yes, my baby boys share a bedroom

and yes, we like it this way.

The Why:

Every once in a while I like to buck a trend, stick it to the man, think outside the box, put my kids in the same bedroom.

I know, right?

Sure, part of our choice to have them in the same room is logistical for us: we have a two-up-two-down house. If we all had our own rooms then someone wouldn’t have been on the same level, and that really isn’t our preference.

But the baby! And the crying! And the toddler pre-bed jabber! And the midnight nursing! And the diaper changes! And the nap schedule! And how will children ever be well adjusted if they don’t have! their! own! room!?

If you’re a parent, think about one of the many times your child has surprised you with their resilience, their ability to understand, or their flexibility. You think that things are supposed to go one way, but then your toddling 1 year old gets right up after a fall without crying at all and you think “Wow! I didn’t know he could do that!”

It’s like that, the room sharing. We are constantly impressed by how much they just roll with it.

The How:

In the 6 months that OBrother has been here, there have been maybe 3? 4? nights where the boys have woken each other up (and of course, one of them was while DanO was solo and I was at a bachelorette party). Both boys have their night time wakings, OBoy from bad dreams or who knows what, and OBrother to nurse at alarmingly frequent intervals (3hrs, what?). We’ve had head colds, ear infections, growth spurts, diaper blowouts, bed jumping, light switch antics, Halloween sugar high, you name it, my boys have slept through the other one doing it.

We do have a pack-n-play in our room to give us some flexibility. For example, in the morning if OBrother nurses after 4:00am and then wants to keep sleeping, we keep him in our room because more than likely he would sleep in later than OBoy. For naps, they usually (but not always) sleep seperately, OBrother napping in the pack-n-play in our room.

Our bedtime routine looks like this: Both boys go upstairs with DanO around 6:30. He puts them in their PJs, does the bathroom stuff with OBoy (teeth, potty), and then they read together on the chair in their room. After a bit I come upstairs (usually from cleaning up dinner or fin.al.ly. sitting down in a quiet room) and kiss OBoy night night, then take the baby into the master bedroom and nurse him. DanO does the quiet parts of bedtime with OBoy – rocking, singing, praying – and then comes in to check on baby and me. If OBrother is asleep, DanO lays him down in his crib right away (and then reminds OBoy that baby is in there sleeping so he needs to be quiet) otherwise we will rock him in the chair until he is out and then lay him down.

The Yay:

By far the best part of the boys being together is how much they both love it. Most nights OBoy is still rolling around in bed winding down from his day when we bring OBrother in. Sometimes we’ll rock him in the chair in there, other times OBrother is already milk-drunk asleep and we bring him in to lay him in his crib. Always, always, always if OBoy is awake when his brother comes in, he will get excited and talk to him.

“Hi baby! Peek-a-boo baby! Shhhhh baby sleepin! Night night.”

(Again, OBrother doesn’t wake up to this. The only side-effect is the absolute melting of Mommy and Daddy’s hearts.)

OBrother will often be giggling watching OBoy in the morning. Be still, my heart!

OBoy has gone through getting out of bed/being a goofball phases and I think it has actually helped that the reasoning we use to tell him he needs to stop isn’t just “because we say so” (although that is a completely valid reason!) but it is also that baby is sleeping in here and needs rest. Again, we have been impressed by how willing OBoy is to change his behavior or choices to benefit his beloved brother.

The Whoops:

Praise God for video monitors (and the people said Amen!). Last night we were scanning the room on the monitor for OBoy because he was out of bed. Sometimes he turns on the closet light, sneaks in there and reads a book (but the light wasn’t on). Sometimes he plays behind the curtains (but they weren’t moving). Sometimes he leaves his room altogether and we see him standing at the top of the stairs, but none of these were the case.

And then, in the corner of the room near the crib, there was a lot of movement.

Turns out, this was happening:

(After taking a picture because, hi! so cute! we quickly put an end to the climbing into his brother’s crib thing.)

So, sharing rooms isn’t all roses, but it works very well for our family. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

38 Responses to “yes, my baby boys share a bedroom”

  1. tistylee

    my two also share a bedroom. we live in a rowhouse in the city, so with limited space we have to be creative! have had our incidents of big brother in little sisters bed… which i’m sure will be VERY entertaining when she’s out of her crib. :) but overall, we have found it to be a good. :)

  2. Krista

    Our 5 year old son and 3 year old daughter share a room, out of necessity for now, but if we had a third bedroom I think they still would. They love being together, and I think it’s good for them!

  3. Elle The Heiress

    In our house we have one small bedroom and two large ones on the second floor. The small room is a playroom, one of the large bedrooms is our master, and we have both of our children in the other large room. We plan on putting our third in the same room with the other kids, too. Sebastian just turned 3 in September, Genevieve is 9.5 months, and #3 is due in early June. We plan on keeping the three of them in the same room until they get close to puberty and need separate spaces. Whichever gender we end up with two of will have the large bedroom, and the singleton will be in the small room.

    We aren’t really trying to go against the norm or anything, it just makes sense to put all the kids in one bedroom since it fits them all. We have a crib, bunk beds, two dressers, a play kitchen, a large train table, bookshelves, toy storage units, and more in that room with plenty of space to spare. It almost seems like it would be a waste of space at this point to divide the children up.

  4. michelleJ

    I really like these kind of posts that are examples of “how other people do it.” There seems to be such a natural tendency these days to default to separate rooms. If we have a second while still in this house (or heck, in the house we’re renovating and possibly moving in to), it may be that we put both kids together…. so great to see this vote of confidence that yes, it can indeed be done! Love this post.

  5. claire

    We have one boy (18 months) and we also have a 2 up-2 down split. The plan has been since we bought the house that the kiddos (praying for more every day :)) will share rooms. Several reasons for this: convenience, I’ve watched too many scarey shows/movies to let us be on different levels, blanket forts, story telling, secret sharing, friendship forming… I know there will be downs (heck there are to sharing a room for me and I’m married ;)–can anyone say alone time?!?! ;)) but in our perspective the up’s FAR OUTWEIGH the downs. Who knows that the reality will be tho… but this is our plan…

    A little aside, my sister and I had our own rooms growing up (we all did-there were four) and each night one of us would drag a blanket into the others room and sleep on the floor. Finally we made the switch official, and we loved it.

    Thanks for posting this :)

  6. Mag

    My girls have been sharing a room since they were 2 1/2 and 6 months. We were in a townhouse with only 3 bedrooms and one was an office so we had no choice. And they loved it! They would sleep through each others noises and in the morning instead of trundling down the hall to wake us up, big E would “play” with lil C through the crib bars. Now we’re in a bigger house and we have the “space” for them to have separate rooms, but they want to be together. Then we had #3, Mr. T, so now we have the girls’ room and the boy’s room and everybody is happy. Most of the time. Besides, North Americans have this weird notion of babies and little kids needing all kinds of “freedom” etc. What they need is security and comfort and having a sibling next to them provides some of that. Oh to have a deep and sweet sibling relationship. It’s a beautiful thing.

  7. erin white

    once we went from 2 to 3 kids (we are pregnant with our 5th) sharing became a necessity! I think it is the most wonderful thing that a family can do. it teaches all sorts of great things – to BOTH of the children in the room – I could go on and on about the qualities I see in my children because they have had to share. right now our 18year old has her own room/bathroom suite (after sharing for many, many years), the 10 year old and the 2 year old (girls) share a room AND a bed – and our 7 year old is just waiting his turn to share the bottom bunk of his bed with his brother to be born in December! the bonds and love that is created by situating our family this way just cannot be measured! keep up the great parenting!

  8. Mary

    Our boys also share a bedroom (they are 19 mos apart & ages 17 mo & 3 yrs) and we have had very similar experiences to yous – and I would never look back on or regret the decision. Though we have had a few moments of “why, oh why, did we have them share a room?!” We usually get through those and it works better. (We also only have two up, and one down, which was what primarily led us to our decision to have them share).

  9. ingrid

    I shared a bedroom with my sister until I moved out and got married. Even when we had the choice to have separate rooms we stayed together. I think it’s awesome that your boys share one.

  10. Kay

    I have have a question as we are in the same situation (well the baby is in a bassinet in our room but we are ready to move her).

    Did you ever have problems with OBoy putting toys or blankets in the crib with the baby when he woke up? I’m really worried about our toddler doing this as we keep the toys in their bedroom closet.

    Do you keep toys in their room too, or are they kept separately? We may need to do that in order to prevent any possible hazards.

    • AllisonO

      We actually don’t keep toys in their room, just books and stuffed animals. So far himself is the only thing he has put in the crib. :) I think having a video monitor helps us feel comfortable knowing what’s going on in there.

  11. Laura @ Homemaking Joyfully

    My boys (now almost 8 and 5) have been sharing a room since the 5 y/o was itty bitty. It caused some problems in the beginning because we had just moved, then had the new baby so big brother was quite thrown off by the whole gig. But, it didn’t take long before our always hard sleeper – big brother – got back into his routine and wasn’t ever really bothered by the baby any more. The next problem didn’t come until a couple years later when younger brother was moved into a big kid bed…… He is a VERY strong willed child and required so much discipline to simply stay in bed and go to sleep each night that it sometimes kept older brother up. Other than that, it has been so great for them and they love sharing a room. It is especially helpful (and sweet) when my husband is deployed or TDY. There are many nights when I find younger brother in big brother’s bed. We sometimes have to deal with the 5 y/o waking his older brother up in the morning because he usually wakes up first and simply wants someone to play with him. We’re working on training him to either come find me or sit quietly with a book or noiseless toy! Even with a few struggles along the way, I can’t imagine having done it any other way.

    • Sarah M

      It’s been a while since your comment, but I remembered this post and am about to start room sharing for my 2 year-old and 4 month old. I love hearing how things work practically for the OFamily, but I won’t have my husband home every night to help. You mention yours is deployed an sometimes not home. Any tips on doing bedtime routines on your own? Maybe your kids were older and used to it by then….

  12. Sara K {SaigeWisdom}

    I LOVE THIS… we have a 2 bed 1 bath house {until the addition} and while it’s okay for our baby boy to bed share with us for now and then move to his ‘nursery nook’ in our room… I was trying to decide if putting him in with his big sister would be a good idea down the road… thanks for sharing your bedroom sharing experience… I think we might give it a try if the renovation happens later instead of sooner. :)

  13. Jen

    my two – a boy (5) & a girl (3) – share a room. they have no choice. we live in a 2 bedroom townhome. sure we could convert our loft to a very teeny-tiny small bedroom or eventually move one down to the room in the basement but those are just not options for us. our loft is our toy room/play area and the basement room, well, we just don’t feel comfortable ever having one of our children down there. like many, we won’t be leaving our home anytime soon so we make do with what we have. my kids love sharing a room & as do i. till this day, there is a monitor in their room and i can hear their little conversations at night (they go to bed at the same time). in the mornings, i can hear one quietly waking the other from bed. my daughter, who is still in a crib, will climb out in the morning & climb into bed with her brother. they play, read, laugh & just cause general sibling cuteness & mischief. sure, they’re young right now & have no problems sharing and we are aware that as they grow (please slow down) their happiness of sharing a room will change. for now? it works beautifully.

    keep on keeping lady. this is the perfect scenario & as OBrother gets older you will LOVE the sounds you hear from that monitor.

  14. Annie

    Our son (5) and daughter (2) share a room also – and THEY love it too. We have three bedrooms on one level, but I grew up sharing a room and have great memories from it (and some not so great, but the great outweigh the not : ) so I wanted this for my children too. Now we are expecting our third next summer and are trying to figure out what to do!
    Love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Love that I live in the twin cities too.

  15. Amanda

    We have a 2 up 2 down house too. With four kids, we have the older two with bedrooms downstairs and the younger two (ages 1 and 2) upstairs by us. You’re right, most nights there is not problem:)

  16. Dani

    Our two girls (4 and 21mos.) share a room and eventually, when #3 (due in Jan.) is big enough she’ll share too. It works for us, and they love it!

  17. Steph

    Thank you for explaiing how you do it! But please tell me it is’t THAT easy to put your toddler to sleep? It sounds like a dream! My son is 19 months right now…he will be 26 months when our second child is born. We plan on them having separate rooms. But honestly, right now, we can’t get our 19 month old to sleep in his own room! Did you ever have that problem? I am so nervous about having both a newborn and a toddler up with me at all hours of the night.

    I’m glad to hear it’s working out so well for you guys!

  18. Julie

    That is awesome! My boys 7 & 4 share a room and have for a while now. They did it when they were little too. It is great! I think they will love growing up in the same room.

  19. Jo

    It’s such an American perspective that everyone (even the itty bitties) need their own space, particularly an ENTIRE room to themselves. We’re in a one-bedroom in Brooklyn and currently share our large bedroom with our 2-year old (she’s got a twin against the opposite wall from our King). Come Feb, when her little bro or sis arrives, all four of us will be sharing the room with her in her twin and the baby in bed with us (where she spent the bulk of her own first two years). Is it ideal? Nah. It would be nice to have at least one other bedroom to use between all of us. But is it workable for now? Sure. Most of the world does more with less. Why can’t we?

  20. Melissa

    So so precious. Thank you for sharing the joys, cuteness, and challenges in parenting. Such a blessing!

  21. Rebecca

    my 3 girls share a room and always have. they are 5 1/2, 4, and 2 1/2. i love it because it has made them so close…and they learn a lot. some days/nights are hard, but it’s worth it.

  22. Emma

    I am so happy to read this, we are expecting number 2 in March and we are planning on having them share a room, really we have no choice, it’s a 2 bed house.
    Our problem is all the toys in his room as we have no other space to put them until we finish the basement which is slowly slowly been doing but nowhere close to completion, at this rate we have at least another 2 years until it is :-)
    It is so nice to read a positive ‘review”.

  23. Rin

    i love the idea of sharing a room! We are still sharing with our baby but it will be so nice if we have more to have them all bundled up in the same room.

  24. Emily

    I shared a bedroom with my brother and 2 sisters until my brother and I were 11 and 10, then we got our own rooms while my two little sisters shared…but until I moved to college I would either go into the girls room or they would come into mine.

    We’re hoping to have another little one sometime next year and baby #2 and my son will share a room. We’ve gotten a lot of flack about it, but even if we move to a larger place before baby #2, I still plan on them sharing a room.

  25. Marisa

    Thanks for the detailed description. We are getting ready to move our littlest (5 months) into the room with her sister (20 months) and I am just not sure how to go about it. Its encouraging to hear that the little one sleeps through big sister’s excitement that I know will happen when littlest sister comes in the room.

    My 20-month-old is still sleeping in a crib (which is a convertible) and we have a toddler bed but haven’t moved her into it yet. Do you think moving the toddler to her bed and having her little sister come in all at once would be exciting (easier for her to understand ) or cause confusion and maybe possessiveness?

  26. Eunice

    We plan on doing the same with our 19 month old and baby #2 due any day now. I have a random question for you, what monitor are you using that you can scan the room?!? I need one of those!!! Thanks for the advice and encouragement as I am nervous about how the room sharing could affect baby #1. :)

  27. Meggan

    My 5 year old and one year old sons share a room. Our house only has two bedrooms, so it is out of necessity. Both of our bedrooms are good-sized, but the master is significantly larger. We opted to give the boys the master (there is no master bath, just a shared full bath in the hallway), so that they had more room. My husband and I don’t spend time in our room other than to sleep, so it made sense to give the boys the bigger room. We created a fun, playful bedroom/playroom for them. I’m so happy we did that because they spend a lot of time in there. We have the same rules for our 5 year old about settling down as to not wake hisbrother, but I have to say some of my favorite moments have been when I’ve caught them being silly together while in their respective beds.

  28. Jen


    All three of our have shared two rooms in various configurations. The big two are separate now but often have slumber parties in each others’ rooms just because they like it. AND they are boy-girl. GASP.

  29. KK @ the mom diggity

    So cool!!! Thanks for sharing how it works for you! I plan on putting my girls together eventually but we are totally blessed with a 7 bedroom home RENT FREE right now (yeah it makes my head explode too!) so we decided to let them have their own rooms for a while. It’s great to hear the ups and the downs of room sharing. And that pic? I die. So sweet.

  30. Jamie (@va_grown)

    Our boys are 13 months apart (turning 5 and 4 in Dec and January) and have been sharing a bedroom since our “baby” was 6 months old. Our daughter gets her own room as the only girl (and it’s a VERY small room!) and they’ll always have to share because we only have a 3 bedroom house. But overall we all love it and it works fine. We have a strict, no-out-of-bed policy that we enforce from day one of big-boy/girl beds that keeps the antics to a minimum, but there’s nights that they talk to each other for an hour or two past bedtime. I get a little frustrated, but it’s part of their brotherhood.

    I also find that when one is having trouble or throwing a temper tantrum, the other one is usually behaving like solid gold. Maybe it’s the lesson of watching the drama and discipline unfold that keeps them behaved, or maybe it’s something else, but if there’s bedtime drama, 99.9% of the time it’s only one of them. Any sickness or bad dreams or anything, the unaffected one usually sleeps right through it.

  31. Jen @ a little barefoot blog

    In our teeny two-bedroom home we have no choice but to put our two boys together (one 2.5 and one due in January). I shared with my sister as a kid and I’m not really worried about things once they’re bigger, but I admit that I have been apprehensive about putting a baby in with a three-year-old for both their sakes.

    Thank you for posting about your experience. It really helps to know that it can be done and that the kids adapt (if there’s one lesson I’ve learned it’s that – and yet I keep having to learn it again!!). No matter what, there are going to be a LOT of disruptions when our baby comes in January, but your story does make me feel better about this one. Thanks!!

  32. Hannah

    Sharing rooms just seems the way to go! Growing up, I shared with Jord and Corey and had my own room for about a year, then it was sharing with Natalie for the next 14 years. And all 5 boys were in 1 room!

  33. Mary Pat

    This is so funny–I felt like we were the only ones with a 2 up/2 down house. I love that your boys share a room. It’s been something we’ve been considering for awhile, and you’ve inspired us!

  34. Moriah

    We’ve been meaning to do this for a while now! There are two cribs set up in the nursery where Josiah sleeps. However, Lucia still sleeps in a cradle in my craft room for now. They both go to bed at the exact same time, but I can’t help but worry about Lucia’s early morning giggles waking up her brother from his slumber. The kid sleeps in almost an hour longer than her, so that’s what’s keeping us from making her transition. I know I just need to do it!

  35. Caitlin MidAtlantic

    This post, when I read it originally, gave me courage to put my own two in the same room. We are three weeks in, and it’s going really well. Thank you so much for sharing your experience!!

  36. kelly

    My 2 year old and 10 month old (14 months apart) share a room–we waited until the youngest was about 5 months old, but in hindsight I wish we had done it from the start. They both could have handled it. Boy #1 is a raving ball of energy. He makes tons of noise all the time, and usually doesn’t wake #2 up. If he does, they normally go back to sleep on their own. After having an unintelligible conversation. The oldest has just started to put toys in the baby’s crib, but at least he’s not super teeny so I’m not too worried. I fully expect to find older bro in baby bro’s crib as soon as he realizes he can. Don’t tell him :).


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