The Setback: A new baby
When Patty Lehn, of St. Joseph, Illinois, brought Kate home from the hospital, 2-year-old brother Parker started waking up several times in the night. "He became much more needy," notes Lehn. To ease the transition, Patty and her husband, Brian, lavished more attention on Parker during the day and involved him in Kate's care. "We let him get her bottle or take out her tub at bathtime, and it's definitely made a difference in his sleep habits!"
Your Good-Night Solutions
Talk it out. "Introducing a new baby to the family is a really big deal to everyone, especially siblings," says Pantley. Reading picture books like My New Baby by Annie Kubler can help smooth the transition for the older kids.
Make it a family affair. Follow Lehn's lead and involve your older child in some of the more basic care. But don't do it to the exclusion of all else. "Your child still needs to feel like she is her own person and needs her own playtime," says Pantley.
Stick to the schedule. A new baby can cause a ruckus in an otherwise calm household, so keep older kids on a regular routine. "A lot of times people are so focused on the new baby that they forget the normal daytime routine of everyone else," Pantley says.