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We have a 2 year old daughter and now we expect a baby in November. After the initial few months, when the newborn will be sleeping in our bedroom, we could put both children in one room together. Are there any reasons against that?

The first thing that comes to my mind is safety - is the older one not going to do something silly yet dangerous to the little one?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

If the elder sibling has a history of being careless, hostile, or inconsiderate toward other children that might be a reason to worry about safety, but otherwise I'd expect it to be generally safe.

I'd rather think it would be more of a practical problem, in terms of the two children having different bedtimes, and one of them waking the other one up at various times during the night, and similar disruptions.

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Personally, I would worry about this. We have a newborn, and one aged 4/5, one 8. All girls. Each of them is caring and considerate. However, the youngest just wants to cuddle her and kiss her all the time. To do this, she'll actually sometimes put her hand down and lean on the child. At the moment we're obviously allowing the close contact, but watching like hawks and trying to educate her that the baby is small, and cannot take any weight on her, that she shouldn't smother her with affection too much.

There's no way I would allow the baby, even up to 1 year old, in the same room at night, as kids simply do not know how very fragile a baby is and I cannot put my hand on my heart and say I know the 4 year old would not get up in the middle of the night and try and pick the baby up, cuddle her, etc. The actual thought if this is making me feel a bit ill, to be frank, and I am not prone to hyperbole. It worries me just thinking of it.

The 8 year old is wonderful with her, and obviously is intelligent enough to know how careful she has to be, but there's no way I would consider putting a baby/toddler with a 2 year old.

I'd advise you were very careful if you did, but it is not something I would ever consider, especially with what I have seen first hand. The very worst thing is that my middle one, just wants to love the new sister, and it's this love that could end up hurting her the most.

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Don't you have the baby in a crib? I've yet to meet a crib that a 4-year-old would be capable of reaching into and grabbing anything out of. – Martha Jan 9 '12 at 16:26
@Martha, my 2 yr old can climb into and out of a crib with amazing speed. I would not want him in a room alone with a newborn, he may treat it with the aggressive hugs and kisses that he gives our cats which would not be good for a newborn. – Dave Nelson Nov 19 '12 at 16:11

We've had our children (3 and 1) sleeping together for months, and haven't had any trouble with it at all.

I wouldn't do it unless they both have the same bedtime, though, or unless one of them is a very sound sleeper. We're lucky enough to have both: our kids both go to bed at the same time, but the toddler takes a while to wind down, and will talk to himself or play quietly in his room until he actually falls asleep. The younger goes to sleep right away, and sleeps through all of this activity.

If either child is a very light sleeper or still wakes up frequently crying loudly, then you might want to consider waiting. However, outside of that scenario I think it would be fine.

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