Tips to Help Kids Adjust to Sharing a Room

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How to Prepare Children to Share a Bedroom

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Have you recently moved into a smaller home with fewer bedrooms? Have you brought a new baby home? Whatever the reason, children used to their own bedrooms may not easily transition into sharing with a sibling. The following tips will help you easily and comfortably adjust your little ones to their new shared sleeping space with as little stress and tantrums as possible.

Create zones for personal space

The hardest part about getting your children to adjust to cohabitation is the compromise over personal space and privacy. Especially if one of your children is older and beginning to shape her identity, being forced to share a room with a younger sibling or even a newborn can be difficult. It's important to respect that your children are individuals and make sure the room has equal space devoted to each child for sleep and play. Also, keep safety in mind when designing the room's layout--if you have a very young toddler or newborn sharing a room with an older child, be sure to keep all toys or belongings containing small parts in baskets and bins on high shelves, away from your small child's prying hands.

Don't change routines

While your two children may be on very different sleep schedules, it's important to maintain their individual routines. While it may be difficult to juggle two different bed time routines without disturbing one of your children, an older child will resent an earlier bed time to accommodate a younger child. On the other hand, if you have a newborn that sleeps through out the day, his bed time may actually be later than your toddler or older child. Stagger your children's bed times in a way that is efficient, convenient, and disrupts their usual routines as little as possible. However, a little tweaking may be necessary--if your baby is in her crib sleeping while you prepare your older child for bed, read stories or put pajamas on in another room so the baby stays asleep.

Be firm

If your child gets fussy about the changes or resents having to share a room, it can make for a less than harmonious household. On the other hand, your two children could be getting along too well--wanting to play and interact when its supposed to be bed time. If you have a newborn, it is especially important to be firm that your older child does not disturb the baby or do anything that could compromise his safety. Whatever the case, establishing rules for the room and being consistent when enforcing them is a good way to ensure both your children get a good night's sleep and are happy and adjusted to their new sleeping situations.

Have a back up

Sometimes unexpected circumstances disrupt your carefully planned routines and adjustments must be made. If one of your children gets sick, or your baby is up all night with colic screaming, it's a good idea to have a prepared back-up plan for alternate sleeping quarters. On nights when one of your children can't sleep soundly, set up one of them in a guest bedroom, your room, or even a play-pen in the living room for a baby. Keep in mind that if one of your children is ill, it's best to keep the sick child in her own room and relocate the other--you want her to be comfortable and in a familiar environment if she's under the weather.

Photo by: Nenetus (Freedigitalphotos.net)

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on May 25, 2016

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