Bunk Mates: When a Sibling Must Share a Room with Baby
Is your baby-to-be going to share a room with his older sibling? Try these suggestions for decorating and introducing the concept to your older child.
“Parents can discuss how the older child would like to share their room. Depending on their age, they can be a part of the decision-making for colors, furniture . . .” says Johnson. This will make your older child feel included and also make the experience more enjoyable and foster a sense of responsibility and pride in his or her decisions and accomplishments.
Consider also creating a special private area or space in the house that is specifically only for the older child to call his own, since he will soon have to adjust to not having his room all to himself.
Dr. Sam Hackworth, PhD, a child psychologist in Austin, Texas, says this can foster the idea that the, “bedroom will be known primarily as a place to share the nighttime/sleeping time, and parents should point out that it doesn’t mean that they’re losing all individual space in the house. Some families have set up tents in a room for an older child to have more of a physical feeling of separateness, away from the younger child sleeping, and the tent/camping angle to it can be appealing to lots of children.”
“If both children are of the same sex, your job will be easier; however, if you will have a boy and girl sharing a room, give the child some theme or color suggestions to choose from. There are many adorable neutral themes available to choose today,” says Blum.
Soft neutral colors for a calming room will soothe a newborn and provide a canvas to create whimsical themes that reflects your other child’s personality and likes. Wallpaper borders or cutouts like Wallies are usually found in home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s and can be added to each child’s side of the room.
Blum recommends that parents take two of the colors chosen for the room’s theme and consider color coding dresser drawers or storage bins. “If blue and green are the two primary colors in the room’s décor, one child’s drawers can have blue knobs while the other’s have green, for example. In the closet, choose a color for each child’s hangers and any storage bins. Purchase wicker baskets with liners of different colors for each child, which can be used in the closets, shelves, or in bookcases as storage. This will make it easier to identify each child’s personal belongings without having to define a particular territory within the room for each child,” says Blum. “By using the colors within the chosen theme/scheme of the room, you are keeping the room stylish while also defining the personal space of each child. Others who see the room might not even realize that color coding is even being used.”
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