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Benefit of Kids Sharing a Room

The Unexpected Benefit of Having My Kids Share a Room

I had always planned to have my boys share a room once my youngest transitioned into a big-kid bed; I thought it'd be good bonding for them to be in the same space and a good lesson in sharing, not to mention give me my guest room/home office back! But after my almost 4-year-old asked more than once if his 18-month-old baby brother could sleep with him and we spent a week enduring extralong bedtime routines because he was scared to be alone, I figured it couldn't hurt to move the timeline up.

The next night my husband and I dismantled the crib and moved it into our older son's room. We set the monitor up so we could keep an eye on them and watched nervously from the couch after we'd said our good nights and closed the door. I immediately regretted our decision.

It didn't take long before the older one was out of bed putting lovies into the crib and the baby was standing up throwing said lovies out of the crib. We went in, told them it was time for bed, and tucked them in again. The minute we closed the door the party started back up. Books were "read," the sound machine was turned off and on, the baby cried. I nearly labeled it a disaster and made plans to separate them.

But once they finally fell asleep, they slept so soundly I didn't even notice I'd left the monitor on next to my bed. As the week went on, the after-bedtime playtime continued — albeit a little less intensely — but so did the quality of their (and our) sleep.

Before that, I couldn't recall an entire week since my second son was born that we'd had zero sleep interruptions. Even with tough-love sleep training and two generally good sleepers, we were easily woken up at least once a week by a bad dream, a potty accident, teething pain, or unexplained crying. But since the two started sleeping in the same room, those incidents have been fewer and farther between, and I haven't heard a peep from my older one about being scared.

Maybe it's the added security they feel with another person in the room, maybe it's seeing the other brother still asleep that prompts them to lie back down when they wake up in the middle of the night, or maybe we've just been lucky. But I'll happily trade a few extra minutes of presleep shenanigans if it means eight uninterrupted hours for me.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Maria del Rio
Product Credit: Everlane sweatshirt
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