Feb. 21, 2022

Ask Margaret - When Should My Kids Start Sharing a Room?

Having your kids share a room creates more space, but it can also create a whole host of problems, from late-night shenanigans to siblings waking each other up way too early. Margaret explains how the pros and cons have played out at her house.

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This week's question comes from Sheila:

"I have a 15-month-old and an almost 3-year-old. The 3-year-old has been in a toddler bed in his own room since he was 18 months old. The 15-month-old sleeps in a crib in a separate room. How do I get both boys to sleep in the same room without risking one waking the other either in the middle of night or way too early in the morning? When is the right age to have kids share a room?"

When it comes to sharing a room there is no "right age." Some kids share from infancy, some have separate rooms forever, and some parents wait to share until no one is napping anymore. Whenever room-sharing becomes the right choice, either by necessity or by preference, here are some ways to make the transition a success:

  • Set an expected bedtime– a lights-out time when it gets quiet and sleeping is expected.
  • Build in play time for the siblings sharing a room. Make sure there is enough time before bed for rough housing and fun. For an 8:15pm lights out, have the kids in their room by 7:30.
  • Establish morning rules, like "If your brother is still asleep, come out to the playroom as soon as you wake up."

It's unlikely that the transition to room-sharing will be totally smooth, but if you establish guidelines around sleep times and expected behavior, you'll get there!

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