Sleep training a baby is one thing, especially when you only have them (and possibly your neighbors) to worry about if you're crying it out. But how do you cry it out with two kids? Now that your second baby has just arrived, won't he or she wake up your first? Won't you be faced with double the difficulties and double the tears? Turns out, crying it out with two kids is probably easier than you think.
According to the sleep gurus at Parenting Magazine, you'll need to keep a few things in mind when you're trying to crying it out with your second baby. First, it's vital that overwhelmed parents remind themselves that bedtime and/or naptime limbos between kids won't last forever. Second, know that once you get both kids falling asleep on their own, your life will get infinitely easier (at least in the sleep department). You may never sit down again, because you're following two kids around instead of one, but once they're both down for the night you can actually take a break.
So, how do you actually cry it out with your second kid and avoid waking up your first? Parenting Magazine experts report that most toddlers and children actually sleep deeper at night than you'd think, so it would probably take more than a crying sibling to rouse them. However, if you're still worried about your older child waking up as a result of your sleep training efforts, you can park a white noise machine near his or her bed in order to muffle the sound.
Some kids are light sleepers, though, and they might need to be brought on board with "operation sleep training" before you start. Parents.com encourages parents to enlist the "help" of their older child, by asking for their patience as little brother or sister learns how to sleep better by him or herself. Or, if all else fails, you might consider sending them to "Grammy Camp," or what my partner and I like to call our daughter's grandparents' house. In fact, The Baby Sleep Site says having your child sleep somewhere else for a few days might give you the peace you need to help your new baby cry it out successfully. After all, us sleep training parents all know that half-assed crying it out is only going to make everyone infinitely more miserable.
Another thing to consider is the location you choose to sleep train your new baby. If you're trying to sleep train your baby in the same room as your older child, chances are greater that the older child will wake up. Instead, The Baby Sleep Site reminds parents they can start the cry it out process by working with the new baby in another room, so any noise associated with the process is muffled for your older child.
AlphaMom suggests investing in a pair of noise-cancelling earmuffs for your older child, too, and teaching them how to put the earmuffs on if they wake up in the night. Personally, I could understand how some parents would consider this suggestion a tad extreme, but sleep training parents gotta do what sleep raining parents gotta do.
Above all, though, The Baby Sleep Site reminds parents to always be cognizant of the fact that consistency is key when it comes to successfully sleep training. The best thing you can do for your family is create a schedule, stick with it, and give it your best shot so everyone has the highest chance of, eventually, sleeping through the night.