Ever since we had our second child, my eldest has been asking if he can share a room with his brother. He’d love the company and thinks that if my husband and I can share a bedroom, he should be able to have a roomie too.
They’re now aged two and eight respectively and we’ve yet to give in. But lately, I’ve been thinking about it and have looked into the pros and cons. Here’s why you should (and also why you shouldn’t) let your kids share a room and bunk in together.
First off, if your kids already get along, by letting them share a bedroom their bond could become even stronger. They can enjoy chatting before they go to sleep, share secrets and also get better at sharing their toys.
Secondly, if either child gets scared during the night either because they don’t like the dark or don’t like being alone, if you let them have a companion to cuddle up to, they may sleep more soundly. A double bed or a bunk bed (with a double on the bottom) would work well if they either want to lie next to each other all the time or just occasionally.
On the plus side for the parents, by putting your kids in together, you’ll have an extra room free. This could be used for a guest bedroom, an office, or a playroom; that’s one way to keep the toys out of sight when you sit down to relax in the evening.
In terms of cons, the first concern would be that if they’re different ages they probably have different bedtimes. You’d therefore have to decide if you put the kids to bed at different times (allowing your eldest to tiptoe in later) or otherwise find a middle ground between the two times. Alternatively, you could let your older child read quietly while your younger child sleeps.
If they’re a similar age and go to bed at the same time, another issue might be getting them to actually go to sleep. They may be so busy telling each other secrets that they stay up too late. A solution to this is to let them listen to an audiobook. They’ll both enjoy listening to it and will nod off as soon as they’re tired. I know it works for me!
My main concern currently is that they’d wake each other up during the night when they’re looking for water, going to the bathroom or calling us in for one of the multitude of reasons they come up with. They’d each have to be conscious about being considerate of their sibling.
It’s definitely all food for thought on letting your kids share their room. As we’re going away soon, we'll be able to test it out. Maybe if it goes well, we’ll consider getting them a bunk bed for Christmas!