Can You Sleep Train if You Share a Room? Here’s the Truth

Many parents choose to share a room with their new baby for several months or even longer. For some, that causes even more restlessness; for others, it’s the only way to get any sleep. However, there comes a time while sharing a room, you wonder if sleep training will ever happen for your child. So, can you sleep train if you share a room?

In general, parents who share a room with their children can still sleep train their children with their sleep training method of choice. While moving a child out of a bedroom for the sleep training process will make things easier, it’s not required.

As long as you go into the process knowing it might be more challenging than if your baby was in the other room, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have success in the end. Before you know it, you and your baby will be sleeping soundly through the night.

An image of a little baby who just woke up in a good mood and smiling in her crib looking at the camera.

Can You Sleep Train if You Share a Room?

If you share a room with your baby, you most likely are co-sleeping, or your baby is in their crib or bassinet close to your bed. You may want to consider moving into a different room, for starters, just for the sleep training process.

While this may turn you off immediately, it doesn’t have to be permanent. Keep the baby in your room since it is where they are used to sleeping. If you don’t desire this, you can move their crib further away from your bed, all while staying in the same room.

Best Methods for Sleep Training if You Share a Room

If you decide to sleep train while sharing a room, two methods fit this situation best. While you certainly could attempt any sleep training method, it’s best to know which is most effective. I also recommend starting the process over the weekend, so no one is exhausted when it’s time to go to work the next day.

While it can seem overwhelming to think about sleeping training while sharing a room, it doesn’t have to be. With a little confidence and some patience, you can achieve the ideal night’s sleep you are longing for. So, if you have asked yourself whether you can sleep train if you share a room, keep on reading.

Pick Up, Put Down Method

If you are looking for a no-cry method while sharing a room with your baby, consider the Pick-Up, Put Down Method. Lay your baby down for sleep, but pick them up and console them if they begin fussing. As soon as the baby is calm, you will lay them down again. You continue this process until they are asleep.

For babies who get more worked up once you pick them up, you may quickly realize the Pick-Up, Put Down Method will not work for you. It can take several days or longer to start to see progress, so don’t give up after the first night.

Read more about the Pick-Up, Put Down method (and all of the best no-cry sleep training methods) here.

Sleep Lady Shuffle (Chair Method)

If your baby gets more worked up if you pick them up, the Sleep Lady Shuffle, otherwise known as the Chair Method, might be the best option for you. With the Chair Method, you will place a chair next to where the baby sleeps, and if they get upset, you console them with words instead of picking them up. You can touch them but refrain from holding them.

Each day, you move the chair further and further away until you exit the room. You can place the chair in the doorway if you think your baby will do better being able to see you. The Chair Method tends to work better with older babies who respond better to your presence being in the room.

You can read my whole guide to the chair method here.

Sleep Training While Co-Sleeping

It becomes a little complicated if your baby is sleeping in the bed with you. It’s one thing to have a separate crib or pack-n-play for them, but what happens when you sleep right alongside your little one? You have to decide if you still want the baby to sleep in bed with you. If you are ready to sleep train but not prepared to part ways with your baby bedmate, then it’s best to put sleep training off for now.

However, it could be the right time to go from co-sleeping to room sharing, where you can then begin one of the above sleep training methods. Sometimes mom and baby sleep better when they share a bed. Remember, it’s always important to follow safe baby sleep guidelines regardless of where your baby calls a bed.

How to Sleep Train if You Live in a One-Bedroom Apartment

If you share a room with your baby because you live in a one-bedroom apartment, you may think successful sleep training is a pipe dream. If you don’t have a guest room to retreat to, you may have to camp out on the couch during the sleep training process.

Or you can get creative and “make” another room for your baby while sleep training. I’ve had one friend make use of a walk-in closet as a temporary bedroom for her baby while sleep training. I’ve talked to other parents who put up standing screens to create a separate space for their children. It’s okay to get creative – especially if it helps.

Just remember that this will take some trial and error – and there’s not some magical, overnight fix.

If you live in an apartment and plan on doing any sleeping training that involves crying, consider your neighbors during the process. It’s a good idea to move the crib away from any shared walls to spare your neighbor from hearing the crying. If you are friendly with your neighbors, it won’t hurt to mention what you are doing. You may also want to bring them some homemade cookies. It might help lighten the mood a bit.

An image of a baby girl lying in bed with her parents.

Final Thoughts on Room-Sharing while Sleep Training

The most crucial part of sleep training is to be consistent. Most children do best with routine, so sticking to one method and toughing it out for at least a week can give you great results. Room sharing is recommended for the first six months, so it’s no question parents start looking for the best methods to sleep train if you share a room.

While it’s possible to effectively sleep train if you are sleeping in the same room as the baby, understand that the process may be a bit more complicated. You might have to alter your sleeping arrangements temporarily. You know your baby best, and while sleep is vital for everyone in the house, it’s essential to understand what works for your little bub best.

The second most important part of sleep training is to get your partner on board. If your co-parent or spouse isn’t on board with sleep training, it’ll be next to impossible to sleep train your little one. But don’t worry – I’ve got an article you can read on what to do when your partner won’t sleep train to jumpstart that change.

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