Motherhood

Do or Don’t: Kids Sharing a Bedroom


While househunting in Brooklyn, we’ve been seeing both two- and three-bedroom places. Needless to say, the two-bedroom spots are much more affordable. But since we’re hoping to have two children, if we get a two-bedroom apartment, they’d have to share a room.

What do you think? My sister and I shared a room for a while, and I liked it; but Alex shared a room with his much older brother for a decade and was always dying for his own space. Should each child have a room to call their own, or is it fun to share? Did you share a room growing up? I’d be so grateful for any advice…

P.S. Smart way to divide a room, and nursery in a closet.

(Photo by Meghan McEwan)

  1. Maggie says...

    I’m 15 and have to share with my younger sister (9 years difference). It’s a struggle to have my own space and I can’t have anything I like up since it’s not “appropriate” for my sister. I dislike sharing a room because there is such an age difference. The kids should have their own space because they would have more room to express their personality and have more room for themselves.

  2. sally says...

    Your thoughts pls.. on a person putting her two pre.teen boys (now sexually aware, ages 10, 11) in with the adopted girls (ages 3, 6)? Spacious home but one bedroom of three was rented out to help pay mortgage after recent rough divorce

    • PeaceMaker says...

      No….no….no! Mixed genders in same age group should not share a room. Also, 4 and up should only share with same gender.

  3. Do not make the two kids share a room because it will be a disaster. I had to share a room with my older sister since I was born and we always got into fights. Once the kids get older they both will want their own spaces. For now they can share abedroom buy one they hit age 6 and 7 they should have their own spaces.

  4. I shared a room with my younger sister (2.5 years difference) from when she was born until I was about 7 – we bickered constantly, woke each other up, etc. I ended up sleeping in the study instead, which eventually became my bedroom.

    Now, I’m 15 and she’s 12 and we share a room again – and get on great! We love chatting, sharing each others hair stuff, etc. – the only annoying thing is when one of us wants a friend round for a sleepover then there’s a bit of negotiation (and generally someone sleeping in the living room)

  5. I have twins and we just bought a new house so they can have a room each. I think its important for kids to have their own private space and individuality (and thats coming from someone who has co slept for 29 months). If they choose to share later on I wont have a problem with it, nor if they continue to want to cosleep, but it will be their choice.

  6. Shared a room 4 my whole life- hated it, was an annoying lack of space

    • Sionainn says...

      I have to share a room with my 9 year old sister There is a 3 year difference between us and all I want is my own space I hate sharing a room with my sister do not have them share a room

  7. I remember the first moment I realized I had never shared a room with anyone — I was a grown woman, newly married and annoyed that there were another persons shoes in “my” bedroom.

    I somehow managed to make it my entire life (childhood, college — went to a school with the fancy new individual dorms, young adulthood — lived by myself). It was quite the shock to realize I’d now have to share a bedroom for the rest of my life.

    I think it’s great for siblings to share bedrooms. That being said, that does become problematic after a certain age with the boy/girl privacy thing.

    Just something to consider — raising children is not only about giving them a comfortable first 18 years. It’s also about raising a productive adult. Every child needs private space, but you may do your child an adult favor by making them learn early that there are others in the world.

  8. I shared a room with my brother for 5 or 6 years. I have fond memories and I like the poster above who said that it helps kids learn to sort out differences themselves. Lots of kids don’t know how to share a room when they go to college now! I don’t think there is a problem having a boy and a girl share a room until puberty hits and they will want some privacy.

  9. As a little kid, I loved sharing a room with my sister. Um, duh, BUNK BEDS! It was comforting having her there, and having someone to talk to when you trail off to sleep. Once we got in high school, we were a little more interested in our own rooms, but I think it’s totally awesome to share a room, maybe even crucial, for younger kids.

    I am one of five children, and growing up, the girls had a room and the boys had a room. There was also a spare bedroom downstairs with a king sized bed. When we were young (ages 3-9), we’d all eventually migrate to the big bed downstairs! It was fun to all be together, like a sleepover. At first it was just a fun thing to do while watching movies, but soon we started to prefer it, and no one slept in their bedrooms. My Mom didn’t want us all sleeping in a pile like puppies, so she eventually moved down one of the bunk beds. She just went with it. It was a phase that lasted about a year… Looking back, it seems a little weird, but I love those memories.

  10. I had my own room until my sister Grace was born when I was four. I remember my first room, when my sister was old enough to sleep in a cot, our parents moved us into the BIG room at the front of the house. It was a three bedroom house that my mum had grown up in, my parents bought it off my grandparents when they married. My first room, which then became my parents room was the middle size wise (small room was my uncles, who didn’t need his own room but it was always kept as Michaels room and had his stuff in it from when he left for the RAF). I loved my first room but I loved sharing more, many a night when Grace was a toddler we escaped, me pushing my little red chair up to the baby gate climbing over and lifting it for her to crawl under. We used to sit at the top of the stairs giggling until are parents moved us back. They then adapted the gate and escaping wasn’t as fun without my little sister. When we moved on Grace’s 8th birthday we were excited at the thought of having our own room but in reality it was a hard transition and for weeks we’d sleep in each others rooms and months still talking through the wall. By the time privacy was preferred we had our own space. :)

    Sorry for ramble, was nice to think of it again!

  11. My sister and I shared a room from when I was 7, she was 9 for about 5 years. I have fond memories of when we first shared a room- decorating our walls for every season/holiday, doing crafts together, reading together…

    But then as we got a bit older- I would say when I was 10, she 12, it became very difficult because we had such different personalities…she wouldn’t want any of my friends to go in “her” room, if we got in an argument she would take it out on my things.

    I remember feeling so relieved when my mom decided to split our finished basement into two rooms- one for each of us.

  12. I haven’t read all of the comments, but for me it depends on the kids, and also the age difference. My boys are two years apart, so they were able to start sharing a room at 3 and 5 yrs old. I think they are definitely closer because of it. But our friends have an 8 yr old, and a 3 yr old, and at this point the 8 yr old isn’t interested in sharing a room with his little brother because the age difference makes it hard for them to really talk at this point. So it just depends on the situation, and the personality of the kids!

  13. I shared with one of my sisters and I must admit it was hard in our teens but we are so so close, the absolute best of friends and I definitely attribute that to our time in that room! Fights and all!

  14. Oh, man. For the parents, I think it’s easier to have separate bedrooms when they are young. I’ve woken to a serious 5am “Wild Rumpus” one too many times. That having been said, my boys adore sharing a room. They proudly show off their space to anyone who walks through our door. The one thing we made sure to do was give them their own private area within the room. For example, the closet is divided in two. They each have their own things on their own side. They each have a basket. They each have a shelf. I find that to be super important.

    At the end of the day, they are building a bond that is already apparent. Go for it!

  15. I vote seperate rooms but that’s only because I had my own room (even though it was the tiny 3rd bedroom!)

    It’s nice to have your own space, but then sometimes I would sleep on a spare bed in my Sister’s room to stay up late chatting which was nice. Not sure I’d have liked it all the time though!

  16. Share! I have the best memories of late nights gabbing with my two sisters and pouncing on them to wake them up first thing in the morning. We would stay up and watch the lightning in the summers and peek out and see the fresh snow on an early winter morning. Even later when we had our own rooms I would always try to sleep in their room on the trundle bed. We are still very close and I think sharing a room really initiated that bond.

  17. I always had my own room (probably because I’m the only girl in a family of 4 kids). I think sharing is okay if the kids are the same sex. It’s okay for opposite sex siblings to share when they are really young, but at a certain age, I think they should have their own rooms. But if its two boys or two girls — totally fine in my opinion. It will make them closer! Good luck!

  18. I shared a room with my older sister when I was younger. We loved it and even though our parents said we could have our own rooms we didn’t want them.
    At some point though (I’d say it was when I got into first grade) we got our own rooms. I believe it’s ok while kids are still young but at some point it gets unavoidable to have separate rooms. Especially a girl-boy combination probably won’t work out forever.
    So I’d say it depends a great deal on the length of time you are planning on having your new home. I’d guess you are going for living in your new home for a longer period of time, since once you have a beautiful home in the city where you want to spend the rest of your life, you probably won’t want to move out that fast. Plus, moving can be a pain.. not to mention that you’d have to move with two little kids.
    I hope I was helpful. Have a beautiful day and don’t worry too much.. it will all fall together just fine. I wish you the best of luck so you find the perfect (&affordable!) place for your family :)

  19. My sister and I shared a room for a bit – then we each got our own room. At one point, we actually moved our furniture around so we had a “sleeping room” and a “changing room” because we liked sleeping in the same room!

    I think the issue becomes, what if your next child is a girl? A boy and girl sharing a room is probably less desirable that sisters or brothers.

  20. My sister and I both had our own rooms but I felt lonely in my room and wanted to be with her so we could talk and be together (I’m 5 yrs older!) so growing up, I slept in her trundle bed until I left for college. Only then, when I came home during breaks, did I sleep in my own room. :)

  21. Wow, I am really surprised at how many people are pro-sharing! I’m an only child and as a result have always wanted/appreciated my own space, even if tiny, that can be just mine.

  22. I shared a room with my sister, she is 3 years older than me, for almost 20 years!!! I loved it when we were younger, but when both of us grew up, we needed our own room, because when I wanted to study she wanted to sleep, or when I wanted to sleep she wanted to watch TV. It’s really difficult when you are older than when you are a kid. :)

  23. Without getting into the question of whether or not have your kids share a room, I would consider this: you’re going to buy a new house, that’s a huge step. I’d want to have that extra room. Sharing a room will be a matter of choice then, which is so much nicer. So if you’re able to afford that third bedroom, go for it!

  24. I shared a room with my older sister up until she left for a uni further away when I was around 18, and it was just fine! Sure it was annoying at times but when my family bought a new home when I was around 14, we had the choice of each having a room or sharing a room and having an office room/reading room and we decided to share. It even surprised my parents because ever since I was a baby I’ve always been a rather private person, a prude, etc. but my sister was just an extension of myself (but a healthy version of that, when she left I did not start miserably failing at life, thank goodness). Of course we had fights, etc. but I think that sharing a space created bonds we wouldn’t have otherwise.

  25. Growing up in tight quarters in Montana, my fiance said his father divided a room for him and his brother using their bunk bed. The work was done rudimentarily, but in theory could be great- the top bunk had a partition dividing one side of the room from one side of the bed to the ceiling and the bottom bunk had a partition using the opposite side of the bed to the floor so they each had a corner of the room to themselves. If done well, I think it’s pretty clever for close quarters- think boat style.

  26. I liked the way my parents did it. Even though we had a spare room, the kids still shared. But it was nice that when we grew up, there was space available.

  27. I shared a room with my twin sister until we were ten, and then shared again for a year in high school when we had a foreign exchange student in my room. When we were young we used to crawl into each other’s beds and share secrets late at night. We fought all the time, but I never remember fighting about anything related to our shared room.

    Sharing again in high school was a much smaller change then we had worried about and I think it helped prepare me for a college roommate. Learning to fall asleep while the other one was still awake studying is a great skill! I wouldn’t stress about it too much.

  28. Share! :) my sister and I are best friends now:) we shared a room for 10 years from the time I was born until the time she moved out. we fought a lot, but in the end we got along. It made us better and love each other more.

  29. I shared a room with my sister for almost 20 years, the whole time i lived in my parents appartment. Their appartment has got only 2 bedrooms and I never lost a thought about whether I like it or not, because there was no chance to get my own room. Of course my sister and I argued a lot when we were younger, but I think we learned a lot of things that a important for life. For example to compromise or to accept someone else`s spleen. So I would say, save a lot of money and give your kids the chance to build up a very special relationship and buy a house with 2 bedrooms!

  30. I shared a room with my sister for almost 20 years, the whole time i lived in my parents appartment. Their appartment has got only 2 bedrooms and I never lost a thought about whether I like it or not, because there was no chance to get my own room. Of course my sister and I argued a lot when we were younger, but I think we learned a lot of things that a important for life. For example to compromise or to accept someone else`s spleen. So I would say, save a lot of money and give your kids the chance to build up a very special relationship and buy a house with 2 bedrooms!

  31. I shared a room with my sister for almost 20 years, the whole time i lived in my parents appartment. Their appartment has got only 2 bedrooms and I never lost a thought about whether I like it or not, because there was no chance to get my own room. Of course my sister and I argued a lot when we were younger, but I think we learned a lot of things that a important for life. For example to compromise or to accept someone else`s spleen. So I would say, save a lot of money and give your kids the chance to build up a very special relationship and buy a house with 2 bedrooms!

  32. I shared a room with my sister 2 years younger than me for all but 2 years (after she was born) until I moved out, and my brothers (5 years apart from each other) shared a room until the older of them moved out. From age 10-16 we didn’t like it, but other than that it was fine or better. I think having consistent cleaning routines would’ve helped us fight less about who was “messing up” the room more than the other, haha. I don’t think that a boy and a girl sharing matters at all, until maybe age 10, when pre-puberty concerns (training bras, dressing…?) would call for privacy. I’m planning on having my 3-in-May and due-in-June children share at least until they’re 10. Good luck on the continuing house hunt. :)

  33. I was a nanny for a wonderful family in NYC for 2.5 years. The family had 3 kids in a 2-bdrm UWS apartment. I always thought it was great that, despite being a wealthy family, the parents never overly-spoiled their children and most of their possessions (including their apartment) were quite modest. The one thing I could never get over though was the children sharing one bedroom. Especially because the oldest sibling was a girl and the two younger were boys. By the last year that I was their nanny the girl had turned 13. Eeek! I think about myself as a 13 year old and how awkward and uncomfortable I was with my own body at the time. I can’t imagine not having ANY private space to call my own, and especially to have to share it with 2 pesky little brothers. Now that’s tough! I always wondered if the parents had a plan to find a new apartment or to renovate and create even a small private room for the daughter, but I don’t think they do. To my knowledge they still have not moved and the daughter is now 15. However, growing up as a child in NYC is probably different than anywhere else and I would have to imagine that she is probably not as aware of her lack of space as someone like me who grew up in the suburbs and always had my own room and bathroom! But that’s just my opinion ;)

    • Anonymous says...

      I know this is a very old article, but I see comments throughout the years, so I decided to comment with my experience:

      One thing I don’t understand is the “privacy” thing people talk about here because I do not see a lack of privacy or lack of alone time when sharing rooms.

      I grew up in a 2 bedroom home with my younger brother and we didn’t move until I was 15! I am female. We had a “family sleeping room” where a king and queen bed were smashed together from wall to wall of bed and the other room was the “play room” where toys were kept- but we could bring them out to other rooms as well. The beds were eventually split up by the time I was 11, mainly because it was too distracting to have people who went to sleep at different times since I was in middle school and my brother was in elementary. (I asked my father why they moved the bed to the other room and he said that my brother and I simply talked too much). This meant that I shared a room with my mom and my brother shared a room with dad. Sharing rooms doesn’t mean lack of privacy- you can change clothing in the bathroom or when people are out of the bedroom.

      I really don’t understand why some parents think it’s inappropriate for two kids of the opposite sex to share a room especially when they are close in age. For example, I remember reading about a parent who had a teen boy and a younger toddler girl with a baby boy along the way. It would make more sense for the two kids close in age to be in a room together than for the little boy to be with his older teen brother because they are at completely different stages of development. This is American culture at it’s finest- thinking that children have perverse thoughts when they themselves are the deranged ones.

      Also, while growing up, even though I slept in the same room as mom,
      I had the bedroom for hours at a time, so I could easily have some alone time- my parents would always be in the kitchen/living room and my younger brother was in the other bedroom alone. My two cousins used to come over and play, even stay over night and lived in our house for a couple weeks or even a month while their parents went on a vacation. I used to imagine that those experiences would be like having more siblings, while living in a smaller house. I cannot remember feeling concerned about lack of privacy, but I remember feeling concerned about being excluded.

      Another cousin of mine required her kids’ toys be placed in their rooms and they could play ONLY in their rooms. They couldn’t bring their toys out to the living room and play because she said “toys don’t belong in the living room.” I found other parents who also had that rule. I think that makes for a very sad and miserable childhood, but is that the reason why people are so hyped on “privacy” and having “alone time” because parents required that they be only in their rooms to do anything they enjoy and that they would be FORCED to keep their toys in their room and be with their sibling? If that is the case, I’d hate sharing a room too and could see the “lack of space.”

      To anyone out there in 2017: please do not grow broke trying to buy a larger home so that each child can have their own room. You know, there are people who live in a one roomed house. A two bedroom house is a mansion in comparison.

  34. I shared a bedroom with my two sisters for years, first with just one, than with both in another house we moved in. It’s terrible. I have beautiful memories with my sisters, we used to throw secret “midnight parties” where each one would read a book, read something she wrote and bring a snack to bed, among other delightful things like telling stories and playing games before sleeping. But all of this still would have been done if each of us had our own room. I know this because while on our country vacations house, we had our own rooms and all the sharing was still there. Children and teenagers, as adults, have their own personality and even when it’s similar they don’t want everything at the same time. Habits, games, music are so different between brothers and sisters that at some times there is no “learn to share and dialogue” experience just a sense (a literal one) that you don’t have your own space in the world. And although some people when adults don’t realize, children also need their own space, to be let alone, and when sharing a bedroom this will not be possible. There’s a lot of lovely stories about brothers and sisters growing up in the same room, but this has to do with the relationship between them, not the sharing room, I believe. I think sharing rooms should be only when parents can’t really afford anything else (that was our case) or when is a short-term decision. (I’m sorry if I’m made any English mistakes, it’s not my native language!). Oh, and good luck looking for a new home, it’s so exciting!

  35. We have 3 bedrooms but just moved our 2 year old in with our 6 year old to simplify bedtime! We put them in a bunkbed and they seems to like it– so far. My daughter (who is 6) still thinks the room is hers and is good at kicking her younger brother out of the room. I am guessing at some point in the future we will move them back into their own rooms (nice to have that option I guess) but for now I think having to share is good for them (I shared with my younger brother until I was about 8). It also has made bedtime so much easier- before we were running up and down the hall between the 2 bedrooms almost doing 2 different bedtime routines. Now we have one and they are consolidated in one place ;) Makes life easier- especially when you are doing bedtime by yourself (I travel a lot for work so it helps!).

  36. My brother and I shared a bedroom until I was about 12 years old.. and he was about 10. I remember in most of our homes.. we had a bedroom where we would sleep.. and there was a “guest/playroom”.. so we both could be in separate spaces. Me being a girl and him being a boy never seemed to be a problem at those earlier ages… After age 12 I would think you would want separate rooms… no matter what.

  37. Bare in mind you could have a little girl the second time around. I can see that becoming complicated in teen years if they were sharing a room! X

  38. We’re four children, 2 girls,2 boys. I shared a room with my sister for ages…and it never works. I think we are too much different…and we both wanted to have our own room, especially when we became teenagers and now young adult.My mother accepted and now it’s much better.We spent more times together,watching movies or talking until 2am because we now, if we “feed up of each other” we can retire to our own room.
    In fact I think it really depend of the how are the kids.Maybe the best is to have a try, to see if the kids are ok with sharing a room…

  39. My boys (3 & 5yo) share a room. They are very close, thick-as-thieves I like to say. I figured that for most people, if you’re lucky, you’ll share a room with someone for most of your life: sibling when you’re young, then husband/wife when you are an adult. Sharing is a life skill. Maybe it’s easier for my boys because they are so close in age though…

  40. I shared my room with my (2.5 year older) brother for a few years when really little, then we had our own rooms when we were 6 and 8. I’m currently trying to get my 6 month old and 3 year old in the same room and every night one ends up with me. I think it’s nice, but it’s handy to have extra space when getting a little one to sleep through the night because mine is a total disaster.

  41. My sister and I are a year and a half apart and liked sharing a room with her up until middle school. At that point I wanted my own space. I wanted to shut the door w/out having anyone barging in, I wanted my own closet and even have the ability to hang up posters w/out having to consult with anyone else.

  42. When my school aged boys had to share a room, I was actually told by a professional that “if I couldn’t afford them, I should give them up”. Yes, for no other reason than the room sharing!! Although for generations past, and in foreign countries currently, children shared rooms. To this day, my blood pressure goes up anytime I hear about room-sharing. Sorry. I only mention this to tell you the attitude you may run into; it’s certainly not my opinion.

  43. My two sisters and I each had our own rooms but we always ended up sleeping together!

  44. I shared a room with my sister from the day she was born until I was almost 26. We are 20 months apart. I think that while we were little it was fun because we played together. As we got older, it was tough. I think at a certain point you need privacy and alone time that only having your own room can offer. We always seemed to be in each others way and fought A LOT! I think it’s fine while kids are young. But preteen years, I think kids need to have their own space.

  45. KR says...

    We have 3 little boys and 1 baby boy. The 3 littles share a room with bunk beds and they love it! The baby boy has his own nursery now but will move in with his big brothers once he’s in a bed. As long as they are enjoying it then we will keep it that way – however we do have the space so that they can all have their own bedrooms when they get older and need privacy. My sister and I shared a room as little girls but got our own rooms once we reached pre-teen years. That was perfect.

  46. It really depends on the individual children. Extroverted children probably love sharing rooms. They recharge by being around people. But an introverted child needs his or her own space. They need to be alone to recharge. So even if your children end up sharing a room, if one or both are introverts, make sure that they have a space that is just for them. Even if it’s a closet. Or a curtain or bookshelf separating a room. And maybe sound-canceling headphones.

    I highly recommend reading The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney ( http://www.amazon.com/Introvert-Advantage-Thrive-Extrovert-World/dp/0761123695 ). Even if your children aren’t introverts. It will help you learn how to interact with all of the introverts in your life (maybe you are, too?) and help you teach your children how to as well.

    Seriously. It’s changed my life.

  47. My daughters shared a room (and still do when my oldest comes home from college) and I feel it was good for them and good for kids in general. It teaches them to respect other people’s space and belongings, it taught them how to work together to solve space issues and come to compromises or unique solutions. When my oldest went to college, living in her small dorm room with her roommate was easier for her than other students who grew up in their own room.

  48. I’m the middle daughter of three, so I almost always shared a room with one sister or another when I was a kid. I loved it, honestly! I think that it really taught us how to get along with each other – even the hard parts, the hard times – and by extension with other people. We had to be considerate of each other’s space and stuff (the “rules” varied depending on how old we were and what we considered important in our little kid-world), honestly even creating those “rules” and boundaries was a very good experience, just needing to organically create a little social contract even without realizing it.

    Now, my fiance’s two boys (3 and 6) share a bedroom at his house but not at their mother’s house. They always tell me that the shared room is “cooler” and more fun, haha. It does make bedtime a bit harder because they are just kind of two different bedtime ages and yet they’re not far enough apart that you can really stagger them, so someone is always going to bed earlier or later than is ideal but oh well.

    Really, every kid having their own room is a fairly recent phenomenon and I think it’s kind of an unrealistic expectation for most families. I think that people give up a lot of things – time, money, experiences – chasing a “standard” that is not actually often attainable or sustainable.

  49. I have been thinking so much about this! We are in a two bedroom and cant afford to upgrade, so when we have a second child they will have to share. I think it’s really important and creates a special relationship between the kids, but I am really worried about establishing a good sleep schedule for #2 and really need to do some reading on it.

    If you discover any good resources or tips please share them!

    xox Lilly

  50. I was one of three girls and we lived in a three bedroom house. We would rotate once or twice a year so each of us had our own room for a little. My three boy cousins also rotated like this — while their only sister always had her own room because she was THE GIRL… and I bet changing the pink room decor every few months would have been a headache…

  51. I shared a room with my two siblings until I was about 12 and continued to share until I was 15 or so. It was a squeeze, but it helped us to get along and everything.

  52. I have three small children and they all share a room. My two oldest are girls and share a bunk bed (ages 5 and 3) and my son sleeps in a crib (he’s 1.5). I’m pregnant with our fourth (and final!) child and my plan is for all FOUR to share a room.

    At first, the baby will be with us in our bedroom for night feedings and then I’ll move him/her into the crib and my husband will build a trundle bed that will go under the bunk bed for my son.

    I know all four can’t share a room forever, we have a three bedroom house and I prefer to have all the toys/books in one small room and to have their beds/clothing in another room. It makes it easier for our family.

    As far as concern with sleep habits with small children: yes, it is tough when you first bring a baby into the nursery. The baby cries at night sometimes and it takes time. Until the baby was used to the crib, we had our older children sleep in their sleeping bags in another room. Our older children loved it. Then once the baby was sleeping comfortably (usually took a week), we had the older kids move back to their beds. Now our older children sleep through the baby’s cries and because the “baby” is now a few months from turning two, they all are used to each other’s sounds.

    Eventually, my plan is to have my older two girls share a room and my younger two share a room. I shared a room my entire life, as did my husband. I think it’s great.

  53. I think if possible, it is good for children to have their own rooms. Privacy and the power of choice are also character-building.

  54. We have a 5-bedroom house and 3 kids (boys: 7 & 4, and a girl 2). The boys have always shared a room (their choice) with our daughter in her own room, but recently they’ve been insisting on all sleeping in the same room. They LOVE it-and bizarrly, it seems to work.

    On a side-note, I grew up sharing a room with my brother (until I was about 11) and have fond memories of chatting back and forth as we fell asleep, each from our own bed. I credit our closeness as adults, in part, to our having shared a room as children.

  55. My babes share a room and they both sleep like champs and they are best friends. They are a girl 2.5 years and a boy 1 year. They have shared from the first week we brought my son home from the hospital and they were both in cribs. We had to “separate” them by placing a toy/book shelf down the center of the room so they wouldn’t egg each other on, and now they generally don’t wake each other. They go to sleep only 1 hour apart, and they wake at the same time. Now that my girl is in a big kid bed, she still does not climb out and harass her brother, because sharing a room and sleeping together is normal and all she has ever remembered. I hope to keep them together until my daughter starts to hit the tweens, at which point separating them will probably be the right thing to do. So I say share, and even if Toby has a sister, you have another decade to worry about moving to a place with a 3rd bedroom.

  56. I shared a room with my sister who is 18 months younger than me. We went in wavs of fighting and loving it. But it made us closer. Even after we had our own rooms we often snuck back into the same room in the middle of the night and slept in one bed. I think it’s a great bonding experience and unless one child has radically different sleeping patterns that keep the other one awake (this happened with my nieces) I think sharing a room is great. I think once you hit the tween/teen years you need your own space but until then it’s nice to share.

  57. My sister and I asked to share rooms. We used my room for a playroom. It worked really well until the teen years.

    Is that wallpaper in the picture? I love it!

  58. I shared a room with my brother as a young child. My parents later moved to a new house with the intention of us having our own rooms. We couldn’t quite get over not having bunk beds though and ended up sharing the same room anyway until I got to about 11 and wanted girly sleepovers every weekend! We’re so close now, and I can only think that sharing bed time stories & waking up with each other every Christmas to secretly open presents had something to do with it!!

  59. My brother and I shared a room when we were young. My parents later moved to a larger house with the intention of us having our own rooms. We ended up in the same bunkbeds for the next 4 years (until I got to about 11 and wanted to have girly sleepovers!) I’m not sure whether this has anything to with us being as close as we are now, but I think it must have helped someway!

  60. I shared a room growing up. My sister and I shared a room and my two brothers shared a room, despite having enough rooms in the house for each of us to have our own. And I do remember wanting my own space especially as I got older. But looking back on it, I also appreciated that my parents had us share rooms because I feel like my sister and I have a really close relationship because of it.

    I also lived in Japan for a little bit in elementary school. Then my youngest brother was still a baby so he would sleep in a crib in my parents’ room. Again, we had enough rooms back then for each of us to have our own but since we were younger, my parents had us share. We had 2 rooms for the kids. One was the bedroom/playroom. The other was our study. So the three of us would share 2 rooms. It was really nice because when one of us needed to do homework, we still had our own quiet space while the others played in the bedroom. When I have kids, I think I would love to do what my parents did in Japan, at least while my kids are still young. One room will be the playroom/bedroom. And the other would be a study.

  61. If you can swing 3 rooms, get it but consider bunking the kids together. We have a spare bedroom but stuff all three kids (7 yr old boy, and 5 and 2 yr old girls) in one room. It’s always been that way. They’ve learned to sleep through anything and work out their differences. They seem to like it, but frankly… they don’t know there’s an option… they assume the spare room is for guests!

  62. I shared a room with my sister for many years until we moved into the country and out of our close-to-city home. It was amazing. We still talk about our matching bedspreads and bouncing around with each other. I think it’s a safe bet until about age 10. best of luck!

  63. I shared room with my sisters, as I am in the middle, first with the older and then with the younger. granted it was a pretty big room (and we grew up in a big flat, so there was always space) but I think its fun and good to share. It was nice not being alone even though we of course argued at times as well.

    Kinda surprises me that people wouldn’t put kids in the same room if they were of opposite sexes, can someone tell me why? I

  64. I only have one younger sister (5 years apart)…and we always had our own rooms. I couldn’t imagine sharing a room with her since our age difference was a lot (for kids). It would be easy to share a room with her as adults! We are kind of in the same place. We have a 2 Bedroom townhome, and now we have a little boy (22 months) and a newborn. They’ll be sharing the room for about 2 more years, but after that we are moving to a 3 bedroom. A boy and girl could share a room while they are young, but it becomes problematic when they are older (of the opposite sex). Also our 2nd bedroom is very small, so it doesn’t work for bigger kids.

    Good luck! Love Brooklyn!

    -Tara

    http://madmaxandfamily.blogspot.com

  65. I shared a room with my younger sister until I was 12. I never really minded it, because it never occurred to me it could be any other way. We definitely had our fights, but it was also nice to fall asleep in the same room… it was hard to fall asleep for the first few weeks when we finally got our own rooms. My parents did divide our room using bunk beds once I was 10 or so. A bunkbed in the middle of the room with particle board “walls” on opposite sides (so each of us could only get into our bed from one side of the room). Hard to explain, but genius for giving me a little more privacy with my friends.

  66. We currently live in a 2 bedroom and are expecting baby #2. We’re looking to move to a 3 bedroom soon after the baby is born. I just can’t see how it could work for us to have a baby and toddler sharing a room. I have no problem with older kids sharing a room (maybe after age 3 or 4??) but the thought of trying to keep two so young asleep in the same room just seems like a nightmare. I know people do it, but I don’t know how. I can just imagine the baby waking the toddler and the toddler disturbing the baby and none of us getting a good sleep. We’ll keep our newborn in our bedroom with us until we move.

  67. I think it depends on whether your second child is a boy or a girl and how long you plan to live in the new house. I’m one of four kids and grew up in a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house, so my two older brothers shared a room, and my younger brother and I shared a room. Privacy simply didn’t exist, so sharing a bedroom was no big deal. We definitely had an invisible line down the middle of the room when it came to decor (me: Little Mermaid poster, him: Power Rangers), but I have fond memories. That being said we moved to a bigger house when I was 10 so I could have my own room – I was about to hit puberty and it was getting a little weird.

  68. I shared a room with my younger brother. It was ok when we were young, but as I got older, around 11 or 12, I began to need my own space! We have a 5 year age difference so as I matured he became an obnoxious annoying brother. I liked my things neat, and well, he is a boy, so his things were a mess and I also had always wanted to have my own things and decorate my room, along with other things that started to bug me. Than my parents separated us,(happiest day of my life)!
    Maybe if I had a sister it would have been different. I think that you should take that into consideration. If Toby has a sister, in my opinion, it would be better for them to have separate rooms, at least after they have grown and have different interests, but if its a little brother, it would be nice for them to share. :)

    ps.: I absolutely love your blog

  69. New York kids sharing a room is so much more common place and accepted. I did it my whole life with my 5-years younger sister (no closet!) and although at times it was tough, we made it work. You just gotta do what you gotta do to make it in New York when you don’t have an unlimited budget. They’ll eventually be so busy with school and after-school activities that the room will just become a place to sleep as opposed to hanging out.

  70. I shared a room with my brother until i was seven and my much older sister went to college, and I have nothing but fond memories of building forts, staying close when it stormed, and those types of things. i think that we were closest when we shared that room than at any other point in our childhood. Now, my boys share a room, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They are (ages 2 & 4) the best of friends. Since we don’t have a playroom and they have similar interests, there is no fighting over what toys stay in each room- They share everything! It also helps them feel secure at night to be together which is really sweet!

  71. My sister and I shared a room for awhile. She is 4 years older than I. Even when we had our own rooms, we still slept together a lot – she was scared of spiders and I was scared of robbers.

  72. My 3 nieces (ages 9, 8 and 6 1/2) share a room, even though their house has enough bedrooms for each girl to get her own room. They love it.

  73. Do. My sister and I shared and I truly think it had a hand in making us as close as we are today. She’s four years older and always included me in everything, even when she was a teenager. We viewed each other as accomplices, best friends, built in companions. We had to share everything and get along while doing it. I think it’s in how the parents handle it also. Later, we had our own rooms but those formative years, wow. I have to think they had a big impact. I have a home with plenty of room but my kids will share, at least when they are small.

  74. I adored sharing a room with my sister who is two years older than me. Although we had our rough patches, I think we both learned such valuable lessons and now look back on that time fondly. The success of it may have to do with age difference and gender considerations. I can’t imagine if my older sibling were a boy I would have been as happy. Also, if there is too much age difference that may be tough for all involved. Happy hunting!

  75. My older sisters are twins, so for some reason my parents made them share, and gave me a room all to myself! I was the youngest by 7 years and scared to be in my room alone so for much of my childhood would sneak into bed with one of my sisters at night. I don’t think it’s a big deal to share a room but maybe more of an issue if your next kiddo’s a girl!

  76. Go for the 3 Bedroom, if you plan to be in your house for a long time – you could always use it as an office if you decided to have your kids share – it gives you flexibility!

  77. i shared a room with my little sister until i was about 13 or 14. it makes sense to me, and i think it’s good for kids, to share your bedroom, for so many reasons: to learn how to share, how to be sensitive to another person’s habits, and also to encourage a close relationship between siblings. but i also think that from a certain age on it’s important to have your own space. for studying, for writing, for gazing at the ceiling, for crying… learn about yourself, decorate the way you want… i think my parents were very smart and practical :) the moment they felt i was changing, when i stopped playing with dolls (yes, i stopped playing with dolls when i was 14!), they realized it made no sense to have a play room and one bedroom for the both of us. and we are the closest people in the world today :)

  78. I don’t know about whether kids “should” get their own room. It might be nice, but I don’t think it is a reasonable expectation considering the cost of space (unless they are paying for it).

    I shared a room with at least one or two siblings at all times growing up. I loved it. But I was also the youngest in the room, so every night was an exciting sleepover with my big brothers, who might not have shared my eagerness of the situation. That said, I only know of a few people who grew up sharing a room and dont look back on the time with fond memories. It is a great time to bond with siblings and to learn to share your “own” space. It’s also very comforting for the little ones.

    We’re sharing a one bedroom with out two kids. The solution so far has been to create “mini rooms” for each of them. http://www.thebookofjimmy.com/bedroom-build-out-drafting/

  79. Hi Joanna, I just found your blog and enjoyed my visit. Found you on Pinterest too and borrowed some of your cool pins. Rob G:)

  80. You could probably resolve this issue by moving somewhere other than Brooklyn! I’m not knocking Brooklyn, I lived there for 10 years, but it’s very expensive.

  81. I love the idea of siblings sharing a room, but what if Baby #2 is a girl? I don’t think she’ll appreciate it when she gets older and wants her own space!

  82. Hi Joanna,

    We’re sort of in a similar situation. Right now we live in Manhattan, in a two bedroom. My husband has two sons from a previous marriage who stay with us on the weekends, and we have a baby boy who should be arriving in the next few weeks. Most of the time, it will be ok, since it’s only the weekend, and their all boys…but still, we want the kids to have a bit more of their own space. Also, we really are hoping to have another one, so we will need lots of space. We are just now starting to look at places in Brooklyn for the same reasons you guys are (more space for the money).

    Anyway, we are actually looking at brownstones. It seems that for nearly the same price as a 3-room doorman building, you can get a brownstone (with 6 or more rooms…and realistically we need at least 4).

    Have you thought about that as an option? We were thinking we could rent one floor out and still have lots of extra space.

    We are also thinking that when we move, it’ll be permanent, so we really want the space to grow.

    Just my two cents. :-)

    Happy apartment hunting!!

  83. I have a girl of 7 and a boy near 6 (14 mnths apart) sharing bedroom and it works great! I don’t think them being of different sexes matters at all, they come up with the best ideas all the time, playing with Cars and Pet Shops and a garage and little ponies in a mix! They’re inseparable, playing all the time and seriously – how much time to they spend in their room anyway? They spread out their stuff and toys all over the apartment so I feel that they live all over the place anyway! :-)
    Plan is to give them separate spaces around 9, 10 something.
    Good luck!!! :-)

  84. Oh I loved sharing a room with my older sister!At some point we had separate rooms,but eventually we decided to share again,we missed our “bed time” so much.It required some good parenting once in awhile ,but definitely made us closer.Good luck!

  85. We are a military family and move frequently. So far, we’ve had one place (and it was military-provided) that had enough bedrooms for our three kids. We live in a higher-end neighborhood for the time being (for the school), so we went with a three-bedroom. The boys are sharing (ages 3 and 8-1/2), but I know that wherever the Navy sends us next he absolutely must have his own room. I feel like 10 is the magic age. It’s already getting difficult because he likes to stay up and read and it keeps the little one up (headlamp or no), which makes the little one cranky the next day. Our oldest doesn’t complain about annoying little brothers, so they genuinely like being together, but the next house will have a bedroom for him. He’s getting older and needs privacy. If you can swing it, I think three bedrooms is better. If you end up having two boys who love to share, you have a guest room or a great playroom space. Right? We’re talking about super-cheap NYC real estate here!! ; )

  86. At one time or another, all of our 3 kids have shared rooms. Right now, our daughter (middle child) has her own room and my two boys (3 and 9) share a room. Sometimes we rearrange to give my daughter the “opportunity” to have her little brother in her room with her – and give my oldest a break. We try to make up for the things our oldest misses like staying up late reading in bed by occasionally treating him to late nights reading in our bed, for example. Our kids are learning valuable lessons from sharing their space – patience, tolerance, flexibility, sharing… They are very close and enjoy each other’s company, in part because they have no choice!

  87. Definitely share – but bunk beds so they have a bit of privacy (we’re about to make some toile curtains for the lower bunk to give her a little den in there)

  88. my kids have always shared a room. they’re only four and two but they don’t mind yet. thats just how things are. i do plan on moving into a three-four bedroom in the future… but i feel i still have years for that. i feel they can share a room until my son is eight or nine? its just expensive when you’re renting. specially in new york or even l.a., where we live. i do try to keep it unisex in their room, no cartoon characters of any kind. no pinks or blues, there’s kid art in the room and vintage alphabet on the room. good luck! i’d love to see how you decorate a shared room :)

  89. I don’t think small children mind at all. My two shared from a very early age, one boy, one girl. They enjoyed having the company, would chat and sing together and my daughter seemed to love having her bigger brother nattering away and playing in the morning. It gave me a bit of time as well. They didn’t often disturb each other (got used to it) and only got their own rooms when we moved to a bigger house. They still shared on holidays until they were about 10 and 12. But a third room would be a great playroom. Happy hunting.

  90. Also I think it depends whether you have two different genders because that makes it more awkward. They definitely need their own space from the age of 10 then.

  91. My sister and I shared a room until we were 7 and 9 and we liked it I think. It’s nice sharing when you’re young. However I think you definitely need your own space when you’re a teenager! I can’t imagine having to share a room when we were 15 and 17!

  92. I shared a room with my sister for 16 years! And she was 10 years older than me! It was freaking awesome! And then she got married and left with half the closet =(

  93. I shared a room with my little brother (3 years younger) for some years and it was completely ok. Of course we had some fights for the space, specially when playing, but I think that’s normal. I believe sharing your room teaches you to share your things and that’s a great lesson to learn when you are a child. Moreover, I’d always remember my dad telling us stories before going to bed.

    I am totally in favor of sharing rooms even if you have plenty of space. Specially during the first years.

  94. My sister and I shared a room for a while (before I was 12 or 13) and before that I shared a room with my 10 years older brother for a few years, too and I liked it (both). I remember so much great stuff that happened while we were sharing bedroom.
    I say DO IT! :)

  95. my kids – 4 and 14 – are currently sharing a room. as awful as that sounds, they have become really close and my teenage daughter actually LIKES me reading stories at bedtime. this is temporary though, we will move to a larger house in the spring. but it has been really fun to watch their relationship evolve despite a 10 year age gap. (she is just so awesome… it took 10 years before i even thought of another. he’s amazing too.)

    good luck!

  96. up until age 5-7 I think kids would like it but after that it’ll just feel stifling so if you are ok with moving again eventually or even planning on it then I’d go for a 2 bedroom

  97. My 3 1/2 year old and my two year old share a room and I’ll admit that it’s tough. Things are getting better now, but they used to wake each other up all the time. One day we will buy a bigger house, but for a while they will have to share. My husband and I have thought about what it will be like when we separate them. Sometimes I worry they’ll be lonely…

    Good luck! If Toby has to share a room with his sibling, he’ll be fine. Kids adapt to change so much easier than we do!

  98. My brother and I shared a room until I was seven and he was ten. By then I was very ready to have my own girly space, and moved into the spare room and painted the walls “fairy princess,” a purply-pink color. It was a great coming of age experience (that and getting my ears pierced the same year). I can’t imagine having to share a room past then, his room was always messy and mine was always clean. My husband I are looking to buy our first home and even though we are years away from having kids, I’m thinking we should definitely look for a 3 bedroom. As always, thanks for the thought provoking topic, Joanna!

  99. My 6 month old son and my almost 3 year old daughter are sharing a room. We just purchased a 2/convertible 3 bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. We will eventually convert that room to my son’s room; but for now, the two are in the same room. It is really helping to teach my daughter to share her space and be more aware of the needs of others around her. We have had a couple of successful “teamwork” naps (as she calls them), and every night they go to bed at the same time. She’s learned to stay quiet because the baby needs his sleep too. And if she really needs to make noise, she gets up quietly and comes to tell us that. It doesn’t happen often, and when it does we can usually get her back down pretty quickly and easily. We did have a long talk with her about keeping the baby safe and not throwing her toys in the crib, etc. It’s given her a real sense of responsibility that she is very proud of.

  100. I shared a room with my sister, for about 8 years off and on. My brothers also shared a room off and on as well. My Momma tried putting my brother and sister in the same room (3 year age difference), but they never got along, they were too different in personality.
    At first I didn’t enjoy sharing with my sister (9 year age difference), and it did seem difficult for most of it, as my little sister took over the room ( I had the top bunk, and a shelf).
    Now we are still really close though, even though we fought a lot sharing such close quarters. It was hard at times to distinguish who’s stuff was which.
    As long as each has their separate ‘space’ in the room, I think it’s fine though. My brothers are closer in age and got along better.
    I think the time when they really need space won’t be until they are about 12-14. Up until then, they should be able to enjoy sharing at night, even if they may not be always the best of times during the day.
    The only situation that could be difficult, or hard to design for is a boy/girl situation. Past the kindergarten, preschool age, I don’t know if they would get along very well.
    My two cents.
    Best of luck.

  101. my sister and i shared a room until i was 16 and she 17. we were not always getting along. we did not have similar personalities. but in the big picture, we are the best of friends. and we mostly were then, too, looking back on it. i would have hated being alone all the time. i mean what a bummer to go home and be alone, when you could have someone to bug or talk to (you know, depending on your mood). my kids are definitely sharing if they’re the same gender. opposite sexes make it a bit more difficult, maybe. i’m not sure yet.

  102. I shared a room with one of my sisters up until she left for college. She is only 4 years older than me so our age gap was not that wide. All my life I have shared a room because I have a “huge” family (5 girls, 1 boy) and since we did not have much money growing up, we used to live in apartments and homes with only 2-3 bedrooms and all of us would cram in there. I think it’s a great idea to share bedrooms because it allows children to share things and stories. I loved staying up late talking to my sister about life, boys, clothes, etc. I have two sets of nephews who share rooms and they love it. It all depends on the kid. I think it would be best to ask Toby what he would like. :)

  103. I shared a room when I was little and loved it (until about 12). My sisters boys share a room 3 & 4.5 years old) and they LOVE it, they are best friends and just love sharing everything! Good luck!

  104. my little sister slept in my bed most of the time when I was about 6 or 7 and she was 3 or 4. one time my parents even tried to put all three of us girls in the master bedroom- no sleep was had by anyone, so that was pretty short-lived!

  105. keep in mind baby #2 would be in your room for a while, so you could always move later into another apt once you get to know the area more and get a bigger space. so nothing has to be set in stone. if it’s more affordable for now you can make it work if you need to. I knew a lot of families in brooklyn with mult kids in a room and they made it work. things are different in a city setting.

    i shared a room until I was in 4th grade and it was all we knew.
    my kids have seperate rooms now, which ends up being a perk cos out oldest needs that personal space for times he gets upset and needs to cool down. My other 2 kids would be able to share a room more easily.

    every family is different. whatever you decide will work out and be great. and if it’s not ideal for you- you can always adjust later.

  106. My sister and I had bunk beds for years and I always wanted my own room– until my parents granted my request and I realized I was terrified of sleeping alone. Being the older sister, I solved this new problem by demanding that my sister sleep in a sleeping bag in my new room (a situation that continued for at least another year). That being said, I vote for sharing a room :)

  107. I grew up sharing a bedroom with my little brother (4 years younger) and I think it was really good for us. From what I remember, and from what our parents say, we got along much better than most other siblings we knew. When we got older, around 7 and 11, we got our own bedrooms, but those are some of our fondest memories and we talk about that time of our lives often!

  108. We have a 3BR and study home but want our ids to share a room (currently expecting Baby #1) – at least until they are 10, then give them their own space. I think it would be nice for bonding and learning to live with each other early on.

  109. My daughters – now 19 and 21 – shared a room from day 1 until my older daughter left for college 3 years ago. There were good times of love and togetherness and there were times when I wanted my own room…in another house! I say go for it…think of the dorm skills be learned.

  110. I always hated sharing a room. Having the good fortunate to have contractors in the family, my parents were able to build an addition so that each child was ultimately able to have their own room.
    So, after about 12 years of sharing a room, I finally had my own space. My sister and brother (2 and 4 years younger than me, respectively) also got their own rooms. And to this day, they still hate it and wish that they had a single room. It’s a function of them being good friends and having similar personalities, while I’m a bit different in my ways.
    So mostly, I think it depends on the kid. It can be hard to determine when they’re young — but as a parent, I do think you have some sense of your children and the type of people they’re likely to become.
    Plus, you can always make sharing a room exciting and fun — and something they want to do. It never has to be something that would be a burden if you don’t make it that way!

    So, coming from a sharing-room disliker, I would say: go for it!

  111. I’m a only child, so I don’t have any experience about sharing rooms. However, I thing the best option is to give the kid a chance to choose. So, if I were you, I would spend more money and buy a three-bedroom place. At the beginning, they can share the bedroom and the third room can be an officce or a living room. If you see that they like to share the room, that’s great! You will have a guest room. But, if you decide for a two-bedroom place and your two kids show that they can’t stand sharing rooms, I think you will regret a lot not having chosen a bigger place.

    Sorry, for my English. Hope you understand my point despite the many mistakes.

    • Really, really sorry for the “a” instead of “an”, the “thing” instead of “think” and many more mistakes that I can’t even realize I have made…

  112. My sister and I shared a room when we were little, and I don’t think we realized that it could be any other way! It was fun at night (when we weren’t sulking after a fight, and even then) and I think I would have been afraid of the dark otherwise. But I was glad to have my own room (so I could sulk alone) when I was a teenager!

    (This is my first time commenting, but I’ve been reading your blog a while now, and wanted to say that I love it!)

  113. I liked sharing a room with my sister growing up. It was a world that we shared together. During the stage of early childhood, I think the pros outweigh the cons!

  114. I grew up sharing a room (and even a bed, at times) with my younger sister. My two brothers shared a room, too. We never knew any different and sometimes didn’t like sharing a space, but most of the time we enjoyed the company. We were never afraid of the dark and stayed up late many nights telling stories, playing “would you rather”, and doing flips off our beds. Plus, it made having a roommate in college much easier. You learn to share your things and your space. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. My husband and I plan to have four children if we are so lucky, and we have a three bedroom house. I can’t wait for them to experience the joys (and hardships) of sharing a space.

  115. My kids (5 year old girl and 2 year old boy) share a bedroom and have so much fun! It’s a relatively large room, so they aren’t on top of each other. They sleep really well together and have become quite a comfort to each other! I’d say yes…definitely yes :)

  116. i was lucky enough to have my own room growing up but i always used to envy my friends who shared rooms with their brother/sister. how cool to have your own little retreat to share secrets and play together and gang up on the parents! i think when kids are young and they share rooms, it strengthens their bond to each other. i probably wouldn’t do it past puberty, but while they’re young it would be awesome!

  117. We have 4 bedrooms and 2 kids but my girls are about to share a room (until they get a little older). I think it’s healthy for them.

  118. I shared my whole time growing up. Shared in college. Then got married! Until recently my 3 girls shared rooms. I think it’s great for kids. :)

  119. In my experience, it had been nice to share the room for a while with my little sister, but when you are a teenager you need your own room if it is possible, obviously! Fortunately, the three of us sisters, just teenagers, we could each have their own bedroom.
    Fortunately, the three of us sisters we were treated all in the same way and when just teenagers we could each have their own bedroom. I think the children could grow much better knowing they have their own space to be alone if they need to. Lot of kisses from Italy!

    Muna

    http://munascoolture.blogspot.it/2012/11/the-munas-best-dressed-of-week-list.html

  120. I’m going to say that if they are close in age and the same sex, sharing a room when they’re younger is okay. Once the kids start getting older though, I think it’s healthy to have their own space. And if they kids are different sexes, I think it’s a must to have their own spaces.

  121. My bias is that if it is either stretching to buy a place with more bedrooms or being more financially comfortable with fewer bedrooms, I’d rather sleep easy at night, be able to afford to work less and be available more, and have more experiences like vacations that might otherwise not be on the menu if we were struggling to meet the mortgage every month. Mainly the being able to work less…I stay home and forgo a (low) six-figure salary and am so glad that I was able to do that because we didn’t get into a huge house that would have required me to work. It is the rare person on this planet that can afford a bedroom for each family member, anyway.

    • Great points – when my husband and I talk about space, we always prefer time together and experiences over space!

  122. If its affordable and you plan on staying at the apartment for longer than 5 years, I’d go with the 3 bedrooms. I shared a room as a young child (until I was 10) and it was always fine. Yes, we fought about space sometimes, but honestly, that didn’t stop when I got my own room! lol! Siblings find things to bicker about regardless and there is really no reason that kids can’t share. BUT…. when your second is an infant, you may find it easier to have baby separate from Toby, so that they don’t interrupt each other’s sleep. You can certainly have baby stay in your room for the first several months to a year. That’s what I did anyway. But, that’s not the best fit for all families. And… if you have a girl, once Toby is about 8 or 9, he’s going to want privacy when dressing in front of others. So… if you plan to stay for longer than 6 years, a 3 bedroom will be more important (unless you have a boy, but there’s no way to predict that). Apartments are so tiny, with 2 kids, you could always have them share and use the 3rd bedroom as a playroom.

  123. I am a twin. It’s not always like this, but people compared us all the time, our grades were scrutinized based on one another’s performance, and people got us “share” birthday gifts. I love my sister but if I didn’t at least have my own space I would have gone CRAZY.

  124. i wish i could find the article, but i read once that sharing a room, even for a boy and a girl, while young, is healthier for them.

  125. i shared a room with my sister until i was 13. as kids it was totally fine, and we liked the time to ourselves at night. we would ask ach other “talk or sleep” once the lights went out. but, it was so exciting to get my room when i got a little older.

  126. I agree about the age gap making a huge difference. My sister is 7 years older than me, and by brother 20 months younger. When we were growing up, my brother and I shared a room, but my sister definitely needed privacy and her own space since she was so much older.

    My 5 and 3-year-old boys currently share a room and they love it. I think they both feel more secure, and there is a bit of bonding that goes on before they fall asleep (we have heard some pretty funny conversations going on in there!).

  127. My brother and I shared a room in elementary school. I hated it. We only started sharing rooms after my parents divorced, so I am sure that did not help. I am pregnant right now and no mater what the gender, he/she will be sharing a room with my little guy. Or, if it is a total sleep nightmare (for mama) baby #2 will sleep in our second bathroom. It’s a common thing in our building. One day when we are not living in a two bedroom apartment in downtown Boston they will get their own rooms. Unless they don’t want them:)

  128. All three of my boys will eventually share a room! Once my baby (16 months) gets a little older, he will move on in with his 4 and 3-year-old brothers. I think it will be great….bunk bed and a trundle. Oh yeah!

  129. I shared with much younger sisters for years and it was a positive experience. I had a very close bond with the sister I shared with for the longest.

    If they are different gender then by the teen years space should be a real consideration. But you have many years before that time and by then you may even have moved again!

    We have a three bedroom house and would love to have four kids. We may eventually use part of the basement, but if the gender assortment works out, we plan to have two and two sharing. So far, two girls. :)

    Either way, I like to keep in mind that we have incredible luxury in being able to choose this kind of space – there are happy children around the world who live in much smaller places. I knew an american family living in Singapore whose bedroom was the living room… They all had loft beds above the other furniture! They were great kids and didn’t seem to mind.

  130. I think it works best when the siblings are super close in age….twins, or a year, mayyyybe two. I think there’s going to be enough space between Toby and future-baby that it could be problematic. Especially if you have a daughter!

  131. I shared a room with my sister until I was about 15 and mostly it was great, and I would like that for my kids, at least for a while.

    I think the main factors are age difference, whether or not you have a boy or girl, and then the age that they will share until (you anticipate). If this house is your ‘forever’ family home..then the three bedroom is the way to go. Or if you think you may move again and at that point can afford a bigger house, then 2 beds will work while kiddies are littler…well anyway this is the theory I am working off! I am in a 2 bed apartment with a 3.5year old and one on the way.

  132. I shared a room with my sister for around ten years on and off, considering we grew up in apartments since we were babies (we’re also 22 months apart). We had separate rooms when my parents rented a house, which was lovely (and I was about seven at the time). After my second sister was born, we shared a room. I am not sure why, but we did. And I hated it. I was around ten years old, and my sister’s personality had changed so drastically that I wanted to be so far away from her.

  133. JO: PLEASE GET A 3 BEDROOM. Coming from a woman who had no sisters and only brothers (a real possibility for your future child), she will not want to share a room with a boy. Even if she is quite young when it happens before you move into another space.

  134. My sister and I have always shared room and we love it, we have a spare room so when we need our own space we just go there to sleep or study. She moved to that room a few years ago but after 3 months we went back to sleep together cause we missed each other, we don’t spend a lot of time together during the day so at night is a good time to catch up. It’s really helpful so you get used to share, compromise if you don’t want the same things, etc. And it has made us best friends! But most of my friends do not get along with their siblings that much, we even share clothes. So i would say yes to share, but as long as they get the chance to stop sharing if they don’t get along (And the 3 room house)

  135. I shared a room with my sister (who is 7 years older) until she moved out at 18, and I absolutely loved it. I really do think it made us close growing up and so close now. xxx
    http://mygymcake.blogspot.co.uk

  136. I’ll second the experience that they do not wake each other up. My boys (3 1/2 and 1 1/2) have slept in the same room since the baby was born–even though until recently we had 3 extra rooms. Even when one wakes up crying, the other sleeps right through it and they’re not the soundest sleepers; I think they’re just used to one another. And it does simplify life to a great extent.

  137. I think this is easy. If you can afford it once the kids are older (9+) then have own bedrooms, if you can’t afford it then live with what you can.

    My boys share and we would love for them to have separate rooms. Maybe one day…

  138. our four children share two rooms, and they love it. the oldest two are 4 and 6, and the babies are 2 and almost one. sometimes the babies wake each other, but rarely. the oldest two are inseparable and when my oldest went to camp for a week, my 4 yr old really had a tough time going to bed!
    i almost always had my own room growing up but some of my best memories are from the summer i shared a room with my sisters when we had an exchange student for a few months.

  139. I shared a room with my (16 months) younger sister until I went to college. It was a living nightmare. We were so close in age yet so different and all I craved was my space. We literally did not get along until I left — constant bickering and fighting.

    Then when I got to college my poor rooommate had the unfortunate experience of teaching me about personal space and private property. I literally did not understand why I couldn’t just use anything and everything in our room — after all, it was OUR room and my sister and I had used each other’s stuff constantly growing up. It never occurred me that “borrowing” a shirt out of someone’s closet without asking wasn’t ok.

    On the other hand, I have no problem with sharing, I have an endless experience dealing with shitty situations where you literally hate the person you’re living with but still love them to death, and it takes a LOT to annoy me all of which I attribute to sharing a room with my sister.

    And I sometimes still miss locking myself in the closet with a book for hours on end (pillow and back pressed up against the door so she couldn’t force it open) or taking 3 hours baths for the alone time.

  140. My brother and I always had our own rooms, but Mr. Sandwich had to share a room with his older sisters for quite a while. We always figured we’d start the kids out sharing a room and see how it went, but we’re just going to have one.

  141. We live in Manhattan, and my 4 year old and 1 year old sons share a room. It’s not always perfect — sometimes the baby wakes up the older kid. Mostly, though, my 4 year old sleeps through the disruptions, I think because city kids are used to sleeping through noise anyway. We want to give our kids the gift of living in this amazing city, but since we cannot afford a bigger apartment here, it’s a tradeoff, and one that is working out nicely thus far. They are young enough that they’ve never known what it’s like to have their own rooms. It’s cute listening to them chatter away to each other as they fall asleep or when they wake up in the morning. I really think they don’t mind sharing their room.

  142. I shared with one of my sisters until my oldest sister moved out and we got our own rooms. We split the room with masking tape at one point. But I love the memories I have of sharing a room. Today even though we have a 4 bedroom house, my two boys share. For one, it allows for a guest room and a den, but the main reason is that I agree with a lot of the posters that it builds that bond. Now that my 2 yr old has the side off his crib, we found them in bed together the other night. The sweetest thing ever! And since we have the extra room, once they’re older we can split them up.

  143. Hello Joanna,

    I have no kids of my own but I have been an Au Pair in NYC for 2 years and worked for two different families, the first with 3 girls (they had their own bedrooms) and the second family had a boy and a girls with their own bedrooms as well.

    Let me tell you that in the first family the girls loved each other very much but they were also very happy to have their own spaces. On the second family, the same specially because they were brother and sister.

    That is an important thing to think about. You want a second child but it can be a girl. Would it be nice for your daughter to share the room with Tobby? Maybe while a small child it would be fun but growing up it could be a problem.

    Also, I think that if the kids are close in age it is easier but if if the age difference is big than nightmare!!

    I personaly have always loved my space and i’m sure it would have been a nightmare to share the room with my sister.

    As much as we love each other we are very different, we argue a lot and we cannot share the same room for the sake of everyone in the house.

    That is another point to take into consideration. Your children will love each other as bothers or sisters of course but simply because of a personality thing they might not get along as well as you wished they did…

    Love, leticia