The sweet sound of silence after you’ve taught your babies the skills to sleep through the night is nothing short of bliss for the whole family. But for the first couple of nights, there’s usually some crying involved, which can cause some strife if you have another child in the house.
Today, I’ll discuss the challenges of sleep training with a sibling in the house, or even in the same room, and give you some tips on how to get through it with a minimal amount of disruption to the rest of your family.
One of the most popular questions I get asked, is how can you sleep train a baby if you have another child in the house? And this prevents people from making change much longer than it should, because you have this fear that uh oh, one child is gonna wake up the other child. And now I’m gonna have both children awake. And that’s going to be a nightmare.
So the fear of that scenario prevents people from making any kind of positive change. I’m here to tell you that the harsh reality is that yes, you might have a night or two where one child does wake up the other child. I mean most of us do not live in houses large enough to hide from a child who’s crying. It’s inevitable, it’s going to happen. And my best advice is to just make peace with it.
That’s all you can do. It’s going to be a rough night or two as we train this baby to sleep well.
The good news is, though, right, that once you go through it, then you’re going to have a child who’s sleeping well. And hopefully your other child also sleeps well. And now you’re going to have a situation where both babies, both children are going down wonderfully and sleeping all night. That’s the end game.
So my advice would be to keep your eye on the prize. Right, that end game of both children sleeping beautifully, night after night, after night, for a lifetime of great sleep skills. That’s worth it right?
When you think about the big picture of life, a few rough nights with both kids being awake, not the end of the world.
Now what I suggest you do is prep your older child. Because sometimes toddlers or preschoolers get a little anxious when they hear baby brother or sister crying in another room, and they wanna come and see what’s going on, and how can I help. So it’s important that you sit your child down and explain, listen we’re gonna be sleep training baby brother. We’re gonna be teaching him to sleep well. There might be a few nights that you hear him crying. But just know that mommy’s dealing with it. Everything’s okay. And if you hear him or her, just go back to sleep, and all will be well in the morning.
Now this might mean that your toddler has a little bit of fractured sleep. They maybe are woken up a little too early that day, or maybe they had a night waking where they usually don’t. So they might be feeling a little fatigued the next day or two as you go through this process. And that’s okay. Right, a little bit of short term over tiredness in the name of everyone sleeping wonderfully is a small price to pay.
So maybe you just need to monitor the next day. Make sure your older child’s getting a nap if they still nap. Make sure you could even move their bedtime a little bit earlier than usual for a few nights, if they’ve had, you know, a bit of night time wake ups due to the baby. But I think it’s worth it. I would encourage you to go ahead and start. Because why keep waiting. There’s never gonna be a magical day where you know, this is going to be okay, or perfect with no kind of wake up. And just monitor your expectations. Stay calm. Know that this is just short term for such a wonderful long term pay off.
Thanks for watching today. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!