Whether you’re adding a new member to your fam, moving to a new place with less space or just want your babes to have more bonding opps while they’re growing up, strategizing a room share between/among your children might just be the best idea ever. That being said, before your littles become bunkmate besties, you’re bound to experience some growing pains — totally normal and 100 percent to be expected. It’s not like there’s an easy compatibility test or roommate questionnaire that you can have your eight-month-old fill out to ensure an ever-successful match-up.
So, to help you navigate all the highs and lows that can come with a decision to room them together, we’ve called in the experts: Parents who have #BeenThereDoneThat and know what works (or at least, what worked for
them) for this co-op living arrangement. There’s no exact science behind the most copacetic room configurations, but leading with the below POV is a surefire way to start fostering a 👍❤️🙌 rooming situation between siblings.
Privatize areas of the room to keep all parties comfortable and confident. The way you set up the room — with furniture used as dividers or separately purchased modesty screens — can make your older children feel more at ease with getting dressed in the morning or at night… Or just give them something to hide behind when they need some ‘me’ time.
We all have an image of a shared bedroom with
bunk beds or lofted looks. But those are a lot more suitable for school-aged sibs who have mastered stair climbs and ladder ascents. A combination of a Montessori-style bed and crib might make much more sense for the younger set.
If you have an older child living with baby bro or sis, you’ll want to eliminate all likelihood of tiny toys being swallowed or chewed on. We love these adorable
soft canvas drums and cubes from Pehr for tidying up and tackling any/all choking threats. They’re super cute and playful, too.
Floating shelves are also some of our faves, because they can be hung at whatever height is appropriate for your
older kid to reach — taking trinkets, books and blocks off the table for tinier hands. These colored metal bracket options give rooms a great pop of color, too .
One of the biggest issues that parents labor over is the sleep disturbance factor. Maybe one of your littles takes forever to fall asleep and then, even more frustratingly, is the lightest sleeper ever. These
creature cuties from SoundBub are small and easy to move around and come with timer options that can shut things down once your rest rebels finally start snoring.
As for what helps with the ‘wind down?’ Pre-sleep stories! These
portable book lights from Urban are as sweet as they are smart. Just have your little bookworm clip it onto their favorite book, and they can read in the dark without rousing or annoying their sibling.
If you have one of two early risers, you can train them to stay in bed, snuggled up, until it’s an
appropriate “time to get up” with a friendly clock that’s just for them. Only green means go!
Room sharing can make
any child feel like they’ve lost a little of their identity, so that’s something you’ll want to have on your radar to remedy. Before they move in together, think about finding fun ways to personalize their parts of the room, starting with their name! Whether it’s with a trendy neon installation, a classic wooden plaque or something playful, a design that puts their name on display is a definite DO.
Letting children color coordinate the space or create a theme is a tried-and-true way to establish independence in a shared space. Modern wallpaper couturier and
Chasing Paper founder, Elizabeth Rees, and artist and collaborator, Sally King McBride — both mothers of two — are experts in making shared spaces shine.
Secret languages still exist today between siblings and they’ll continue to play out in perpetuity, tbh. It’s a wonderful thing that can be strengthened by room sharing, and even through silly, yet impossibly heart-eye-inducing things like these
top secret friendship notes. Each box includes 12 mini folded notes, envelopes, sealing stickers and a pencil for each of your kids to write messages to their brother, sister, twin, cousin (who might end up sleeping over every now and again) or BFF.
Clap it up for cute
bunk bed style. If you have an older child, it’s the perfect way to create a shared space with some room to spare. If both kids aren’t ready for real bed sleeping, you can always loft the top bunk or add a toddler bed below.
Because You Lit-Er-Ally Just Had A Baby….