Letting ‘em all sleep together

photo-180When my 2-year-old climbed out of her crib a few months ago, we took off the “foot” side. Now she can get in or out safely on her own. However, it’s pretty clear that she’s old enough for a big girl bed.

We have a bed that’s a perfect size: the trundle bed in our 4-year-old’s room. One solution would be to move that trundle out of his room and into our daughter’s room. But that isn’t what’s been happening.

The two boys have their own rooms, but they’re Jack-and-Jill style (attached by a bathroom). They have the bathroom doors open and tend to move back and forth a lot, playing together after door-shut time in the evening. I haven’t really minded this. They usually come up with good ways to play together, there are no screens (so they read, draw, play with Legos, etc.), and they are out of my hair, entertaining each other.

My daughter isn’t stupid. She’s become aware that her brothers are playing together in their rooms while she’s over in hers alone. She does not stand for injustice (at least against her). There was only so long she was going to tolerate this. And in the past few days, she’s decided that she wants to join them, and sleep on the trundle bed while it’s in her brother’s room.

So we’ve let her. Transitions are never seamless with small kids, and that’s been the case with this one. She’s been so excited to be with her brothers that she’s been keeping them up well past 9:30. She is sometimes up after 10. This makes her crabby during the day.

On the other hand, transitions are temporary, and I suppose she’ll eventually settle down. It’s summer, and we aren’t doing camp this week, so no one has to be up at the crack of dawn. My husband and I were able to have breakfast and coffee together yesterday morning — alone — because the exhausted kids all slept until almost 8. There are downsides to having siblings close in age to you  — my 4-year-old gets very little in the way of new clothes — but the upside is that life is a constant playdate. And I kind of like the idea of life being a constant slumber party too. If only it would end a little sooner.

Do your kids share rooms?

In other news: My monthly newsletter will be out Friday. I usually include an essay, a book review, a tip, and links to top posts here. If you’re not a regular blog reader (or if you are!), please consider signing up to keep in touch once a month. (Links scattered across this webpage).

While waiting for the kids to settle down last night, I started watching episodes of Extreme Weight Loss. That was something. I’m quite curious how “Melissa” lost 79 lbs in 90 days. You get the emotional commentary, but very little of the logistics — which I would have found more interesting.



20 Responses to Letting ‘em all sleep together


  1. Anjanette says:

    Aww, that sounds like fun! Even if you have to send everyone back to their own rooms for the next week of camp, maybe you could institute “Sleepover Saturdays” as a weekly treat (for everyone, if it keeps all the kids sleeping in later the next day!)

  2. Ana says:

    Mine share a room, they have since the little one was about 6-8 months (?, I totally forgot when we moved him out of the pack n play in the guest room). . We took the side off our little one’s crib a few weeks ago, too. I WISH they would play together. They just get up and bother us…

    • Laura says:

      @Ana – that is a huge upside of having them all in there. They generally don’t want me in there, and they generally stay in there. I just feel I need to go up and play the heavy when I hear little feet scampering around at 10 p.m. (when I know there will be tantrums the next day).

  3. Nolo says:

    My girls have shared a room since the beginning and, up until they got the bunk beds about a month ago, shared a bed for the last two years too. (They still do that sometimes in their full-over-full bunks!) Everyone sleeps better when they’re together. =)

  4. Our daughter is still staying with us. One of these days we’ll switch rooms around, but first we need to finish putting a floor in the bathroom and redoing the window treatments in her future bedroom.

  5. June says:

    My 6 and 4 year old daughters share a room. Whenever they fight and get on each other’s nerves, I threaten to separate them. Separation is worse than the offending crimes of the sister. I’m not sure what I’m going to do when they finally call my bluff.

  6. Griffin says:

    Yes, my boy-girl twins share a room and have since birth. Not sure when we’ll separate them, but it works really well now.

    • Laura says:

      @Griffin – it may not have to be for a while. I certainly know families in NYC who’ve had opposite gender kids share a room for a long time.

  7. Our little girls sleep with us until now and we’re having hard time to get them sleep to their own bed. I put them on their bed few times when they fell asleep on me,still,they climbed on our bed everytime they wake up.

  8. I think it sounds awesome, at least for now! Especially with the late mornings :) I love the idea of all 3 having secret talks and playtime together.

  9. usha says:

    Ah! So it’s not just us with our 6-year old girl still sleeping with us! We don’t mind it much, partly because it is culturally accepted that kids sleep with parents for longer than is usual in the “West” (I know there are exceptions, I know!), and also because we all feel cosy together. She will soon grow up and leave the bed and the nest :)

  10. ARC says:

    My older one tells me that she and her sister are going to share a room once M moves out of the crib. I love the idea, but not sure how well that’ll work in practice.

    I giggled at the idea of your youngest railing against personal injustice. I think we have one of those, too :)

    • Laura says:

      @ARC – oh, any perceived slight. Even if it is just imagined — it sets off the screaming…

      • ARC says:

        Gotta love toddlers.

  11. Mary says:

    My two boys (6 & 3) share a room. Like you they often stay up past when we put them to bed playing or looking at books together. I love it as I am free to do things in the evening without them bothering me (generally). The only down side is when one keeps the other awake but it happens so rarely that it is not that big of a deal.

  12. Roo says:

    All three of my girls share a room. The 2 year old is in a toddler bed, while the ‘big’ two share a bunk bed. We just moved her from the crib to the bed last week, and we’ve been regularly catching her roaming the halls in the middle of the night. Forgot that there’s a little work involved in keeping them in their beds!

    • Laura says:

      @Roo- yup, once you can get out of the bed, you start to wonder why you should stay in! At least mine tend to stay in the room, so that’s a plus.

  13. Meghan says:

    Our boys share a room, and have for a year now, when the baby was 6 months old. They do keep each other awake, and we find it hard sometimes to tread the line between letting them bond and making them sleep. Naps are the worst, but the couple of times I’ve had to separate them to make them sleep did the trick — they were both heartbroken (but slept!) and now the threat/promise holds weight and works.

    • Laura says:

      @Meghan – my 2 older boys shared a room in NYC from about the time the little one was 4-5 months. I was worried about his potential night-time wake-ups waking his older brother, but nope. They sometimes kept each other from going to sleep, but once asleep, all was good. We’ve never really had the 2 nap problem, as the kids are far enough apart and have given up naps early enough that it’s never come up…

  14. Carrie says:

    It’s constant musical beds around here. It used to drive my husband batty but now he’s used to it. I find it hilarious that my 9 and 11 year old girls will bicker off an on all day, then BEG to sleep in the same bed at night. They have bunkbeds but usually end up on one.
    And my 13 year old son still cannot sleep unless his big brother is in the room. They stay up late talking and playing 20 questions and such… which is sweet, because they don’t do a lot of that during the day (as opposed to the girls, who are playmates).