On (Still) Sharing Bedrooms

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When I was little girl I was petrified of being alone. Every night one of my parents would lie down with me, scratch my back and sing until I fell asleep. I'd wake hours later screaming from night terrors that lasted years. The same recurring dreams that still, to this day, haunt me. Every night I'd fall asleep outside my parent's door. Just to be close to them. To someone. So when we became pregnant with Fable and her sharing a room with Archer was our only option, it didn't bother me very much.

Sure, I'd covet the homes I saw with meticulously decorated nurseries and bedrooms with personalized door hangers, stenciled walls - hoped our children wouldn't resent us for cramming them together in the only room that could accommodate them. But that was just me looking elsewhere instead of within. My instinct was always to put them in the same space - regardless of whether they were same sex or not. Because a small child is a small child and there's no real difference between a boy sharing a room with his sister and a boy sharing a room with his brother - not when they're four and one or five and two.

So when we moved last May and our space doubled, Archer and Fable continued to share a room, our third bedroom became the playroom - where toys and games and the guest futon lived in harmonious chaos.

I recently asked Archer whether he wanted his own room and he said, unequivocally, no. His sister needed him and he needed her, he told me. And I started to think what I would have done differently if we had the option of space when Fable was born. It was easy to think putting the kids together was the right decision when it was the only decision we had to make but what if we had the option to give them each their own room from the get? Surely, we would have separated them, like my parents did when we were kids, like most parents do when space permits.

But where does it come from - this assumption that we must separate our children from one another, especially when small? Why each child demands their own fully-furnished nursery, bedroom, space. Are we not social creatures? I hated being alone as a child and for what? There was no reason that I couldn't have shared a room with my brother. It wasn't like I needed my privacy at three-years-old. Or four or six.
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I would have loved to share a room with my brother as a small child. I wouldn't have spent so many nights afraid, curled up outside my parents door. I watch the way Archer and Fable are with one another, listen to them talk to each other before bed - singing together, laughing, and sort of regret not having those memories with my siblings. For them, every night's a slumber party. They are learning what it means to be in a relationship with someone, to compromise. Forging a bond as those who dream side by side. Someday it will end but for now? I can't imagine splitting them up.

Many new parents have emailed me over the years about sharing rooms, knowing I have written about Archer and Fable's sleeping situation before. Do they still share a room? How long until you separate them?

A few months back I told Archer that when he feels like he would like his own bedroom to let me know.

"Eventually the playroom will be your room," I said. "When you want it to be."

"But I like sharing a room with Fable," he said. "Maybe when I'm ten or something I'll change my mind."
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GGC

78 comments:

ste | 8:36 AM

I have no idea if the baby that will be joining us within the next 5 weeks is a boy or girl but I have every intention of having him/her share a room with my daughter. For many of the same reasons that you have given, it gives them company and helps them go to sleep better just knowing someone is there. One day I'm sure it will not be appropriate if I end up having a boy, but until that day they can enjoy being together.

Desiree Fawn | 8:43 AM

I LOVE that they share a room like that -- such a sweet arrangement. I think if we ever welcome baby no. 2, I'd do just that! <3

My Bottle's Up! | 8:45 AM

::SWOON::

that is one thoughtful boy you have, miss lady.

Roxanne | 8:47 AM

My sister & I didn't start sharing a room until she was 10 and I was 15. It was horrible. But if we'd had the experience earlier, I'm pretty sure we would be closer than we are now at 22 and 27 (we have pretty much no relationship).

If I have a second kid, I would want my children to share a room. It seems like a wonderful idea, and I love hearing Archer's thoughts on it.

BookishPenguin | 8:49 AM

I shared a room with my sister and brother for years. Eventually my sister and I shared and my brother got his own room (clearly gender based). It never even occurred to me as a child that children could all have separate rooms. It seemed indulgent, something rich people did. Sharing rooms felt "normal" or average, in a good way (not in the "I don't have the Benetton shirt everyone else has" way). As I think about it now, I realize I learned a lot about compromise and living with others why sharing a room for so long (I eventually got my own room at 13 or 14). I only have one child now, but if we had a second, they'd have to share a room and I would definitely be okay with that.

The Dalai Mama | 8:49 AM

My two kids share a bedroom (we have 2 extra). But when our daughter came home from Ethiopia she was a horrible sleeper in her own room--we tried it for months. In Ethiopia, she slept in a room with 4-6 other babies.

So, we moved her crib into his room and they both slept better. They are now almost 5 and 3. We have told our son that when he is ready to have his own room he just has to let us know.

I think it has bonded them in a way that they might not have otherwise bonded. They are extremely close and love each other. When they are ready they'll let us know.

Magic27 | 8:57 AM

I was an only child and spent all of my childhood longing for a sibling (I still do, to be honest). I now have two daughters and, even though I've never had the space to give them a room each, I think they would have shared anyway because it's something I would have loved. They're now 9 and almost 7 and, despite being in a "posh" school with lots of wealthy kids (= huge houses, multiple bedrooms etc.) they've never asked to not share or complained that they have no choice... I'm sure it teaches about sharing and compromise (not that that stops them fighting!) plus they do, seriously, see every night as a sleepover just like you said. When one is elsewhere, the other inevitably ends up in my room in a mattress on the floor for at least the first part of the night (I'm not into the co-sleeping thing, never have been).

Grumble Girl | 9:01 AM

My son is seven, daughter is 3. They'll share on bunks until... whenever it's no longer working. So far they love it - and their room is getting more and more gorgeous, which pleases me. They LOVE being together. So far.

Our sons share the very same thoughts on the matter. Aren't they sweet? :)

Abi | 9:09 AM

My kids shared a room up until last spring. She was almost 3 and he was almost 2. They were doing great until one day, hubby walked in on them having a lovely time with ahem, poopie-palooza, if you know what I mean. We separated them immediately.

But the bond was already formed. They play well together and are best friends.

We're expecting a 3rd child (I just found out, YAY!). The baby will share a room with an older sibling when the time comes.

Heidi o | 9:10 AM

My 2 boys (4 and 2 1/2) share a room, though I have two extra rooms where I could put one of them, but I agree. I always had a sibling in my room and I cherish those memories. I have no intention of splitting them up until they ask me to when they are MUCH older.

Adventures In Babywearing | 9:17 AM

My kids share a room. Three boys for now, and Ivy will be in there as soon as she's out of our bed. (Actually, last night she did sleep in Carter's bunk) :)

We've talked to the boys about making the playroom a bedroom to give Noah his own room but... they want to be together. I love it. And it makes our little house all the better.

PS one thing I LOVE about having a little house is that I always know where everyone is.

Steph

Red Stethoscope | 9:19 AM

I don't know where the compulsion to separate kids comes from either. My friend ended up keeping her little boy and girl together, even when space permitted, for many of the same reasons you mentioned. It reduced the number of night terrors and they both seemed more secure about it. When I was babysitting her kids one night and put them down, I asked them if they wanted me to stay in the room with them (I think they were two and three, at the time) and the older one said to me, "We're OK. We don't need to be scared, because we have each other." MELT!

I also agree that learning to compromise and live in a small space with someone is a lifelong skill. I always wonder why we spend so much time forcing kids to be apart and then force them to live with a stranger in a 10x10 room in college. Talk about a life shock!

I admire a lot of your parenting philosophies, and this is one of them, so rock on!

Anonymous | 9:26 AM

My 6 yr old boy and 2 yr old girl will share a room. Currently, the 2 yr old is sleeping about half the time in our room in her crib and half the time in her brother's room with him in his twin bed (with guard on side). I love it when my girl hops in bed and says 'come on Benimin (Benjamin)'. He hops in a reads to her. Most nights it is great. Others, when she is no in the mood to go to sleep yet, are more troublesome. Overall, it is great. They will continue to share a room until they are teenagers at least. I'm not sure what we'll do if they decide they hate it when they are older. We've got a big toy room with a bed, where the 16 yr old stepdaughter sleeps, so I guess one of them could move in there if it gets too tight in the one room then. I love the idea of them sharing. Not only do they love it now, but I feel like it is a little way of ours of keeping them 'not spoiled'.

Laura

verdemama | 9:27 AM

I'm incredibly inspired by Archer and Fable's living arrangement. We're expecting a baby girl in May who will eventually (after a few months in a co-sleeper in our bedroom) share a room with her two-year-old brother. We do have a small third bedroom (which is now a guest room/office), but we don't want to cede that much territory to the kids. Plus I think it's so sweet that they will be there for one another. They'll share a room for as long as it makes sense for them to do so. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on your situation to see how it all shakes out!

flyrish | 9:28 AM

First off, I have a crush on Archer. What a sweetheart of a boy you are raising!

Second, you're giving me a lot to think about as we get ready to expand our family. My sister and I always had our own rooms, but we often ended up sleeping together if one of us was scared or just wanted company. But I also enjoyed the privacy of my own room, even when I was little.

Did Fable ever wake Archer up in the night or vice versa? I guess that would be my only real concern. Tough to have to get two kids back to sleep.

Anonymous | 9:30 AM

Agreed 100%!!

You are right, it is NOT the children who are demanding separate, decked-out individualized nurseries at that age. (A separate issue from when they are teens and pre-teens with a legitimate request for privacy).

At that age, no, it is the *parents,* not kids, who are demanding these things, in order to keep up with the Joneses (or *barf* Kardashians), to have something cute to decorate, etc etc...You are completely right.

There is a book on this though I am of course blanking on the name...in every other culture other than America from say the 1950s - on, young children have NOT had their "own individual rooms" as a general rule. I'm not sure why we think this is such a swell idea.

The Hojo Family | 9:31 AM

My two kiddos (son is 6 & daughter is 3) share a room. We don't have the space for it to be otherwise- but I think them sharing a room has been good for them. They have to work together in keeping in clean and I love listening to them talk and giggle before bed. My daughter always tells me, "mommy, I just can't sleep without my brother." I think its comforting to the both of them to have eachother nearby.

Molly | 9:40 AM

I never got where the need to give each child their own room came from either. I too was very lonely as a child (separated from my brothers, who got to share). Parents probably get sick of the bickering. But without bickering, how do you also get bonding? Secrets whispered in the night? Boundless affection?

I think there's a lot of unstated gender paranoia going on--the need to separate boy and girl siblings seems to come from the same source as this fear of not having the gender of a two-month old immediately identifiable (with pink, or with a big truck lapel) all the time.

I wish more people who move out of the city to the suburbs for a bigger place "for the kids" thought about what the kids want! Ever notice that kids always want to be where the adults are anyway in the house, no matter how many extra rooms you have? And how they'd rather walk down a sidewalk than play in a huge but empty backyard? Not that I have opinions :)

Glenda | 9:43 AM

I shared a room with my 2 brothers and a younger sister. Double bunks. I too was always afraid of the dark ;) I have a son and a daughter 3 mos apart. They shared a room when she was first born until she was about 6 mos then they each had their own room, BUT they always played together in each others room and space and they had their own lil slumber party until she was about 9 and he was 12. He had a bunk and on the weekends she'd sleep in his room.

I think Fable and Archer are amazing together and love that Archer says "maybe when he's 10" He's such a good big brother!

nch | 9:50 AM

my 6 year old son and 4 year old daughter share a room and a bed. they slept with us until about two years ago so it was a natural transition. i know they are going to want their own beds and rooms one day but, for now they are developing a bond that is magical. i love waking up in the morning to the sound of them playing together.

phoebe | 9:57 AM

I live in a HUGE, much bigger than we need house we inherited from my parents. There is plenty of room for our children to have their own rooms, but, my son (4) and daughter (2) share a room and love it. And so do I. They have star wars and hello kitty side by side and go to bed each night talking to each other. Each morning they greet each other first. They both loving sharing a room and wouldn't have it any other way, and neither would I. When it stops working, they will let you know. Until then, it seems kind of magical, every night a sleep over.

Dana | 10:09 AM

I've often wondered what happens when the children who have grown up with their own bedrooms - and more commonly now - their own bathrooms go off to college. And get sandwiched into teeny tiny rooms with roommates and have to share a bathroom with 10 others.
Everyone in our house bunks with someone else. As my oldest pointed out: Mama and Papa, the two girls, the two boys... we all share.

Dari | 10:18 AM

This is the sweetest post. What a loving brother. Lola and Owen share a room and will for as long as we live in this house. I shared a room with my sis until I was 16, by then I was ready for my own room. But we enjoyed it while being young and have so many great memories.

booshwash | 10:32 AM

I think I'm going to be the first one here to say that I am glad that I am able to give my children separate rooms. I have two children, girl, 4, and boy, 2, and even if they were the same gender I would still do the same. I grew up sharing a room with my little sister (my big brother got his own room, of course), and although I have a few good memories of sharing stories with my sister at night, I mostly remembering how much I wished I had my own space to go to during the day.

My two children both love their own rooms, and go there regularly when they need some time to themselves (the rest of our house is small and open-concept, so there is nowhere else to go). They both sleep incredibly well, and I'm lucky that neither of them have fears or concerns about being "alone" at night. I often hear my daughter awake first thing in the morning and enjoying some quiet time by herself before the hectic day starts where she has to spend it sharing her space with her little brother and school peers.

I see all your points, mind you, but I have never had any regrets about giving my children a space to call their own.

Amy K | 10:35 AM

I always felt terrible for Wendy in Peter Pan when you find out that it's time for her to leave the nursery. She was having so much fun sharing a room with her brothers.

theshooz | 10:40 AM

I always thought that I resented sharing a room with my two sisters for 16 years, until I moved out for college. Then I realized how desperately I missed them, and our night time traditions. Yay for room sharing for siblings.

Mandi | 10:41 AM

I was the youngest child and the only girl. My brothers shared a room and I had my own and was always jealous of all the fun they got to have while I was lonely. My husband always shared a room with his brother. We had a son (now 4.5) and a daughter (turning 2 tomorrow!) and they share a room because we live in a house with only 2 bedrooms. I always wanted them to share but my husband feels like they should each have their own space. Mostly because he never did, I think. We are going to be moving in the next few years and are only looking at 3 bedroom houses because eventually they will be teens and I'll be forced to let them separate. They LOVE sharing and sleeping in their bunk beds. I have a friend who also has a son and a daughter and she (as the mom) usually ends up sleeping with her little boy at night because they both like it and then her daughter usually ends up coming in and sleeping on the top bunk because she wants to be near them! I agree, social creatures! P.S. Love your blog!

jessica | 10:42 AM

That is great for you and for anyone else that it works for. I wish it worked for us. My son and daughter (exactly 2 yrs apart) shared a room until they were about 9 and 11 (girl is older) and hated it. They couldn't stand eachother (still can't at 14 & 16) and it was terrible until the end. They fought so much. Now they have their own rooms and don't speak to one another and if they do they are fighting.
Obviously I'm not sure if having their own space from the beginning would've have helped, I'm just weighing in with my experience. It's absolutely heartbreaking.

Anonymous | 10:43 AM

Love this. I slept outside my brothers door until I was at least 12- I was just so scared at night. Still am, thankfully 2 younger kiddos are in my room, my husband is keeping the oldest kiddo company in his room! It works for us. Can't get over how grown up Archer looks, he is a handsome little man, and of course Miss Fable is just a doll.

Misty

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 10:43 AM

Thanks for sharing, booshwash!

I don't think there's a wrong or right way to do anything - just know that our kids sharing a room was SO right for us and that I always wished I could have shared as a small child, too. I think it's ingrained in us to THINK our kids need so much more than they actually do. That we think we need these huge homes with stuff everywhere in order to be parents. At least that's how it is around here. And I think it's a shame. Kids don't NEED as much as every website and magazine and media outlet suggests.

They can be happy as clams in tight quarters with their siblings, too.

Bridget | 11:12 AM

Baby #2 is on the way, and we co-sleep so it will be awhile, but our kids will totally be sharing a room. When I read your first post on the subject, my mind was made up!

As an only child I lived for sleep overs with friends. I was jealous of kids who shared rooms, despite how much they complained.

Shannon | 11:50 AM

I never had to share a room because my two younger sisters were twins and did most of the room sharing during our childhood. But my son (4) and daughter (7) have been sharing a room pretty much since my son was born. It has just worked really well for us to have a playroom and a bedroom as opposed to two bedrooms and I was really resistant to the idea in the beginning, but it has just been great! I know in the next few years my oldest will want her own space and we are in the process of adopting a toddler girl who will probably take my oldest's place when she moves into her own room. I hope it will be something all my kids will look back on with fondness when they are older. They have never asked to have their own rooms before so it seems like things are going well.

Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas | 12:03 PM

At 7 and nearly 4, my kids still share a room. They started life in separate spaces and then my son (the 4YO) asked his sister to move in. She heartily agreed to the adventure and, for the most part, it works well. My son sleeps better, is more secure and is much less clingy now that he's not alone in his room. How long will it last? I've left that up to my 7YO daughter. I'm sure in the next few years, she's going to want her own space, but for now, I'll let it be.

Alex | 12:26 PM

I think its a great idea. Archer is a sweet boy to be thinking of Fable like that. Cherish it.

Caroline Alexander | 12:48 PM

My niece and nephew, who are 16 months apart in age, shared a room until she was in 9th grade. She was the one who requested a bit of privacy from her little brother. Funny thing is, the bunk beds stayed in her room and 4 nights out of 7 he still sleeps in there.

Amber | 1:03 PM

I (female) shared a room with my three-years-younger brother until we moved to a new house when I was 12 years old. Our room was upstairs with my parents' room, and I always had the option of moving downstairs to the other bedroom so I could have a room of my own, but that always seemed so far away and lonely. When we finally split up when I was 12 I was ready to have my own room, but I think sharing a room all those early years was great. My brother and I are still close today (I'm almost 30 now).

Anonymous | 1:07 PM

I think this works better if the kids are closer in age. I am much older than my brother and I never even thought about sharing a room with him for obvious reasons. I also never had a fear of being alone (I had my 20 stuffed animals on my bed with me) or the dark. You're right though, I think there is no harm in sharing a bedroom if that's what they want. Hopefully they will remember these good times when they're older.

Christy | 1:21 PM

My kids love having slumber parties, and they are 9 (daughter) and 5 (son). They have seperate rooms, and my son has a bunk bed in his. But when they have slumber parties, they always sleep in the same bunk! I limit it to weekends only because otherwise they would stay up hours past bed time talking and laughing. They are each other's best friend and I couldn't ask for anything better.

Anonymous | 1:30 PM

I wanted our two girls to share a room, and they did for a month or so. Until they both kept each other up constantly...it was heartbreaking to separate them. But, we all sleep better now and that's rare with a 3 and 1 year old anyway. I'm hoping in about 6 months we can move them back together again. I shared a room with my sister until high school and it was great!

Ashley | 1:42 PM

I don't have kids and always had my own room. But I have every intention of having my kids share a room, until their 10 or something :). I think the bond that Fable and Archer share is amazing.

cora d | 2:08 PM

My girls won't be sharing a room for a while. I have no desire for my toddler to also become a sleep-deprived zombie like her parents will. But once good sleeping habits are to be had, I think I'll follow your lead. We have enough rooms for them not to share but I'm hoping they'll want to. Plus, one messy bedroom is way better than two messy rooms.

Michelle | 2:20 PM

My daughters (age 7.5 and 4.5) have always wanted to share a room, but I wouldn't let them because they have different sleep schedules. Finally they were forced to get on the same schedule, so a year ago the younger one moved into the older one's room, with no issues at all. It went so much better than I expected. Just today the older was talking about how when she's 16 she gets to paint the bedroom ceiling like an American flag, and when the younger asked "will we still be sharing a room when you're 16?", she said "of course we will! We will share a room until I go to college". We'll see...

Jessica | 3:07 PM

Suppose the grass is always greener on the other side. I'm one of nine children and there's nothing I wanted more than a space of my own.

I shared a room with two to three sisters until I left for college. We had one bathroom for the entire house until I was in high school.

Around the 4th grade I had a class assignment to write about a long-term goal. Most kids wrote about going to college, becoming doctors, traveling the world and other desires. Mine? "Someday, I will have my own bathroom."

Lauren | 3:10 PM

What a lovely post. Totally changed my thought process on what I want do as a parent when that time arrives in my life. Thank you!

Anonymous | 4:24 PM

Simon was three when Henry was born. The moment Henry went from cradle to crib, Simon climbed in, put his arm under Henry's head and said "(sigh), my brodder". The rest is history in our house. They sleep in the same bed, out of choice. They have each others back by night and by day.
Yes, they fight, but the bottom line is, they are the most important person in each others lives. It shows up in their drawings, their little essays, an if just asked, who is the best person they know? The answer is always the same. It's the forever bonding I never could have planned, yet it is exactly the reason we had Henry. So they would have each other for life. For a long time, I worried that they would not develop autonomously, but they are both in school now, doing great, and still running into each others arms after school. I know that this won't last forever. Eventually they will ask for their own space.
But for now, I think it's ok.

abigail | 7:34 PM

my brother is a year and a half younger than me. this in itself has always made us very close. when we were growing up we each had our own small room, with a common wall between... but we would often have sleepovers, stay up late singing together through the wall and our open doors, and wake each other up first thing in the morning. we would spend pretty much all of our time together. whenever we went on vacation we would get to actually share a room the whole time and we loved it - it was so special. we shared bedrooms on vacations for years. and... well we still do sometimes, as we have both moved out, moved away, and neither of us has our "own rooms" at home anymore. we are 24 and 25. the times that we are both home are few and far between so when we have to share a room it's nice - it's still a special time for us to laugh and talk and catch up on each other's lives... as well as reminiscing over all of our fondest memories growing up - all our secret codes and inside jokes and stories.

however, at what point do people feel it is... "creepy" for opposite sex siblings to share a room? i don't think it is. still sharing a room with my brother on occasion feels to me no different than it always was. our parents still refer to us as "the kids" even though we are adults. but being adults doesn't change the fact that we're siblings. in terms of "creepiness" i just think about that episode of friends where rachel is dating that guy and his sister comes to visit him and they are inappropriately close... o, like sharing a bubble bath (as grown ups - EW!!).

i am grateful that i had my own room, especially as an adolescent girl (THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE! not.) and sharing a room with my brother FULL time all through that period would probably have been difficult. but i would regret so much if i had never shared a room with my brother.

i guess i got a delightful mix of both sides.

Erin | 7:36 PM

My brother and I shared a room until my parents moved to suburbia when I was 10 and he was 8. We LOVED sharing a room and were sad to be separated...personally, I think it's one of the reasons we've always been best friends!

Rebekah | 9:54 PM

I shared a BED with my two sisters until I was 5, and then a bed with one sister until I was 8, still with all three of us in the room. I am the youngest of seven kids and it was a rite of passage to get my own room in middle school once the older kids had moved out! But I still ended up in my sister's room all the time! It was wonderful to have a constant companion, even though we fought all the time we were also best friends. To this day, we have no problem cramming into one bed if everyone is home for Christmas. I think it created a bond that is umbreakable - we still talk 3 times a day even if we are in different states! Siblings can be the most precious people in your life, but that bond does have to be fostered. Good for you to help them establish such closeness early on! Loved this post.

Christy | 10:12 PM

I love this subject--and all the great perspectives and insight expressed here. I too always had my own room, and it never occurred to me that opposite-sex siblings could share a room until I met my down-the-street neighbors who all shared one bedroom (2 girls and a boy) in their 4 or 5 bedroom house.

Since experiencing their awesome household, I have always planned to have my children share bedrooms through early childhood--as my brothers did until the older of two hit about 9 or 10. I vaguely imagine moving a daughter to her own room at about 8 if she's the oldest, but if a boy were older 9 or 10 might be fine. Yeah, I'm developmentally sexist. ;)

Anyway, I love hearing that it works for so many. xo

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 10:49 PM

I love these comments so much, you guys. Thank you so much for sharing.

Christina E. Pope | 5:35 AM

I have 6 and 4 year old girls and they have always shared a room. We bought them their own beds, but they have REFUSE to sleep apart and end up in the same bed. My sister and I were so different and never got along so it thrills me to see how close they are. They are attached at the hip. I was like you as a child and hated having to sleep alone. I don't understand the point in seperating them either. If they get along, why do anything that might damage that closeness?

rachelh | 6:06 AM

I can't agree with you more! My kids (ages 5 and 1, boy and girl) share a room. We have the extra room, but they prefer to share- the need each other. I don't like sleeping alone, why should I assume they would want to be separated? When they're ready for their own space, they will let me know. Until I read this post, I thought I was alone in thinking like this. All my friends separate their kids and I remember when a collegue said she forced her twins to sleep in their own separate rooms, I was HORRIFIED. kids want to be together, and I think they need that companionship when they're small. Regardless of what my friends think, right now, having them share a room works for us. Again, thank you so much for the great article!

Kate | 12:24 PM

this post kinda made my day, because with 2 girls and a third baby on the way, we'll be venturing into room sharing in the coming months. I'm sure there are challenges to it, too, but it was great for me to hear about the upside. I hope my girls love it as much as Fable and Archer do.

Karine | 5:53 PM

My 3 year-old daughter shares a bedroom with my 5 1/2 year-old son and they love it. WHat I like most about all this is that whenever we have dinner parties at other people's house... my kids are not scared to go to sleep in a "stranger's" bed because they have each other and they are used to falling asleep together. Also when we go on vacation or decide to follow my husband on a business trip there is never a period of adaptation for their sleep routine... they are each other's sleep routine. When my son wants his own room I'll give it to him, but for now he's having too much fun with his sister to even think about it. The best punishment in my house is to tell them that "if they don't stop, I'll make them go to sleep in different bedrooms"... it works like a charm!

Beth | 6:10 PM

My first daughter will be 22 months when her little sister is born. They will have separate rooms during the first year of my second daughter's life, but after that, I fully expect them to share a room. I think it will be good for them, and I will get my guest room back!

Jeannie | 6:45 PM

i'm not even going to read the preceding 54 comments. what i will say is: they can share until they're ready not to share. that time will come. my boy and girl always wanted to be together. when we have company,they still share a room. bunk beds, now. 13 y/o on top, 14 y/o on bottom bunk, while guest takes girls' bedroom. girl 3 sleeps on blow up mattress w/ us.

NO BIG DEAL. my kids are super close and have a wonderful bond. i'm sure that sharing the bedroom when small facilitated that.

don't even give it a thought. i'm sure at least 50/54 say the same thing.

Mrs. Q. | 7:00 PM

My little guy is Archer's age and my daughter is 3 1/2; they have shared a room ever since I kicked my toddler daughter out of our unplanned-cosleeping bed. Convincing her that she could sleep in a room with her big brother was the only way we could reclaim our king bed.

They love having their twin beds set up in an L-shape, and I often sit in there at night, listening to him breathe and her snore. We live in a 4 BR house, so I have offered them their own space; they refuse. I know that day will come, but for now, they have one room for sleeping and another for play.

Cave Momma | 10:47 PM

I love this. I love your kids! Sorry if that sounds creepy and stalker-ish, they just come across so sweet and loving. My kids are 3 (girl) and 2 (boy) and share a room. Out of necessity, but I love it. They love it (for the most part) and even when we get a bigger place I plan on keeping them together till they need/want their own spaces. I think it helps the sibling bond (not sure, I was an only child).

Meike | 1:08 AM

I always had my own room growing up so I never really considered letting my kids share a room - until you posted about it the first time. When my daughter was born, it was love at first sight for her big brother (they are 2,5 years apart), all hugs and kisses all the time! So I asked him if he would like her to sleep in his room when she is older (and sleeping through the night!) and he was really enthusiastic about that. He loves company and can't wait for her to move out of our bedroom and into his room! We'll see how it works out, if it doesn't, she'll just move into her own room (it's ready and waiting but might as well serve as a playroom in the meantime). I'm really optimistic though, I believe it will be a wonderful bonding time for them. If I'm really lucky they will have the kind of relationship your kids have...
Thank you so much for the inspiration, Rebecca!!

Cynthia | 7:32 AM

Three in the room. Oldest girl cried very hard when her baby brother baby came home and she found out that he would sleep with us for a while. We lasted 6 months before we gave in and let her have him. The unexpected peace in our room resulted in baby 3, 15 months younger than brother. We let big sister have that one too, now she has bunk beds and a crib in there. Last year when I asked her if she wanted her own room she said - "Can the little kids move into my new room too?"

I know she is only seven, but one of my brothers slept in my bed pretty much every day until I was 10 or 11. If we got in trouble and sent to our own rooms, we would meet up in the closets and talk through the wall - nothing like a common enemy to forge peace. Only drawback was that I loved him and believed him unconditionally and failed to see him as a human being for many years, I held him to an unrealistic standard and sometimes I think that if we bickered more as kids, I might have had more realistic expectations of him as an adult. Never had that same little twist of the knife with my younger sibs, who had their own room sharing collective going on.

The Cook's Wife | 10:36 AM

My son and daughter had to share a room until the ages of 6 & 4, respwctively,because like yours, we lived in a two bedroom apartment. I, too, felt as though they were missing out on the essential inalienable right of childhood: a room of one's own. Then we moved into a three bedroom house and each of the kids had their own room -- except that they didn't like it at all and my son would often insist on sleeping on the pull-out trundle bed in his younger sister's room. It was more cozy and they were used to having company. They would whisper, exchange books and just hang out before drifting off to sleep. Over the years they got used to sleeping more on their own and the nights spent together reduced from 5 out of 7 nights to once in a very great while. They are 13 and 15 now and love it when they have to share a hotel room on trips. People who have issues with this sort of thing are misguided- most of the world's families live in two rooms or less. Human beings are social animals, we are not meant to be alone at night.

Our Family of 5 | 10:53 AM

We had the room when both our second and our third son was born, and yet, we have still kept all 3 of our boys in the same room. Our oldest was the only one who's ever had his own room, and that was only because he was our firstborn. I wouldn't change that decision for the world. I love hearing them comfort each other at night (especially if I don't get in there right away when the baby is crying) and then hearing them play with each other in the morning before leaving their room. It's made them all great buddies, and so in tune with one another. Honestly, I'm not sure we'll ever give them each their own room. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Anonymous | 7:01 PM

I was like you when I was very small: my parents were always finding me outside their door in the morning. But when my family got stationed overseas (my dad was a Marine), the house we were assigned didn't have four bedrooms, so two of us had to share. Since my sister is nearly seven years older than I am but my brother is only two years older, he and I ended up sharing a room for three years.

Honestly? It was great. I don't remember ever being afraid to go to sleep during those years, and my parents no longer had to worry about tripping over me in the morning. When we moved back to the states and into a larger house, I got my own bedroom again and I remember not being very thrilled by it. I actually had to steal my brother's bed for a few nights before I could get over a suddenly resurgent fear of the dark.

Yeah, he was a good big brother and took the floor in his own room!

But my parents didn't put us back together because by that point, my brother was nine and he was ready for his own space. So I think Archer's got his timeline about right!

Anyway, I still consider my brother my best friend, and I think part of that comes from the fact that we were roomies for three years. It made us a team, and it made us so much closer than most siblings, even though our age gap and the fact that we're different genders could have easily meant we'd want nothing to do with each other. I agree, most middle class parents seem to think that they're committing child abuse if their kids don't all have separate rooms, but how does that even make sense for most very small children? All children are individuals and there are certainly some kids who would HATE sharing a room from earliest infancy, but I think most little kids find it comforting to know that they're not alone in the dark. I have an anxiety disorder that causes insomnia, and those three years that I roomed with my brother were seriously the only three years of my life that I didn't have a problem sleeping.

mb | 7:07 PM

Archer sounds like an amazing boy :)

Anonymous | 8:02 PM

Im a twin and I shared my room with my brother. I cant remember exactly when we were "split up" but it was once we were bigger, I think probably around entering middle school. It never bothered either of us, but I think it was more of a lack of space issue/puberty would be approaching soon. I think it's sweet that he enjoy his little sister so much, she is lucky to have such a great big brother! :)

Anonymous | 8:52 PM

Thank you so much for this post.

Camelia | 1:50 AM

it sounds like a good idea since the kids seem to be enjoying it! i am an only child and missed having someone to talk to when i was afraid at night, i had to go to my parents' room every time. What do you do when your kids have a friend sleep over though?

Meg Waite Clayton | 8:20 AM

I never had a sister, so never got to share myself, but my sons have always shared - though there single room sits empty most of the year, not that they're in college.

JBirch22 | 9:31 AM

Have to ask...

How are you not involved in this?!

http://www.topbabyblogs.com/topblogs/pages/index.html

lisafoose | 3:26 PM

my boy/girl twins (now 7) shared a crib at first and have shared a room ever since. Our 3 yr old son shares a room with me and his dad and someday will share w/ at least one of the twins. I'd assumed we'd get bunk beds and the boys would have a room with my daughter having her own (tiny) room but she doesn't want to have her own room! So, fine! Someday she might and we'll cross that bridge then. I love the sibling relationships :)

corrin | 5:06 PM

I have five cousins (ages 15, 8, 6, 5, and 2). They all have their own bedrooms. The four little ones end up in the same bed every night. Very often, they all end up sleeping on the floor of their big brother's room. He's very, very understanding.

Amy Jenniches | 6:01 PM

My two girls share a room, too. Even though there is an extra bedroom in the house, one that only gets used as a guest room maybe three or four weeks out of the year. Some nights it's a pain (when one of them wakes in the night crying and wakes the other one up). But, I have this hope that once the younger one is out of her crib, that they will be better able to comfort one another at night. I'll admit, I have these visions of going in to get them in the morning and findeing them curled up in bed together. Don't know if that will ever happen or not. But, my older one also hates to be alone, requires someone to lie with her until she is asleep, and occasionally gets night terrors. So, I think she likes having her little sis in there with her. (They are almost 2 and almost 5 now.)

Maggie | 10:25 AM

That is so sweet! My 2 girls have their own rooms and my oldest (9yo) likes it that way, however, my baby (5yo) would LOVE to share with someone. She HATES sleeping alone. I hope it gets better as she gets older.

poopinmyhair | 9:22 AM

I think our culture is a bit over-obsessed with independence. My boys share a room and, sometimes, a bed. My youngest is 4 and a cuddler. Sweetness in boys is something that should be cultivated and honored, IMO.
Jennifer

Megan Yarbrough | 2:01 PM

This definitely gave me some food for thought. We haven't had our first child yet, but we've discussed whether or not to move when we are getting close to having the second, primarily because of lack of space. Since I never shared a room with my brother growing up, it's interesting to hear what the kids think about it, from their own perspectives!

MommyNamedApril | 2:27 PM

we have enough rooms in our house, but my kids still share. they like it that way, and so do i. maybe when they get older they'll separate. maybe.

starophie | 11:31 AM

I've always just assumed that, when I have children, I'll have to make sure they can all have their own space. I am someone who needs a place just for me, where I know that if I need to, I can be by myself. However, it's very isolating at times, which I've realized only as I've gotten older. Sometimes, I miss out on family time because I'm off by myself. My older brother and I would've never lasted sharing a room - we sometimes share on vacations, and we are polar opposites in every. way. He likes the door open, I like it closed; he sleeps with lights on, I need them off; the list goes on. But perhaps, if we'd learned to compromise earlier, we might be better friends than we are now. I also might not be as terrified of potentially having a roommate in college, which I am.

You always make me think things I never would've thought myself. Party on.

Jess | 11:58 AM

Your boy Archer obviously has a breathtakingly beautiful soul.

I love your blog and have never commented until now. I just felt the need to tell you that!