I will admit it, I hate room sharing! This is a personal preference, it’s just not for me. With my eldest, we co slept for the first 4 months and I moved her to her own room after that and never regretted my alone time and my bed all for myself. With my seven month old, we are still room sharing, but she sleeps in a crib of course. I never thought we would room share this long, my goal was for my daughters to share a room, but she still feeds once a night and to be honest, I am scared she will wake my eldest with all these regressions that are still to come. Since she just turned 7 months, my goal is to wean off the last night feed this month and see where to go from there.
One common question I get is "Can you room share and sleep train?" Absolutely. I am living proof! I still recommend though having baby in their own room if possible, but will share below things that I do to help my daughter sleep better while we are room sharing. It can be a challenge and personally, I don’t like to be so restricted, but I do what I can to make sure my daughter can get the sleep she needs and make the best out of our room situation.
1. The room is hers – essentially, I make the room hers as much as possible. After I put her down for the evening, I don’t go back into the room unless it’s my time to sleep. There are times I go in at night and I hear her moving or wake up, probably disturbed from when I opened the door or moved around. Despite how quiet I try to be, there are times where I feel like I am the one who disrupted her sleep slightly. There were a few times also that she woke up completely. For naps, she is in there most of the time alone, though sometimes I take a nap too in the room.
2. Consistency – My rule for myself is if I’m not going to feed, I am going to let her resettle as much as possible if she wakes overnight. My gosh, this is so much easier when I am in a different room rather than me in bed beside her crib trying to pretend I’m not there. These wakes don’t last long, but when you are in that situation, one minute can feel like 10!
3. Early Morning – As I want to preserve her sleep as much as possible, I try not to be in the room when she wakes so I am not stimulating her and she doesn’t try to call for my attention. She is a lot more peaceful when I am not there, and quiet time is still restorative. Sometimes this means I leave the room as early as 5:30-5:45am. I suppose this does have its positives since I am able to work or do some yoga, but I would still like the option to lay in bed until 6:30-7am.
Room sharing definitely has it challenges, but it is doable if there are no other options. Remain consistent in. your approach and try to make as minimal disruptions to your baby's sleep as possible.