When Siblings Need to Share a Room on Holidays...
Updated: Mar 11
I have laid out some of my top tips to help you out when your kids need to share a room and they aren’t used to it. These tips can be used for all ages and can be used almost anywhere except for maybe trailers or tents. (That's a whole other ball game)
First thing when it comes to booking a hotel I always make sure that there are 2 sleeping areas. So, we spend a little extra money to get a suite so that my husband and I can still enjoy our evenings after the kids have gone to bed. If you're going to be staying at someone else's house, see if it's possible for you to have separate rooms from the kids.
Second step: set up the kids sleeping area so that it resembles 2 bedrooms in some way.
I recommend checking out SlumberPod (a lightweight & compact tent) that you can use for one of your kids. It creates a whole separate room for them.
Or you may have to get creative on this one sometimes. In the past, we have moved the coffee table between the bed and the play pen and put suitcases underneath it. This way they couldn’t make eye contact while lying down. Also, make sure to set up their beds as far away from each other as possible. The other thing you could do is put one of them partly in a closet to give them a sense of their own room.
Third step: check if it’s dark enough. Especially in a new place, if it’s too light all the new things will be very distracting to babies and toddlers. Hotels are usually very good at having black out blinds but they usually don’t cover the edges. You can use painters tape to tape the drapes to the wall so it doesn’t wreck the paint or drapes. If there is an opening down the center of the drapes you can use large binder clips to hold the gap closed.
Fourth step: if you use a noise machine, which I highly recommend with kids sharing a room, place it between the kids. This creates a sound barrier between them so if one wakes up in the night, then there is a smaller chance of them waking up the other. Remember noise machines are best to be on the lowest setting.
Fifth step: when it comes to bedtime, if you can stager the kid’s times they go to sleep that would be best. In our case it worked best to put our son down first because he protests at a new place. Once he was sleeping then we would put our daughter to bed. For those that have kids going to bed at the same time, you will need to use some consequence if they are playing around and being noisy. For example, if they sleep with a blanket or puppy, you can take it away for a few minutes at a time until they are quiet. Or for older kids you can use a consequence such as they don’t get to do an activity the following day. Be careful not to go in too often. Give them time to settle on their own.
Last of all, it takes time and patience just like anything else. After all, it’s a novelty for them. Once that novelty wares off, they’ll become better at it. If you’re up for it, give them more chances to share a room even at home. This way they can get used to it. The first night will always be the hardest but by the third night you should start to see them settling a lot faster. Maybe even the second night if you’re lucky!
If you're worried about sleep safety while setting up their room, there's a few things that may help you feel at ease on my "Safe Sleep Environment" Freebie. So if you haven't grabbed a copy yet, fill in the form before and you'll be on your way to making a safe sleep are for your little ones even when you are on holidays.