“Help! My toddler gets out of bed when the baby cries!” We hear you. Getting kids to sleep soundly is one of the most exhausting challenges of parenthood. Luckily for parents, Cloud b is on a mission to help through all stages of development. Our #CloudbCares Q&A series offers expert recommendations, as well as advice from our community of moms to help solve your real family sleep issues – typically, issues most parents have to navigate. Here’s our latest: Tina says, “Our sleep struggle is trying to get our toddler to not get out of bed when he hears our newborn crying. I have told him that babies just cry, but if he is awake and the baby peeps, he is up and out of bed saying he needs to check on his baby brother! So sweet, but exhausting!”
Here’s what parents from our Facebook community had to say:
- Jeannine – Oh! Such a sweetheart! It is true the cry of a newborn triggers all of us. I would suggest giving the toddler something to do when he hears the baby cry. He could sing songs, blow kisses, or simply say “It’s okay baby.” over and over while staying in bed. (Tell him baby can hear him even if baby still cries.) Allowing him to use a soft voice makes him feel like he’s helping without getting out of bed, and could also help him (toddler) rock himself back to sleep! Hope it helps! Sleep is soooo important for all of us at any age!
- Ivy – My girls use to do that when my son was born. I let them help so they didn’t feel left out.
- Michelle – Do your children sleep with a fan on. White noise is great. My daughter was 7 when my son was born. She was in school so this was my fear. She slept with her door shut and the fan on. She never got up when he cried. Good luck!
- Cathleen – I use white noise too. My toddler never heard her little sister cry. I also use white noise for little ones room. Basically, they cannot hear each other lol.
- Katy – We used a white noise machine and our 3 yr old never woke up to baby crying! Amazon Prime so you can get it in the next two days!!!! 😎
- Pamela – I agree with the white noise! If a fan isn’t enough try a white noise machine
Here’s what sleep expert Kim West (aka The Sleep Lady) had to say:
Explain that everything is okay, that new little babies need to wake up and eat but soon the baby will sleep all night just like his big brother. Remind him during the daytime, too, if he’s old enough to understand. You could also involve him in the baby’s bedtime, making him feel part of it. For instance, you can have him “help” you read the baby a simple story before reading an “older” story to him.
Here’s advice from Parents.com:
Consider buying a white noise machine for your older kid’s room — the sounds will drown out middle-of-the-night crying. (You can also play a relaxing CD softly on repeat or keep a fan running.) It’s also a good idea to talk to your older child about what’s going on. Explain that his baby brother is learning how to sleep through the night, and remind him that he knows how to get himself back to sleep when he wakes up. Make a plan together for what he can do if he’s awakened. For instance, you could tell him, “Close your eyes again, cuddle with your bear, and think about the story we read right before bedtime.” Let him know what the plan is, and be consistent each time he gets up. You could say, “Mommy is going to tuck you in now and give you a kiss. Then we all have to go to bed until morning.” Above all, be patient. You may have two cranky kids for a while until your youngest is sleeping through the night. When you see more frequent tantrums, whining, or clinginess, you’ll know why. Just think how tough it is for you to make it through the day — and you’re a grown-up who can order up a latte! So hang in there, maintain a regular bedtime and naptime for your kids, and someday soon everybody in your home will be sleeping tight.