Whether it’s a choice or a practical necessity, we know that sibling room-sharing can be a tricky subject. Often idealised in the media with images of rosy-cheeky siblings in bunk beds, the reality of transitioning your toddler into sharing a room can be tough. With the right measures in place, room-sharing can be a wonderful way for children to learn to share, improve their communication skills and become more considerate If you’re looking to make the move, these four tips are here to guide your family through the process and bring your little ones closer together, both physically and emotionally.
Remember, this was your toddler’s room first. Before you begin room-planning, ask your toddler what they would like, completely separate everything or maybe some mix and match? Let them know that their opinion is important and have them pick out their own decor to make their half of the room feel special to them. Include personalised objects, like a toy box or big storage bag and make sure that they still have some space that is all their own with a personalised play tent or comfy chair.
Just like most adults, toddlers do not deal well with change. From set daily routines to their toys and list of acceptable snacks, toddlers crave consistency. If you are getting ready to move a newborn in with them, take those first six months to talk to your toddler about what is going to happen. Focus on the positives, like how much fun it will be for them to have a little roommate to play with, how they can fill the room with double the toys and share any happy room-sharing memories you may have. Teach them early about any safety precautions they will need to follow, like not putting anything in baby’s cot while they are sleeping, and help them to feel supported and included throughout the moving process.
Before baby’s new room move-in date, make sure that both your littles have a set daily structure to follow. Whatever you do, do not try to get them on the same routine. If baby needs to nap in the morning but your two year-old won’t be ready for theirs until after lunch, no problem. Take advantage of this difference to spend some one-on-one time together: play with their favourite toy, read some books or practice a new skill. Just because two children share the same room, it doesn’t mean that their days have to look the same, too.
No matter how well you prepare your little one for this change, there are sure to be some bumps in the road. Reward systems are a tried and tested way to encourage good behaviour in your children with a focus on positive reinforcement instead of lots of telling-offs. Try a traditional sticker chart system where you can track your toddler’s progress and remember to say well done every time your toddler does something on-time and fuss-free. Use this to work towards something they really want like their favourite food for tea or a new book for bedtime stories.
If you are planning to room your little ones together or your children already share the same space, tag us @My1stYears using #My1stYears and show us how you do it!
My 1st Years x