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Co-sleeping siblings: did it work for you?

We are a two-child household and both of our kids have shared a room since the little one moved out of our bed at around 8 or 9 months of age.  It wasn't an easy transition, necessarily, with one child sleeping before the other, then with frequent middle-of-the-night awakenings.  Still, we love that they share a room, even if we do have a third room we could've used for another kid's room.  The sweetness of hearing the two (now aged 5 and 8) chat before going to bed or after just waking up is precious, as is the lessons of learning to get along in a pretty small living space.  An urbanMama wants to hear about your experiences in transitioning two siblings to sleep together:

I was wondering if I could ask for advice from the urbanMamas community about moving my 4 year old daughter and 2 year old son in to the same room, possibly into the same queen sized bed that my daughter has slept in since she was born.  I was thinking about adding a twin bed to the room, so they could sleep together (since they are big snugglers) or apart depending on their mood.  Plus a parent could sleep comfortably with them during the transition.  Right now my 4 year old daughter is in her room, and I’m with her (trying to night-wean my son) and my husband is in our king sized bed with our 2 year old son.  So we’ve started a transition of some sort, but are at a stand still about the next step.
 
Neither are great sleepers, but I think we could all adjust to it....maybe.  I’d at least like to try it.  Getting them to fall asleep would be the tricky part, esp. if they are so tired they are trying to hit/kick each other or don’t want to share the parent or bed.  Right now, we stay with them individually until they fall asleep (too traumatic for all involved to do otherwise).  We do have 3 bedrooms, but I hate to give up the computer room that also lets them watch the occasional dvd, an area for them to color, I can call about bills late at night or grocery shop on-line, plus it is the only room in the house with decent daylight where we can hang out.  My husband wants to move them each into their own room, but I feel like my sanity is at stake, since the computer room is crucial to my connections outside of the house, late at night when everyone else is asleep.  Has anyone else been in a similar situation?  Did you decide to have siblings share a room?  Did you decide to give them each their own?  Any advice would be most welcome! 

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No advice as a parent, but as a sibling -- I myself shared a room with my brother until we were...I'm thinking 7? Somewhere around there. If we had both been girls (or boys) I'm sure we would have shared a room until we moved out! We loved room-sharing!

Our 5 and 8 year old boys have been sharing a room since the younger was around 2 1/2. We have two large bedrooms and a very small one so it made sense to keep the small one for something else and have them share a room. I love that they share a room and they seem to enjoy it as well. However, the transition was quite rough. They had a hard time quieting down enough to fall asleep. They loved talking to each other. We kept a bed in the smaller room so if it wasn't working, we could move one of them back in there. This went on for almost a year, back and forth, but it still seems worth it. They were in their own twin beds- I think sharing a bed would be harder, depending on the kid. The only other drawback to one bed is that if you have a wet bed that needs to be changed in the middle of the night- harder to do with both kids in there. Also, our boys recently moved their twin beds together to make a king size bed and shortly after, one of them caught the stomach flu and threw up in the middle of the night- fortunately it was away from his brother, but it could have been pretty nasty if his head had been pointed the other way.

I have a 5-year old girl and 3-year old boy who have shared a bedroom since they were 3 and 1. We also have an additional room, so could have separated them, but chose not to. Both enjoy sharing a room and having someone to snuggle/chat with at night, and for our family, it also simplified the bedtime routine (plus we also use our third bedroom as an office/playroom.) We have two twin beds in their bedroom, so they each have their own, but they frequently choose to cosleep in one or the other.

For the most part, it has been really positive. Yes, they chatter (and occasionally goof around or bicker) before falling asleep, but we began the room-sharing/cosleeping expecting this - I think it comes with the territory. My biggest initial worry was about one's night wakings disturbing the other, but amazingly, they seem to have gotten used to each other's noise, and each will sleep right through. I should mention that the youngest has always been a good sleeper - we struggled with a lot of sleep issues with our oldest, and have seen a huge difference in her comfort with sleeping independently (without a parent) since she's been sharing a room with her brother.

The only real negative I've run into is when one is sick, and we're trying to minimize the other's exposure, it can be a challenge. With most viruses they'll both be exposed, anyhow, but for example, we've dealt with pinkeye a couple of times this year, and that's one where cosleeping is almost certain to infect the other child - ugh! It's manageable, but requires a game of musical beds.

Overall, room-sharing/cosleeping siblings has been a great fit for our kids and our family, and I don't anticipate separating them anytime soon. Good luck with your own decision and transition!

Our 2.5 y.o. boy and 5.5 y.o. girl have been sharing a room for about 9 months. We started with the older one in a twin bed, and the younger one on a crib mattress on the floor, then we transitioned into bunk beds. After about 2 wks we separated the bunk beds into two twin beds since the older one still wasn't ready to sleep up high. They still share a room and they love it and we love it. In some ways, bedtime is harder, like when the younger one is wound up and isn't ready to settle down to read. Our older one ends up in her bed reading to herself, so she probably doesn't get the attention she needs at bedtime. But, bedtime is overwhelmingly easier overall having them share a room. It lets one parent handle bedtime. Our kids love sharing a room and we plan to stay with it as long as we can.

Two of my three boys share a room, as they have since the younger stopped sleeping in my bed (they were about 1 and 3, and are now 4 and 6). (The third is still a baby and sleeping in my room/bed.)

We currently have bunk beds (they love them, I hate them--so hard to change sheets), but have also done the 2 twin bed thing. For me, I think room-sharing builds a closer relationship between siblings, etc., etc., so it's not a space thing for us, but rather a chance for them to learn how to respect each others space/property/feelings.

That being said, a bedtime routine is key. Like Blair mentioned, one parent could handle bedtime, but we still do the two-parent thing (mainly to avoid the problem of the older feeling a lack of attention). For us, this means pajamas at 6:30, brush teeth, 2 stories in bed (or more if there's time), lights out around 7:30 and then we cuddle them until they fall asleep. We tend to avoid a situation where one is wound up and the other is not by starting the routine so much before lights out. (This got significantly easier once the younger one stopped napping.) Sometimes, though, one will crash earlier than the other. In which case, the awake one gets stories in the living room, instead of bed.

I often wake up and find that one of the boys had climbed into bed in the middle of the night. Sometimes they want to start out with a "sleep-over." I've thought about having them permanently share one bed (like I said, I loathe the bunk beds), but ultimately I feel that they are sharing a small enough space as it is, and they deserve a little spot of their own in their room. Plus, one loves to sleep with millions of stuffed animals, and the other is more of a minimalist, so it's not an issue I need to force.

Our two boys (4 and 6) have shared a room since the younger was weaned at 18 months. It has worked so well that we've joked about having our 18 month old daughter share a room with her brothers just to get her to stop co-sleeping. They are in their own beds and they share a bedtime routine which, as was mentioned previously, is helpful. One gets up quite a bit earlier than the other, but he leaves the room quietly and it hasn't been a problem.

Our two girls (ages 3 and almost 5) share a room and we cannot imagine anything better! Our house is small and we have a 3 month old who currently sleeps in the kitchen (he loves the sound of the dishwasher). We happen to be moving so my husband could start a graduate program but if we weren't, our three kids would have no choice but to share a room. I remember sharing a room with my sister and brother and loved it. Does anyone have three kids in a room together? What about when one is in kindergarten and the other one (or two) is not? The benefits they get from sharing space and learning to live with smaller spaces/less things has been so great. If we had a mansion we would still only use two rooms.

Our two daughters (2 & 6) have shared a room since the little one was a year old. We used to have absolutely no issues at all as the younger one would go to bed a full hour earlier than the older one, thus no problem with one of them keeping the other one awake. It was great. As our younger daughter gets older, however, and needs less sleep, we are having problems at bedtime. Take last night for example. The little one (who is still in a crib) talked the big one into going to get Daddy. It was the third time the big one had gotten up, however, so she was sent back to her bed. That led to the little one yelling, at the top of her lungs - "Go Get Daddy!! I SAID, Go Get Daddy!!!!" and the big one yelling back "He told me I can't get up again, so I CAN'T go get Daddy!" Oh joy. Daylight savings time definitely hasn't helped the situation. Room sharing is hard right now, and I am sometimes tempted to move our older daughter into our third bedroom. But, I am trying to hold out for the days when they will talk together in the morning and chatter a little as they fall asleep at night. Perhaps when the little one is in a bed of her own and won't feel quite as much need to order the older one around. But then that will probably just mean that she is coming to our room on her own - not an ideal solution either.

Begrudgingly, i am giving up my sewing/soapmaking/craft room to make room for the new baby. It is in the basement, so we will turn it in to a toy room, since my daughters room isn't big enough to house two kids AND toys. I am a bit upset about it, since this room is the only room in the house that is my own.

Maybe we should get rid of the toys instead!!

Our 18 mo old son and 4.5 yo daughter have shared a room for the past 4.5 months, since he moved out of our room. She's in her own bed, he's in his crib. For the most part it has worked out well. They generally go to sleep fine, are on the same bedtime routine (pjs and stories together, then girl into bed while boy gets one more story and cup of milk in the rocking chair, then songs to both) and I think that will get easier as they get older and are more interested in the same books, as the toddler becomes able to sit still for more than 3 seconds.

The one downside for us is that the little one often wakes up the older one too early. They don't disturb each other in the middle of the night if one wakes up, but after around 5am they are apparently sleeping too lightly to sleep through the other's noise. The older one definitely goes through times of not getting enough sleep and consequently being grumpy, tired; I'm sure it doesn't help with all the colds we've had this winter. We keep hoping that at some point (soon?!) either the babe will learn to sleep a little later or the girl will learn to sleep through his early morning noise. We don't rush in and pull him out of the room at first noise because we don't want to encourage his early waking.

If we had another bedroom easily available then we would probably separate them in the interest of more sleep for our daughter, but it would require giving up our (often used) guest room and someone moving to a different floor, so we have no plans to do so. I do think they are comforted by sleeping together and I like the thought of sibling bonding and learning to coexist in the same space. They seem to like it, too, except when the older one complains about being woken up.

One last tip that has made the sitation a bit easier for us: our daughter has what she calls a "nest" on the floor in our room--a blanket and pillow--that she can sleep in when necessary (if one child is keeping the other from falling asleep, or if her brother wakes her up really early and she wants to try to go back to sleep in a quiet spot). She doesn't use it often but it has been very handy a few times.

One more tip...having a rather loud white noise machine can muffle some of the early morning noises that can wake the still-sleeping sibling. In our case it's a rather loud air purifier. Best placed right by the head of the child that sleeps later.

Our boys are seven months apart. They have shared a room since the younger was three months old. They get along great and sleep well- always have. The most fun is hearing a two and a half year old and a nearly two year old talking together in the mornings. It makes me wish we had one of those video monitors.

I am glad to read people's positive experiences with this. I will have twins soon, and after their infancy (we have been warned to have separate spaces available for when one is sleeping and the other is screaming) we plan to have them share a room.

My girls, 1 & 3, share a room right now and I can't stand it. The big issue is them waking each other up in the middle of the night and on weekend mornings. My youngest wakes my oldest in the middle of the night and my oldest wakes my youngest on weekend mornings. And when my oldest wakes up in the morning, she's up for good even if it's 5:30. Things have been especially difficult during the last couple of months during cold and flu season. But we do hold out hope that they will be able to share a room successfully when they're older. We will be moving to a 4 bedroom house soon and will put them in separate rooms, but hopefully when my youngest is regularly sleeping through the night we can put them back together. They should also be old enough by that point to wake up on a weekend morning a play quietly while we sleep a little longer!

We have two in one room and one in another right now...but growing up, we were three to a room! (6 kids, 3 girls, 3 boys) I think it's good to share, and good for humans to learn not to take up so much space.

i have 2 dsughters 1 and 3 and i CANNOT get them to sleep at night as they are at opposite ends of the room and if im reading one a story the other one gets up and i find myself running up and down the room they just never seem tired so i end up puttin them in the car where they immediately drop off then carry them to bed. I cannot put them 2 bed at different times as the babies so clingy and they wake each other up. HELP

Has anybody had this problem? My 8 month old is sick with an earache and my 2yr might not take likely to interruptions and we're new to room sharing. What should we do?

My 2 and 6 year old daughters are sharing my older daughters room very well and I love it. The littler one was using the lower bunk in her room for quite awhile and then a few months ago they asked to sleep together and we haven't looked back. My husband is always threatening to separate them because of their chattering together before falling asleep, but that won't happen. We have a 5 month old who will be moving out of our room into one of the bedrooms, so the girls will be in a bedroom together anyway. I love hearing them talking together in the morning, too.

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