. We watched the monitor closely right after we tucked her in, just in case she started whispering for us to come in.
From the day our baby was born, we excitedly talked to our toddler about how she was going to get a roommate.
We played it up and let her know how lucky she was to have her sister join her. We had her make a sign for her door announcing it was “The Sister’s Room”. When it came time for them to share a room, she was excited.
We kept a travel crib in our room.
Inevitably there are nights when one child is sick or just having a hard time and is keeping the other up. Having a backup crib comes in handy to be able to take one kid out of the room in the middle of the night if needed.
We are now reaping the benefits of having our baby and toddler share a room. My toddler, who was afraid of the dark, tells me that she isn’t scared anymore because she has her sister. When we travel and have to all stay in the same room, it is less stressful because the girls are used to sleeping near one another. Both girls are learning to sleep through a host of interruptions and noises, which helps to ensure neither of them will turn out to be light sleepers.
If we had a bigger house, I would still choose to put our kids in the same room. They are bonding more and have special time in their room just the two of them. As they get older, I can’t wait to watch them learn the interpersonal skills required to successfully share a room with another person.
Now we are debating another child. Three to a room? We just might try it…