Do DC need their own rooms? (Attempt 2!)

(32 Posts)
extracrunchy Fri 02-Aug-13 16:32:48

DH, DS (aged 2) and I currently live in a nice 2 bed flat with extremely reasonable rent in an area we love. DS is happy and settled and recently started at a great nursery very nearby.

DD is due in December and I'm wondering if/when we're going to need more space. We have a good size living room and garden, so lots of room to play and initially DD will be in with us, so no drama. However, at some point DD will be ready to move out of our room - likely around 6 months old if she's anything like DS - and if we stay she'll have to share with DS.

Do you think it would be very disruptive for them? Does anyone have any experience of a toddler and young baby sharing? Do they ever both sleep peacefully?

Another side note is that if they do share they'll have to swap rooms with DH and I as there's not quite enough space in the current kiddie room for another bed/cot alongside all the toys and clothes storage. If we decide to stay, would you move DS now so he's properly settled by December, or wait till they'll be sharing and do it then?

I'm probably massively over thinking this and sorry it's long and mundane, but thanks for reading! smile

2cats2many Fri 02-Aug-13 16:42:44

Mine have shared since ds was 6 months and dd was 2yo. It took about half an hour for them to get used to it. They've been best buddies ever since and are now in bunk beds.

I haven't done this except on holiday but I think the answer on whether it was a good idea would depend on how well they sleep. If they both sleep through the night then it shouldn't be much of a drama, but if you have a poor sleeper then it might not be so easy. Certainly that is our experience from holidays when we tried to put a baby DS2 in with DS1. They have no problem sharing as they got older and slept better.

As for moving DS now, are you co-sleeping or are you going to put DD in her own bed, just in your room? If she will have her own bed then you will need the space for a while yet so maybe it would be better to make the move when your DC have to start sharing. It might also help DS to accept his new room as a shared room from the start if they both move in together rather than giving him a lovely big room and then telling him a few months down the line that he would have to share.

Just as an aside, I did know a family where the DS and the DD shared a room and their mum had decorated it so that they each had their own area - one end was decorated to the DS's taste and the other end to suit the DD. It worked really well and sort of gave them their own space without having to give them their own bedroom, iyswim.

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 02-Aug-13 16:47:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

steppemum Fri 02-Aug-13 16:56:49

mine shared rooms.

We moved dc2 in with dc1 when she was about 7 months. We waited until she basically slept through from last feed (10-12pm) till morning.

For a few nights it was a bit disruptive, they didn't go down well etc. Then they got used to it, and even if one was sick in the night and I had to turn on lights and change bed, the other slept through.

Then we had dc3, and she moved in as well. then we moved to a temp house with 2 beds, so they all still had to share, and finally when oldest was 8 we moved to a house withe their own rooms.

ds was ready for his own space, it was hard to share with 2 little sisters by then, but for the first 5/6 years it was fine.

At some point ds got a high sleeper and the area under his bed was his space, where he spread out his lego and girls weren't allowed.

When we moved the girls still shared a room, and we decorated their space and they had their zone and shared centre. That worked fine.

one side effect that I hadn't realised was that more toys lived downstairs as there wasn't much room in their bedrooms. That improved a lot in the last house as bedrooms were bigger.

extracrunchy Fri 02-Aug-13 16:59:20

I shared with 2 sisters when l was little and only remember being older and happy - no memory of what it was like as toddlers/babies! (Neither does DM, which can only be a good thing!)

MooMa42o Fri 02-Aug-13 17:02:11

my two share & get along fine, they are ds3 & dd4, i know at some point in the future they will need there own space but not for many years to come

extracrunchy Fri 02-Aug-13 20:23:23

A friend of mine just said I shouldn't let them share while DD is under 1 as DS might try and be helpful and put a blanket on her or something. Gah! Hadn't thought of that!!

BadRoly Fri 02-Aug-13 20:31:17

We lived in a 3bed house until dc4 was almost 1. Dc1&2 shared from when dc2 was about 2mths (so dc1 almost 2). No problems at all with baby waking the toddler.

When dc3 was born, she stayed in with us until about 6mths then went in with dv1 (then 5yrs). Dc2 got his own room then until dc4 was 6ish mths (dc2 then 5).

We found that dc1&2 slept much better once they were both toddlers/preschoolers and we think it is because they took comfort from having the other one in their room.

Only problems we had were older heavier children climbing into the cot with younger dc or trying to free younger dc from cot!

steppemum Fri 02-Aug-13 23:17:48

don't really think that the blanket thing is an issue, at 7 months dc2 could roll and wriggle out if dc1 had put a blanket on, it certainly wasn't an issue with ours, but I don't think there was a loose blanket/pillow lying around anyway

not sure what you friend thinks most families did before it became the norm for kids to have their own rooms

extracrunchy Sat 03-Aug-13 00:34:53

Very good point..!

VenusSurprising Sat 03-Aug-13 00:43:25

You need to move them into their own rooms at about 8. Before that they're fine together. Make sure they have their own beds.

I'm still aghast that one of my DDs friends who is 9 still shares with her 11 year old brother.

steppemum Sat 03-Aug-13 08:32:49

venus - I assume you mean you need to move them as they are a dd and a ds? Not sure why otherwise!

And we have just had all the cousins to stay, they all slept in one room on a heap of mattresses on the floor. 6 of them, both sexes, oldest 11, youngest 5. I had no problems with it.

Personality comes into it too, my brothers shared and one was very tidy and the other not. They hated it, and my parents came up with a room divider that enabled them to have their own space.

extracrunchy Sat 03-Aug-13 20:31:15

Just thought - those who've had younger DCs sharing and then moved them to separate rooms when older - how did that go? Were they excited to have their own rooms or was the transition difficult?

MrsJamin Sat 03-Aug-13 20:34:11

DSs are 3 and 5 and have always shared - they love it, thankfully DS1 sleeps very deeply so never woke up when DS2 screamed and cried when little. It is definitely worth giving it a go. We have only just moved from a 2-bed to a 4-bed house, but they still share as it works so well at bedtime and they get up together and play before bothering us in the morning.

steppemum Sat 03-Aug-13 22:31:37

mine were really ready for their own rooms and very excited
so ds got his at 8 and the girls still shared
then girls got own rooms when dd1 was 8, and she was thrilled

but dd2 was only 5 and although she was excited to have her own room, she really missed dd1 and pestered her in her new room all the time.

Theas18 Sat 03-Aug-13 22:45:40

My 3 all shared till the eldest was,about 8 and the younger 2 shared for a while after ( they are now 20/17/14). All was pretty good actually having them together. No one thought a sibling might be dong something more exciting and " pretend to sleep till the baby goes off then you can read for a bit" usually meant the big ones fell asleep by accident!

There are actually No "rules" about siblings sharing rooms and ages .older mixed sex siblings might help get a bigger council house that is all.

conorsrockers Sat 03-Aug-13 23:11:28

As someone else said - it's a luxury. We had 3 sharing at one point (all DS), I could have banged their heads together occasionally while trying to get them to sleep, but I don't think different rooms would have made much of a difference grin 2 of them are still sharing now - they don't even want their own rooms and they hate sleeping alone ....

Just an observation, not being dramatic, about mixing the sexes - I had to do this during the holidays when I was growing up (I'm talking 5-12) when I went to stay with family/family friends. Sadly, several times, I was at the wrong end of their young son's 'inquisitiveness' - but never discussed it/made anything of it as I thought it was normal (and I didn't want them to get told off). From those experiences I would never put my DS's in that position - and I 'trust' them implicitly. I am in no way trying to suggest that this would/did happen, but I'm just putting forward my first thought when reading one of your subsequent posts ...

Theas18 Mon 05-Aug-13 01:19:56

connorsrockers I understand what you are saying, butbecause boy you stayed with assaulted you shouts that mean you wouldn't let your kids share a room if mixed gender?

my kids still all relatively happily share on holiday for instance... the unhappiness being that dd2 Wales to early!

conorsrockers Mon 05-Aug-13 20:38:13

Theas18 - I think I just about understand what yr saying ... I don't have that decision to make as I have 3DS! To be honest I don't know. But I wouldn't put other people's girls in with them, no.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 05-Aug-13 21:08:46

I think it depends on their ages. If they are close in age its fine but if there is a bigger gap between them then it can be unfair. There is 10 years between my 2 and it would have just never worked. Likewise i remember having to share with my sister 7 years my junior and it was a fucking nightmare.

LadyLech Tue 06-Aug-13 00:53:09

We have always lived in a 3bed house, but my DDs shared a room until DD1 was 7/8.

There are 3 years between DD1 and DD2, when DD2 was born, we kept her in our room until she was a year old, and able to go into the bottom part of a bunk bed. DD1, was then 4 and able to go into the top bunk (a shorty bunk suitable for 4+). They happily shared for many years. When we moved house (to another 3 bed) they chose to continue sharing rooms for another year. When DD1 got to about 8 years, she started wanting her own room, and we separated them. However, DD1 has still got bunk beds and they often have sleepovers together.

DD1 once said to me, that she felt sorry for only children, because mummies had daddies to go to bed with, and she had her sister, but who did single children have to go to sleep with? I honestly believe that sharing a room for their formative years has helped to foster their very close relationship (they really are the best of friends, even though they bicker sometimes). I have no regrets whatsoever about them sharing a room whilst they were young.

gaelicsheep Tue 06-Aug-13 00:57:54

My two (DS and DD) shared a room until about 2 months ago. DS is 7 now and DD is 3 and I think if they didn't now have their own rooms I'd be getting a bit bothered about it. Interestingly enough, it was DS who struggled more with the transition. In fact one night we found that he'd snuck downstairs and had sneaked into DD's bed. I agree with the person who said it has helped foster a really lovely close sibling relationship. But I think the time is right now for both of them to have their own space.

LazyMonkeyButler Tue 06-Aug-13 01:00:41

The only reason I know for young children needing their own bedrooms is SN. DS1 has Aspergers & ASD in general - he needs his own
room/space & has done since about the age of 3.

As we have a 3 bed house, this meant that DS2 shared with DD - instead of what most people would do and have a boys' room and a girls' room. It worked fine for us, until DS2 was older & we created a 4th bedroom by partitioning the largest bedroom into 2 smaller ones (could not afford an extension or loft conversion!).

RonaldMcDonald Tue 06-Aug-13 01:03:26

I currently live in a 3 bed simply because the Georgian flat I loved had three beds.
There are now four of us. My three d and myself.
All three girls share a room and they and I have no reason to suggest otherwise

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