When your home has limited space, sometimes two small children have to share a bedroom. While in theory it sounds like a convenient option, two children squabbling and waking each other at night could disrupt everyone's peaceful sleep. By ensuring that room-sharing is a positive experience for both of your children, it's easier to set rules and routines so that everyone in your family gets a restful night's sleep.
Adjust your kids' bedtimes so that they're appropriate for their respective ages. If one child is a toddler and the other a preschooler, they have different sleep needs. Putting both children to bed at the same time could cause problems if an older child isn't tired and therefore disrupts the younger child's sleep. Experiment with different options, such as staggering bedtimes, to see what works best for your family.
Install a white noise machine and blackout curtains in your kids' bedroom. Various noises and lights make for fitful sleep. To stop one child from waking when the other coughs, a white noise machine helps drown out sudden sounds to ensure uninterrupted sleep. Blackout curtains help block out the sun when it rises early and one child wakes the other before anyone is ready to start the day.
Give your young children a three-strike rule when it comes to getting out of bed after bedtime. Toddlers and preschoolers do well with consistency and structure. Tell your kids they have three chances to get out of bed to get a drink, to use the bathroom or to tell you something, but after the three chances they must both be in bed for the night. This helps reduce instances where one child gets out of bed and the other follows, as each child learns to conserve his strikes.
Plan your kids' daily schedule around stimulating activities that help them expend their energy throughout the day. If your children are restless and have trouble falling asleep, they simply might not be tired because of a sedentary lifestyle. Ensure that even small children get plenty of physical activity; plan for at least 60 minutes per day so that your children are tired when they hit the hay.
Make bedtime a soothing time for everyone in your home. Even if you stagger bedtimes, taking 30 minutes before the first bedtime to give the kids a bath, read stories and sing songs helps ready both children for sleep. The more ready your kids are for sleep, the less chance they have to disrupt each other come bedtime.