I am frequently asked when is a good time for siblings to start sharing a room. Here are my top tips.
1) Wait until your older child can understand the ‘sleep rules’ - I recommend, where possible, waiting until the oldest sibling can understand the sleep rules (generally three years plus). This is important to minimise the risk of them waking the younger sibling (sleep rules will set fair boundaries here), but also from a safety perspective so that your older child does not place anything in a younger child’s cot that may prove a hazard to them.
2) Wait until both are sleeping through the night if you can – Except for twins, I recommend where possible waiting until sleep is settled for both children (there is so much you can do to help this) and ideally, both children are sleeping through the night. This will help minimise disruption to the other sibling.
3) Introduce white noise – One of the key benefits of white noise is that it helps to block out environmental noises and it helps act as a buffer. I recommend placing the white noise machine between your two children (always 1 meter away from a child and volume should no louder than the hum of a dishwasher). White noise should be left on for the full duration of a child sleeping.
4) Stagger bedtimes – Stagger bedtimes and where possible, have the youngest go to bed first and wait until they are asleep for 15 to 30 minutes ideally (in a deep sleep), before the second sibling goes to bed. This again, should minimise disruption to the younger sibling and generally however not always the older sibling is less likely to wake your younger child. Again, this is why it is important to wait until the older sibling can understand the sleep rules.
Best of luck with the room move for your children. I share lots of free advice regularly on my Instagram channel - @phoenixdreams_sleep
Certified Child Sleep Consultant, Parent Coach, and owner of Phoenix Dreams
Colette who is a busy mum of 2, specialises in working with children from the newborn stage through to 10 years of age. She is one of the only experts in both Child Sleep and Behaviour in Ireland, having built up a strong reputation in Ireland and abroad with new and repeat clients.