Should baby and toddler share a room?

gaonmymindJuly 24, 2012

I have an 18 month old and a 7 week old, both girls. My house is very large and there is enough space for them to have their own rooms, but I have started to think that sharing would be a good idea. Since they are so close in age I also thought it would be fun for them.

I wouldn't put the baby in the room until she was 1. Our house won't be ready until January so she will be 8 months by then. We would move her in there around June. Anyone do this even though you had a enough rooms for each kid to have their own? Any sleep issues with toddlers sharing? Or should I just give them their own rooms from the start?

They would share one of these rooms. I am 50/50 about it.

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They could, but I don't think I would have them share. There's a big difference between 2 1/2 and a 1 year old. As they get older, they might want to share and make the other room a playroom or 'princess toy room' and have one room for the beds and one room for playing.

The sleep schedules will be different, too...and the older girl will probably have toys on the floor that you won't want to step on/trip over, as you come in to check on the baby.

Again, just me...but I think having them separate now...and then maybe sharing a room when they're 4 and 5 1/2, might be a lot more fun. When they get older, they can have their own rooms again. Hope that helps :)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 7:12PM
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I don't think out have them share at that age either as I'd want to get the most sleep I'd want out of them. Naps and night time. But I guessbit depends on the kids personalities too and if they will sleep through anything or egg each other on to play instead of going to bed or nap. Likely you'll have a different nap schedule too around the time frame you are talking. The youngest will likely still have two naps and the oldest will do an after lunch nap. Until they are fully on the same schedule I wouldn't want to do it.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 10:17PM
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I have the same gap (both girls) my oldest is 2.5 and youngest is 11 months. Our routine now is that we do dinner at 6:15, bath at 6:45 (both in tub) and then little one goes down at 7:15 or so and big one stays up till 8. The little one goes to bed very easily but wakes up at the slightest noise until she is fully asleep. She is in her own room and has white noise going all night long. My oldest talks and plays in her bed for about an hour before actually going to sleep. I would never have them share right now because I like knowing when little is in bed, nothing is going to wake her up and when big goes to bed, she is not going to wake anyone up. My husband works 48 hour shifts and I like to be DONE by the time they are in bed- no more interruptions! I need a break! Both girls sleep 12 plus hours a night and I can count on one hand number of times either has woken up unless they were really sick between the hours of 7-7. So I have super sleepers and would still not put them together. When they are older and friends, if they choose to share, we will let them.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:03PM
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I grew up sharing a room for a short time as the 2nd room was a playroom. I remember moving in and picking out all new items as my sister did but, no new room so I think she felt shorted. The original plan was to move rooms and decor every few years but at 21 when I moved out of my home my bedroom was still the same place since I was 8. I can remember some monumental fights (think masking tape down the middle of the room) and some sick nights and my sister would always slip into my bed during a storm-on a different layer of sheets, yes we're both girls) The playroom was great fun but so was getting a new room. I sleep with my 4 year old now as my husband doesn't want them sharing (girl 7 boy just turned 4) and I think my son will walk off in the middle of the night or my daughter will wake up and I'd never hear her upstairs. If you decide to go the sharing route I would have a guest/daybed for the sick or healthy one to go when either has a rough night available.

Good luck with your decision.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:43PM
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"Since they are so close in age I also thought it would be fun for them."

Fun in what way, at those ages?

I agree with the others that they are better off split until older.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:03AM
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Well I think I have a winner! lol Splitting them seems like the best idea. I thought it would be fun because my one yr old has really loved being around other kids. She plays with 2 and 3 yr olds at the playground and church. She is obsessed with the baby too. Calls her name constantly, kisses her all day long, and rocks her in the bouncy. I could go on...

But it seems the less stress route for me would be keeping them separate for awhile.

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:42AM
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My 10 yr old twin sons share a room, because we only have 3 bedrooms on the main level and I want to keep a room on this level for my elderly mom to visit.

We have two large bedrooms in our lower level (aka basement) but my boys are not ready for that. My boys fight like boxers and stress me to the max, but at other times crave the togetherness. One is a slob and the other is a neat freak. Another source of friction.

Our next house will have a bedroom for each on a second story, but I will put twin beds in each room so that they will each have their own room but can sleep together every night if they wish.

I would suggest you give your girls their own room, and put twin beds in each room. Then they can do the same thing. Before you know it, you will be hosting sleepovers constantly anyway :-)

Enjoy every minute.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:35AM
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Obviously I mean twin beds when they reach that point. I realize right now that they are tiny :-)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:38AM
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We tried and failed miserably...

When my son was 15 months I had twin girls so all three are around the same age. We tried bunking the girls together and it was fine until they reached about two years old and then they were CONSTANTLY waking each other up, their noise would wake my son up, they couldn't get to sleep due to shenanigans. Forget naps. Blech. I put sleep above ALL ELSE and actually moved one of the girls into my walk-in closet, if you can imagine! :)

I wouldn't bunk them together if it wasn't necessary. I would also be concerned that the older girl would try to "help" with the baby at night and that would make me nervous.

Just my .02

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:13PM
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Yeah she tries to "help" now. It's great when baby makes "doo" and she brings me a "diap". But she has just today tried to pick her up out her bouncy and stuff the paci in her mouth. So I will be splitting them

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:48PM
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LOL gaonmymind!! I'm so glad we are out of diapers cause getting a doo in the diap is just too much! :D I think you'll be happy with your decision!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Well, I'll be the lone dissenter here :-)

I come from a big family and I have a big family. I shared a room and my kids have shared a room sometimes out of necessity, sometimes by choice. But, having said that I think you should do what feel right to you.
Right now, I have two boys - 6-1/2 and 8 who have shared a room since the youngest was 1-1/2 ( when I had another baby who was going to take his place in my room). They love sharing a room, they actually share a bed even though there's two beds in their room.

I really think from past experiences that sharing a room makes them better friends. Although I expect, again based on experience, that there will come a time when they won't want to anymore. I also think if you don't do it when they're young, you won't when they're a bit older. I never really thought they disrupted each other's sleep when they were little or now. Just my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:20PM
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Beth Parsons

I think you'll be happy with your decision to put them in separate rooms, especially since your oldest is right on the cusp of entering the 'Terrible Two's.' You are really going to want her to have her own space away from the baby during a tantrum!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:57PM
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While I do think it's easier to separate them when they're so young (and probably again, when they get older) it would be fun to share at about this age...and have a great playroom, too! :) From Pink kitchen

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:53PM
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I have three bad sleepers- ages 3.5, 1.5,and 6 months. In our current house they wake each other up just hearing one another through the walls. No way would I ever consider having them share a room! Lol.

However, we do have that same desire to encourage a close bond. We will be getting our oldest son a twin over full bunk bed in our new house- one with an easily removable ladder in case there's too much rowdiness. This way all three kids could sleep in one room if they ever want to, but each kid will still have their own space as well.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 6:58AM
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momo7 thanks for your perspective...I was thinking along the lines as you. I will see what happens as they get older

Lavendar - soooo cute. Those girls look around 2 and 3

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:49PM
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It's all about naptime and sleep. Do what works and if it doesn't change it.

Interestingly, when my oldest (a boy) came home from college, my daughter would go in the (two)boy's room and sleep on the floor so they could visit and unwind and settle in together in the bedroom. It was really sweet to see that bond they had together. (Six years separated oldest and youngest; dtr in middle.)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:47PM
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Interestingly my 18 month old refuses to take a nap but goes to bed at 4:30pm and doesn't wake up until 7:30am. It's amazing! Doc said that is just her schedule so let her be. I hope to get the baby on a similar schedule but that may be pushing it.

But I fear her disturbing the older one at night. So I am going to make life easy.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:31PM
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Ga--my nieces 14 mo old son is doing something similar. Short nap, then down at 5:30pm and not up until 7am. Lucky you (and her :-)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 12:15AM
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Ha! Now I am upset because someone else has my bragging!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 12:41AM
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People don't realize just how much sleep kids need... you are doing it right, gaonmymind! People used to give me cr*p about my kids' nap time and 5:30-6:00 bedtime schedule but being well rested makes for calm kids!

My son is 7 now and the twins are 6 and they STILL go to bed by 6:30 and sleep until around 7:15. It makes after school stuff difficult but they OBVIOUSLY want/need to sleep so for now, it's still the priority for us.

Good for you for bucking the "late-night" trend!!!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 11:46AM
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Dutty --twins, me too. When mine were little, my motto was protect the schedule at all cost--and I did. I didn't care who criticized me. Saved my sanity.

My bible was "healthy sleep habits, happy child". Forgot the author.

Sorry for the ot post.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 4:09PM
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I also am in favor of young siblings sharing a room. Maybe my two were just good sleepers. D was about 3 when S was born. Our of necessity they shared a room for three years. S was about 3-4 months old when he moved into the room (and mostly sleeping through the night). Both became very sound sleepers. D went to bed about 7 at that time and S was generally ready to go down about the same time.

I think those early years together, sharing a room, helped build a special bond between them. I still fondly remember listening to the two of them talking to each other in the morning. Even when we moved, and they finally had their own rooms, they often slept in the same room, with one on the floor. Just recently, as young adults, they spent a month traveling together.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 2:23PM
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This is what I was hoping to get out of the sharing experience since those early years are so critical to social development and bonding. I think I am going to set it up so they can share if the routines are good, but make sure there is a separate space in case it gets hectic. So they will technically have their own rooms, but I will try to place them in the same room if they seem to get their schedules in sync by that time.

red_lover and dutty seems live we have the same parenting philosophy when it comes to routine. I was criticized as well, but it makes us all MUCH happier.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 4:59PM
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To give another perspective... I never shared a room with my two siblings, but we spent every waking moment together. We went on the same adventures, played with the same toys and had the same crazy family members. That is where our bond formed that is unshakeable to this day. I can't imagine sleeping in the same room would have made that bond closer. (Instead, I think it would have created a lot of arguments... but I can't say for sure!)

Anyway, I don't want the OP to think having them in different rooms means they won't bond.... They will still share their childhood, their memories, their family, their experiences.......

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 5:00PM
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