How to Get Two Small Children to Sleep in the Same Room

You may see it as a practical move -- but your kids may see sharing a room as an excuse for an all-night party. If you're having trouble getting your kids to actually sleep while they're sharing a room, you may not have taken enough steps to create an environment and attitude conducive to sleeping. Take a look at your routines -- and the room -- for clues about what you could do better.

Create a physical barrier between the two children. Try a floor-to-ceiling curtain on a track in the middle of the room, suggests Project Nursery, or move furniture around so that the two kids can't see each other. Likewise, make sure the bedroom is dark enough to facilitate good sleeping. Out of sight, out of mind.

Create a solid bedtime routine for both kids 3. When kids know what to expect at night time, they're more likely to fall asleep easier and get better sleep, advises Megan Faure, author of "The BabySense Secret," in an article in "Parents." Decide what time bedtime is going to be, and then start getting ready at the same time every night 3. Read books, give a bath, sing a lullaby, or whatever you prefer as your winding-down activities. When that routine is finished, your kids will know it's time to go to sleep -- and they may be less likely to goof around.

Try a staggered schedule. If one of the kids is more disruptive than the other, start her bedtime routine first to get her to sleep before the other one goes down -- or start the quieter one's bedtime routine in your bedroom and move her to her own bed when you go to bed 3.

Create a reward system for a good sleeping routine. Even toddlers can understand a sticker chart that tracks their good nights and results in a reward after a certain number of times. Consider a trip to the swim center, a fun breakfast, a new book or some other incentive to reward kids when they make it through the night without being disruptive, advises


Avoid rushing in every time one of the kids gets disruptive or calls for you. Giving them that attention when they're supposed to be sleeping only exacerbates the problem. If one child gets up, be firm and take her right back to bed. Be patient -- breaking those bad habits may take some time for both you and your kids.