How to Help an Older Child Sleep with a New Born in the House
By Tina Goldsmith, founder and CEO, Snuggle Sac Co.
When l sat down to write this, l was immediately taken back 20 years to the start of the business and the reasons why l came up with the idea for a Snuggle Sac.
Preparing an older child for the arrival of a sibling depends on their age and whether there are any other children in the family. I had a 21-month gap between my boys and the eldest was still using the cot bed when his brother arrived. Being a practical working Mum, who’d never had any problems with sleep deprivation or routine, I simply moved my eldest son straight into a single ‘big boys’ bed with a side rail, introduced a lovely new duvet and thought nothing of it.
Not getting it right!
I have no idea why it didn’t even occur to me that changing a bed and bed covers can make such a difference. It took me weeks to recognise my eldest son was waking up cold in the night with his covers on the floor and clearly felt unsettled in the new bigger bed. I had put all the disturbance down to having a baby in the house who cried a great deal of the time! Looking back, and having worked with The Children’s Sleep Charity, l am now very aware of how important it is to prepare a toddler for the move into their next stage bed before their sibling arrives.
Once l realised my eldest son was waking up cold in the night and was also resisting his daytime nap l started to think about how to make him feel cosy, secure and special again. That’s when l came up with the idea for an animal inspired sleeping bag which would be just his. It was a lion, with a long tail, which he dragged around with him, quite similar to the Dalmatian model we sell today. He slept on the sofa for an hour in the afternoon, took it to day nursery and slept all night long at home. If he went to stay with his grandparents, he simply took it with him, so his home-from-home comfort travelled with him. We all know the power of a good night’s sleep. So, having something special as a ‘big boy or girl’ treat introduced before their sibling arrives works wonders. I’ve always said the Snuggle Sac is a combination of a favourite teddy bear, a comfort blanket and a sleeping bag. It certainly worked in our family and enabled us to get the new baby into his own sleep routine and focus on them both during the day.