Tuesday 20 August 2019

PARENTHOOD: Supporting the Transition to Siblings Sharing a Bedroom

PARENTHOOD: Supporting the Transition to Siblings Sharing a Bedroom*Advertorial Content - Gifted Item
If I'm honest I never really thought any of our children would need to share a room, perhaps because I never did with my siblings but either way it just wasn't something I saw for our family prior to having children. But then we had two daughters, Isabella and Poppy, relatively close together (there's a two year two months age gap between them) and their bond blows me away every day. Don't get me wrong they have their moments, but on the whole they love nothing more than being together. When I do get time one on one with either of them they spend the whole time asking for each other, regardless of how fun the activity we're doing is. I have two brothers, so have never witnessed or had any experience of what a sister bond is like but already I can tell how fiercely strong it is. They'll argue over the same toy, but the moment one needs the other they are there with a hug or kiss. It's been and still is such an honour to witness their relationship flourish as they grow older, which is partially why we made the decision for them to share a room together.

Another big factor in this decision is that we are currently expecting baby number three and with a three bedroom house our options were limited. We could have moved into a bigger property, but the idea of doing that when heavily pregnant and in reality it would have probably had to have been a house that needed a lot of work doing on it was not all that appealing. We moved into our home now when I was heavily pregnant with Isabella and I remember vividly how uncomfortable it was trying to paint skirting boards with a big bump, not to mention the challenge of not having a proper bathroom or kitchen! Back then we didn't have any other children to look after, so I think for us the only sensible option was to stay where we are and make it work. 
Luckily, Isabella's bedroom is a really good size so fitting both girls in there wasn't going to be an issue but that didn't mean it wasn't an easy decision. The baby will be in our room for the first 4-6 months, so in reality we didn't need to make any changes to the sleeping arrangements for another 9 months but I've never been a 'last minute' kind of person. I like to be organised and help the children make any transitions as smoothly as possible. My main worries were them disturbing each other when going to sleep, during the night or in the morning, how we'd fit everything into one room (such as their toys, clothes, blankets, cuddly toys etc.) and whether it would be too intense for them to be together at night as well as during the day.
But there was no need to worry, as we are currently over a month into the shared bedroom set up and it has worked really well on the whole. Prior to Poppy moving in Isabella had been sleeping on a bed that wasn't a full single, so we've put in a full size single for her and Poppy is in the smaller bed. That was another big change that happened when Poppy moved into the bedroom; she went from a cot to a bed for the first time ever. When Isabella transitioned between the cot and bed we found it went smoothly and soon enough she was completely used to it, so that was the hope for Poppy too. Despite them being a similar age when we've made the transition (around two years old) Poppy seems a lot younger than Isabella did, perhaps due to her lack of speech, so we did want to take some extra steps to ease the transition. 
One of these was to add a Portable Bed Rail in Dark Grey from Safety1st, so that Poppy was securely in the bed and didn't have any risk of falling out and hurting herself or disturbing Isabella. I really like how compact it is when it's folded down, which makes it ideal for travelling or when we visit family and it was so easy to set up too. You can also pick it up in blue or pink too if you prefer. I honestly feel like having this bed rail has helped to ease Poppy into a bed, as well as make the transition into a shared bedroom that bit easier. Although Poppy can get out of the bed herself, she doesn't tend too because she's in her safe little area behind the net bed rail.

The only big change in routine that we've had to make is that it quickly became evident that Poppy had been waking up a lot earlier than anyone else. When she was in her cot she must have been happy enough looking around, as we were never disturbed/woken up by her until Isabella's sun came up on her Gro Clock and Poppy heard Isabella talking. However, on the first morning after they'd slept in the same room together Poppy woke Isabella (and subsequently us) up at 4.30am, which is obviously very unfair on poor Isabella and far too early for Poppy to be waking too. She had been having a nap after lunch and I would let her have as long as she wanted, which was usually somewhere between 1.5-2 hours. It was evident that she was napping too late and for too long, which was resulting in her getting up so early. The next day I moved her nap to 11am and restricted it to one hour and have done ever since, which to our relief has worked perfectly! Poppy will now nap at 11am for one hour, then go to bed at 6pm and wake up around 5.30am. I know this is still pretty early, but she does go to bed on the earlier side and Isabella did exactly the same thing when she was two years old. It's a much more manageable time for us and it's been lovely to be woken up to the girl's playing together as they wait for the sun to come up on the Gro Clock. The sun finally rises for them at 6.25am, so they often have almost an hour playing together quietly before coming through to us and this has been working really well. I wish I could say we were asleep for that hour, but I am almost always woken when they first get up and use that time to wake up myself and get ready for the day.
Overall, I know we're still in the early days of bedroom sharing but it is working really well at the moment and the only big change has been nap times. 

Did you or your children share a bedroom? How did it work in the long run?

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x


  1. I shared with my older sister which was a nightmare growing up. She was a night owl I was not. We have two boys currently sharing a room and have had to change which boys are sharing due to a lot of messing at night. I do find children very adaptable though, I think we we worry more than they do x

  2. My girls shared their room too. It was hard when the youngest was very little but then when she turned 2 the sleeping was much easier for both of them. They are now 9 and 5 and we recently got them bunk beds and they absolutely love them. They love each other but they fight a lot though. I am glad to hear that the process for you is working fine and how lovely that they have such a strong bond too! :)

  3. My boys share a bedroom (3 years old and 15 months old). We have a 3rd bedroom, but it is downstairs and I preferred to keep my kids close together for a few years at least. They love having one another near by and they don't know any different - I'm not sure how they would react if we split them now!

  4. My younger two share a room- 10 and 2, touch wood it’s going really well

  5. I remember when I was a kids, I share bedroom with my sister. It was cute but I hate it. She snores too loud haha But I hope your kids enjoyed sharing with each other.

  6. My 2 girls share bedroom with each other and they enjoyed it so much. It help them create a bond with each other though sometimes they really hate each other haha

  7. Such an important topic that should be handled delicately. Some great advice in this post also which I am sure many will find helpful xx

  8. I can not imagine not sharing my room with my sister, I think because I come from a big extended family where all girls share the room it felt like the norm thing to do.

  9. For us it was luckily really easy. My eldest doesn't like sleeping alone, and when we moved house when my younger son was 9 months old big brother actually asked for them to share so we used the occassion of the new house to put them together in a room.

  10. Sleeping arrangements for siblings is such a minefield. They are close in age and sound like the get on for the most part so I'm sure it will go smoothly

  11. My kids all share their bedrooms and whilst they would love their own rooms, it isn;t possible. We stagger the bedtimes depending on their age and they know not to wake the other up and to come downstairs when they get up


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