What’s my advice to parents wondering whether they can swing two small kids sharing one tiny bedroom?
If you think you can do it, you definitely can.
With all of the proper caveats that what works for one family might not work for another, and with none of the specifics which might give the erroneous impression that there’s only one way to do this, I believe from the bottom of heart that kids can learn to sleep just about anywhere. More than that, I think it can be lovely and comforting (and only occasionally bothersome) to have your sibling’s sweet snores lulling you to sleep. Especially if you are a toddler or an infant, and likely well beyond then.
I’m not here to offer a single bit of didactic advice about putting kids to bed in a shared bedroom, within a tiny apartment. There are a hundred ways it can work, and a hundred ways it might need to be tweaked, but if worry about your kids sharing a room is keeping you up at night, I will say: worry no more.
Human beings the world over share small sleeping spaces. And while I won’t make claims that sleeping four to a bed, a la Charlie Bucket’s grandparents would be comfortable, it’s certainly been done before and certainly will be done again.
Faye and Silas have shared their room since Silas was about three-months old and began to sleep consistently in his crib. Their sharing a room has never seemed to be the thing to cause less than perfectly blissful nights of sleep. And, if it has been, well, we’ve powered through anyway, deciding against shunting one of the them to roof, or bathtub, or any other ill-advised location. On rare occasions, an awake child has indeed roused a sleeping child, but generally they’ve slept soundly through sibling sobs and squawking. When not, we’ve cursed our luck and welcomed one or another (or both) into our bed, or we’ve played musical beds, or done any of the things that parents and young children have done since time immemorial in an effort to gain maximum sleep and inflict minimum damage. We’ve been very tired and we’ve been very well rested. I have no doubt the same is true for most folks.
So what’s next?
At nearly five and inching-toward-two-and-a-half, I’ve started to think toward the future a bit. With any luck, we’ll manage to squeeze a bit more time out of this tiny apartment and this narrow room and so we’re beginning to think about solutions for slightly older kids sharing a small space.
The slim rectangle of a room has been large enough for a twin bed and a crib to fit comfortably, but it’s not big enough for two twin beds (end-to-end or side-by-side). So, we’re considering options: bunks and trundles and other ways of getting creative while staying comfortable and generally protected from bed-making nightmares.
Opinions on bunk beds or trundles or anything in between? I’m all ears.