Rachel Helyar ~ Sleep Nanny Consultant
1) Try to do the same bedtime routine with both children so no one feels left out. If one child is very tired though (e.g. not napped well in the day) then settle that child first. Set the other one up with a gentle activity (such as a book or puzzle) while you put the tired one to bed, and then settle the more rested one.
2) If one child is always creating bedtime battles and playing up then settle the easier child first. If they are old enough offer them a reward such as the promise of stickers or extra cuddles if they stay in bed until the difficult one has settled.
3) Ensure your bedtime routine is realistic. Don’t create elaborate plans if you can not follow them through single handedly. A bath then feed followed by stories and cuddles is a great place to start. You can do this with both siblings, in one place, and it is a calming start to the night.
4) Don’t rush in to calm an awake child for fear they’ll wake their sibling. Children will surprise you with what they can sleep through, particularly when in a deep sleep at the start of the night. Also, don’t feel you need to respond to every noise. Leave them for a few minutes and your child may settle to sleep on their own without waking their sibling.
5) If the above points do not work, and your children constantly wake each other, consider splitting them up until they are better at self settling. This may mean you have to give up/share your own bedroom for a short while, but it is a temporary arrangement.
So remember, stick to routines, that is what indicates bedtime is approaching to your little ones. Sometimes things don’t go to plan though, and if you feel you need a bit of extra support, then get in touch.