How to juggle siblings and sleep simultaneously
Does bedtime feel like an endless juggle between your children?
Do they both need you at the same time and you haven’t worked out how to multiply yourself? It can be made a lot easier with two parents helping and lockdown has certainly allowed some families to do that but its not always possible.
If there are only one pair of hands here are some tips to make life easier:
- Start bedtime routine simultaneously. This includes bathing, getting changed into pj’s and even a story if possible.
- If one child is more of a battle to settle at bedtime, settle the easier child first and praise his good behaviour. Then take your time with the more challenging child.
- Give the other child (if they are preschool age and above) a quiet time book, puzzle or toy to occupy them in the meantime. Tell them you will be back shortly to tuck them into bed. And if necessary start a reward chart to incentivise them to play quietly and stay put.
- If you are sleep training and you expect to be on your own you will need a sleep training plan that is achievable and enables you to tend to your other siblings as well as the child you are sleep training.
- Often as parents our main concern is one sibling disturbing another. As a result we may bow down to every whim and stalling tactic because we are worried about disturbing another sibling. Its amazing what they can sleep through so stay strong and stick to your guns. It will make the learning process a lot quicker for you all to work through.
- If old enough, you can always promise the other sibling an extra goodnight kiss if they stay quietly or a reward chart for their good behaviour.
- Most siblings will get used to being in the room together. So don’t feel you have to rush in to ‘rescue’ your little one if they make the slightest sound. Giving them the opportunity to try and self settle for a moment is going to speed up the learning process and its unlikely to wake a sibling in deep sleep anyway.
- However if you have twins or siblings sharing a room and one just disturbs the other every time they try to settle, consider separating them temporarily (this may mean one in your room – ideally the better sleeper) until they are more skilled at settling to sleep.
- If one child naps but another doesn’t, occupy the older child while you settle the younger napper and then reward the older child with some one-to-one attention while the little one naps.
Do you need some tips to navigate night weaning? Check out this blog for more info: https://www.borntosleep.co.uk/navigating-night-weaning/