Our Five Ring Circus: How To Set Up A Shared Bedroom For A New Baby And Their Older Sibling

Monday, October 14, 2019

How To Set Up A Shared Bedroom For A New Baby And Their Older Sibling

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Parenting Blog

When we found out our fifth baby was on the way, it was a huge surprise! With 6 people living in a 3 bedroom home, room sharing was a given, and we knew we had to rearrange our room configuration to include a 7th family member. We ended up adding a bedroom to our basement, letting our teenager move into that room, and turning his former bedroom into a shared bedroom for our new baby and our 5 year old!

Although our newborn would be sleeping in a bassinet in our bedroom for the first 6 months, just like our other children did, we still needed to set up a safe space for diaper changes, clothing changes, playtime, and daytime naps. We put a lot of thought into our two youngest boys' shared bedroom, and it worked out well! Our baby has slept in his crib a few times at night, but we're getting ready to transition him to the room full time very soon.

While we were setting up a shared bedroom for our boys, we focused on three key factors: safety, comfort, and function. There were 5 1/2 years between our baby and his older brother, so we had to make sure our 5 year old still felt special, and our newborn was completely safe. With the help of fun multi-age toys, comfortable play areas, safe beds, and a video baby monitor, we're able to ensure that the transition to full-time room sharing is as easy as possible!

Here's how to set up a shared bedroom between a new baby and their older sibling:

VTech RM5762 Wi-Fi Remote Access Video Baby Monitor with 5"display and 1080p HD 360-degree Pan & Tilt Camera

Make the older sibling feel special.

Welcoming a new baby can be tough for older siblings, especially if they feel like the baby is moving into their territory. Incorporating elements for each of them is key! Our 6 year old loves books, so we added a reading corner with a chair and a basket of books for him. We also allowed him to pick out a special blanket for his bed. We make sure to spend time with just him in his room, reading books and playing. Trying to maintain some normalcy in their routine can help ease the transition!

Fill the room with toys that are safe and fun!

Some parents don't allow toys in the bedroom, but we prefer for bedrooms to be a safe, comfortable space that is filled with things our kids love. With a baby in the room, small toys are a no go. Instead, we fill the room with baby toys, large wooden blocks, magnetic tiles, and a large, soft rug that encourages playtime! Our general rule is that if it fits into the cardboard in a toilet paper roll, it's too small.

Add a nightlight.

Our 6 year old frequently wakes up to use the potty, so he needs to be able to safely navigate through his room at night. If the baby is sleeping in his crib, I need to be able to see, so I can pick him up, nurse him, or soothe him as needed. A strategically placed nightlight is an important feature in their bedroom while they're young.

Consider installing a ceiling fan.

Every parent of a new baby worries about SIDS. We follow the ABC guidelines for safe sleep - ALONE BACK CRIB - but we do everything we can including pacifier use and air circulation from a ceiling fan. It circulates the air, and creates a cool, calming breeze in their room.

Baby-proof the room!

Before our baby was born, we baby-proofed the entire room! With four older kids, we had experience, and knew exactly what needed to be done. We made sure there were no dangerous cords dangling, put covers on all of the outlets, and made sure there were no small pieces within reach.

Storage is key.

With two kids in one bedroom, storage is an important feature! We purposely chose a crib with a storage drawer underneath, have a dresser for each child, and put a toy organization cubby in their room for easy cleanup and toy storage. We also learned to make use of closet floor space and empty space under our son's bed to store extras in plastic storage bins!

Choose items that grow with your children.

If there's one thing I learned as a parent to multiple children, choosing items that grow with your child is a good idea! Our baby's changing table converts to dresser with the simple removal of the changing pad. His crib becomes a toddler bed, then a full bed. His stationary entertainer becomes a table for play. I am not a fan of items that only get used for a short period of time!

Monitor the bedroom.

One thing I haven't mentioned yet is the fact that our 6 year old has Down syndrome. I prefer for people to see him first, and not the extra chromosome. He really is more alike than different, but we do have a few challenges. He is still working on nice hands, so we knew it was time to get rid of our old audio monitor and upgrade to a top-notch video monitor so we could see everything going on in the boys' room while they are in there together!

We opted for the VTech RM5762 Wi-Fi Remote Access Video Baby Monitor with 5"display and 1080p HD 360-degree Pan & Tilt Camera, and this monitor is a game changer! It gives me peace of mind, and allows me to access the child unit anywhere - even if I'm not at home! I love VTech video monitors because they are full of awesome features, and they look stylish and modern in any room.

Best video baby monitors

Video Baby Monitors

Here's what I love about my VTech RM5762 Wi-Fi Remote Access Video Monitor:

  • It's easy to set up! I was able to attach the wall mount, pair the parent unit and baby unit, connect the units to wifi, and set up a remote access app on my smartphone, quickly and easily.
  • It's portable! The baby unit attaches securely to the wall mount, or it can be moved to any room. I can carry the parent unit with me from room to room, and even on our back porch!
  • The parent unit has a 5” display and displays the picture in 1080p HD. I can still see clearly when the room is dark, thanks to the automatic infrared night vision!
  • With the 360 degree panoramic viewing Pan & Tilt Camera I can see every nook and cranny in the room! (The camera pans up to 360 degrees side-to-side, tilts up to 182 degrees up and down, and zooms up to 10 times.)
  • It has a built-in temperature sensor that lets me know if the temperature in the room gets too hot or cold.
  • I can customize a motion sensor and a sound sensor from my parent unit. It immediately alerts the parent unit and my smartphone if the camera detects motion or sound.
  • I downloaded the MyVTech Baby 1080p app on my smartphone so I can watch my sweet boys anywhere! I love checking in on them if I'm not at home.
  • I can add additional monitors to the system to keep an eye on different rooms at the same time!
  • My husband has the app, and can use voice commands to view the VTech camera on his compatible Google Assistant device. (It can also work with a compatible Alexa device.)
  • It comes with two chargers, so you can charge both units at the same time!
  • See below for 2 additional features I love!
Pittsburgh Blog

Blackout curtains and white noise can help with a good night's sleep!

Our boys' bedroom gets very light in the morning, so we purchased a set of blackout curtains for their window. Although there is a nightlight in their room, it keeps the bright light out of their room until it's time to wake them up. It makes a big difference in the length of time they sleep!

With a 6 year old who has night terrors, and a baby who wakes up crying when he's hungry, my boys often wake each other up! White noise can help drown out their cries, and keep their sibling from waking up. Thanks to the VTech RM5762 Wi-Fi Remote Access Video Monitor, I didn't have to purchase an additional white noise machine! It plays soothing sounds or songs, which I can control from the parent monitor.

From the parent monitor, I can also set an auto-timer from 15-60 minutes, and change the volume on the baby unit. Another fun feature is the ability to talk into the parent unit and have my voice be heard in the boys' room!

Nursery Must Haves

The VTech RM5762 Wi-Fi Remote Access Video Baby Monitor with 5"display and 1080p HD 360-degree Pan & Tilt Camera can be purchased at buybuy BABY. If there's one thing I learned on this journey, it's that every parent is different! If this monitor isn't the right one for you, VTech offers a wide variety of baby monitors from audio only to all the bells and whistles, and they also have a 2-camera option and a fixed camera model.

*The VTech RM5762-2 Wi-Fi Remote Access Video Baby Monitor with 2 Pan & Tilt Cameras is the same as the one I have, but it comes with 2 cameras instead of 1. The VTech RM5752 Wi-Fi Remote Access Video Baby Monitor is the same as the RM5762 WITHOUT the Pan & Tilt function on the camera.

We're currently working on transitioning Coen into the room with his big brother, Liam, full time. They have a functional, safe, comfortable, and organized bedroom that's perfect for the two of them. I have a feeling that the transition is going to be harder on me than on them, but I'm glad I have peace of mind knowing that I can watch my precious boys anytime and anywhere!

Down syndrome blog


Are you expecting a baby or do you have a baby shower coming up? Stop by buybuy BABY to purchase the VTech RM5762 Wi-Fi Remote Access Video Baby Monitor with 5"display and 1080p HD 360-degree Pan & Tilt Camera. (Or just purchase it on their website from the comfort of your own home!)

buybuy baby


How To Set Up A Shared Bedroom For A New Baby And Their Older Sibling


  1. Baby monitors have gotten so high-tech! Such peace of mind for this worrier!

  2. This sounds like an awesome monitor - I love all the features. And products/furniture that can be used as they get older is awesome.



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