We have two daughters; one is 2 years old and the other was born a week ago. Right now, daughter 2 is sleeping a lot and doesn't cry much, but if my experience of the first was anything to go by, that will last for about 3 more weeks and then she'll be more difficult to get to sleep (and noisier).

What are effective strategies to help both of them to sleep? (Currently our eldest sleeps in the next room to us, while our newborn sleeps in the same room as us.)

  • Children sleep better than we think. You never heard of people using a vaccum cleaning close to a sleeping child? :-) Jul 9, 2015 at 9:25
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    @bilbo_pingouin That is true for some kids, but others are very light sleepers; either way, planning for a minimum of noise and disruption when the older sibling is a wise strategy.
    – Acire
    Jul 9, 2015 at 11:18
  • this is how we do it. Read a book to the toddler at bedtime, in their room. The little baby gets a bottle and a parent to lay by them while they go to sleep. If both need to go to bed at the same time, both parents will be occupied. It works pretty well.
    – Mike Vonn
    Jul 10, 2015 at 5:27
  • @bilbo_pingouin Vacuum cleaners tend to produce white noise that can soothe children (we have had some success with that in the past) whereas the cries of a baby seem to have evolved over countless years to be able to cut through noise - hence our concern about disruption to the eldest.
    – JamesF
    Jul 15, 2015 at 6:23
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    My question was related and may be helpful to you, even though my question was about what to do before the baby was born: How to prepare a toddler's sleep habits for the disruption of a newborn?
    – user11394
    Jul 15, 2015 at 23:36

2 Answers 2


I have found that white noise can work wonders for blocking out the sounds of crying children. Turn on a fan, an air conditioner, radio static, or a white noise machine in each bedroom, and you will be amazed at how much it muffles the sounds from the other room. You might need to use a baby monitor or something similar to make sure that you can hear your eldest child if she wakes. Or, if you're only concerned about the younger disrupting the elder, put the white noise only in the elder daughter's bedroom.


Currently our eldest sleeps in the next room to us, while our newborn sleeps in the same room as us

This is actually a pretty good strategy as far as improving sleep quality for the eldest. BUT.... the downside is, it will have negative side effects:

  1. The eldest will have jealousy issues over NOT sleeping in your room

    • Can be partially ameliorated by one of the parents spending more time in their room, e.g. before-bed and when they are falling asleep. Or letting them be in your room more, e.g. for a daytime nap.
  2. The eldest will generally have more jealousy over more attention paid to the younger one. That is on top of the "sleep in your room" specific one, but it will be strengthened by #1.

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