Sleep tips

Maintaining a bedtime routine for old sibilings

Maintaining a bedtime routine for old sibilings
Published : May 05 , 2019
Latest Update : July 24 , 2022

By: Jackie Kepler is a sleep professional

Change can be scary, especially for kids who have never experienced having a new sibling. This change will impact everyone's routine at home, such as the amount of alone time child no.1 will be able to spend with mum or the time they will go to bed, seeing as they will want to spend more time exploring the newfound relationship with their first sibling. Additionally, the bed the older sibling sleeps on might have to go to the new baby, meaning having to adjust to sleeping on a new mattress (and bed).

But remember: 

By talking to your kids about the changes before they happen, you’ll be able to make the transition a lot easier on everyone involved.

Maintaining the same routines for yourself and your kids is key. This is how to do it once baby no.2 comes home:  

Keep the schedule similar

The easiest way to ensure that everyone follows their bedtime routine is by sticking to the same routine you had before the new baby was born. However, you’ll need to make some changes to include your new baby. Make sure to leave yourself time to use the restroom and breathe while you’re getting them ready for bed!

By keeping things similar to the routine before the baby came, you will help the older sibling deal with the other changes in their lives. Consistency is incredibly important for their mental well-being as well as their sleep schedules.

Make time for each child on their own

Sometimes kids can struggle with still feeling special when their parents are focused on a new baby. One way that you can make sure each one of your kids still feels special at bedtime is to spend time with them one-on-one.

If you have a lot of kids getting ready for bed at the same time, you may need to split this up with your spouse or partner, but make sure that you take each kid’s personality into account when figuring out what to add to the routine for each of them.

Avoid these activities before bedtime

  • Strenuous activity like exercise.
  • Electronics like television, tablets or video games.
  • Snacks for older kids.

Keep things relaxed and simple before bedtime

Our kids are growing up in an increasingly over-scheduled era. With that in mind, make sure that your children have time to relax before bed. This will help you to feel more relaxed on your own and make it easier for you to deal with any changes to the routine that might come up.

Keeping their routines simple will also make it easier for you to keep up with them over time, even when they aren’t at home.

Additional bonding ideas

  • Read to your kids - a different book per kid!
  • Listen to your child’s favourite music with them using headphones.
  • Tidy their toys together.
  • Do yoga together.

If you find that your children are struggling or avoiding sleep once their new sibling arrives, you might want to talk to your doctor to see if there’s a medical reason for it. You should also try talking to your kids to see why they think they are having problems sleeping. Kids are smarter than we think they are and they’re more self-aware than they seem.


Jackie Kepler is a sleep professional. She enjoys sleeping with cats but sleeps on a king size bed because she needs her space, too.


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