Sibling room sharing can initiate so many wonderful childhood memories for your little ones- but what about sleep? Will they actually get sleep? What are the ways that sibling room sharing impacts sleep? Every sibling relationship is different- there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Today, I’m discussing how sibling room sharing impacts sleep, and the pros and cons so that you can decide for yourself what works for your unique family!
How Sibling Room Sharing Impacts Sleep: Everything You Need To Know
Depending on your children’s personalities, the way that sibling room sharing impacts sleep will differ from family to family. You may have extra rowdy kids who have trouble settling down, or you may have kids who feel more comfortable and fall asleep easier knowing they’re not alone. Whether or not room sharing is positive between siblings depends on so many things- their age, habits, sleep schedules, the size of your home- the list goes on. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to have your children share a room!
Common Questions When It Comes to Sibling Room Sharing
What will bedtime routines look like?
When it comes to bedtime routines, consistency is key! Keep the same bedtime routine every night for both children- even if their bedtimes look slightly different. If your children are different ages, put them to bed accordingly at separate times. Ideally, give an hour or so between bedtimes to allow the first child to fall asleep. Make sure to keep the later bedtime routine outside of the bedroom to avoid waking up the sibling who’s already in bed.
Will they be able to fall asleep?
A super common concern is that your children will keep each other up all night. While there will likely be some chatting and giggling after the light’s out, this doesn’t mean they won’t be able to fall asleep! It’s normal to need a little bit of time to adjust and fall asleep naturally (even as adults, most of us don’t fall asleep the second the lights go out. And if you do- I’m jealous!).
If you have little ones who have more difficulty winding down and in turn become more wired at bedtime because they want to play, this is where the difficulty can come in. If this is the case, do frequent check-ins and create a sticker chart system to encourage them to abide by bedtime boundaries. There are many bedtime activities for preschoolers that can help them wind down and feel sleepy. Pro tip- create an optimal environment for them that encourages sleep with these baby and toddler sleep products.
What if they wake each other up during the night?
As a parent, we can only *hope* that our children will sleep through the night (because in turn, that means we get to sleep through the night!). It’s a common concern that siblings will wake each other up throughout the night and make it difficult for them to get quality rest. Again, this really depends on their personality. But a few off-nights aren’t the end of the world!
If you have one kid that’s more sleep trained than the other, there’s a solid chance that they will sleep through night wakings and disturbances, or at least fall back asleep fairly easily. Ultimately, teaching self-soothing techniques and independent sleep skills is the long-term path to having good sleepers. There may be a few bumps in the road to get there, but your children will thank you in the long run if they can adapt and sleep well.
Pros of Sibling Room Sharing
Enhanced sibling bond
Sharing bedrooms can foster a stronger bond between your children. When they get to spend more time together, it can often develop a closer relationship that lasts throughout their lifetime. They may fight from time to time, but that’s completely normal for growing siblings. Being with each other every day is a great way to grow their connection.
Improved sleep quality
If you have a child who’s afraid of the dark or has anxiety sleeping alone, room sharing can help provide peace of mind as they provide each other comfort and support. (This means less overnight trips to your room!)
Maximized living space
Many parents opt for room sharing due to space, which is completely okay! Whether you don’t have an extra bedroom or are hoping to create an in-home gym, the need for one less bedroom really frees up space in your home.
Encouragement of sharing
Being forced to share a space makes great sharers down the road. Sharing is a super important skill that can be really valuable for your children later on in life. They may get into petty arguments sometimes, but ultimately, they will be able to practice the skill of sharing on a regular basis. Cooperation is key!
Room sharing is a great way to encourage creativity and imaginative play. It helps to promote both social and cognitive development as well. Especially if you have limits on screen time, your child is much less likely to feel bored in their room when they have a built-in friend!
Development of problem-solving skills
Room sharing will help your children figure out how to fight fair early on in life- because they’ll likely be arguing more than they would if they had their own room (which is, by the way, completely normal). Giving your children the gift of healthy conflict-resolution skills will benefit them greatly as they grow up!
Promotes understanding and tolerance
Being in the same room as their sibling will help your children learn how to cooperate more naturally and appreciate each other’s differences. This is a great way to encourage open-mindedness, tolerance, and patience for your little ones.
Cons of Sibling Room Sharing
Differing sleep schedules
Having different bedtimes can be tricky when it comes to multiple kids in the same room. However, it’s not impossible to navigate and doesn’t need to negatively affect their sleep!
Children grow out of spaces (and fast)
Children grow very quickly- so shared rooms can easily become too small as they grow up. Room sharing may only work for a time rather than long-term. Depending on the size of the space, it can be beneficial to separate once they’ve outgrown it.
As your children grow older, personal space becomes more important. This can lead to some disagreements and issues down the road. Every situation is different and can vary greatly depending on the age gap between your children.
Arguing and fighting
Learning how to deal with conflict can be beneficial. However, the inevitable fighting that comes with room sharing isn’t fun in the moment. Depending on how close your children are and how well their personalities mesh, this looks different for each sibling dynamic.
Choosing What Works Best For You
Whether or not you decide to have your children share rooms is completely up to you, and every situation looks different. There are pros and cons to sharing or deciding not to share, and you know your children best! If you’re having sleep issues that go beyond room sharing, Sleep Shore is here to help. We offer one-on-one sleep support for newborns, infants, and toddlers. See what this mama had to say about our sleep services:
“Working with Rachel the last few weeks has been a great experience! She is a mother of two toddlers herself, so she really understands the different sleep challenges that can occur from the newborn stage on. Rachel helped me with my 2 and 3 year olds sleep schedules in order to combat early morning wakings, and gave me practical tips on how to avoid crib climbing and boundary pushing. She is knowledgeable, dedicated and passionate about helping families. I highly recommend Rachel to anyone who needs support!”
-MOM OF A 2 AND 3-YEAR OLD
We can help get your children on a smoother sleep schedule to help the whole family develop healthy sleep habits and feel well-rested. Here’s to better sleep!
Have twins? Read my post for some sleep tips on how to get twins to sleep at the same time!