Bringing a new baby home can be the most exciting moment for the entire family. It can also be challenging because a new baby means change; Change in sleep schedules, eating habits, relationships, and many lifestyle choices.
Prior to having my second baby, I was always worried about how my oldest would react to the new family member. Would she be accepting? Would she behave nicely? Would she be jealous?
After the initial few weeks of surprise, some jealousy, and tantrums towards me, Arya accepted her little sister and became a wonderful big sister. She relieved me from all my worries by being super protective, loving, and an understanding sister.
We knew that Arya and the baby will need to share a room so my husband and I got it ready before the baby arrived. Arya was already trained to sleep in her own bed, but she would sleep with us (while I was pregnant), or with her grandparents.
We got the kids’ room all set but I was anxious about my girls sharing it. Sure I was eager to have my girls share a room where they would have late night giggle sessions and early morning play sessions. But since one of them was still a baby, I was worried about a few things.
5 Things to Consider When Your Toddler and Baby Share a Room
Mostly the baby’s safety. Arya was so eager to carry the baby and play with her that she would climb into her crib a few times. Thankfully she was careful and never really got too close to the baby; just sat there showing her toys. It was a really beautiful site seeing my girls like that but out of concern, I moved the rocking chair away the crib, so she couldn’t climb into the crib.
I wanted the room to have all the necessities for both my girls – a play and sleep area for my big, and a crib and feeding area for my little. This is easy to do right now because the baby does not require much space (until you peak into the closet and it’s filled with baby stuff 😊). Therefore, Arya has majority of the room to herself. As they get older, we will figure out how to ensure they both get their space and have their “sides” of the room reflect their personal style/taste.
This was a difficult one.
The baby sleeps at odd hours and Arya has an 8-9 pm bedtime routine (for the most part). Getting them both in bed was rather difficult at first. I would breastfeed the baby while reading to Arya. Then put the baby in the crib, and read another book to Arya with her on my lap, and then she went to bed as I sat in the rocker watching both my girls sleep. For the first 2 months, I slept in that rocker daily. It was horrible! Lol but worth it. Bedtime routine gets messed up in my home because grandparents are around to spoil it, but as long as both my girls get enough sleep, I don’t care whether its in their own beds or mine, or their grandparents.
Newborns usually like it warm just as it was in the womb. I was worried how I would keep a normal to cool temperature for one and slightly toasty for the other. We kept the temperature slightly cooler in the house and kept the baby in layers the first week or so. Both my girls hate heat; they love cool/cold temperature minus the layers. One is a summer baby, and another a winter baby. But surprisingly both hate a hot atmosphere (they take after their dad I guess😊), so luckily the temperature issue was quickly resolved.
Anyways, room temperature of shared siblings when one of them is a newborn can be tricky. I say test things out, know what the kiddos like, and go from there.
Okay another big one for me. So unlike their love of cold weather, my girls have very different noise-level preferences. Arya, my oldest and noise-loving butterfly could sleep with a banging drum, and Avya, my calm baby, wakes up when the pin drops. Knowing this, it was super difficult to keep Arya quiet and out of the room when the baby slept. She would be quiet for a while and then continue her ruckus somewhere in the house, which obviously woke up the little one. I still struggle with this, and to make it easy on all, I let the baby take naps in her crib only when the oldest is not playing there. If she is, the baby’s gotta be elsewhere! #momlife
My oldest is uberly loved and doted by everyone. But now with her little sibling in the picture, she knows that the love is shared. She had a hard time adjusting to this change at first but I did my best to keep her involved and respond to her tantrums by talking and understanding the whys. She quickly adopted her sisterly role and became a wonderful, loving and caring big sister.
Little children are often very territorial with everything – their toys, their room, space, parental attention, everything. They may understand sharing but if a new, attention hogging cuddly baby starts expecting them to share everything, it can be an adjustment for them. It took Arya several weeks to adjust to her new baby sister, and even though she isn’t territorial about the room (yet!), her new favorite words during those initial weeks were “that’s mine”! 😊
Okay so I have shared my story; did your kiddos share a room? If so, what were your initial concerns with the baby and toddler sharing a room?
Hi! I am Ashna. I am a working mom of 2 little girls, and I love organizing, writing and learning new ways to balance work and family life. If you like what you read, please do comment and share 🙂 !