My kids share a room. Many families have no choice in the matter, but we have three bedrooms. And yet we chose to have our children sleep in the same room. Lots of you may think I am crazy. Why risk having one kid wake another during the night? What if the kids have different schedules? Won’t they keep each other awake at bedtime?
I started thinking about our rooming situation almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant a second time. Things were so great with our daughter in her own room. We had kept our third little bedroom as a guest room for visiting grandparents and friends. Could we really give that up? Plus, how on earth would we put an up-every-few-hours baby in with our sleep-through-the-night toddler? The logistics were mind boggling.
Acting on the advice of my wise friend (and mother of four!), we decided to have our kids share a room. Her kids share a room and have since they were babies. She assured me that the benefits would outweigh the risks. And we have found that to be true.
Here are a few of the benefits we have experienced:
Extra room! Our extra bedroom now has a daybed for guests and ALL the kids’ toys and books.
Bedroom oasis. We keep the bedroom a calm, quiet place for sleeping. With all their noisy toys confined to the playroom, their bedroom now just has their beds, stuffed animals, and some bedtime reading.
Company and comfort. The kids keep each other company and comfort each other during the night. It’s so heartwarming to hear my daughter ask where her little brother is if he happens to wake up before her. And when my son wakes during the night, he is comforted just seeing his sister sleeping in her bed.
Assisted learning. The kids “help” each other stay in bed. Our older child helped teach the little guy that he has to stay in his bed until their alarm clock turns green. And now even the little guy will remind his big sis if she isn’t following the rules.
Easier travel. Most siblings have to share a room when the family travels. My kids are already used to sharing a room, so it’s that much easier and more familiar when we are in a new place.
Better sleepers. My kids have gotten used to little noises during the night. They learn to soothe themselves back to sleep regularly. I feel like they will be well-prepared for future overnight camp bunks or way down the road college dorm rooms!
Do your kids share a room? Tell us your story and let me know if you have found any other benefits.
I know that there can be bumps in the road when introducing a new baby into a young child’s bedroom. In my next blog, I’ll share my tips for how to execute that transition.