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Homeroom Community Forum Siblings Sibling sleep

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  • #3729

    Any tips from others who’ve juggled a baby and a preschooler? How did you get them both to sleep at the same time?

    We have a 3.5 year old and a teething-and-miserable 10 month old. The 3.5 year old makes his way into our bed if he wakes up during the night. And he always wakes up during the night, because his baby sister wakes up screaming loud enough to cut right through those soothing white noise machines we’ve got running.

    I’d be fine with him crawling into our bed if he’d then get still and go back to sleep. Sometimes he does. But usually, he wants to lie there and stroke my face, or chat about his day, or ask me why windows are rectangles, or why babies drink milk, or when my birthday is, or or or. I would love to have those conversations closer to sunrise, over eggs and tea. I do not want to have them at 3am.

    If we walk him back to his bed, he shrieks like he’s been injured, and then that wakes up the we-JUST-got-her-to-sleep-again baby, and the whole cycle starts again. The end result is that NONE of us are sleeping, ALL of us are cranky.

    Any pro tips?


    oh goodness, I WISH I had some tips for you. Currently in that fun dance right along with you! Wooooooo!!! I’m rather lucky that at least when our little guy crawls in with us he decides it’s time to go back to sleep. But take him back to his bed, he’ll scream bloody murder. ***eye rolllll**


    I’m going to have to follow this thread closely because I imagine we will be in the same boat very soon. We also have a 3.5 year old that thinks our bed is the place to be. She actually told me that our bed is a “10” comfortable and her’s is only a “1” comfortable. She almost won me over with her logic and reasoning, but we’d prefer she sleeps in her own bed. We also have 5.5 month old twins who I’m sure will be teething within the next couple of months. Good luck to you mamas in the trenches right now!

    Erin Loechner

    Oh man, Alyssa! Erin here – I totally hear you!

    I had a friend once with exactly this same problem, and she told her oldest that he could “camp out” in mom and dad’s room anytime he needed. Then, she put a sleeping bag next to their bed, and told her this was his camp-out space, and that he can sneak into their room when he needs to as long as he slips quietly into his sleeping bag. She added a glow-in-the-dark star so he could spot it when it was dark, and she said the whole thing worked like a charm! There was something about the physical boundary that cut down on the chit-chat entirely.

    Hope you find a solution that works soon — and keep us posted! :)

    Brittain Sobey

    totally with you here too, ha. have an almost four year old and a 10 week old. the 10 week old is a better sleeper than my older one! i used to go to her bed and sleep with her when she woke, but now that we have the baby i’m not playing musical beds all night. she comes in bed with us now. i’ve kind of thrown in the towel on breaking this habit. if i play dead she typically settles to sleep. i like the camp out bed idea that erin shared!


    Thanks, y’all!

    We tried a handful of things, and here’s what’s working best:

    We raised the 3 year old’s bed. That’s … kinda it. It’s the same mattress, but instead of on the ground (he has an Ikea Kura bed, the reversible kind that we can turn into a bunk someday), we added slats and put the mattress on top of those. You know, the way it was designed.

    We did this on Easter, after a sunrise church service and a skipped nap and LOTS of outside running around, so he was already out of his normal routine. We kept him running from 5am to 7:30pm without stopping, then showed him how big his “new bed” was, and he was too exhausted to wake up in the middle of the night.

    We let him overhear us tell each other and anyone who would listen how proud we were of how he stayed in his bed until it was light outside, so he got proud of himself about it, too.

    He’s been waiting until 6ish in the morning to come crawl into our bed and ask me when he can hunt tigers in the (midwestern) forest (preserve), and I can live with that.

    A week in, it’s mostly stuck. If he has to go to the bathroom in the night, he needs a back rub to fall asleep again, but he doesn’t scream and wake up his sister now. Something about changing his sleeping environment a little jolted him out of that habit. If the bed hadn’t been adjustable, switching out his bedding or rearranging the furniture might have accomplished the same thing. I think a day of all our routines being different helped out with a hard reset, too.

    Erin Loechner

    Ahhhhh, we’re cheering so hard over here, Alyssa! So so happy to hear you’ve found something that worked, and so encouraged by your perseverance! Thanks for sharing an update and fresh perspective with us all!

    Sweet dreams, mama! ;)

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