When I had my first child, I treated her like a precious piece of artwork, barely letting others breathe on her without sanitizing first. Luckily, I was much less neurotic by the time I had my second child. Although some things get easier with the second child, other things, like sleep, can become challenging. If you've recently started enjoying sleep success with your older child, you may be worried that the arrival of a new baby will undo all of your hard work. Which is why you're probably wondering, will my newborn keep my other kid awake?
The addition of a new baby will force your entire family to make changes, especially during the period before they begin sleeping through the night. And although waking up to their late night (and early morning) cries may be tough on you and your partner, your older children may have the hardest time making the adjustment, especially since they may not have the language to express how they feel.
When it comes to sleeping, you may find that your older child reverts to some of their former ways. This is usually in an effort to steal some of the spotlight away from their younger sibling and make sure they're being included. You can help with the adjustment by trying to incorporate them into your routine. But before that happens, you need to know what may happen when you bring your newborn home for the first night. Here are five things to be aware of.
1. They May Wake Up Cranky
Although your baby may not wake your older sleeping child at night, the newborn may cause them to wake up earlier than normal in the morning. As Kidspot mentioned, older children are more vulnerable to waking early in the morning, which could spell trouble if they are unable to go back to sleep and are cranky for the rest of the day as a result.
2. They May Wake Up More Frequently
You may find that your once good sleeper starts to have nightmares, need to go to the bathroom, or have something really important to say after you've tucked them in, according to Parents. But even though they may give a convincing performance, they're probably just curious about what the baby is doing up after what should be bedtime.
3. They May Regress
Your older child may have outgrown pacifiers, bottles, and lovies, until their new baby brother or sister arrives. As The Sleep Lady noted, a new sibling may cause your older child to regress. Keep encouraging your older child to behave like a big kid by allowing them to help care for the new baby. The sense of responsibility will help make him feel special.
4. Their Bedtime Routine May Take Longer
Once they realize how much attention their younger sibling gets at bedtime, your older child may start asking you to read Goodnight, Moon more times than you can stand. According to The Sleep Lady, your older child may be dragging the nighttime routine out longer in an effort to get a little more quality time with you. You can by letting her be a part of helping to get the newborn to sleep or reading while you nurse your younger baby.
5. They May Want To Sleep With You
Your bedroom may get a lot more crowded when your newborn arrives. As Parents mentioned, if your new baby is sleeping in your room, you may find that your older child wants to bunk with you as well. If you're not prepared for all of the late night guests, this may be a good time to introduce a new big kid bed.