Baby Sharing a Room with Sibling

Parent Q&A

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  • Sleep training while room sharing

    (5 replies)

    We have two children, ages 3 years and 6 months, and live in a typical Berkeley home with two small bedrooms. Our goal is for both kids to be sleeping through the night in the same room. Right now the baby is sleeping in a crib in our room and the toddler is sleeping great in his own room. The baby still wakes up several times a night to eat, but our pediatrician gave us the green light to sleep train since he is very healthy and doesn't require middle of the night feedings. We used the ferber method to sleep train our toddler and it worked well so we're planning to try the same method with this baby. I have two questions: 1) How have other families sleep trained babies using a CIO method when room sharing and with a toddler in the house? 2) How have other families gotten a toddler and a baby to sleep in the same room? Our toddler is a good sleeper and I'm afraid of the baby waking him up at night.

    Hi! We were in the same position as you, and what we ended up doing was bringing the toddler into our room (a little floor bed w/ his toddler mattress in the corner worked great) while we sleep-trained his little brother in a crib in the other room. We took longer than necessary to move big brother back into their shared room (once everyone was sleeping through the night) but that's sort of on us (and him - he loved being our "roomie"). Good luck!

    We moved our toddler into our room for a couple of night. and the baby into the kids’ room. That got us through CIO pretty easily. Once they were sharing a room, the little one would still wake up in the middle of the night on occasion, but the toddler would sleep through it. 

    We had the same issue with our small 2-bedroom house, and ended up moving the baby out to a corner of the living room while we worked on sleep training. It meant that after the baby went to bed we hung out with toddler in their bedroom, and then adults in our bedroom, but it was only 10 days or so until we were certain the baby was comfortable sleeping through the night. Moving the baby into the toddler room was a breeze, because both were solidly sleeping through the night. For awhile the baby went to bed earlier, then they both switched to having a similar bedtime (but we only have a two year age gap).

    Also (unsoclicitated advice, sorry!) I really like the modified Ferber method described in The Sleepeasy Solution - in particular, the book describes a good method to uncouple middle of the night feedings (which can linger for awhile) with "sleep training" (which is typically considered babies learning how to self-soothe and go to sleep on their own without aids. Just another resource in case it's helpful!

    We have a 12 month old and an almost 3 year old. They both sleep through the night if they are in separate rooms so we (the parents) sleep in the living room. If they sleep together, they wake each other up. Usually the younger one makes a peep and then the older one starts yelling. We've been trying to get them to sleep together for 4+ months. It was successful maybe 3 out of 45 attempts. Hopefully you'll have better luck.

    We just went through this last year with our then 5 month old and 3 yr old. Toddler stayed in her room as my husband was worried about moving her out and messing up her routine since she sleeps on her own well and can be very particular about things - her pillow, blanket, etc (didn’t want to have to retrain her again)
    We used our room where baby already slept in a pack and play next to our bed, and did the Feber method over one weekend. One parent took turns checking in on the baby while the other put the toddler to bed in her room, and then we would hang out in the living room till baby was deep in sleep before we could have our room back. We started sleep training on a Friday night and by Monday she was able to soothe herself to sleep. Even though she could put herself to sleep, she would still wake up once around 4:30/5am to feed then go back to sleep so she continued to sleep in the crib in our room until about 7-8 months when she started sleeping till 6am. At that point, we moved her into the room with the 3 yr old and I was always on alert to get her out of the room once she woke up at 6 before crying got too loud (thanks to setting my alarm and babycam stalking). That way she didn’t wake toddler who typically sleeps till 7am and can be a light sleeper. 
    Now they are 1 and 3.5 and both wake up around the same time and the toddler entertains the baby when they wake up  

    For bedtime, the. baby goes down first around 7:30pm. Toddler does her own routine - reading and storytelling in our bedroom and then we walk quietly using a phone night light to get her to her bed. She knows to stay quiet so she doesn’t wake the baby up but occasionally she sings to herself in a low voice as she falls asleep, and the baby is yet to wake up!

  • Co-rooming with 4 year old and newborn?

    (3 replies)

    I would love to see what other parents have done in this situation (even though it's still theoretical for our family at this point).  I am due with my second child in about a month and my daughter will be almost 4 at that time.  Our current sleeping arrangement is that she sleeps in a toddler bed next to our bed.  This suits our family great as we love being together but I was never able to co-bed successfully and get much personal comfort or sleep.  When our new baby arrives we plan to have him in a small in-bed co-sleeper at least for the first few months.  We keep a noise machine on throughout the night in the bedroom but I am concerned for my daughter's sleep quality with the baby waking up multiple times.  We have talked about my husband and daughter sleeping in a different room but that would be a last resort for us.  A couple of months ago we tried to transition her to her own bedroom but felt that we didn't want to pressure her or make it a traumatic thing (I have terrible sleep issues from my own childhood and a lot of fearful experiences surrounding bedtime).  She would start in her room and stay about 10-15 minutes max and then say she was ready to come sleep in our room and that she "will be ready to sleep in my own room when I'm 5 years old."  We didn't force the issue and are fine with her in our room.    Without knowing anything about this new baby's sleeping habits until he arrives, is there anything I can do to prep for this?  Has anyone successfully co-roomed with a preschool-aged child and newborn without the older child's sleep suffering?  I would say she's a moderately heavy sleeper.  She doesn't wake up if my husband and I are talking in a normal voice (again, we do have a noise machine on near her bed) or normal noises around the room with us up and down at different times and through the night.  I know every family/parent/child is different and we all have to find what suits us best.  Just looking for some thoughts from people who have navigated this new transition before.  Thank you!

    My advice is to wait and see what happens.  We had a 2.5yo who I thought we'd never get out of the family bed, but the day we brought his (noisy!) baby brother home from the hospital, the 2.5yo announced he was ready for his own room and never looked back. Since she has her own room ready, you have options - just be flexible and try not to sweat it and my bet is it will work itself out.

    I think you have a good, flexible attitude about it and things are likely to work out just fine.  There's no reason to upset your daughter by forcing a different bed arrangement before you even know whether everyone being in the same room is a problem, and from your description there's no reason to think it will be a problem.  After all, plenty of families with a new baby all share one bed, let alone one room, and everyone sleeps very well that way.  And if it DOES turn out to be a problem, you'll know what KIND of problem and can work out an appropriate solution. 

    My elder child was about 3 1/2 when my younger child was born.  I'd been a little concerned about how the sleeping arrangements would work out, because although the 3yo did ordinarily go to sleep in his own room, he routinely got up during the wee hours of the night and joined me & his dad in our bed (a routine which suited all of us perfectly well).  But ultimately it all worked out fine without my having to really do anything special!  I put a bassinet next to my side of the bed for the baby, though I had no firm plans about how much it would be used - I do just fine with baby in bed with me, so it was mostly going to depend on the baby. After baby was born, it turned out that the 3yo would, when he came to our bed during the night, finding the bassinet in front of him, automatically check for baby's presence (and several times when he didn't see her right away, he woke me to ask where she was! I never instructed him to do that, he just did it).  If she was in the bassinet, he'd climb in right next to me in the bed.  If she was next to me in the bed, he'd lie down at the foot of the bed, well away from baby. This went on until the baby was old enough that I was no longer concerned about her safety with her brother in the bed, and neither child's movements or noises ever seemed to disturb the other. Over the next couple of years, with no particular encouragement from us, the older child made a gradual transition to sleeping in his own room all night, just as the baby gradually began starting the night in her own bed next to mine and then in a different bedroom.  I now can't really even remember exactly how old either of them was the last time I woke up in the morning to find a kid in my bed.  You're of course right that every family/parent/child is different and you'll figure out what suits your own family best.  Go with the flow is the best plan IMO.  :)

    Our 3.5 year old and newborn shared their room (not ours) from the first night the baby came home.  Our eldest child is a relatively heavy sleeper and almost never stirred with the baby crying.  Newborn cries are relatively quiet so it will probably be fine.  They have shared a room for almost a year now and I think the older kid has been woken up by the baby maybe 4 or 5 times.  

    I think the best approach is to not disrupt the current sleeping situation too much before or after the baby arrives as it is just another reminder of all the "change". If you displace the elder child but keep the baby in your room I fear that will be upsetting to the older child.  But if  you do need to make a change in the sleeping arrangements, it is not the end of the world.  Kids adapt.  :)      

  • We are expecting a baby in October and we live in a 2/1 craftsman. We're 
    looking for advice from other families about sleeping arrangements with 
    a 4.5 year old son. Right now, our son is sleeping quite well in his 
    crib (converted to a toddler bed) and we are next door in our own 
    bedroom. We do not intend to co-sleep and have been considering placing 
    the newborn in our son's room because it is still set up for a baby 
    (crib, changing table, glider for nursing) and then placing our son in 
    the family room. Other than the bedrooms, the house has an open-floor 
    plan so the family room connects to the kitchen but we can put up 
    blackout curtains to divide the room. This would also insulate the room 
    so our son could stay toasty and we can even turn on the central heating 
    to make sure he sleeps comfortably.

    We have a few questions about this arrangement, such as ''Are we crazy 
    to change our son's sleeping arrangement since he's doing well?'', 
    ''When can we put the two kids in a room together?'' and ''Will it be OK 
    if we just put down a mattress for our son in his play room?''

    We had considered putting the baby in our bedroom but it's just too tiny 
    in there to add the nursing and changing component. We wouldn't likely 
    put the heat on in the rest of the house so it would be tricky to nurse 
    and change in another room, but certainly that is an option. Please 
    share your experiences, advice, and pearls of wisdom. We know that most 
    families don't have a bedroom for each child so certainly there is lots 
    of experience out there!

    Your son is probably (hopefully!) old enough to transition easily to another room now -- that sounds like a good plan to put him in the family room or put down a mattress. It'll feel like camping to him! When my son was 1 and daughter was 4 we put them in together, but we could have done it sooner - basically as soon as we finished sleep training!  They've just now separated at 5 & 8. 

    Re heat, we've found the oil-filled radiators work great as space heaters in the kids' rooms so we don't have to blast the (extremely drying) central heat all over the house all night long.

    First and foremost, every family has different sleeping arrangements and that is fine. Whichever way everyone gets the most sleep is the way to go! And what works with a newborn may not necessarily work with an older infant, so my advice to be flexible and make changes if necessary. Since you already have a kid, you've been through this before, but remember that every kid is different. My first kid co-slept with us and was a horrible sleeper until we finally figured out he needed his own room; the second one is a night owl and would quietly mumble to herself until she fell asleep. They are 2 years apart. The older one had his own room; baby slept in our room in her crib; we moved her into his room when she was about 9 months old. We would put the older one to bed first, then put her to bed a few hours later (just the way the sleep cycle worked). A few months later (they were 3 1/2 and 1 1/2) we moved to a new house and put them both together in one room with a twin and a toddler bed (we also had space issues).

    One thing you might consider is putting the baby in the family room, or even in the hallway temporarily until you get a better handle on how the sleep stuff is working out. After the baby is born, everyone's sleep is messed up, including the older kid, but then once things settle down you'll have a better idea of how the new baby fits into your family and then you can decide when to put the baby in with the older one. 

    Hope this helps!

    I wonder if being moved out of his room would compound any jealousy or sense of disruption your son might feel. Would having a space that's his help him feel some sense of control?

    For now, we have our baby in our (tiny) room (there are some great mini cribs), and we put the rocker and changing table in the living room.

    Re: heat, if you would turn on the central heat for your son, could you turn it on to keep the glider and changing area warm? That said, between the hot baby, thick socks, and a shoulder shawl, I never needed the heat while rocking.

    Good luck!

    I would not put your son in the family room unless you can truly convert this room to his permanent (bed-)room. I would have both kids share your son's room. I was about your son's age when my brother was born and we shared a room for a number of years. No big problem.

    First, let me echo the "every kid is different" mantra - find what works for you.  But I'll also note that you don't need a separate "nursing and changing" component to keep your newborn in your room for just a few months (sleeping in the same room as parents is advised by both AAP and WHO). Is there absolutely no space to fit a bassinet/moses basket? Even if you don't plan to routinely keep baby in bed with you, you can certainly nurse in your (safely prepared) bed (most comfortable with  somewhat reclined laid-back, and side-lying positions). Or if that really isn't a comfortable fit for you, you could take baby into your older son's room  to nurse (you'd have to go there anyway if baby was sleeping there, so it's no more or less convenient in that sense). Having baby nearby also lets you respond sooner to your baby's hunger/waking - BEFOE he/she gets too worked up ; that often makes nursing easier.   Keep a few diapers and wipes and a changing pad in your room (in a basket under the bed?), and you can change baby on your bed, in the bassinette, or on top of a dresser or desk.  Even on the floor if you're limber! Use a small, tightly focused, dimmable light to reduce risk of waking a lightly-sleeping partner (if there is one!). And depending on the kids, there's not official reason they can't share a room (for all or part of the night) as soon as baby is ready to move out of your room.

    I second the worries of a previous poster who wonders if moving your older son's room might compound any possible jealousy issues or sense of disruptiuon (i.e. ....feelings of, 'a new baby comes, and suddenly I don't get my own room anymore? what gives? Not fair, not ok!'). Personally, I would figure something else out. I also had a new baby when my older son was 4. We also had a 2 bedroom but didn't have the option of turning a spare room into a bedroom (we were house-sharing with another family at the time and taking over another room was not an option). What we did was to make do with having the baby's crib in our room with us, and then when the little one turned about 1-1/2, we began preparing them for the eventuality that they would share a room soon, helping them feel excited instead of anyone feeling like their space was being invaded or left out. When our littlest one turned 2 (when his older brother turned 6), we moved the little one's things into his "brother's room" and it magically became "the kids' room," with an addition of a cool new new bunk bed for our 6 year old (which is "off limits" to his younger brother unless he gives his little permission to go up there!) as a present. At the same time I created a "library corner" for both of them, as a way to change the room up, make it more welcoming for both of them.  For your situation, my ideas would be: 1, do something like this if you think you can make it work. Or, 2, have YOUR current room be turned into the nursery for the new baby and move your and your husband's room into the family room. Get some Ikea bookshelf/dividers to make it more permanent-feeling / stable if you would like. Then, when your kids get older, maybe have them move into one room together? It was different for us since we didn't have a family room to possibly use like you guys do, but I wanted to share my thoughts and experience, offer my perspective. Our kids are very close, don't mind sharing, and my husband and I are now rediscovering a little occasional privacy which is fun. Whatever you decide, good luck and congrats on your new baby joining the family :)

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Baby and toddler room sharing

Feb 2010

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 their room.

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 provide! 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 together.

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... Good luck! anon

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)? good luck

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... anon

Baby boy to share room with 3-year old

Aug 2009

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 relationship)?

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). Thanks! Anon

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. anon

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. Anon

Thinking about moving baby into 3-year-old's room

Feb 2009

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. kids sharing

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 screaming.

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. Andi

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. Andi

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 being disturbed.

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 extra one. Three kids, small house

We have a 6 yr old girl and a 4 yr old boy who have shared a room since the younger 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 parent.

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. anon

Toddler and infant sharing a room

November 2008

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. thank you! Marjorie

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. brenda

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 surprised!

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 folding 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? anon

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 think 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 around.

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 simultaneous bedtimes. Holly

7 mo old and 2 yo share room/sleep training

Oct 2007

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? exhausted

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

3yr old 8-m-o share a room - crying it out at night

May 2007

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. jan

Sleeping arrangements for 5mo and 16mo

June 2006

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! anon

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 about five -Good luck.

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 the house. mom of 2

Bed/Crib arrangement for 2 yo and infant

November 2005

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! Mimi

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! lstern

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. lynn

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. afern

3-year-old and infant sharing a room - safety?

August 2005

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. Laura

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 for sleeping.

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... :) Good luck! anon

Three kids, two bedrooms

June 2005

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 difference. Help! Any advice from people who've been thru this before would be appreciated! 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

Should 21-month-old and baby share a room?

Nov 2004

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 children. Thanks! 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 for years. anon

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 very sweet.

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 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 old. yancy

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 in January. 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 each other.

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! Heidi

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! anon

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 room until 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, you 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 years. May

28-month-old and 4-month-old sharing a room

November 2003

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 bed.

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..... Camille

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 mos.

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 asleep easily. Rose

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. Hilary

Worried about Toddler & Infant sharing a room

January 2003

Hi, everyone: 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! Kelly

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. linee

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? Good Luck! Julie 

Toddler & Baby Sharing a Room

Dec 2001

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. Thanks! Rachel

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 ideas??? P.R

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.

April 1999 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?) Corliss

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 more room).

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. Beverly

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. Kateri

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 gender matter?)

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!