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My family just +1'd itself. The newborn sleeps with us in the master bedroom for now, but we will move him when he's a few months old and no longer requires attention several times each night. Our plan is to let him share a bedroom with his brother who is 3 years older.

That would give us 1x kids' bedroom and 1x kids' play room, and we somehow think/hope/feel that this is better than each one having his own combined play/bedroom.

Can you share experiences with benefits/drawbacks of either of these options?

My own experiences don't really apply because both my wife and I have a twin brother (joke: ...but not the same one, haha) and we shared a bedroom for the first number of years. I don't know what factors are relevant for different-aged kids.

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+1 for the joke. –  Mathew Foscarini Nov 7 '12 at 16:33
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As the old war proverb says "divide and conquer". –  Mathew Foscarini Nov 7 '12 at 16:40
    
Making one play room and one room for two boys would be better idea. –  Ananya williams Oct 18 at 12:45
    
@Ananyawilliams could you elaborate, please? Submit an answer (not a comment) to explain why you think this. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun 2 days ago
    
When my two daughters were older and had to share a room because we had guests who needed one of their rooms, they always slept in later. It seems like they were just a bit more comfortable with someone sleeping nearby. With four years between them, we thought they were at different places, and sharing a room would not work when they were little. Who knows if we were right? –  Marc 2 days ago

7 Answers 7

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Interesting question, and there's no one answer.

We chose separate rooms for our two girls, but then they decided a few months ago - at three and five - to move in together.

They seem to prefer to sleep in company, but they can keep each other awake sometimes, which led to sleep shortages (and tantrums!) with the younger one until we separated bedtime by 30m.

It is certainly nice that they keep each other company in the morning for a little while before descending upon us!

Overall it has probably made them closer in our case.

You probably want to keep them separate until the younger one is sleeping through.

Main thing to remember is that it isn't a permanent decision, don't invest too much in furniture until you see how they get along!

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Our eldest two (boy and girl two years apart) shared a room until our third child was successfully sleeping and at that point we put her in with her sister, so our boy gets one room and the girls get a bigger room together.

We stagger sleep times so our youngest goes to bed around 30 minutes before her sister, and our eldest is about another 30 minutes after that, by which time the girls are both asleep.

As our son is also first up in the morning this means he doesn't disturb his sisters.

Sharing rooms is grand once they can sleep easily :-)

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+1 for "Sharing rooms is grand once they can sleep easily" –  Tiago Cardoso Oct 19 '12 at 0:54

As I still got only one child (another one is now cooking :)) I will share my own experience as a kid. I have brother and sister (me being the youngest) and each of us had separate room. School trips were the first time I shared a room with other person.

While it was very convenient and gave lots of privacy, at younger ages we don't really need that privacy.

Looking back, I think it would have been better if I shared a room with my brother; we didn't really bond at any point and such thing could have been the trigger. Of course it might have led to horrible never ending fights but knowing him today I know better than that.

Most our friends also put their children together in the same room and all of them always say how good this is for the children.

Bottom line: have them share the bedroom, at least until the older reach the age where privacy starts to matter. (10?)

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While I don't have personal experience with this one, I do have an in law that tried putting them together right away but seriously regretted it because child 1 was a light sleeper and woke every time child 2 cried. She split them up until child 2 was sleeping through the night and THEN moved them together - it seems to have worked well for them.

I did have a little sister personally, but we almost always had separate rooms (although she often crept in and snuggled with me between say 3 years (her age) and 6 or 7 years when I started saying no to her (it started to get rather crowded when she was seven and I was ten).

From what I know, it is between these ages (2 or 3 to 10 or 11 approximately) that kids like the comfort of knowing some one else is close by. As kids move into adolescence though, separate spaces can help a lot when it comes time for homework space (and quiet), separate belongings and developing senses of style and expression.

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FWIW, our oldest sleeps like a rock, and his younger brother never wakes him up when he cries. Kids are different. –  Ida Oct 17 at 17:36

We approached this from a practical point of view. We kept the baby with us as long as it was convenient (maybe a bit longer) and talked to him about moving to a "big boys" bed when he was 2 or so. That may seem a long time, but worked for us. Choosing them to sleep together was simply convenient for us as we valued a spare room more than the fights/late nights talking to each other that togetherness engendered.

We will probable move them to separate rooms when they tell us that it is not working out. (currently 9 and 6), both boys.

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Oh yes the age old debate in my house hold, to separate or combine.. I have two boys, 8 and 9 year old. My wife is always wanting to separate them into their own rooms, where I prefer that they have the same room. When it was separate we then had 2 rooms that had to be maintained. Now with just one it has made life a little easier.

On your side though, I would opt for putting them together and leaving a play room. That will allow you to keep the bed room as a room for sleeping and reading books and the play room will be associated with being awake and playing. It may also reduce the mess to clean as they should be playing in that room only(ideally). This will also allow for them to set up their toys and not have to tear them down right away if they put something together they want to keep playing with later.

At your kids age right now I would just keep them in the same room as they aren't really into the privacy stage and it will make it easier to maintain :)

That is just my 2 cents :)

Edit: I do agree though, wait until the baby can actually sleep through the night.. don't want a grumpy toddler running around the house! :)

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Can you share experiences with benefits/drawbacks of either of these options?

In our last house, kids shared a room, had a separate playroom.

New house, kids have separate bedrooms, no playroom.

IMHO, having a playroom is critical. And even though the kids wanted separate rooms, they often end up playing and even sleeping in the same room together.

That said, the one benefit we've found of having separate rooms is that it does help them keep 'their space' much tidier. When they shared a room, it was a battle to get them agree on how to clean it, but now they do it much better with separate rooms.

In the end, I think it's going to come down to the personality of each individual pair of kids.

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