My husband and I exchanged an intrigued glance from our exhausted places on the couch, as we strained to listen. Sure enough, we heard a wavering little voice rise in song above the sobs of our fighting-sleep-but-clearly-overtired daughter.
The sound of my son singing his sister to sleep was pretty much the sweetest thing I’d ever heard – and it solidified for me that our toddler bedroom sharing situation could be a success. Granted, every night has not included an angelic serenade. But if you’re considering having your children share a room, here’s why & how we’ve made it work (so far!) with two littles who are 28 months apart:
Space saving: We live in a historic 3-bedroom house, but one bedroom is on the ground floor. Before our first child was born, we bumped out a dormer addition to create a kids’ room upstairs with the master. We wanted to use the ground floor bedroom as a playroom/guest room and have loved that decision.
Sibling bonding: When I was a kid, my brother and I didn’t share a room, but we would regularly have sleepovers on each other’s floors. We’re the same exact age spread as my own two kids, and I thought sharing a room could help foster closeness. Sharing is caring, right? I’ve been delighted to see how, even from a very young age, they have found comfort in each other’s presence. Sometimes they’ll talk for 20 or 30 minutes (! – they’re 28 months and four and a half) but they rarely feed off each other’s occasional nighttime hysterics.
We had planned to move our daughter to a mattress on the ground level of the Kura when the time came, but inherited a big, sturdy bunk bed and installed that instead. Our son sleeps up top and our daughter transitioned easily to the bottom level when she turned two. (I was eager to get the crib out of the house and get some more floor space.)
Bedtime starts with a family reading session: When our daughter was still in her crib, she’d go down first, and we’d tip-toe in to tuck our son in later. Our kids now go to bed at the same time, and bedtime starts with brushing teeth and then a book in the “big bed” AKA parental king size.
Room rituals: After a book, the kids head to their room (frequently via piggy back) to get tucked in and get about 6 million kisses. Lately, I’ve been sitting in their room and reading silently next to their night light because they’ve been scared of the dark, but more often than not I can slip out quickly. It’s so nice to have just one room to check in with so there’s no running between bedrooms for glasses of water, etc.
Morning snuggles: Our kids normally get up around 6:30 a.m. and will come into our room and crawl into the big bed for a few snuggles before the day begins. It’s hard to cuddle a top-bunk kid, so a morning fix is a nice way to start the day, or (mostly unsuccessfully) attempt to extend the snooze time on the weekends.