Today’s question comes up a lot!
I see many families protecting the sleep of older siblings or the working parent(s) and jumping to their baby as soon as they make a squeak so that nobody else gets woken up.
Nothing wrong with this, of course, everyone needs their sleep but you might be getting in the way of your baby just transitioning through sleep cycles in the night (which can be a bit noisy sometimes) and confusing it with a call for a feed or something else. the
Jumping in quickly might fully wake your baby when they were still fairly sleepy!
You never know what might happen if you give them the space and chance to show you. In reality, older siblings are resilient at sleeping through noise, especially in the middle of the night, as they’ll typically be in some nice, deep sleep.
The tricky time can come in the early morning when we’re all in light periods of sleep, melatonin (our sleep hormone) is dropping down and we’re more prone to waking fully.
You need to allocate a parent to each child so that each of you is there to resettle them if they wake and are disturbing the other.
Or is you’re solo parenting, sitting and explaining to the older sibling in the daytime what’s happening, and getting them on board to model great sleep behaviour!
Remember, that sleep training should only take a couple of weeks from start to finish and so you’re likely looking at a handful of disturbances, if any at all. You can absolutely manage that knowing that at the end of it, you’ll have a baby that sleeping the longer stretches that you know he’s capable of…and you’ll have more energy to deal with your eldest’s early waking!!
Short-term pain for long-term gain.
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See you next time,