Toddler & baby room sharing nightmare! Help!

(11 Posts)
chocolatetester1 Fri 15-Mar-13 14:26:53

Toddler (2 & ½) & baby (6 months) started sharing a room about 3 weeks ago. The first night was great but then it went downhill because they both caught colds so spent the nights coughing, waking each other and taking turns to cry. After 3 nights like that, we calpol-ed them both up and left them to it and they both got the hint and after a little bit of whinging, all was quiet for the rest of the night and a few nights after that.

BUT now the toddler has started to shout at the baby whenever it wakes/coughs/snuffles. I had words about this with the toddler, discussing how he is a big boy, he needs to speak gently to his brother and the best way to help his baby bro sleep is to keep quiet. He understood and stopped shouting for 1 night.

The last 4 nights have been crappy. About 4.45am, the baby might have a snuffle (not sure, doesn?t wake me) but is then really woken up by the toddler shouting ?NO!? at him! They then spend from then until 7am sort of dozing but with the toddler shouting at the baby every 20 mins or so. So no more proper sleep for anyone. Up until last night, I had continued speaking with the toddler about being kind and no shouting and had left them to it. But this morning, I cracked at 6am as the toddler was really letting rip and the baby was clearly more distressed. I spoke briefly but very firmly to the toddler and took the baby into our room where he had a bit more kip in the travel cot.

I really don?t want to bring the baby back into our room, he sleeps through when not being yelled at and we don?t have another bedroom.
I want to find a way for them to co-exist at night time as well as they do in the day when they really like each other and toddler doesn?t shout at baby.

Please please let me know what worked with your room sharing siblings!

ZuleikaD Fri 15-Mar-13 18:00:54

To be honest I don't think you have any other option than to bring the baby back in with you for a bit. Apart from anything else it's tough on your toddler suddenly having to share his space and he may understand a bit better in a few months. Also there are lots of developmental spurts/sleep regressions ahead for the baby and his sleeping through the night may not last.

chocolatetester1 Fri 15-Mar-13 19:56:15

All true but ... I really want to try other thing first if poss. hmm

Timeforabiscuit Fri 15-Mar-13 20:11:55

I'm really sorry - my Two dds shared from around the age you're saying but we kept the baby down stairs until it was our bedtime and then settled the youngest while the eldest was completely zonked out. They didn't get put down together until the youngest was around one and a half - not worth the trauma smile

Nevercan Fri 15-Mar-13 20:13:11

Perhaps offer the toddler an incentive if they stay quiet until morning time regardless of baby

chocolatetester1 Sat 16-Mar-13 08:50:14

Nevercan, I think I'll try that tonight.

bunnysmummy Sat 16-Mar-13 15:26:47

I second trying an incentive, have you tried any charts to add a sticker?

Just another thought, is the toddler getting told off a lot more in general?

I have a 3 yo and a 5 mo who will be sharing a room as soon as possible so I'm reading with interest. I noticed recently that the 3 yo old told the baby to stop crying and shut up. Where did she get that from? Er me. She's a handful at the moment and in my sleep deprived crossfacedness I told her to shut up when she was trantrumming. Clearly not a great strategy. I wonder if your 2.5 yo is getting a lot of 'no's at the moment.

i think you'll need to bring the baby back in with you.

Or, if the room is big enough, can you separate it with a curtain?
I know it won't stop the noise, but it might make the toddler feel more like this baby hasn't invaded his space.

Daffodilly Sat 16-Mar-13 19:45:31

Could you try some kind of white noise? Might help while they get used to having each other in the same room. Is toddler a light sleeper? My two shared (from a little older) but seem to sleep through anything! Maybe just luck that they are deeper sleepers.

We have a cold air steamer that helps with coughs and snuffles generally, and also makes some white noise. Could be worth a try.

chocolatetester1 Sun 17-Mar-13 21:08:49

Update on the hell of my own making!

We have separated the cots with a wide chest of drawers and turned both boys around so they can't see each other. They tend to keep their heads where their taggie comforters are attached to the cots, so no guarantee they'll stay that way but so far so good.

I have eased up on the 'be careful/gently/no' cautions and stopped saying 'you're all right baby x' when he cries. Instead I've tried discussing with the toddler what we can do when the baby cries to help him - either whisper twinkle twinkle or keep really quiet!

I have dug out the white noise cd and have it in reserve ...

I haven't given any tangible reward yet, (choc buttons in the cupboard for emergencies) but I've laid on the praise with a trowel so that I start the toddler's day telling him how well he did last night and finish his day reminding him what a kind big brother he is etc

The last two nights have been better, both slept til 6am. I even heard the toddler singing twinkle twinkle at about 6.15am!

So we'll see ... thank you for all your advice.

that sounds really positive smile

how sweet of toddler grin

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