Adding a new arrival to the family brings on space shortages in many households. Often, the addition of a baby will also necessitate that an older child share a bedroom with his or her new sibling—a situation with the potential to create a lot of tension, depending upon the age of the child, since room sharing can have its fair share of ups and downs.
However, with some research, creativity, and resourcefulness on your part, you can create a special place that both of your children will be happy to call their own. Most importantly, your children will also get to experience and create a special bond with each other that may carry with them throughout adulthood.
New Sibling Transitions
The impending arrival of a little one can be a time of great joy, and for some, great disruption. "A new arrival in the household is likely to affect everyone differently, especially other children in the home. Depending on the age of the children, the transition can be made smoother by considering several options. Letting children in on the impending arrival of his or her sibling as soon as possible will give the child time to process the information," explains Lesli A. Johnson, a licensed marriage and family therapist and executive supervisor of the Maple Center Crisis Response Team in Beverly Hills, California.
Easing into the transition of explaining to your child that he will soon have to share a room with his new sibling may be tricky. Sherri Blum, certified interior decorator, artist, and owner of Jack and Jill Interiors in Westminster, Maryland, agrees, adding that the older child will have a lot to contend with upon the arrival of the new baby.
"He or she will not only have to share his or her room, but some of the attention as well," says Blum. "Be sure that the older child feels very involved in the decision-making process. His or her opinions matter when designing this new space. Be sure that your older child does not feel as if his room is being taken away or that he is being punished or left out in any way. This may lead to resentment of the new baby."
Breaking the News
Explain to your child that because your home does not have a lot of space, you need to ask her to share a room with her new brother or sister. Let your child know that her room is still her room, but the baby will be sleeping there, too.