“I’m pregnant with my second child. My son will be 3 when the new baby comes. He is a great sleeper. We live in a small 2 bedroom townhouse.. so my concern is how long should the baby roomshare with my husband and I before moving the 2 kids to the same room? I’m worried that the baby will be waking up my 3 year old during the night…but at the same time, I don’t want the baby to be used to sleeping in our room for too long (it’s also a small room so once the baby outgrows the cradle…I won’t be able to fit a crib in there). I’d love your expert advice!!”
Congratulations on the upcoming arrival of baby #2! Given your room set up, I think it makes the most sense to have your baby sleep in the cradle in your room, or roomshare, until he or she sleeps through the night. Consider buying a sound screen or white noise maker for your son’s room so he won’t hear the baby wake during the night. Read the two chapters in “Good Night, Sleep Tight” about newborns, especially “The Right Start for Newborns and Infants”. If you follow my “8 Rules of Infant Slumber” with your new baby and gently sleep shape, you won’t have to sleep coach him or her later! Once the baby knows how to put him or herself back to sleep, he or she can take that skill everywhere!
Once you are ready to transition the baby to the toddler’s room so that they can roomshare, you may have to put the baby to bed before your toddler. That would mean the preschooler would have to have his bedtime routine in another room and then get in to bed quietly while his sibling is sleeping. Teach him some “sleep manners”; such as, “no talking to, playing with, or waking the baby when he is asleep”. Explain that it’s so special to share a room and its important to have good sleep manners.
Hope that helps!