Siblings Sharing a Bedroom
Berkeley Parents Network >
Siblings Sharing a Bedroom
Young Siblings Sharing a Room
We've recently started putting our kids (a 3 1/2 year old boy and 20 month girl)
to sleep in the same double bed in their room. When I check on them, they have
plenty room between them and seem to be sleeping well. We didn't really plan to
do it this way...it just sort of naturally happened and seems to be going well for
the kids (and for us, the parents). I just wondered if anyone wanted to weigh in
with their experiences of kids sharing a bed, like How long did you do it?
Anything negative about this sleep situation that we should consider?
I think that it's great that your kids are sharing a bed.
They will sleep better, feel more secure, and be closer when
they get older. My kids, two years apart, old boy and
younger girl, shared a bed until my son was 10 (I think).
There were two beds in the room and he start sleeping on the
other bed on and off until they were sleeping apart. Then in
6th grade, my daughter wanted her own room which was fine
with me. The kids are now both in high school and very close
and get along extremely well.
Keep doing what you're doing!
Our two boys, 2 years apart in age, decided on their own to
share a bed off and on between the ages of 5 - 10. They have
always been very close. They slept in the bottom half (full
size mattress) of a bunk bed. The top half was available to
them, as was another bed room, which was decorated per the
guidance of the younger boy.
They eventually stopped sleeping together. But they still
Mom of two
So sweet! I think as long as they can choose to sleep alone
if they don't like it anymore, there is no problem. It could
go on for years.
My boys just started sharing a room. The 1 yo sleeps in the
crib and my 5 yo sleeps in a bed. Both are very good
sleepers -- they sleep solidly through the night. Our
problem occurs in the morning. While my older son can sleep
until 7-8am, the baby wakes up anytime from 5:30-6am and has
been waking up his brother. Once my 5 yo hears the baby
arouse, moan then cry (to be picked up), he's wide awake and
won't go back to sleep.
My question is - Should I hold off on having them share a
room until the 1 yo gets older and sleeps a little later? Or
should I let my older son get used to his brother crying and
figure out that he can still fall back asleep? I still have
the option to separate them but I'd prefer that they get
used to sharing a room now that the baby is older, and since
it'll be that way in the future. It's only been a few days
and I believe my older son is still excited about sleeping
with his baby brother. I don't think he's been affected by
the early wake up times just yet (we just make sure he goes
to sleep early that night to make up for it), but I'm afraid
if his brother keeps waking him up at 6 in the morning, not
only will it cheat him of an hour more sleep, but it'll
start affecting him at kindergarten.
Has any other family been in a similar situation? I'd love
to hear your thoughts and advice. I've read all past posts
and none of them address my specific problem of early
morning riser vs. later riser.
Hold Off or Hold On
What about putting a monitor in there, turning it up in your room, and then
racing in to whisk the baby out as soon as he rouses, before he gets loud
enough to fully wake his brother? Just a thought. Good luck!
My girls, 4 and 6, share a bedroom. When they are fighting, or even
when one or the other of them is in a grumpy mood, I like to be able
to encourage them to take some time by themselves, usually in their
room. How do I allow them to take this time, yet respect that it is
also the room of the OTHER child? It feels unfair to ask either of
them to leave their own room, yet there are times when they need this
quiet private time.
We have a small apartment so there aren't a lot of options. thoughts?
Honestly, if they really need to be alone, the bathroom is a
decent option. At that age a separate room is NOT necessary.
I shared a room with my twin sister from birth and we only
began to really need our own space around age 13. They just
have to learn to be considerate of each other - and that is a
very desirable skill for them to have!
Shared a bedroom for 13 years
How about a play tent or bed tent? Each child could have her
own, or you could set up just one in the living room for the use
of whoever needs some private time.
We moved in w/ my in-laws about a month ago (my husband's in
school) and now our kids have to share a room for the first time.
In this transition, my 2 y.o. started climbing out of the crib
and crawling into her 4 y.o. brother's bed to poke him & whisper
''wake up.'' My son does not like this and complains that he
doesn't want to sleep with his sister, nor does he like having
her poke at his head while he's asleep. So, I've resorted to
sitting in the room to ''guard'' his sleep & to make sure she
doesn't climb out, which she does the moment I leave the room.
So, I have to wait until she's asleep, which has been taking
longer & longer (90 min!). Bedtime has shifted from our strict
8PM back at our old home to 9:30PM namely b/c my 2 y.o. will NOT
go to sleep. We don't have another room to separate them, so I
don't know what to do. The worst part of this is that even
though she goes down at 9:30, they end up waking each other up in
the morning around 6AM. (All those messages about kids not
waking each other up is untrue in our family--they certainly wake
each other up EVERY TIME if we don't pull out the crying one
within a minute!) They're both overtired, esp. my 4 y.o. who
goes to preschool, and my son now keeps getting bloody noses from
being tired (which, of course, happens in the middle of the night
& wakes up the 2 y.o. not to mention the rest of the house)! I
am considering getting a crib tent to lock her in & begin the
Cry-It-Out, but I also believe that she's ready for a bed, but am
afraid that getting a bed will only exacerbate the problem. The
crib tent seems like it'll just be a bandaid solution. Please,
does anyone have any advice?! I didn't find much on this
climbing out + shared room problem on BPN.
Put them to sleep in different bedrooms (one in theirs and one in
yours) and then move the child in your room to the other room as
soon as asleep. Also, drop the nap for the younger. Sounds like
she is done with it if she can stay up until 9:30 at night regularly.
We had to move into a one bedroom situation when our girls were
20-months and 44-months and they lived that way for the next nine
months. It took a few months for the situation to settle down.
They got used to it and slept through each others noise. I was
finally able to have them fall asleep in the same room (went to
bunk beds when the elder was four) without problem.
Can you put the 2 year old to bed with the older one? Like both
in the same bed? Sounds like the 2 year old is ready to move. I
know it's unconventional here, but our two sleep together in a
full size bed (they are 3.5 yrs and 20 months). Sure, they stay
up playing for awhile, sometimes the little one gets up, but we
just go in, say no, tuck them in, and walk out. It's great! They
are really cute; they tend to fall asleep back to back. They wake
up a bit earlier due to the little one waking his older siseter
but are not allowed to get out of their room until we get them.
Shared a room as a kid..and loved it!
I recently moved my 2 yr old into my 4 yr old's BR. We will be
moving to a smaller house soon and I wanted one less stressor
when we got there so I did it now. We talked about it for
several days before I actually did it. The 2 yr old is still in
her crib so she is contained. My 4 yr old previously had a good
routine and used to be asleep by 8:30 or 9, the little one
would ''talk'' with her animals until around 10 before drifting
off. Now, if they aren't crying, they are playing - until at
least 11:00!! At bedtime, I read several of their favorites, we
say our prayers and ''kiss-kiss'' goodnight, then I
leave....until/unless it gets out of control, then I poke my
head back in and say firmly, ''goodnight''. Last night, my older
one pulled every last thing out (toys, books, clothes)--looks
like a tornado hit the room. She must be rebelling. I know she
is not happy that the little one won't just lay down and go to
sleep when she is ''supposed'' to. Even with no naps, they are
still up! I feel so guilty - I thought it was the right thing
to do and maybe it is, but wow, it sure doesn't seem like it
right now. HELP!! Is this just a phase? How long before they
adjust? How shall I handle things? ANY and ALL advice is
Household needs some peace
Our two kids share a room and we put the younger one to bed
first. The older one doesn't go in until the younger is already
asleep, so that they don't chat with each other. We've also hung
a curtain between their two beds so that they don't see each
other when they wake up and immediately start bugging each other.
Hi. I remember this! We have 3 kids, now 14, 10 and 8, and
while they each have their own bedrooms now, for many years, they
all slept together (in our last house, they were all in an 8'x10'
bedroom!). With the age differences it can be hard - the younger
ones need to get to sleep much sooner, but the older ones can
cause more drama, etc. Here's what we did. Ikea has these great
beds that can turn into either high or low loft beds, bunk beds,
etc. (now they all have various heights of their own loft beds).
The oldest was in a high loft bed with his dresser and desk
underneath and fabric all around that he could close off for
privacy whenever he wanted. The middle gal was in the top bunk,
and the youngest, by far the wildest in our family, was in the
bottom bunk. We started the youngest in the bottom bunk right
around 2 years with those removable side panels. The nighttime
routine consisted of lights out after one of us reading a good
story - we did a lot of greek myths so that everybody was engaged
- and then I sang a few songs (they each got to pick one) and
then we plugged in a lovely bedtime music cd, all quiet classical
piano, that even now they each have a copy of in their own rooms.
After listening to it many, many times as they go to sleep, the
very act of listening to it now truly puts them to sleep. We even
use it during late night road trips and they fall asleep
When they first began to share one room, one of us would have to
sit quietly in the room, often at the foot of the little one's
bed, to ensure that things remained calm, but soon they were all
pretty well trained to only use a whisper voice once lights were
By the time my oldest was 11, it was clear that sharing a bedroom
with his younger siblings wasn't so fun anymore, but my youngest
still misses sharing a room with his brother and sister,
especially at nighttime, and not bc of the wild nights, but bc of
the sweet feeling that they were all together.
I encourage you to try a few new routines that are calming, and
don't be surprised if you have to engage yourself with their
bedtime for a little while longer, but it will smooth out and
then you'll be set once you move.
I have an almost 4 yr old and a 21 mo old. They share a room.
We have taken to putting them down at the same time (around 8)
and just deal with the fact that they talk for an hour. We have
going to bed problems and middle of the night pblms. The going
to bed pblms involve the talking and the 4 yr old gets up A LOT.
Finally they settle down (btwn 9-10pm) but the little one will
wake up, usually between 12-2am and scream until she gets her
''mommy'' and gets to be in bed with my partner. this usually
wakes up the older one, who then insists that I sleep with her.
I'm not sure how to intervene, as we can't really let the little
one cry it out given the older one is there, and I'm not sure
we'd do that/that'd work anyway. Where to start? Thanks for any
thoughts, advice. I feel that if they each had their own room
it'd be much easier and that isn't an option
I feel your pain - it's hard to solve sleeping problems when kids share a room, and it
seems like most of the advice you get about sleeping problems is very difficult to
implement with two in the same room.
We just went through ''bed time boot camp'' with our four year old and two year old.
We started on a Friday night, so we would have a whole weekend to work on it
before the chaos of the regular school/work schedule descended. (A long weekend
would probably be even better). We purposefully scheduled absolutely no activities
for anyone after 5 p.m. every day - no friends over for dinner, no going out, no late
playdates. Both parents committed to doing absolutely nothing but focusing on bed
from 6 pm to 9 pm - no one person checking e-mail or doing dishes while the other
reads the stories as our usual. I bought Weissbluth and studied up. We talked
through it ahead of time with our kids - bedtime rules are lay down, close eyes, be
quiet, stay in your bed and go to sleep. (that's to deal with the talking for an hour,
and we had getting out of bed problems too). Set a bedtime (for us all done and
lights out - no books in bed, etc. - by 8:30. Sticker rewards in the a.m. for
following all the rules, three stickers wins you a trip for an ice cream cone. Can't
say it's perfect now after about five days of ''boot camp'' and two weeks of less
intense but still focused bedtime attention, but it's much, much better.
If this doesn't also lick the middle of the night problem, you might have to tackle
that separately. Can the adults crash on the sofa or guest bed for two or three
nights so you can put them to sleep in separate rooms and administer tough love on
the little one without waking the bigger one?
Need my sleep, too
Oh - I hear you. We went through the same thing with our 4 yr
old and 2 yr old when the youngest decided he was done with the
crib and moved to a big boy bed (they've always slept in the same
room). I can say that 5 months later, they both fall asleep
nicely by 8:45 - but it took 5 months.
A few things I tried:
- incented big brother to 'help' his little brother fall asleep.
we started a star chart and when he got to 5 he gets a sweet
treat. The 'help' was to lay in bed quietly and not engage the
little one by playing, jumping on beds, talking, etc. If the
older one stays quietly in bed, the little one gets bored and
- reading special stories to each one. the little one gets
toddler books and the older one gets his big boy stories
- letting the little one cry it out when he cried at night. I'd
take the older sleeping one into my bed when it happened and let
the little one fuss it out. it only took a few nights then they
slept peacefully together.
- when the playing/staying up got really bad, I'd take the older
one into my bed and he'd fall asleep there. I basically had to
separate them on 'bad' nights. Some nights I'd even take the
little one to my bed for him to fall asleep. Then I'd always
switch them back to their beds after they fell asleep so they'd
wake/sleep in their regular beds/room.
Throughout all this adjustment, I stuck to the same bedtime
routine. It took awhile, but finally worked out. Really the
magic trick was to be consistent and separate them when things
went awry. Good luck!
First, I have to recommend the book The Baby Whisperer.
Our kids too share a room and we had fears of suffering what you
are going through, but fortunately for us it never came to pass.
Here's what I would do differently. I would not do anything that
I'm not willing to do night after night for months or years like
let them sleep outside their beds or separate you and your
partner. If the baby wakes up for mommy, she can have anything
but. send daddy in, with a bottle maybe. don't take her out of
the crib. Let her stand, hug her while standing beside the crib.
the Baby Whisperer advises that you put her down each time she
stands up. I've found that letting her stand on her own while I
rub her back until she lies down of her own accord is better. Of
course the other child will wake up (although I've been amazed
sometime at what our son will sleep through) - here mommy may be
able to help settle her back down. Apologize to her for the
disruption, explain that this will pass and that we all just need
to be patient while baby gets through this stage. I might also
tell her at bedtime how things will be different - if baby wakes
up tonight - she will not be removed from the room, etc, etc.
You may try to arrange the room so that they cannot see each
others beds clearly so that baby doesn't have to watch mommy
comforting the other child.
Whatever approach you use, you should try it for a week because
the moment you change the routine they will raise bloody hell the
first night, less hell the second and then it will get better.
Stay calm and prepare to be (more) sleep deprived in the short
term for your longer-term gain
Our children have always had to share a room, and it certainly
was difficult when they were the ages yours are. One thing
that helped us, tiring though it was, was not to bring any
(weaned) child who had awakened into our own bed. Even if it
was exhausting to spend 30 minutes sitting on the floor beside
the children's beds to get them back to sleep, it paid off in
the long run because they no longer come into our room at night
unless there's a true problem. Now that they are older, they
sometimes climb into each others' beds when they are
frightened, but at least that doesn't leave the two of us wiped
out at work the next day
Sleeping better these days
We have 2 daughters who also share a room. Similar problems
have occured and we've dealt with it by ''starting'' the older
one in our bed and then transfering her to her own bed once the
younger child is asleep. It's worked fine for us so far.
Firstly, if the 21mo is still in a crib, move her into a regular
bed. That way, when she wakes in the middle of the night, she
can come to you rather than screaming for you to come get her!
That way she won't always wake up her older sister in the
process -- and she may not wake anyone else either. When we
moved our older child to a bed at about 26 months, I (finally)
started sleeping through the night, even though he didn't! He
would just come quietly into our room, snuggle up next to me and
go back to sleep without waking me. I wished we'd made the
switch a LOT earlier (and indeed, our second child never slept
in a crib at all).
Secondly, consider putting the younger child's bed in YOUR
room. That's how we've arranged things with our kids, now 5 and
2, and it works pretty well. It does have the drawback that we
can't move freely around our bedroom or turn on lots of lights
in there after our daughter is asleep, but space-wise it's the
best fit, and talking or other interaction between the kids is
not a regular bedtime problem. (Usually, one parent puts one
child to bed while the other parent gets the other child down.)
Plus, when the younger one does wake up and need to come into
mom's bed (typically not until early morning now), she doesn't
have to go even so far as the next room so it's very quiet and
We have two boys, 4 and 2. They have shared the same room since
birth. Recently the 2 yr old started pulling ninja moves and
leaping out of his crib. So instead of using a crib tent (my
idea) we decided to bite the bullet and go for a big boy bed (my
husband's idea). Our 2 yr old is barely 2 - he can't even talk
Well, 2 weeks later we're still trying to get our normal bedtime
routine back. We used to do stories at 8, and beddie bye by
8:15-8:30 with no fuss from either. Now the 2 yr old runs
around like a maniac until at least 9. His older brother would
happily sleep, but can't because the little one is jumping all
So we're all getting frustrated. I don't know how to get the
little one to calm down and lay/stay in his bed. Will it
eventually work?? Is the little one too young? I am desperate to
put his crib back together and get the crib tent. My husband
and I are not getting any time together at night as we both fall
asleep right after the kids. Our together time (previously 8-
9:30) is gone. I want to stay committed to this because the 2
yr old eventually has to go to a big bed anyway. But I need
some hope that this will end and there is a light at the end of
the tunnel. Help!
tired in berkeley
Start earlier (no toddler needs to be up past 7:30-8:00pm, they
need 11-12 hours of sleep each night!)and stick with a routine
that doesn't change.
After dinner, there is a relaxing warm bath, keep the toys and
splashing to a minimum. Right into jammies and a family story
time (each child picks a book). Then, to bed by 7pm-7:30pm.
Toddler comes out of room, he goes right back in, no
conversation, just a ''goodnight''. Then the parent leaves the
bedroom. Repeat until both children are asleep. Should be
less and less effort each night.
This method has worked for me (nanny to 2 girls in the '80's
and now to a 6 year old) and I was surprised to find that it is
also used by one of the tv nannies! Try it, and good luck!
Not on tv but I know what works~
We have four kids, the youngest are 2 & 4, similar to yours.
When my dh is home, he reads and rubs the back of our 4 yr old
until he's asleep, while I rock the 2 yr old. When dh works
late, I lay between both boys until they are asleep (it takes
maybe 20 minutes and is the sweetest part of the day, this
power to end the day happily and cozily).
I don't think it is reasonable to expect your 2 yr old to lay
quietly and put himself to bed, especially now that he has this
cool new bed and a newfound freedom to explore while big
brother is sleeping. You can try the crib tent but now that
he's used to roaming he may protest loudly (who could blame
him, now he knows what he's being deprived of). You could
create a peaceful routine of quieting the house down, reading
stories, and snuggling until he's asleep, and still have an
hour of couple time.
I have the same exact situation with two boys aged 2 and 4 who
share the same room. When we moved our 2 year old to a bed
(because he could already climb into his crib and we figured it
was just a matter of time before he jumped out), he quickly
figured out that it was really fun to get out of bed. We have
two tactics, mine and my husbands, both with the same underlying
message: It is bedtime and under no circumstances will he get out
of going to bed. No more fun time, just bed. So if my husband
puts him to bed, he used the fear tactic, i.e. he ordered my son
to stay in bed. His voice is sufficiently scary that my son
understands that there is no getting out of it. I do not have a
scary voice, so I just use peserverence. He gets out of bed. I
grab him and put him back in and tell him he has to sleep (no
songs no cuddles, just put him back and leave the room. Repeat,
20 to 50 times if necessary. After a while, he gets bored,
realizes he is getting nowhere, and stays in bed. If this
doesn't work or I am getting sick of it, then I tell him that if
he doesn't stay in bed, I will close the door. He leaps out of
bed, so I put him back in bed and close the door for one minute.
He screams. Open it and tell him to get back in bed or I will
close the door again. This is usally extremely effective and I
rarely have to repeat more than once. Basically, you have to send
the signal to the child that you mean what you say, in whatever
manner you feel comfortable. Remember, you are the adult and you
are in control.
With my older son, I apologize for the noise and closing the
door, and I explain to him that his brother is a baby and we have
to teach him. And I thank him for his understanding and praise
his good bed habits. He is usually very cooperative and falls
asleep without fuss, even with the 2nd leaping out of bed.
After about a month of fussing, my second son rarely acts up and
we have a calm sleep routine again. Good luck and be firm.
Remember, if he cries and screams, it is NOT because he is
hurting or are even particularly upset. He is using his
repetoire of tools to see where the boundaries lay and whether he
can win the bedtime fight. Make sure that YOU win!
Since your smaller son can't seem to manage the freedom that a
big bed represents, I'd return him to his crib. When he's
ready to manage the larger bed and not be overtaken with
excitement by the freedom it offers, he'll go to sleep without
so much effort. I would return to the older system, allowing
your older son to get his sleep and you and your husband to
have a little bit of down time at the end of the long day.
It's only temporary, and worth the effort of setting the crib
back up. Once again, I'm reminded about trusting those great
parental instincts. That's what they're there for.
I am considering having my 3 year old and 1 year old share
the same bed sometime down the road. And I was
wondering if anyone else out there has had any experience
with this - pro's, con's, at what age would you consider it
We did the family bed with both of our children, and though our
firstborn moved out quickly and easily when he was a toddler, our
second child was really needy at night and terrified about
sleeping on her own. So, when she was about 2 1/2, we started
putting her to bed with her big brother, who was 5 at the time
(and who, fortunately, had a hand-me-down queen-size bed). It
made the bedtime routine much easier, since we could read stories
to them both at the same time, and our younger child felt much
more secure sleeping with her brother than she would have being
put to bed on her own. Our son enjoyed it, too, and took pride in
''taking care of'' his little sister when she needed attention
after lights out. Three years later, they still sleep together,
and both love it (most of the time) -- we hear them whispering
and giggling in there, and sometimes our son takes over reading
the bedtime story out loud if we're really beat. Sadly, I think
we'll need to move our daughter into her own bed pretty soon, as
her brother is starting to want his own space and I can envision
questions of propriety coming up before too long. I'm eager to
read what other parents of bed-sharing siblings have to say about
My sons, ages 4 and 8 years old, share a double bed. They have
been sharing a room for about 2 years. They started off in
separate beds: the youngest in a crib; then transitioned to 2
separate beds and only recently have they routinely shared the
bed. I think only recently would the older child ALLOW the
younger to regularly sleep in his bed. Before that, it was on a
''permission requested'' status only. I believe they will continue
to share the bed, as they both have nighttime fears and this seems
to help them both. It is difficult at times for me, because they
have separate bedtimes, and the older likes to wake the younger
when he goes to bed. However, I am actually thinking of getting
rid of one
bed for now, for more floor space, until they request separate
We are starting to do some remodeling and one of the questions
is whether we should add enough space for two rooms (or divide
the available space) for kids. We only have one child (girl)
now, but I expect that we'll eventually have two.
My husband shared a room with at least one brother until
college, I am an only child who always had her own room. We
both think it would be fine to have two daughters share a room,
but are wondering at what age would we want to separate a boy
and a girl into their own space?
And a further question: is it important to have the kids' room
(s) on the same floor as a bathroom? I have visions of our now
6 month old as a toddler, needing to go to the bathroom at night
and either falling down the stairs, or giving herself a bladder
infection by holding it in in fear of the dark stairs.
Any advice would be appreciated.
As long as you're going through the trouble and expense of
remodeling you might as well add the extra room....if it ends up
that your future 2 girls share a room forever, fine, you'll have
an extra room that will certainly find a purpose. If you have
another boy, at some point they will want separate rooms.
My 2 boys shared a room till the older one was 10 and then he
started asking for his own room. We have one spare room which he
now sleeps in though his clothes and stuff is in the other
bigger room...someday we hope to remodel and have that extra
room or two.
My advice....go for it. Good luck surviving a remodel. I hear
you'll need it.
If you have the space, go for the extra bedroom. My oldest two
are boys who didn't get along until the oldest left for college!
They shared a room for the first half of their childhood and had
their own rooms the second half. Much better if they have their
own space, even if it's tiny. I hope yours are great pals and get
along together well, but if they don't, your entire family will
be grateful for the separate rooms.
I think if you can fit two rooms in, you should. It gives you
more options later. Even if you wind up with siblings who want
to share a room, they can share one bedroom and one
playroom/study. As for the bathroom, well, *I* wouldn't want to
have to climb stairs in the middle of the night, so given the
option I wouldn't want my children to have to do so either. But
these things never seem to come out perfectly, so only you can
decide whether having bedrooms without a same-floor bathroom is
acceptable given whatever space challenges you have.
We are presently a family of 2 adults plus a 3 year old and a 1 year
old and I just found out I am pregnant. We cannot afford a home in
the Bay Area so we bought a 2 bedroom condo before our 1 year old was
born. I feel we are going to get funny looks from other condo owners
and I don't feel this is an ideal situation, but I'm too stressed to
move and we love the Bay Area. I'm sure this situation will work
itself out, but any suggestions??
I have three sons 16, 13 and 9. We're in a two bedroom house
in Albany and due to financial setbacks I never could add on.
I'm amazed at how my children have managed to carve out space
for themselves. I always had their toys in the living room
because I wanted them near me. So their room is for sleeping
and dressing. The oldest does his homework there, too. He
puts on his CD player and he has his own world. He reads a lot
in his bed. The other two have desks in the living room.
It's really worked out alright, I'd say they are closer
emotionally than if they had their own rooms.
One strange thing is that they fear being alone much longer
than I think is usual. But the 13 and 16 year old are fine.
One day I overheard a conversation my sons were having about
big houses -- ''In some of the houses the kids don't even SEE
each other,'' my son said.
So my experience has been that you can define their own space --
their own book shelves, toy shelves...It's cozy, too.
We have a three bedroom house with four kids. We manage to
fit. When the children were younger we were all within two of
the bedrooms. All of our babies slept with us until they were
almost three and the kids of opposite sex shared rooms until
they were about seven years old.
You will manage to fit within your space. It might become more
difficult when the children are older. But you have many years
to figure it out before it should really be a problem.
Twins with Different Sleep Patterns
From: Grant & Heidi
I have three year old twin girls. One is a very good sleeper and goes
down very easy. the othe fights going to sleep at night, is afraid of
the dark, continually gets out of bed, experiences night terrors and
will get up in the middle of the night and scream for no appearent
reason. When the latter happens, we can usually pick her up and she'll
got right back to sleep. I also have another daughter that is 5 and
also a very good sleeper. We have considered putting the two that sleep
well together and give our difficult sleeper her own room. The twins do
not seem to want this so how do we deal with the problem sleeper. We
are worried that the other child is not getting the proper sleep and may
be learning bad sleeping habits.
I can't really tell from your message where your twins are now sleeping in
relation to each other, but maybe if you put both of them in the same bed,
like a futon mattress on the floor, things might get better. The presence
of the "good" sleeper can help the "problem" sleeper.
One and Five year Olds Sharing a Room
I have a 5 year old and one year old--both boys. My older
son has a bunk bed in his room that we bought with the
intention that the boys would eventually share a room. My
younger son is sleeping in what we still try to use as an
office. However the only time we can do office work is when
he is sleeping, and so we can't do it while he is napping in
the office! One feeling I have is that 4 years age difference
will make it difficult to manage certain issues-- if they are
both sleeping in the same room--different bedtimes, choking
hazards, time-outs. The other thought I have is that the
office could also be a playroom and maybe we could all use
the space , especially as our house is small and common areas
are few. Yet as time goes by, my older son wants his little
brother around less and less (I certainly sympathize with the
problem of a grabby 1 year old). I have been debating this
issue back and forth for several months. The youngest has
slept thru the night for some months now, but does wake up
about an hour earlier than the rest of the household. The
other option is to carve out a corner of our bedroom for office
space. I go back and forth on my arguments. I guess I'm
wondering how it's worked out for others with children with
at least a 4 year age difference in sharing a room.
We also have 5 and 1 year old boys. We have a very
large house, but I insist that they share a room.
This has not been easy, but I feel strongly enough
about the issue that we just keep working on it. At
the beginning, our older son was insistent at having
the baby in his room. We had to hold that off, but
finally at around 8 months we moved them together. A
few months later the older one was insistent that the
baby not be in there, that he cries too much or what
have you. (Of course he rarely wakes up when the baby
cries.) We just tell him that that's where the beds
are, and if he prefers he can sleep in a sleeping bag
in our room. He has done that many nights. But it is
much less of an issue now.
As to bedtimes, that's been tricky since they tend to
have the same bedtime. We need to separate the boys
or they won't calm down. So we each take one,
alternating kids each night, and they each have their
routine. The 16 month old is already stuck on his
routine, so I would be careful what you decide to do
because you will be hard-pressed to change it.
The other hard part has been crying at night with
teething. I don't let the baby cry for long because I
don't want the older one to wake up. But then the
baby gets into the habit of crying and sleeping with
us. Anybody know how to handle this one? I just
figure it will sort out in time.
I also have two boys 4 years apart (currently almost 6 and
almost 2), and they share a room. The most important thing we
did to make this work was to convert the closet into a private
space for my older son. We put a metal gate that has a door-like
opener across the door (the younger one won't be strong enough
to open it for a few more years yet.) For sleep, we have bunk
beds, but the younger one still sleeps in a crib. What he wants
most to do is sleep with his older brother in his bed, but the
older one is ambivalent about this. Also the older one falls
asleep much more quickly and the younger one carries on for awhile
and bothers him. What we end up doing a lot is letting my older
son fall asleep in our bed if the younger one is just too
bothersome. Then we carry him back into his bed later.
I read with interest the post of how one set of
parents got their three year old to stay in bed and go
to sleep. I have that same problem with my 2.5 year
old son who kept climbing out of his crib and is now
sleeping on a matress on the floor. We have the added
complication that he shares a room with his 6 year old
brother. The younger one refuses to go to bed without
his brother and then they start jumping around and
getting each other more pent up. They pay no
attention to my telling them to stop or my walking out
on them. At some point between 9:30 and 10:00!! the 6
year old gets fed up and goes into another room to
sleep all the while complaining about how miserable
bedtime is now. The 2 year old isn't falling asleep
until 10:30 or later. Once our guest room frees up in
two weeks (after the soon to arrive grandparents
leave) I could move one boy into that room
temporarily, but I want them to learn to go to sleep
in the same room. I am beside myself. Please let me
know how you solved this problem.
Linda! Same scenario over here! Have you tried limiting or
eliminating the younger kid's nap? It works most of the time for us,
if he doesn't get a second wind.... The danger is that he may try to
sneak in a very late nap, which totally backfires (he stays up even
later!) I've found that, even though they have totally ignored me at
bedtime also, if I don't give in, they start begging me to come back
in their room and snuggle with them, and I insist I won't do it until
they're both in their own beds, and quiet. The upside of all this
bedtime craziness is that, on weekends anyway, they sleep in til
8:30/9:00! Nice bonus, although on weekdays I can barely drag them
out of bed for school. Good luck, it won't last forever.
Older Siblings Sharing a Room
My family of 5 lives in a 2 bedroom apartment. My 7 year
old twin boys share one room. My 4 year old daughter sleeps
w/me in the big bed. My husband sleeps in the family room!
Our unused crib is finally gone and we'd like to get my
daughter into her own bed. She's very excited by the
prospect of having Hello Kitty sheets! My question is
whether it's appropriate for the kids to all share a room.
My 7 year olds are very body aware at this point (but as 7
year olds, find it all silly and provocative), my 4 year old
is a bit less so, but we do emphasize privacy, private
areas, etc. in our house. My 4 year old also likes to have
alone time to ''wiggle'' as we call it. So in writing this
I'm thinking no, but my husband would really like to get
back into our bed. Unfortunately, putting a mattress in our
room would pretty much take up all the floor space, and
limits adult privacy as well. Any thoughts or ideas?
We just got loft beds...I highly recommend them. Get two,
for the 7 year olds, and put a twin bed under one of them
(perpendicular to the loft, or a futon on the floor
lengthwise) for the 4 year old. That way everyone has their
own space, and your floor space will increase considerably.
There are many available. We ordered ours from
There are several ways to make bunk-type beds to divide even
a smallish room into separate private spaces by making a
bunk bed that has access to one side for the lower bunk and
access to the upper bunk from the other side only. Seems
you'd need a triple-decker with two beds open on one side
and one bed open on the other side.
We got to be inventive during graduate school, living with
kids in a tiny one-bedroom on-campus flat.
For us, the one tiny bathroom was our greatest challenge.
i shared bed room with my older brother from 3 to till i was
in high school(when i got my own room). and for most reason
it was quite ok for me. I shared the room with him almost
equally till i was in my 5th grade and then we started
fighting for our space so we had some rules between us to
work around it.
but till about 4-5 grade we were absolutely fine with the
sharing. i believe it helped us both a great deal with
sharing and understanding. about the privacy part, they will
learn quickly. you might have to insist on a few things and
make them understand but they will understand and work with
it as time goes.
about having her own little space.. may be you can come with
an arrangement where in your daughter could use your bed
room for her little self time during the day.
First off, I have no idea what you mean by needing alone
time to ''wiggle.'' But that said, our three children share
a room--they are a 10 yo boy, 7 yo girl and 4 yo girl. We
have only two bedrooms also. So far, it's fine, no
issues. They mostly like being together. Go for it.
Mom in a small house
follow up on ''room to wiggle'' - i just figured this was a
euphemism for the joys of self-pleasuring. lots of little
kids do it - a 4-year-old is big enough to want a little
privacy around it - i think any of the loft/bunk bed
situations recommended (plus maybe a little curtain or
canopy or just a great big pillow to hide behind) could
certainly do the trick.
i may be reading too much into ''wiggle'', though, so this may
not be relevant at all.
my kids are ''wiggly'' too
We live in a two bedroom house and our kids share a room. Our 4 year
old talks A LOT at bedtime and it disturbs our older child. After two
years I'm convinced he's not doing it to intentionally bug his sibling
but that's the result. I think the more tired he is, the more he
talks and so the problem feeds itself. The problem wouldn't be a
problem except that his older sibling would easily fall asleep quickly
(and also has to get up for school in the morning). Let me be clear,
the talker is also tired at bedtime, but his habit is to talk himself
to sleep for about an hour. We have tried giving him a nightlight and
telling him he can look quietly at books, rewards for being quiet at
bedtime, punishment for talking at bedtime, putting him to bed
earlier, putting the older kid to bed first, putting them both to bed
earlier, having them listen to cds at bedtime, putting the older child
to bed in our room and transferring when the talker is asleep, having
a period where they can talk with the lights on before quiet time,
discussions about what it means to be considerate, ignoring the
situation, pleading -- you get the picture. Some approaches have
provided temporary relief, but none have resulted in a long term
solution. If we put him to bed later, it just starts the cycle later
(and we lose out on some precious kid free evening time), he seems
indifferent to rewards related to this issue and punishment is
ineffective. We are stumped. After several years, I believe he
genuinely needs to talk to wind down at night and that would be fine
if he had his own room, but it's not under the circumstances. I'm
looking for solutions or reflections from others who have kids who
share a room, but not sleeping habits. Thanks.
what worked for us was getting a fan and using the white
noise to drown out the noisy child. It's a pretty large fan.
same situation - 2 kids, 1 bedroom. What we did for about
9 months was sleep in the dining room. That helped thru
one of the transitions. Our house is 1000 sq feet so I get
that what I am suggesting may seem strange but: pull out
couch in living room/family room/dining room for talker or
for parents and/or put talker in small bed in your room. I
am guessing the talker will eventually figure it out if
some of the things have worked for short period of time -
but I have no idea if it will come together at age 6 or 8.
Other thought would be to work with Meg Zweback - she is
amazing with all sort of issues, and I am guessing in one
session could help move things forward. Really though, I
would take a very critical eye at all your rooms and see
if there isn't a spot that would work that would simply be
Even though your kids' room is small (aren't all kid's
bedrooms small ?), it seems you need to divide their room
into two rooms (window/s will have to be dealt with) and,
later, you'll have to remove that wall. (It was long ago,
but I've done this, it's easy, and it worked ! )
Temporary ''wall'': Nail 2x4s to the floor and ceiling, cut
2x4s just a tiny bit longer than the height between the
2x4s, wedge these vertical 2x4s between the 2x4s on the
floor and ceiling nailing them to 2x4s on floor and ceiling,
surface one side of the ''wall'' with drywall, carefully caulk
all cracks inside the ''wall'' to reduce sound transmission,
carefully install insulation into the wall cavity to reduce
sound transmission, surface the 2nd side of the ''wall''.
Paint (I let my kids paint their new ''wall.'')
Problem: each ''room'' must have a window, so, plan ahead.
Hope this works.
Has anyone used a room divider/folding panel screen in a
shared kids' bedroom? I posted a few weeks ago about our
dilemma of only having 2 bedrooms but having 2 kids who each
can only seem to STTN if they are in their own room. Moving
a kid into the living room isn't an option for us, neither
is moving our bed to the living room. My only solution is to
try putting up tall room dividers/folding screen panels
around the baby's crib and moving the white noise machine
next to her crib to make her sleeping area a little more
separate from the other side of the bedroom where her
Has anyone tried this as a solution? Did it work? Thank you!
A friend of mine hung heavy, plain canvas fabric. She ran a
taught wire (small cable really) across the room and screwed
it into either wall, near the ceiling. The curtains have metal
grommets in them that the cable weaves in and out of. (Hope
I'm describing that clearly enough!) It's worked well for her
kids and looks pretty groovy, too!
My husband and I are planning a big remodel and addition to our
home. We have a 7-year-old boy and 2-year-old twin boys. Right now,
our older son has his own bedroom and the twins share a bedroom. We
are trying to figure out how many bedrooms we should plan for in our
remodel. Our older son will continue to have his own room, but we're
not sure if we should build a larger shared bedroom for the twins in
the future (right now their shared room is pretty tiny), or if we
should plan for separate bedrooms for them. > My question for those
who have raised twins is: did your twins prefer to share a bedroom as
they were growing up, or did they want their own rooms? All of the
twins that we currently know are extremely bonded and refuse to be
away from each other at night. But, none of them have reached the
adolescent years, so things might change once that happens. Any advice
from parents who have already gone through the teenage twin years? Or
advice from a grown-up twin on their preferences of sharing/not
sharing a bedroom with their twin? Twin
Hi there -- I have twins who are older than yours though not yet teens and
suggestion is that you create the option for each kid to have their room.
I say this as a
parent who is seeing the struggles that twins can face in separating from
and how critical it is that both children early on develop their own
sense of self. I'd argue it's more important for twins to have the option
from each other. (Interesting resource to check ''Emotionally healthy
twins: a new
philosophy for parenting two unique children.'') Good luck and happy
I am a grown twin. We have shared rooms on and off during childhood. It
phases. We were lucky enough to have bedrooms of different sizes and
were okay changing bedrooms along with us. We have always been very close,
once puberty hit we definitely preferred separate rooms. I would think
child/adolescent - even very close siblings, will eventually enter a phase
If you have the means and room for separate bedrooms, I'd say, go for it.
prepared that they will not want to use them right now, so one bigger room
would still be beneficial.
Good luck with the remodel
I was a teenage twin (now 30). I was very close to my twin but solo very
to have my own room as a teen. As a twin I experienced intense sibling
coupled with intense needs to have my own unique identity. Sharing a room
those years would have been disastrous!
I shared a room with my fraternal twin sister until we were
almost 14. The last year was pretty rough. I really needed to
have my own private space. Luckily, we moved into a larger
house. Some twins are closer and more compatible than my sister
and I were, but it would have been hellish to share a room with
her through high school.
My twins too shared a room from birth. Out of the blue, when they
were 7 years old, one daughter decided to move into her own room.
They divided up their clothes etc. Then, after about 2 months she
told her sister she wanted to move back in with her, and her
sister said no! They've been in separate rooms ever since. They
still go through periods of sleeping together when one is scared
to sleep alone.
We REALLY don't want to add on to our 3 bed/2 bath house, but we have
2 daughters and a young son. The 2 daughters are only 9 & 7 now, but
I see big issues in our near future, with privacy. Can anyone
recommend a website or design book on how to divide the space we have
(only about 14 x 11 feet) creatively, giving each girl a few square
feet of space that is their own? Or what do YOU recommend? They're
currently in bunkbeds...how do we do this?!
I saw the neatest idea not long ago, with slightly offset bunk
beds in the middle of a long room. The girl with the upper bunk
had a set of drawers in the shallow spot under her bunk, and the
girl with the lower bunk had hung a small shelf with a clip-on
light and alarm clock on the slight overhang from the upper bunk.
They exited their beds from opposite sides. These two sisters
were 15 and 12, so for privacy, their parents had let them hang
long pieces of fabric like curtains along the upper bunk
separating the two sides partially.
I also shared a room with sisters. While there were plenty of
arguments and teenage fits about privacy, later I had absolutely
no problems in my college dorm room, while other folks with no
such experience couldn't sleep, couldn't study, couldn't do
anything. I learned to be ''alone'' with others around, and have no
trouble now working in a cubicle.
Gotta learn to share sometime
There are some wonderful design books by Tauton (sp?) that I've
looked at Expo. The provide all sorts of room designs and
storage ideas. HGTV's Divine Design also has done a couple of
episodes on shared bedrooms.
My kids have always shared a room. They are now ages 9 (boy) &
6.5 (girl). We thought we would separate them this summer, but
whenever we bring it up, both kids beg us not to give them their
own rooms. We are not in any hurry mainly b/c we use the 3rd
bedroom as our study and will have to reconfigure the living room
into a living room/study when the kids get separate rooms. Is
there any general wisdom about the age at which two kids of
different genders should get their own roooms? I'm happy to let
them share until they ask otherwise, but perhaps someone knows
better than I?
Two Kids, Small House
I have a colleague with 3 children, the eldest a girl, the
middle child a boy, and the youngest a girl. They all slept in
the same bedroom. At age 13, the eldest moved into her own
room, finally needing a little space, while the other children
were about 10 and 8 at that time. This worked well for them,
as the children preferred to be in the same room together for
all these years. Individual families might have different
preferences, of course. So I'd go with what the siblings AND
the parents are most comfortable with overall in each situation
and not worry about any set ''rules'' or opinions.
Truly your children really love to be around each other. They
will let you know when they need space. Later in life they will
be there for each other, which is what we all want for our
An older sister who shared a room with her brother till she
went off to college...we love each other dearly now.
my kids, now ages 13 (daughter) and 15 (son) shared a room until
10 and 12. when they were young they loved having someone in the
room with them at night and waking up with someone there. as they
got older they spent hours laughing and telling silly bed time
stories to one another. then they transitioned to sharing their
thoughts, ideas, and dreams (silly ones of course). now, 13 and
15 they are really close, share chores, help each other with
homework, and ask each other for advice. it's healthy for kids to
learn to share and bond at a young age and sharing a room is one
way of doing it.
I did a survey on this subject about six months ago, asking
every single family I knew with a 10-12 year old boy and a 8-10
year old daughter about their bedroom arrangement. I was
pleasantly surprised to find that of the 9 or 10 families, only
one (actually that one had a 13 year old boy) did NOT share a
room. No one had current plans to change that configuration.
My kids, now 12 and 9, have two rooms between them. Even though
they often want to get away from each other during the day, they
want to continue sleeping in the same room and use the other
room as their ''office''. The ''office'' has a bed in it for
whenever they are ready, but I see no signs of their readiness
to give up what they call the security and comfort of having the
other there at night. Now our new big dog has joined them, and
all three are like bugs in a rug.
I'll wait for their cue.
i have a boy and a girl who always had their own rooms. They are
5 years apart. They are very close and when my daughter was 3
she wanted to share my son's room. He loved the idea and we moved
her into his room. It stayed that way until just last year when
they were 12 and 7. We waited until they decided they wanted
some private space. Even now, she will sneak into his room at
night and sleep on his bottom bunk occasionally. He says he
doesn't like it, but i think he's just trying to be cool, because
sometimes I hear him asking her to come in.
They're brother and sister--it isn't necessary to separate them
until they wish for it. What's appropriate is what they feel
We have faced this situation twice. When our older two children
were 8 (our daughter) and 6 (our son) our daughter started
dressing in the closet. We spoke to her about it and she said
she needed her privacy. We moved her to her own room. She was
thrilled and her younger brother was devastated and lonely. He
has recovered now 10 years later but spent many nights sleeping
in a sleeping bag in our room or hers for a while after she moved
out. Recently our 3rd child a daughter now 8 complained that she
did not think she should have to listen to baby beluga and the
like on the cd player in the room she shared with her 4 year old
brother. We moved her into her own room, and she decided she was
very lonely but her little brother was thrilled to have his own
space. She often sleeps in her old bed in her brother's room
when she is lonely. Moral to the story? I don't know that there
is an absolute age to do this, but if neither of them wants to be
separated and they are appropriate with each other, leave them
be. I suspect from my experience that 8 for girls is a time when
they start to get more aware of their bodies and so might want
more privacy. My advice is to wait until one or both of them
suggests the separation.
I think they should do what they want. If the want to stay in the
room together, fine. I see no reason why they should be separated.
We are considering getting our almost 5 year old twins bunkbeds
for their room. They share a room and have a hard time going
right to bed at night...talkng, playing, etc. So, right now,
my son goes into our bed when it's bedtime and my husband moves
him into his room once they are both asleep.
So, my question is...would bunk beds be a bad idea? Does
anyone that have bunkbeds with 2 kids in the same room have
problems with the kids going to sleep? Any other suggestions on
how to have boy/girl twins share a room and conserve space and
limit the bedtime playing would be much appreciated!
Hi, We decided to purchase bunk beds as a temporary solution
until our twins(51/2) are able to have their own room. We've had
them for about 5 months and we have some continued bumpiness
surrounding the sharing of the lower bunk to read stories before
bed. We actually move our daughter to the upper bunk if she
falls asleep. At times I want to cuddle with her and the top
bunk seems prohibitive so I allow her to sleep head to toe with
my son. He actually will protest if it's more than once in
awhile. All in all, I think it's a great space-saver and I try
to visit and make the top bunk fun, too. Hope this helps. Anon
We put our then-4 & 2 year-olds in bunkbeds last year. We were
living in a two-bedroom while looking for a home. The beds
worked wonderfully (brought them to our new home and set them up
as part of our 'guest suite'). There was some transition, but
they settled into the new pattern pretty quickly.
Another thought re: space...can you give them in uthe master
bedroom? If I had a 'do-over' then I probably would have put
girls & bunkbeds in there (my parents did the same for my sister
and I -- put us in bunkbeds at 3 & 5 in the master bedroom to
maximize our play space when we were living in a small townhouse
waiting for our home to be built). They would have had a
playroom space (the master was pretty big) and sleeping space.
Instead, the rest of the house became their playroom and I was
always cleaning up.
We have a 4 1/2 year old and a 22 month old. 6 months ago they
started sharing a room. The baby still sleeps in his crib, and
it's situated next to the older one's junior loft. It took
a week for the two to get settled since the younger one still
wakes up sometime in the middle of the night but that's all it
took. We read books to them at the same time on the couch after
they have changed their clothes and brushed teeth. After the
books, we bring them to their room and kiss them goodnight;
sometimes my husband sits in the chair for a few minutes while
they settle down. often, he just turns off the light and they
fall asleep on their own. we've never had a problem with them
keeping each other awake. we had reservations about putting
in the same room but now we think it's wonderful! and i think
they love being so close to each other.
we have plenty of rooms but shared is best
Today's (6/3) Science Times in the NY Times had an article about
bunk beds---tens of thousands of kids fall out of them and get
injured. Check it out.
My 7.5 year old daughter and 5 year old son share a bedroom and
it has worked out fairly well so far. However, I am beginning to
wonder at what age do opposite sex kids need their own rooms.
Our home has only 2 bedrooms, and we have considered moving, but
recently decided to keep our son in pre-school for an extra year,
so it may not work financially for at least another year.
How long can they share a room before they start to need space
from each other?
mom in a small house
I think that the worst thing you could do would be to bring extra
stress into your family life by over-extending financially on a
new home just to have another bedroom!
One thing you could consider doing is creating two distinct
spaces in the room, even if it's a small room, with curtains
and/or free standing screens and/or furniture, then each child
would have visual privacy and a little piece of space to make
My son and daughter shared a room until they were 10 and 6. I
think we were at the limit for their tolerance of the situation
at that point. We moved to a bigger house and they each have
their own room. Now they love their quiet time in their rooms.
The benefit of having shared a room for so long is that they are
very close and don't completely shut themselves away from the
rest of the family all the time. It is just good for them to have
their own space to chill out, especially when they have friends
over. I think you can eke out a few more years with the room
I have three kids & two of them have always shared a room. They
are a year apart & now are 10(girl) & 9(boy). It is NOW time
for them to have their own room, believe me. But we can't do
it, so there they are stuck, annoying each other. They share a
bunk bed & my son is on the lower which causes problems when
her friends come over because they'll want to sit on it (it is
a futon that turns into a couch) & he throws a fit. He also
throws a fit at the idea of moving to the top which my daughter
has even made a list of all the pros about the move. We have a
teenager who is too old to share with his younger bro so that
wouldn't work. Anyway, I say all this to say if you can, get
them their own room by 8 yrs old, probably no later.
Our two boys ages 10 and 12 share one very large bedroom. They
want to have their own bedrooms. Any advise on how to erect a
wall cheaply or on room dividers? Any other advose on this
idea of private space?
I suggested this to a friend years ago for splitting a small
bedroom and it worked fantastically. Basically make or use a
bunkbed. Place it in the middle (where you would split the
room). Close off the side of the bottom bunk with plywood,
shelves or something like that. You want to secure it. Close
off the opposite side of the top bunk all the way to the
ceiling. You can make it longer than the bed if you have the
space. Good luck. I think I originally saw the idea in one of
those books on kids rooms in a hardware store about 20 years
Wish my parents had done that.
Funny you should mention this! Last year, as our two kids
reached 10 and 11, we split their big bedroom into two. It took
a bit of cleverness, but has been quite successful.
The main bedroom was about 11 feet x 12 feet, and we built a wall
of 2x4s laid the flat way (so the divider is actually 2 inches
wide). We attached 2x2's to the ceiling by screwing them through
the plaster and into the studs.
We didn't want to damage the wood floor, so we put low-stickum
painter's masking tape on the floor where the divider would be.
We then used double-sticky foamtape to stick 2x2s on top of the
masking tape. We then built the wall framing between the ceiling
and floor 2x2's. When the framing was up, we put up 3/8'' plywood
over all, and then finished with wooden beadboard. We insulated
the space to cut down on noise transfer.
We added a little slot to let the kids pass notes between the
rooms. Also, it's easy to add electric outlets on a new wall, so
Our daughter preferred her bed to be in a closet, about 5 feet
off the floor, with a desk beneath. The bed fitted in perfectly
and she loves the cozy space. However, during the winter, water
vapor from her breath condensed on the walls, ceiling, & window.
Later, I solved this by adding a small ventilation fan and
This divider was probably overkill, but it's withstood plenty of
bumps & kicks, and has provided just the privacy that the kids
wanted. The project took about a week, and materials cost around
$500 (I did all the work myself) When we remove the divider,
there'll be some minor plaster repairs.
I've seen this done with two men sharing a bedroom. Floor to
ceiling sheets became a wall - one of the guys had a couple sheet
walls to make his space a box, and the other guy had the path
around that and his own space outside of the enclosed box.
Nice and cheap
My son (5) and daughter (6) are 14 months apart and have shared a
room, sleeping in a double bed, since we moved them out of their
cribs 4 years ago. We live in a home with enough bedrooms for
each to have their own, but this arrangement seems to be working
very well for our family. The kids enjoy being together, they
are very close and it also makes our bedtime story reading and
snuggling so easy. They are very aware that they are different
genders but are not modest and we don't see this as an issue. We
plan to move them to their own rooms when we feel it is
appropriate and are happy to have the option. The problem -- my
father (their Grandfather) is appalled that we would have them
share a room still. Any advice that we could share with him or
that would convince us to change our plans would be welcomed from
both families who have kept their kids together and those who
have chosen not to. Is there an issue with different gender kids
sharing a room? At what age is it best to separate boys and girls?
If your children are happy, don't worry about your father's
opinion. Keep in mind that most children around the world
successfully grow up in very close quarters with their siblings
of both genders, and kids are able to carve out privacy and
space for themselves as they need it.
We have a girl, a boy and a girl (two years and three years
apart, respectively) and, at 10 1/2, our son has always shared
a room (but not a bed--we have bunk beds) with one or the other
of his sisters. He started asking for his own room only about
a year ago. We have not had enough space in our house for
three separate kids' bedrooms, but we are currently adding on
an additional room to be ready in time for my son's eleventh
birthday. In the meantime, my son and 7-year-old daughter
respect each other's privacy when dressing and respect each
other's space. They negotiate room ownership when friends come
over to play. They have a close relationship and still enjoy
chatting with each other at night (if the younger one is still
awake when the older goes to bed).
It probably would have been ideal to separate them last year,
but the promise of separate bedrooms has been sufficient balm
to soothe the occasional privacy tensions.
I should add that, while my oldest daughter does have her own
room, she isn't terribly exclusive about her space. Our family
culture is one of open doors and a lot of togetherness, so
sharing rooms is very comfortable.
mom who's been there
I just read a great book, Our Babies Ourselves, which discusses
baby-rearing in different cultures. According to the book,
Western culture has sexualized sleeping. Sleeping with family
members is common in other cultures and doesn't lead to raised
eyebrows like it does here. On a personal note, my brother
(five years younger than me) and I (female) enjoyed sleeping
together in each other's twin beds probably in the timeframe of
when I was 7-9 and he was 2-4. Knowing how much I enjoy
snuggling as an adult, I think it's almost cruel that we expect
kids to sleep *alone*.
Our situation is different, not a boy and a girl, but 2 boys,
still I thought our experience might be of interest. Our 2
sons, age 9 and 11 have had the option of separate bedrooms
ever since they were young. Yet they opted to sleep in the
same room, in bunkbeds. Finally, after many years, they
expressed an interest in separate bedrooms, so my husband and I
worked many a weekend to fix up the spare bedroom. This extra
bedroom was smaller, so it went to the youngest son. He
selected his bed (queen size), the paint, sheets, shelves and
other furniture. He did a great job and the room looks great.
So, do they now sleep in separate rooms? No, they happily
sleep in the same (the newer)room, in the same (queen size)
bed! At least before they were in different beds. And the
bedroom they originally slept in all these years now sits
empty. We figure when they are ready they'll chose separate
rooms. I can't imagine it will be much longer....but they are
happy so what else can we do?
Hurray for you for fostering a close sibling relationship. My son
and daughter (almost 5 and 7) share a room and have their whole
lives but not a bed. They have bunk beds. We read books to them
at the same time. Mostly they view the books' pictures from
their respective bunks. Sometimes we gather on an oversized bean
bag chair in their room. None of their friends or mine think it
is odd that they're together even though we have two spare
I never thought of them sharing a bed, however since you brought
up the topic, I would weigh in that I would not have put my kids
in the same bed regardless of their gender. I feel strongly that
they need their individual space for health and privacy reasons.
My son has dust mite allergies and to make sure he is not
bothered by them I sealed up his mattress and pillow, keep
stuffed animals off of it and wash his bedding in hot hot water
every couple of days. But allergy aside, I think that while I
have created a safe ''togetherness'' environment for them in their
shared room, I have honored their individuality by letting each
spread out on their beds, choose their own styles of sheets, and
get up at different times. My daughter likes to put on her
clothes in the morning under the sheets to stay warm. As of last
year, she does not like her brother seeing her naked- if they did
not have their own beds, she would not have this warm and cozy
option. I think that you will soon start to see the habits of
your children change which will make the bed sharing less ideal.
Also, in the past year my daughter has become an avid reader and
has a reading light that she flips on once the overhead light
goes off and she reads herself to bed. My son has always wanted
the room dark and this development would not have sat well with
him had they shared a bed (luckly he does not notice the little
allumination from the book light). I love that my children want
to be together. I will keep them together until they request a
change. I think you should continue to foster their shared room
experience by getting bunk beds for them. It seems premature to
separate them altogether. Anyway, that was a long-winded way of
letting you know what works for us. Good luck with your decision
Tell your father that someone replied to your question who has a 7 yo boy and a 10
yo girl sharing the same room. Because of space, we do not have a choice right now
and it works out OK. They have bunk beds, though.
If it works for you, do it.
Just to let you know that many of us out there encourage
emotional closeness between family members by permitting our
children to share a bedroom for as long as they choose, even if
there is another room. Many families have a ''family bed'', too.
My son, 9, and my daughter, 7, enjoy the security and pleasure
of each other's company at night. They are not shy about their
nakedness, bathe together for fun, and do not have ''sexual''
feelings for each other. They have friends with the same set-
Why all the fuss?
my girls are 3.5 years apart and I am wondering from others experience what the
pros and cons are of them sharing a room. we have a 3 bedroom house and it would
be nice to have a room for guests/grandparents, but i wonder what would be best
for the girls? If we get a bunkbed or trundle set up (which is most effiecient space-
wise) does one feel like they are getting the make shift bed or would it be better to
get them each their own bed so they each have their seperate space within the same
room? Thanks for any input!
We have the same situation as you and ended up buying a bunk bed for our
two girls. There is something about bunk beds that kids love! Our
daughters are also around 3 years apart, so our 6 yr-old sleeps in the
top bunk, and our 3-yr-old sleeps in the bottom bunk. We've made the
bottom bunk very cozy and like a fort with celestial silk fabric hanging
around it. The top bunk is full of stuffed animals which our 6-yr old
arranges how she wants them every night before bed. So I would say that
this works, for now, and who knows, maybe when they are older they may
want the bunk turned into 2 separate beds. The bunk gives the room more
My girls are 3.25 years apart and have been sharing a room since the
youngest was about 3 months old (they are 3 and 6 now). Its OK. If I
had a third bedroom, I'd have them in separate rooms though. Its mostly
because the youngest is NOT the sleeper her older sister is and gets up
very early and wakes her up. And on occasion when she gets up at night
its the same thing. Another irritating thing is if the older one is in
the room because she has misbehaved, its really hard to keep the younger
They have bunk beds that are both on the floor, as I want to wait until
the youngest is older before tempting her with a bunkbed.
It works just fine space-wise. And probably gives them a sense of space.
Other than the sleep thing, its really fine. I think they like sleeping
in the same room and knowing each other is near. I can hear them talking
to each other in the morning sometimes and its sweet.
My girls are 3.25 years apart and have been sharing a room since the
youngest was about 3 months old (they are 3 and 6 now). Its OK. If I
had a third bedroom, I'd have them in separate rooms though. Its mostly
because the youngest is NOT the sleeper her older sister is and gets up
very early and wakes her up. And on occasion when she gets up at night
its the same thing. Another irritating thing is if the older one is in
the room because she has misbehaved, its really hard to keep the younger
They have bunk beds that are both on the floor, as I want to wait until
the youngest is older before tempting her with a bunkbed.
It works just fine space-wise. And probably gives them a sense of space.
Other than the sleep thing, its really fine. I think they like sleeping
in the same room and knowing each other is near. I can hear them talking
to each other in the morning sometimes and its sweet.
It would be very difficult for your daughters-don't force them to. They
live there, so they should be the priority above guests.
Siblings-esspecially siblings two to four years apart-are very often
angry with each other and bicker all the time. They need a 'safe spot'
where they can have their own space, something they don't have to share
with a sibling.
What do the girls say about a) sharing a room and b) separate versus
trundle versus bunkbeds? I think working with their preferences is what
would make or break a shared room situation.
I have a girl and a boy, also 3 years apart (4 and 7 years of
age) who sleep together every night, but don't want to have beds in only
one room. So every night one sleeps on a mat on my son's floor and the
other on my son's bed and they're perfectly happy.
(On rare ocassion my daughter wants to sleep alone in her own bed, in
her own room.) I really think you have to take the kids'
needs/desires into account!
This is my own personal experience with my sister and I. She is
3 years younger than me and we HAD to share a room as there were
5 children in my family.
I resented it but I don't think it has had any long term effects on me!
My sister was always afraid of the dark, I liked it pitch black. She
would whine because I got to stay up later and would drive my parents
crazy till I went to bed. When I was 14 and she was 11 she ripped down
all my Donny Osmond and David Cassidy posters(sigh, ok maybe one long
term effect!). I never had my friends come over and play in my room
because we never had any privacy. She was always into my things..oh,
the list goes on.
I guess what I am saying, is if it's a short term situation and the
girls are not preteens it is doable.
What I have done now that I have 2 children of my own in a 3 bedroom
My thirteen year old has a full size bed and all the cool stuff like a
computer, t.v. PS2 etc... in his room. His 9 year old sister has a
trundle bed (stores under her single bed) and when we have guests (which
we do way too often!) My son's room becomes the guest room and we pull
out the other mattress and son sleeps in it for a few days while we have
company. It works for us. We discussed the situation with the kids and
they agreed to making the ''sacrifice'' while company is staying. Son
is happy because he has a full size bed. Daughter is happy because
trundle works great for sleepovers too.
Hope this is of help to you. Good Luck!
Here's what we did:
We put bunk beds in our older girl's room, and kept all of her ''stuff''
(clothes, toys, etc) in there. Our older girl slept on the top bunk, and
her little sister slept on the bottom bunk. We then had the guest room
be our younger daughter's ''play room.''
Most of her toys were in there (put away into plastic drawer type bins
that fit under the double guest bed) and most of her clothes, allthough
her pajamas were in the ''sleeping room.'' This gave both girls separate
space to play if they wanted to be apart during the day (although they
often ended up playing in the same
room.) (Our girls are 3 years apart by the way.) When guests came we
would bring one of the toy bins down into the living room (letting her
selectivly fill it with all the toys that she
wanted) and move her playroom down there for the duration of guests
stay. You also have to make sure that clothes are accesible - maybe one
way of doing this is putting both girls ''every day'' clothes into the
older girls/sleeping room, and putting all extra clothes (fancy
clothes/wrong size/etc) into the closet in the playroom/guest room
(leaving some space for guest's
clothes.) This worked well for our girls until the older one was in
middle school (about 12) when she really wanted her ''own''
space. We then moved her into the guest room (kept the guest bed, which
became her bed,) with her stuff, and gave her sister the room with the
bunkbeds, so now when guests come our older daughter sleeps in her
little sister's room while guests are there. The girls seemed to like
sleeping together (when they were
younger) but having some space to ''be separate'' during the day worked
really well, and still left us with the use of a guest room.
-Made it work
We had a similar set-up, 3 bedrooms; and had our 2 boys who are 4 years
apart sharing one room. they didn't like the bunk bed, so we had 2
separate beds and only a small amount of play area. Our 3rd bedroom
became an office/playroom/guestroom. This was all fine until my older
son turned 9 and then he insisted on having his own bedroom; he dragged
all of his bedding into the guestroom. He was very clear that he didn't
want to share space anymore.
no more guestroom
Thank you everyone for the great responses! Really good ideas were
shared - every one of them had workable ideas for the original poster,
in a much nicer tone than I would have managed.
Personally, I was upset that someone would give higher priority to
occasional guests than to their own children who live there everyday -
not to mention the waste of usable space if guests visit only a few
times a year. I frequently notice kids ''don't rate'' the same equality
and respect that adults do, and that makes me pretty sad, because of the
subtle message it sends that they are not important or don't count.
So thanks again, BPN! There are many creative people on this board - I
learn so much from you all.
Baby Sharing a Room with Sibling
I've read all the past posts archived on BPN about siblings sharing a room, but
unfortunately I'm still lost as to what to do.
We have a 2 year old (will be 3 in April) and a 10 month old who have to share
a room because we only have a 2 BR house. The reality has been that they've
needed to be separated most of the time, even though we started having
them share a room when the baby was 2 months old. When one or both of
them are sick (as they both have been most of this winter), they cannot be in
the same room due to waking each other up crying/coughing/whining during
the night. So either the baby sleeps in the pack-and-play in our room and
her older brother stays in his toddler bed in their room, or we move older
brother and his toddler bed into our room and baby sister stays in her crib in
Older brother is a FANTASTIC sleeper, except when he gets moved into our
room to sleep. The slightest noise by either my husband or me wakes him up
and then he refuses to go back to sleep in his bed or in the pack and play -
screaming, kicking, tantrum, etc. Unfortunately, he doesn't know how to co-
sleep in bed with us either; he thinks it's playtime. So once he's up, he's up.
Whether it's midnight, 3 am, or 5 am.
We would just keep baby sister in the pack-and-play in our room indefinitely
(she doesn't sleep through the night unless she's in a room all by herself) but
now she is aware that we're in the room with her, and she stands up and
screams while staring at us. We do CIO with her, but she will cry and fuss and
moan for up to 2 hours. When she does finally fall asleep, she rarely stays
asleep for very long.
The only real solution I can see is moving to a 3BR house where each child
has their own room (the only way either of them seem to ever sleep well). And
that's not a solution we can afford.
We've come close to hiring a sleep consultant, but before we spend $500 on
one - thought we'd try BPN for advice. Thanks for any insight you can
At Wits End
How about letting each of them have their own room and you
two sleep in the living room? I know it's not ideal, but if
you had a comfortable sofa bed (they do exist), you could
open that up each night and sleep there.
Living Room Sleeper
We had a similar dilemma with our kids, who share a room.
The baby would wake up crying several times a night, and if
we didn't immediately rush in and get her to stop, her older
brother would wake up and get hysterical. We ended up
having the baby sleep in a pack-n-play in the living room
for quite a while.
Good luck! This phase won't last forever, but it sure feels
like it will when it's going on.
Two kids, small house
I write this while I knock on wood...I think we have figured
out how to have a 3 year old and an 8 month old share a
room...We started CIO over the weekend and we were surprised
at the outcome. We let the baby fall asleep in our bed and
then moved him to the crib after his brother had gone to
sleep. When the baby woke up (because he could sense that
someone was putting him in the crib), he cried. But, and
this is where it was a surprise, he didn't wake his brother
up! After the first two days of CIO, they now sleep fine
Usually, I give the little one a sippy while I read the
older one books. The little one usually falls asleep while
I'm reading. After I'm done reading, I put the little one
into the crib--and he wakes and fusses for about 2-3
minutes. While he is fussing, I have cuddle time with my
three year old. Once the baby is asleep, I kiss my three
year old good night and that is it! The baby is always up
first in the am, but I get him before he starts to cry.
I was at the point of searching for a three bedroom place
until finally everything clicked...and yes, everything gets
thrown out the window when the three year old has a cold...
We've been through that, although our toddler was older than
yours. It is what it is. We've been looking for a larger house
in Berkeley for over two years now without luck. So for now
the kids share a room. And to make matters worse our room is
right across the hall. When I get up to get ready for work I
almost always wake someone up.
Your kids will adjust over time. Other than that there is no
easy answer. Have you tried a white noise machine?
It ain't easy
As a short-term solution, could you put the baby to bed in
your room, and then move her out into the family room when
you and your husband go to bed? That way everyone is
separated. Maybe when your kids are older the room sharing
will work out--things change.
for the time being
this is not a glamorous solution, but we moved our bed into our living room
and our baby (9 mos) into our room so that our baby and our toddler (2 1/2)
could continue to sleep through the night (I think we started this when our
baby was around 6 mos old). our original intention was to try to move them
into the same room once they were both sleeping on the same schedule and
once our baby could fend for himself against the wrath of our toddler. we
figured that would be possible when our baby turned 1.
they slept together successfully over the holidays while we were out of town
(one in a crib, one in a twin bed), so we've decided to start trying a bit
sooner. sadly, recent travel messed up our baby's sleep schedule, but we're
hoping that once he's back to his normal sleeping pattern (going to bed at
around 7:30 and waking at around 6:30), we can try to get them into a room
together and get our privacy back.
not sure if that is at all helpful.
sleeping soundly in the living room (for now)
Is there someplace else you can put one of them, like pack n
play in the living room, and then do whatever you do after
they go to sleep in your bedroom? This way everybody gets
their own space. And maybe buying a whitenoise machine and
putting it in their bedroom with them both in it might work
(so they don't hear each other)?
Our situation is similar except that our second ''bedroom'' is more of an office
and not even big enough for a bed and a crib. Our solution is less-than-perfect,
but it's working for now: we have the crib in the living room. Naps are hard, but
at night it works just fine. The baby's far enough away from me that I don't jump
up at every moan, and our toddler sleeps through her crying. And when she's
big enough, they'll have bunk beds and I'll get my bookcase back...
How have parents of kids 3 years apart transitioned the younger
into the older sibling's bedroom? I've seen few postings about
kids 3 years apart.
Our baby boy is now 2 months old, and he has an older brother who
just turned 3 years old. We'd like to transition the baby into
his big brother's room (they'll have to share a bedroom given
space limitations), but aren't certain when to do it. I am
wondering how to prepare our eldest son for the transition (he is
currently very ''mine'' oriented, for example, even with ''his''
changing pad) - he has been in his own room since he was 6 months
old. I don't want him to be resentful of his younger brother when
they start to share, and I am concerned about safety issues for
the baby (big brother throwing blankets into the crib, etc.).
Is it better to do it sooner, and just work through our eldest
son's ''my'' stage in this regard? Is it better to wait a year or
so, until they are both older (and have a more established
I'd like to know at what ages you've transitioned your kids to
share a room, and suggestions on how to do it (i.e., what did you
tell your eldest kid).
Our boys are two years nine months apart and we moved the baby
into the older boy's room when he was around 5 months old. (Until
then the baby was in a bassinet pulled up to our bed.)
We talked a lot about how the elder brother was going to be good
at looking after his baby brother and how they could listen to
books together and wake up together -- the big picture was always
about what a special thing it was they would be able to share a
room. I don't think we dwelt on negative stuff like ''you'll have
to share, you can't throw things in the crib,'' etc.
They have had bed times around 30 minutes apart. We're lucky that
the younger one is an easy sleeper and is out by the time his
brother comes in. We've found that the separation helps us manage
bedtimes and give them each attention at the end of the day. The
issue for us has been getting the younger one to bed early enough
so the older one still goes to bed at a reasonable hour -- kind
of tough when they play together now. They are now just two and
almost five and that's why we are trying to transition them to
the same bed time.
I like that we did the transition early and got them both used to it.
Our kids are exactly 2 years and 10 months apart too (girls
though). We kept the baby in a crib in our bedroom until she was
about 1 year. We co-slept with our baby for 1/2 the night (first
1/2 in the crib) and our 3 year old actually often slept on the
floor in our room if she woke up at night (she had what we called
a ''little nest'' next to our bed). Anyway, when the baby was
about 1 year old, we moved her crib into our older daughter's
room. I don't remember there being any problem. By this time my
older daughter loved her sister, played with her and I think we
always talked about when her sister would get to move to her
room. I still went and got the baby when she cried at night and
brought her into our room. Our older daughter would sometimes
retrieve toys for the baby and put them back into the crib. At
about 18 months we made our ''special trip'' to by a ''big girl bed''
for the baby and switch the crib out for the mattress on the
floor in the girls room. Now they have a bunk bed at ages 9 and 6.
I read with interest the replies to an earlier question about
whether kids need their own space and wanted to follow up with
a related question. For those of you who have/had kids share a
room, at what age did they start and was gender an issue? I
have an almost 3 year old boy and a 9 month old girl who
currently sleep in seperate rooms. The older one still wakes up
at night and calls for us because he doesn't like to be alone
and I think sharing a room with his sister *might* help with
that. The younger one is just now starting to sleep through
the night, which means she will let out a yelp at various times
during the night but will resume sleeping without any help from
us. My ideal outcome is that the 3 year old will feel
comforted by having his sister so close and will rely less on
us to get back to sleep but I fear that what will actually
happen is that they will just wake each other up (both are
fairly light sleepers) and no one will get any sleep. If your
kids started sharing a room when the youngest was a baby, how
did you handle middle of the night wakings? Is it wishful
thinking to believe that sharing a room will help comfort the
older one? If your opposite gender kids shared a room, at what
age did they want/need to have their own rooms?
mama who needs some sleep
I was one of the respondents to the previous question about
sharing a room. My kids are 2 years apart, a boy and a girl.
Our kids shared a room from the time my daughter was a few months
old. Maybe earlier? I can't remember. My boy (older) sleeps
like a log and never was bothered by my daughter's night time
wakings. My daughter is a lighter sleeper and will wake up if my
older one happens to, but wants to be covered up with the
blankets and goes back to sleep with ease.
Also, I don't necessarily think it's wishful thinking that your
older one will be comforted by the younger. I can definitely
tell that my kids LIKE sharing a room and being near each other..
and it's working out great.
No, your infant will not comfort your son. Moms and dads do the
comforting, not babies. He may or may not like sharing a room,
but it's not at all relevant to his need for nurturing,
protection, love, being held, etc. I think you're really
misguided to think that your daughter will have anything to do
with keeping your boy happy and alone in his bed.
Physical nurturing is a very strong need with some people. Being
close and touching body parts is the key, along with feeling safe.
What I do think you can do is teach him to get up and come to
your bed if he needs a snuggle. He's old enough that you
shouldn't have to rush to him unless he has a nightmare and is
They will probably wake each other up while sharing a room, but
over time they will adjust.
I put my kids in together when my daughter was nearly 3 and my
son was 14 months. It took some adjustment, but I must say it
went much better than we feared. Both my kids wake up pretty
regularly at night for one thing or another, but I've been
surprised to find that they almost never wake each other up. It
does take them longer to settle down at night. And naps can be
tricky unless they're totally exhausted. Sometimes I have to nap
my daughter (now nearly 4) in my room so they won't get each
other all riled up. The gender is obviously no issue now, but I'm
hoping to keep them in the same room through grade school--might
become an issue toward the end. We'll see.
mom of two
I can't really answer your question, but we have a four year-
old boy who still co-sleeps with dad and a 4 month-old girl who
sleeps with me. We only have one extra bedroom and our son
doesn't want to sleep alone, so when my daughter is old enough,
we'll put both kids in the same bed, or just the same room,
whatever works better. Later, when we can afford a house and
they are a little older, they will have their own rooms. I
think you should give putting them in the same room a try and
see how it goes.
This sounds like typical three year-old behavior. My son went
through this too. Get 'Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy'
by Louise Bates Ames and Frances L. Ilg. Reading this book
will help you get through this phase.
To answer your question: My girl and boy shared a room until
girl was 12 and boy was 8. Girl was very happy to finally have
privacy (though she never specifically complained about sharing);
boy was very sad/lonely. Two years before that, when we were
away for about 10 months, they had their own rooms, but at that
point, boy mostly came into our room and slept on our floor.
mom of two
My oldest (son) and next oldest (daughter) started sharing a
room when the younger was about 4-5 months old. Their little
brother was added to the room when he was about 4-5 months old
(when he outgrew the bassinet in our room). I have had very few
problems with a crying baby waking up the older child/children.
More often, I am amazed when one of the kids can wake up, throw
up or wet the bed, and I can totally change the sheets and deal
with the issue in the middle of the night without the other kids
My three (boy/girl/boy) are still sharing a room at 7,5,3. We
have no gender issues yet, but it still may come up later. My
kids are totally into the ''kids room'' and ''mom & dad's room''
idea and would probably choose to share a room even if we had an
Three kids, small house
We have a 6 yr old girl and a 4 yr old boy who have shared a room since
one was a little over year. They love it and wouldn't want it any other
way. It comforts
them at bedtime to have a sibling nearby. If one is away for some reason
the other one
gets very upset. If they wake up during the night they usually want the
However, crying doesn't usually wake up the sibling. It's so much fun to
hear them talk
about their day before they fall asleep.
Our second child is due March 9, at which point our first child will
be 22 months old. We have a 2BR house, so the children will need to
share a room. We plan to keep the baby with us in a bassinet in our
room until she is 2 or 3 months old and/or sleeping through the night,
and then move her into the same room as her older brother.
In general, I'm looking for success stories and words of warning about
having a 2 year old and infant sleep in the same room. I read some
advice that we should get some sort of a mesh tent to go over the top
of the crib that would keep our son from throwing anything into the
crib while the baby is in there. Anyone done that? Anyone know where
to get such a contraption?
Our son is also somewhat of a light sleeper, so I'm assuming that it's
inevitable the baby will wake him up from time to time. But any
suggestions on how to minimize the kids waking each other up would
also be appreciated.
We are planning to transition our son from the crib into a toddler bed
in January before the baby is born, so any advice on how to do that
would be useful.
My 4 month old and 2 year old (who turns 3 in Jan 09) share a
room. I was nervous that the 2 yo would be angry about sharing
his space but that has not been a problem. The baby goes to bed
earlier and we read to the 2yo so I bought a lamp that attached
to the 2yo's bed so that we can read without waking up the baby.
It works well. And when the baby wakes up in the middle of the
night so far it hasn't woken up the toddler. So far so good.
Our situation was the same as yours. The baby is now 6 months and
sleeping full time with her 2 1/2 year old brother. Here are a
few things we did:
Moving the toddler into the bed was its own process, at one point
involving a baby gate on the door. Be prepared for a week or two
of very disrupted evenings and early mornings. Consistency is
key--just keep putting him back, and if you have to resort to the
baby gate, let him fall asleep on the floor. Pretty soon he'll
figure out the the bed is a whole lot more comfortable.
Once the baby came, early in the transition process, the baby was
going to sleep after the toddler. This was fine most nights--just
nurse in the dark and into the crib. If she was having a really
tough time falling asleep (crying for more than 15 minutes or
so), we put her back into the co-sleeper in our room for the
first stretch and then put her down in the crib after the first
waking/feeding. I was worried about the crying waking our son,
too, but he can tolerate an impressive amount of noise. He seems
immune to the stress it creates in us. You may be pleasantly
Once the baby started going to sleep before the toddler (7 pm, an
hour before the older one), a few things have helped. The first
was to move the nightly book reading to our bed to help him
settle down before going into the room with the baby sleeping. On
advice from BPN, we got two cheap headlamps from REI, one for us
and one for our son, and we use these in the room to read the
last book and get into bed. The headlamps are such a novelty, and
we only use them at bed time. Our son loves wearing them and
reading with them, and it keeps the baby disturbance low. The key
is turning down all the lights in the house and really mellowing
him out before letting him into the room.
They will wake each other up sometimes. The baby's 5:30 am waking
is the hardest--if our son wakes up, too, he has a hard time
getting back to sleep. I spend a lot of the night in their room,
either nursing the baby at night or getting my son back to sleep.
Oddly, his night wakings (which he had for a while after the baby
was born) rarely coincide with the baby crying. Have a
comfortable chair in their room for you--it will be well worth
the floor space!
Good luck--it can be done. And what a joy it is to check on them
when they are both sleeping peacefully together. I love it!
Best of Luck
We too have a 2 bedroom house and thought we'd have our sons, ages 3 and 9
months, share after the baby's first 3 months in our room. We tried that two or
three times and gave up, mostly because it was too stressful for me. Everytime the
baby woke up I worried he'd wake his brother, which he sometimes did and
sometimes didn't, and the couple of times the older one called for us with a
nightmare or whatever, he woke up the baby. I felt so on edge every time one of
them stirred because I knew I'd be getting two back to sleep instead of just one. So
we finally converted the study, a tiny room adjacent to the family room (with
shutter doors only) into the baby's room. It's worked out great. I can't imagine
having them in the same room with all the sleep issues you go through in the first
year - sleep training, early waking, night waking with new milestones and teething -
why subject the older one to all that waking too? Is there anywhere in your house
that you could make into baby's area?
It's great! My #1 was 2 y/o exactly when #2 was born. #2 stayed
in a bassinet in the living room for while, would get moved into
a bedroom for naps, etc, and now they share a room together.
They LOVE it. They are now 2 y/o and 4 y/o and you can hear them
talking and singing in the morning when they wake up.
We didn't have any light sleeper issues (although #2 is a light
sleeper) and when we go somewhere and the two happen to sleep in
different rooms, #2 is especially sad. It's cute.
family is great but hard
We did it up until recently when we moved to a 3 bedroom house. Our oldest went
from crib to a twin bed six months before our baby was born. It took a lot of work
to get him used to his newfound freedom. We took the crib down during this time.
That way, when we put it back up, he wouldn't think the baby took it from him. Our
baby was in our room longer than we anticipated because we weren't sure how to
make the transition and she was a horrible sleeper. But, around six months, we put
her in the crib. We'd put her down first and then he'd get a later bedtime after she
went to sleep. This made him feel like a big boy. We ended up having to sleep train
my daughter so for about four days, he slept with us in our bed. Then, we were fine.
As they got older they'd cut up and laugh and we'd have to end the party, but I
that brought them closer. They pretty much shared a room well together and remain
very close. My daughter had trouble adjusting to her new room and my son will get
in bed with her to make her feel better. So, it's a good thing. Totally doable.
two peas in a pod
just do it. sounds like a great plan. my 2 were also born 22
months apart. after being in a bassinet for 2 month in my
room, we moved baby sister in with big brother. they'll adjust
to whatever situation they are in. yes, sometimes one will
wake the other, but in the long run, they'll figure it out.
it works, trust me!
If at all possible, I recommend keeping the baby in your bedroom
longer. For what it's worth, I firmly believe that all infants
should sleep by their mother's side for AT LEAST a full year,
older sibling or no older sibling -- and if I'd waited until my
kids were sleeping through the night to move them out of a
bassinet we'd've had a hard time, as that didn't happen until
they were two years old!
But even if you're not a fan of co-sleeping, even if you plan to
Ferberize, you can keep your baby's crib in your bedroom; it's
much safer, especially when there's an active older sibling
Don't worry too much about the two children waking each other up
when they do share a room. In my experience, and based on what
I've heard from other moms, it's a very rare occurrence.
Siblings may tend to keep each other from falling asleep at
bedtime (mine frequently do, which is why even now, at ages 4
and 7, one of them is often sent to MY bed to fall asleep! I
just transfer as needed when I'm ready to go to bed) but they
don't often wake each other up during the night. Whenever you do
put them in the same room, you might try to arrange your
schedule so that you get one down and fully asleep before the
other comes in to bed; it can be much easier than attempting
My 7 month old wakes up multiple times a night. We are having
trouble getting a good sleep routine going, primarily because
we only have two bedrooms. Our 2 year old is in one bedroom
(we have a crib for the 7 month old there), but any time we try
to have our 7 monther sleep in the kids' room, they wake each
other up all night long. We've resorted to a port-a-crib in
our room for the 7 month old. We wake her up with our coming
and going, and then on top of that she wakes up on her own
every 2-3 hours all night long. About half way through the
night she ends up in bed with me, because I am so exhausted
from waking up so often. Ideally we'd like for both kids to be
in the same room. Does anyone have experience to share on
sleep training when kids share a bedroom?
We also have 2 kids in a 2br house. Would it work to have the 2-
year old sleep in your room for a while, like with her mattress
on the floor in your bedroom? I would guess that your 2-year
old sleeps more soundly than your 7-mo old. As for worrying
about waking the child up with your coming and going, obviously
make it so that you do not come and go from the bedroom except
to get in and out of bed in the dark. Change in the living room
or bathroom and keep all your clothes, pajamas, etc., that
you'll need out there. Then once your 7-mo old is sleeping
better in the crib (hopefully soon!), you can move your 2-year
old back in there and get your own bedroom back. There will
still be a transition as they get used to each other's night
noises, but if they've both got good baseline sleep patterns,
they'll be able to revert to that. And, at any rate, there's no
way through that except to go through it. Good luck!
Crammed in and making it work
Our kids shared a room since our baby was 8 months when we had to sleep train.
They are 3.5yrs and 15 months old and share pretty well. It took us four days to do
the Ferber method and get the baby sleeping through the night. During that time,
whichever parent was the comforter, slept in the room with the baby and the oldest
slept in our bed. We figured we'd get him on track after the baby could sleep
through the night. Once the baby was sleeping through the night, we put her to bed
about 30 minutes before the 3.5 year old. She gets her special routine and goes
right to sleep. Then, the oldest gets special time with us before he goes down. Even
if he makes a bit of noise going to bed, the baby sleeps right through. Our son does
occasionally wake up if the baby cries out in the night. The baby will go right to
sleep but he gets up and wants to get in bed with us. Our rule is he has to go back
in his own bed before 4:30am. After that, we let him sleep with us.
yes they can share a room
I have a three year old boy and a 7 month old girl that share a
room. They both go down to sleep well at nap time and bed time.
My challenge has been what to do about the baby's middle of the
night waking to nurse. It's usually just once a night for about 5
minutes anywhere from 1:30 to 5:30 a.m. It's killing me! I would
like to do the cry it out thing as we did with our son but the
last time I did it, the whole house woke up! Should I just suck
it up, prepare for my son waking up (and in turn waking up Daddy)
just for a few nights until she is sleeping through the night? I
try to make sure she is getting enough calories during the day so
she doesn't go to be hungry. I would be interested to hear how
others have coped with this situation. Other than this one thing,
room sharing has gone really well. (I read all the previous posts
which convinced me to do it. What a relief that was!)
So Very Tired Mom
Hi tired mom. We did the cry it out method when our kids were 2 1/2 and 4 mos,
sharing a room. We just prepared our older one by telling her that her sister would
cry and that she (the baby) would be okay and would go to sleep again. She never
even woke up during the baby's cries. There have been other times since then that
one has cried out in the middle of the night, subsequentlly waking the other up, but
the rule in our house is that we don't come in when either of them do it and they are
expected to go back to sleep. We remind the 3 year old of this if she gets into a
spell of waking and the 1 year old is confined by the crib and so returns to sleep
with no other choice. It works for us and these days we're not even sure if the non-
cryer wakes up or not, as we don't hear a peep (we think they are used to it and
have adjusted). All kids are different, but I say go for it. If your son wakes up (and
then wakes daddy), it's not that big of a deal (much better option than a constantly
tired mommy and wife) and will only be for a night or two probably. It's good to
have a plan, though and stick to it because even if you get lucky with no waking this
time, there will likely be a time in the future when it comes up again. Good luck!
well rested and thankful
I have two children -- ages 2 and 4. My elder sleeps like a
champ and my younger, well, I am lucky to get two full nights out
of seven without an interruption from her. I attribute partially
to letting my elder cry it out for a few nights while always
rushing to my younger to get her quiet and back to sleep.
I have since learned that my elder child could probably sleep
through an air raid siren in her bedroom. My children were
sleeping in different rooms, but I was so afraid at the time that
the younger would wake the older (they shared a wall) that I just
let it go.
If I had a do-over, I would have done CIO and not worried about
my elder daughter. If they shared a room, I would have found
another place for her (our bed, a sleeping back on the sofa, etc)
for a few days to let it happen.
Hi! I have 2 girls age 5 months and 16 months. The 16 month
old sleeps in a crib (which is one of those 4 in 1 cribs that
converts) and our 5 month old sleeps in a moses basket. Our 5
month old has practically outgrown the moses basket and we are
debating if we should just buy another crib or bunk beds
or ???? We are trying to explore all possibilities so I thought
we might find some other ideas from BPN. Any suggestions would
be greatly appreciated!
Yea they're really close!
I have an 18 month old who is nowhere near to leaving her crib, so if I had a 5
month old, I would definitely get a second crib, perhaps a basic one off of BPN
or craigslist, rather than a fancy fancy one, and let both girls be in their own
cribs as long as they want. I don't think that by the time your youngest is ready
for a big girl bed, the oldest will be ready for a top bunk, so I'd wait on the
bunk bed for quite awhile!
I think you need two cribs for those Irish twins of yours. 16 months seems way to
early for a toddler bed (my kids stayed in cribs up until they were three.) And, top
bunks are not recommended until age six - for disorientation & falling issues. Why
not get another that converts to a bed, then you'll be set until the youngest one is
They are too young for bunk beds. Get a second crib. It doesn't have to be a big
financial investment. I would get one that would convert to a toddler bed for your older
daughter next year.
Try putting the older one in a toddler bed. You can get one
pretty cheap and it will last for several years. Both of my sons
moved into toddler beds at 13 mos. That was the age when I
caught them both scaling the sides of thie cribs so I moved them
lower so they couldn't fall and get hurt. Yes, sometimes they
got out of bed when they weren't supposed to, but their room was
child proofed and we put a baby gate up so they wouldn't wander
mom of 2
We are expecting our second child and plan to have both children in the same room
eventually. They will be a little over 2 years apart. However, the room is fairly small
and already feels full with a dresser/changing table, glider, and crib. I'm wondering
if anyone has a crib that has a trundle bed underneath? I've been looking online and
can't seem to find one. So maybe this is not such a good idea since it doesn't seem
to be available. Should we just go ahead a buy a regular bed? Of course we can
move some furniture but then it just makes things a bit more inconvenient for
nighttime wakings (but I guess we will feel compelled to bring the crying child out
of the room anyway). Would love to hear any thoughts on bed/crib arrangements!
We have a similar situation. Our daughters are 19 mos. apart.
(the younger was born 6 weeks ago.) We moved the glider out of the room
and put in a toddler bed and moved the older out of the crib into the
toddler bed a few months before the baby was due. We refer to the big
girl bed and point to the crib for the baby. For now, the glider is in
our bedroom as is the pack and play with the bassinet attachment and
this is where the baby sleeps. I do put the baby in the crib for naps
or just to look at the mobile when the older girl is home so she can see
that the baby goes in the crib and won't be surprised when we
permanently move the baby into the room. If you put the baby in that
room from the beginning, I think you're right that you'll take the baby
out when it's crying and needs to nurse, although I've found that my
older daughter can sleep right through the baby's crying -at least when
we're in the car.
Hope this helps.
mom of 2 under 2
My kids are closer in age than yours will be so we never considered a
regular bed and ended up buying a second crib - used at Darla's in El
Cerrito (got a great deal). We have a 6 month old girl and a 19 month
old boy who have been sharing a smallish room now for the last 2 months.
Other than naps and sleeping, we don't spend that much time in the
bedroom, so all it has in it are the two cribs, wall shelves and a
dresser. We kept our baby in our room in a bassinet for the first few
months, put her down for naps in the crib to get her used to it, AND to
get our son used to having a ''roommate''. And then when she was about
4 months old, we decided to just put her in and see what happens.
Basically, it's working out just fine - we have our good nights and our
not so good nights. We adjust the sleeping situation as need be - i.e.
if one of the kids is sick or teething or whatever, they'll sleep in our
room in the pack-n- play. I guess the only thing about having two young
kids in the same room is that we are less likely to let them cry or make
noise. Sometimes our baby wakes up in the middle of the night and
starts cooing and laughing and playing. If she were in her own bedroom,
I'd probably just let her play and fall back asleep but I don't want my
son to wake up so I'll get up with her, feed her and then put her back
down to sleep. I guess I'd rather be up with one baby at 3:00 am than
with two! Good luck!
I would offer a word of caution against putting a 2YO and infant in the
same room. I know people have done it but I couldn't do it with my kids
(26 months apart). The danger seems too great. My 2YO was really looking
foward to helping with the baby when she finally arrived and I could
just see her throwing extra blankets or toys into the crib when we
weren't in the room and the baby suffocating as a result. It may sound
paranoid but it has happened. At a day care center I know of, the 2 & 3
YOs had access to the room where the infants were sleeping. One infant
was smothered to death when a toddler put a bunch of toys in the crib
where she was sleeping. So I guess my advice on bed /crib combinations
is - don't.
My kids are 25 months apart. We keep the glider in the living room so
that their room has a crib, a toddler-bed and a dresser/changing table.
My youngest has slept in the room since she outgrew the bassinet around
4 months old. This set-up has worked well for us.
We are now expecting a third child and still have the same size room! I
spent time looking for a crib-size trundle bed with no luck, either.
There are some cribs with trundle-style storage drawers underneath, but
these aren't big enough for a crib mattress. I did find a kid's
furniture store on College (I forget the name, maybe Kid's Room?) that
said they could special- order a crib-size trundle drawer to my
dimensions. Instead, I built one myself (I'm relatively handy, but no
mastercraftsman). Now we're ready to go with the crib-size trundle bed
stored underneath a twin-size daybed (for the
oldest) and the crib all in the same room.
We are hoping to put our 3 year-old and our 4 month-old in the
same room ASAP. I have read the related posts and agree with
most parents, who feel that sharing a room is a great thing.
Our concern has to do with safety for the baby - - our toddler
is VERY affectionate with his brother, but sometimes that
affection gets a little rough. Also, he likes to wake his
brother up. We wonder how other parents ensure that the baby
is ''safe'' from the toddler. I saw the posts about the crib
tent, but apparently there is only one manufacturer and the
product received some extremely NEGATIVE reviews on Amazon.
Any suggestions about makeshift barriers etc. would be welcome.
Our children have been sharing a room since our second was 6
months old (our first was 2 yrs. 9 months when he moved in.) We
waited until he was able (for the most part) to sleep through the
night. For the most part it has gone very well. Here's what we
did. We told our elder that her brother was moving in and she
had some say in how we rearranged the room so we could fit in the
crib. We had her part of the moving of the crib (so she didn't
just come home one day and find her room altered.) And then we
explained that she could not put anything in the crib because
that would be very dangerous for her brother. And she has
complied. She was actually excited for him to move in and every
night she has a ritual of standing over his crib watching him
sleep before she gets into bed. We read stories in a different
room and she is fine with that. One book we read a lot during
the transition was ''Cuddle Time'' -- which is about two kids
waking up together and going into their parents room and pouncing
on them. We tried to ''sell'' the idea that Mom and Dad share a
room and so they should share a room too. I think the success of
the safety aspect has been her acceptance of them sharing a room
Now having said that, they do wake each other up from time to
time. We have a pack and play in our room to move the baby into
if things get bad -- and if she wants out she sleeps in our bed
with us. But this has been less common lately and I think they
are just learning to sleep through each other's bad nights.
Now if I could only get them to share other things so well... :)
We are planning to adopt a baby girl next year (who will be
close to a year old). At that time, I will also have a 4.5 year
old girl and a 2.5 year old boy. They each have their own rooms
now. I'm trying to figure out where to put the baby! I don't
know if I should put the two oldest together, the two youngest
together or put the girls together inspite of the age
Any advice from people who've been thru this before would be
Wish I had another bedroom
Hi - I would either put your new child in your room with you and
keep your older children where they are (at least for a little
while, until everyone is more used to the transition) or I would
double up your older kids and give the new child her own room.
Unless you think your older kids won't like this (my kids LOVE
sharing a room - they definitely don't see it as a ''punishment'')
Later, when they are older, the girls should share a room.
mom of three little guys
We're expecting a new baby boy in about a month who will arrive
when my older daughter is 21 months old. My husband and I are
disagreeing over whether the kids should share a room or each
have their own room. We have a 3-bedroom house, so they could
theoretically have their own rooms if we give up the study/guest
room. I'd prefer the kids to each have their own space, mostly
because I feel guilty about making my daughter share everything
so soon (this was an unplanned pregnancy) and I feel her room is
one thing at least that could remain hers and hers only. I'm
also worried about the baby waking his older sister, who is a
light sleeper. My husband says she is too young to care about
having to share a room and that sharing a room will build a
better friendship between the two kids. He's also worried about
making guest accomodations less comfortable for visiting
grandparents (they would have to sleep on a futon in a
downstairs living room). Would like to hear what others'
experiences have been, especially those with similarly spaced
Soon to be Mom of 2
Yes! I side with your husband on this one. I grew up with my
own room and really wanted that for my kids, but with the space
squeeze freinds and husband convinced me to keep the boy and
girl in the same room and it worked GREAT. In my case, the
older one almost never woke up because of crying (another
concern) and they really enjoyed the feeling of knowing someone
else was in the room. Epiloge: We moved to a bigger house,
they now have their own rooms, and I actually regret that I
didn't put them together again. The older boy misses
the ''company'' and I think it would have been a fine arrangement
My daughter and her baby brother share a room and have pretty
much since birth. (Actually, when he was still waking up at
night we kept his crib in our bedroom.) They LOVE sharing a
room. We have given them both the option for him to move into
the playroom/guest room, and they always choose to keep on
sharing. They play together well and love each other... it's
I have a friend with 7 children who lives in a 3-bedroom
apartment. All the children sleep in one room and study in the
other bedroom. I can't complain about not having enough room
around her! My mom grew up in a family with 8 children and
several adults in a 5-room house. I think it's good for
developing social skills!
You can always move them apart when they're teenagers.
My children are 16 months apart, and I had planned for them to
share a room. Our older child was a wonderful sleeper, and I
(wrongly) assumed our second child would be the same. Once the
baby was born, however, all of our planning went out the window,
because the baby was a noisy and poor sleeper. There was no way
that we could put him in the room with our daughter, so he has
been sleeping in a crib in our room. I guess what I am saying
is, you might want to wait until your baby is born before you
make any hard decisions about this stuff. Every baby is unique,
and if you get a good sleeper who wakes with a gentle quiet cry,
than sharing the room may work. If you get a baby like mine,
though, it won't. Also, I just wanted to comment on the fact
that you are feeling guilty about making your older child
share. I totally understand those feelings, because I had them
as well. The thing is, though, you have no idea how your older
child is going to feel, so it is important that you don't
project those feelings onto her. I found myself doing that the
first few weeks after my baby was born, and it made the
transition much more difficult than it needed to be. Then I
read the following advice: Rather than looking at the baby as
taking away love and attention from your older child, view the
baby as a new person who will also love and give your older
child attention. As soon as you start looking at things in that
way -- that the baby is actually going to enrich your older
child's life and bring more love to your older child -- you'll
have an easier time. Good luck with these changes. They can be
difficult, but they are worth it.
Mother of Two
I have an 8 month old and a 3.10 year old. When baby was 6
months old, i was ready for him to move out of my bed. My
toddler was also inthe bed. And so I asked my toddler if he
would be so kind as to sleep in his bed with the baby in the
crib, bucause baby doesn't want to be alone in the room. He
loved it. He sleeps there and enjoys his bed now. I sleep better
with him out of my bed....baby still makes visits.
But, it brings a bond. I shared a room with my brother when I
was a girl up to age 7 or so...and I lvoed it. anything that can
build special bonds is well worth it.
I plan on having my kids share a room until the older is 8 years
Yes, in my opinion, they should share a room. I have an almost 5
year old and almost 3 year old (both girls) who have been sharing
a room since the younger one moved from bassinet in our room (at
about 2 months; the older one was just over 2 yrs.) to her crib
in their room. We never gave it a second thought (true, they're
both girls...but I'll tell you below why I think it's still a
good thing to share.)
I was scared to death that the baby waking, crying, and wanting
to be fed 3 times a night would wake the older one, who didn't
sleep through the night til she was 18 months! But very
surprisingly, she slept right through the crying and rocking and
nursing back to sleep. I was amazed. Since then, we've bought 2
twin beds (they were in a crib and low futon til this summer),
and tried to squeeze the crib in there too--we're expecting a boy
But it was the sheer size of all the furniture that made us
decide to give up our treasured 3rd bedroom (our rarely used
guestroom, AKA Grandma's Room) for the baby boy. We would have
put all 3 kids in together if the room was big enough. The girls
seem to really enjoy sharing a room--the older one probably has
no memory of having her own room. Yes, they fight and bicker, as
all siblings do, but they also hug, and play together, and love
I think they really enjoy each other's company at night, and one
will not fall asleep easily if the other is not there. They chat
in the evenings and mornings and play in their big-girl beds
during the day...
I always had my own room as a child, and my brother had his, but
I was often scared of the dark, and would lie awake listening for
scary noises. In retrospect, I think I would have enjoyed
sharing a room with him, at least until the pre-teen or teen years.
I say, put them in there together, and if or when #3 comes along,
THEN consider giving your oldest her own room, or put the new
baby in the guestroom. Best of luck with your family of 4,
whatever you decide!
We have a 3 bedroom house, too - and our 2 kids share a
bedroom. They are 26 months apart and our now 4 and 2. We
moved our little one in at about 4 months (after family bed &
bassinette) and it's been great. Even when the baby woke up in
the middle of the night, our older one slept through it. Like
your husband said, I think the kids enjoy the experience and it
freed up our 3rd bedroom. So far there hasn't been an issue
about wanting private space - but we predict that will happen in
a few years, and we'll separate them then. Good luck!
our son and daughter are 22-months apart. they shared a room
early on because we only had a 2-bedroom house. but even after
we moved to our 3 bedroom place a year later, we ended up
keeping them together (after trying separate rooms for a
while). they really liked being together. now that they are 4
and 6, they have their own rooms. the kids tend to adapt to
what they are faced with. your daughter is still young enough
that having a baby shouldn't be traumatic.
mother of 2
Yes, they could share a room, for the next two years or so. However, it would be
very hard on your daughter to have to give up her personal space, even at such a
young age, and it could definatly bring some major sibling resentment.
Also, if you do decide on sharing, you should DEFINATLY put a bassinet in your
you son can sleep through the night completly. It would be completly unfair-not to
mention unhealthy-if your daughter was woken by your sons cries.
In all, I think that if you are thinking about what is best for your children,
should put them in seperate rooms. However, if you feel you really need the study/
guest room space, they will surivive, but be prepared for seperate rooms in a few
I have a 28 month old and a 4 month old. The baby has been
sleeping in a bassinet in our room; however will soon outgrow
it. I would like to move him into the crib that it is in our
older son's room (older son sleeps in a twin bed). Both kids
go to bed sometime between 8 and 9 pm.
How do I coordinate them sleeping in the same room? Do I put
the baby down in our room and then move him later?
I am interested in hearing how other parents with 2/+ kids
sharing a room do it.
Our children are 16 months apart, and have shared a room
since the younger one moved out of our bed at about 5
months. At first, I would put the baby to sleep in our bed,
then get the toddler into her bed, then move the baby to his
crib. Now they both go to bed at around 8pm, and we just
have one big bedtime ritual - shared bath, put on pjs, sing
songs, read 2 books (each kid picks one), then everyone in
We haven't had a huge problem with them waking each
other up at night. The older child knows that she needs to
keep quiet so her brother doesn't wake up. The younger
child sometimes wakes up crying, but I keep a travel crib on
hand that I can move him to if he doesn't go back to sleep
easily, and needs to be moved.
It works, fear not!
another mom of 2
A typical night for us goes like this: Dad gives (1 year old)
baby a bath around 7pm and dresses her in nighties. Mom gives
bottle and reads story to baby in the kid's room while dad gives
bath to toddler; baby is deposited into the crib and mom leaves.
Around 7:45, toddler is dressed in nighties and ready for bed.
Most of the time, baby is asleep by now, but if not, toddler
gets extra long snuggle time. We had our toddler help set up a
special place in the master bedroom for snuggle time(which used
to take place in toddler's bed). After snuggle time, we sneak
quietly into the kid's room and toddler gets tucked in. Toddler
sometimes talks out loud our sings herself to sleep and so far
the baby has slept through it.
Bedtime went well for us. But, night wakings were really hard
(they both woke up ALWAYS), and often the toddler would not go
to sleep after baby's early morning wake up. Toddler became
really cranky after a few months of sharing, so we have
temporarily separated them again. But, i'm ready to try again in
a week or so.....
My boys (3 years age difference) share a room. I can't remember
how old the younger was when we moved him out of the bassinet
and into the crib in his room, but I am sure it was by at most 2
We have always put both boys to bed at the same time. When the
younger was still nursing I would nurse him while my husband
read to our older son. Then they both were put in bed and went
to sleep. Fortunately my older son sleeps like a log, so the
baby waking during the night never disturbed him. Otherwise the
schedule goes something like: brushteeth, pjs, get in bed,
story, song, lights out. Once the baby moved into a toddler bed
we added a second story for him since he wanted to pick a book
just like his brother.
Also, the toddler bed only lasted a few months. One night the
baby decided that he preferred to stay in his brother's bed
after story time to sleep. Now the two share a bed and are
inseparable. I have even found them both sleeping on the floor
because the older decided it would be fun to ''camp out'' and the
baby followed him.
Some nights it does take longer than others for them to get to
sleep. Early on I don't think it was ever related to them
sharing a room... the older one just wasn't sleepy some nights.
Now it is because of sharing. Some nights they giggle too much.
Sometimes they fight a little while first. Usually once one
falls asleep the other does too. Most nights they both fall
My kids, now 2 & 5 have shared a room since no. 2 came along (or
shortly thereafter). I have found it much easier than I thought
it would be. The younger one goes to bed first. Then the oldest
one gets her books read to her in our bed, then is walked into
the room, gets into bed and goes to sleep. The younger one got
used to noise early on and she rarely wakes, especially now that
she's older. and there were times when the older one was making
a lot of noise! when the baby was not sleeping through the
night, and she'd often wake up the older one, I'd get her out of
the crib, sit on the older one's bed and nurse. Then the older
one would fall back asleep, I'd put the baby back and that was
that. The only bad thing is that my youngest is a really early
riser (6 am) and my oldest could sleep/should sleep until 7. So
the youngest usually wakes the oldest because she's still in a
crib and can't just get out and come get us. She has to yell etc
and so wakes her sister up. So that is when I wish they each had
a room. But that will change eventually so I don't worry about it
much. If the oldest wakes up early, she goes to bed early.
My 2 1/2 year old son has had his own room since he was born,
but now we have a new baby sister for him. We don't have an
extra room, so she will have to go into his room (she's 6
months). We have already moved him into a ''big boy bed'' in
preparation, but I am now starting to have second thoughts.
Although he is usually very loving with her, he occasionally
gets way too physical, and has actually bitten and hit her so
hard she cried. Not often, but enough to make me worry about
leaving them in the room together all night long. I have a
monitor, but I am still nervous that he is going to climb into
the crib and hurt her somehow before I can get it to rescue
her. Anyone else had this experience? Any suggestions?
Thoughts? Many thanks!
have you considered a crib tent? i have a friend that uses one
to keep her climber safely in, but it has a zipper and would
clearly be a challenge for the 2.5 year old to gain entry. it
might give you the peace of mind you are looking for.
Have you thought of getting a crib tent for your daughter? They
are designed to keep climbing toddlers inside of the crib, but I
don't see why it wouldn't help keep your son out?
Toddler & Baby Sharing a Room
20-month-old and 6-month-old
We have a 20 month old and a 6 month old and would like them to start
sharing a room. Anyone have advice on making the transition? When one
wakes up doesn't it always wake the other? The older one is too young
to understand the "go back to sleep, honey" thing and just cries when
woken. Then everyone is up... should we wait? Any advice is welcome.
2.9-year-old and a 12-month-old
We have a 2.9 month old boy and a 12 month old boy who
need to share a room. The baby has been in our room
in his crib so far. They both sleep very well but the
baby wakes up a bit earlier than his brother in the
morning and our older one is sleeping less for his
naps, though pretty much at the same time as the baby.
I'd like him to have quiet time in his room ven if he
doesn't want to sleep. How can I intoduce the baby to
the toddler's room without messing up their sleep
needs and making our older son feel like his room has
been invaded? We spend a lot of time during the day
in "his room", sharing toys etc. Should we do this
asap or do we wait??? I've had the boys share once or
twice a week on days when the older one had to get up
for preschool anyway but how do we handle naps? Any
My 3 1/2 year old son and my 14 month old daugher have been sharing a
room for about 8 months. We basically didn't make too big a deal out of
it. About a 2 months before we moved her in, we told him it was going
to happen and made it sound like a great and exciting thing; about 1
month out, we moved the crib in and started having her nap in there. He
in turn got to nap in our bed--we made this a "big honor"! We also
bought each of them a big wooden toy chest and painted them different
colors. His toys go in his toy chest and that has really become his
space--instead of the whole room! When something is "special" and he
doesn't want to share, he can put it in there.
Then once we moved her in--she was at that point only waking at 4 to
nurse--we would put her to bed about 1/2 hour before him and she was
usually asleep when he went down. When she wasn't, it didn't seem to
keep her awake longer having him in there. In general it's worked
well--they seem to take great comfort in having each other around. The
only downside is that I think she would sleep later in the morning if he
didn't wake her up at 7 to play. He'll actually get books, turn on the
light and climb in her crib!...And lately, she's been waking because of
teething and he sleeps right through it! Good luck! Saskia
My kids (now 2 and 4) have shared a room since my younger son was 6 months
old. They both go through periods where they wake up a lot at night
(nightmares, colds, bathroom trips, etc.) and amazingly, 9 times out of 10,
they do not wake each other up. At a very early point, we combined their
bedtime routine and they go to bed together (we have "silly time" post
pajamas, pre-brushing teeth and books, so they get that out of their system
early). After they are tucked in, I stay in their room and sing songs, tell
quiet stories and count to 100 until the younger one is asleep (I know, not
acceptable to the Ferbers out there) and the older one is nearly asleep.
Our younger son still wakes up earlier, and he now knows to call for me
quietly, I come and get him (he's still in his crib) and it usually doesn't
wake up his brother. Of course, when they both wake up it's a complete and
total nightmare, for which I have no advice.
Does anyone have advice about toddler and baby sharing a room? We have
two sons, 3 1/2 and 1. Currently the 3 1/2 year old has his own room and
the baby is in our room. We'd like them to share a room; the room is
large and the toddler says he'd like that (as long as his baby brother is
small and cute--which of course isn't going to be the case forever!).
They get along very well except for very occasional moments of "he grabbed
my toy," but the 3 1/2 year old is definitely not old enough to realize
that he shouldn't throw a blanket over his brother's face or knock him
over etc. That's my hesitation; on the other hand, I know that lots of
kids share a room from very early on. Any advice on handling the
transition and on safeguarding the little one from the big guy (and the
big guy's toys from the little one?)
We moved our second child in with the first when the baby was a few months
old and the older child was 2 years old, and they were both very happy.
Then we moved our third child into the same room when the first was 5, the
second was 3, and the third was a few months old. Again, they were all
happy with the arrangement (until they got a few years older and wanted
During sleep hours, the sharing arrangement worked surprisingly well. The
older children slept through the baby's crying, and they never did anything
objectionable or unsafe to the baby. During the baby's naptimes, I did need
to keep the older kids out of the bedroom. During waking hours, the
children's interaction and my supervision of them were basically the same
as when the baby slept in my room.
I recommend having children share rooms for at least a few of their growing
up years. Speaking as someone with a college roommate who had never shared
a room before, I can tell you that sharing a room as a child builds
valuable social skills for later living with roommates and spouses.
We put my daughter in with her older brother when he was four, and we put
their beds close together because he wanted to hold hands as he fell
asleep! But we also put a gate up so that she couldn't get into the room
on her own, at first. Now she is a toddler, and the gate is rarely up,
but when he wants to play without her, or doesn't want some set up to be
destroyed, the gate goes up. She fusses abit, but all her toys are kept
in the adjoining living room, and so I can usually distract her. Also,
I'll put her in the crib with some toys when I'm in their room with my
son. I think it is good to preserve the older one's space. As a result
(maybe) he doesn't ask for the gate so often.
Also, it is good to stagger bedtimes, but sometimes they enjoy falling
asleep together, giggling and playing for awhile, then settling down.
A couple of times we've had to separate them to get her asleep. They both
end up in our bed by the time the night is over, but I think sleeping near
each other, and playing together like that at bed time, is a great thing.
Baby and 4-year-old Sharing a Room
Any more advice and strategies about young children sharing a room? (I
read and enjoyed the few postings on the website). We are planning our
second, but we only have two bedrooms (they'll be 3 or 4 years apart.)
How does one deal wtih practical matters (keeping chokable toys away
from the little one, dealing with nighttime sleep and naps), and emotional
issues (won't the older one feel like the new one is invading his
space?) At what age is it better to give each his or her own room? (Does
I recommend that the older child have a bunk-style bed (at chest level).
The Kids' Room, Berkeley (841-5068), has these for a decent price. Pottery
Barn sells a set of cloth pouches that hook over the end of the bed with
velcro for $29. The older child can keep all the small mouth-size toys on
her bunk. As for helping the older child feel a part of bringing the new
child into her room: devise some projects in which she can participate like
shopping for baby clothes, furnishings, toys, making a quilt, drawing special
pictures for the wall, and so on. Using a clothesline and sheet if the room
is large enough, the older child could have some privacy (and light) while
the other child is sleeping. Our 5-year old is getting used to the
idea of playing quietly while his dad rests so it could work pretty
well, assuming sound sleepers on both sides of the sheet!
this page was last updated: Oct 29, 2012
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network