We own a four bedroom house and our three kids are sharing a room. Apparently we aren’t alone. According to the Chicago Tribune, many families are opting to have children share bedrooms even if it isn’t necessary. Besides helping foster sibling relationships, it frees up more space to have an office, playroom or guest bedroom. In our case, our kids prompted the change. While they didn’t ask to all share a bedroom, their actions made it very clear that they preferred to be together.
(Read more about why our kids share a bedroom.)
Our kids are 10, 9, and 5 so their schedules aren’t exactly the same. But my husband and I are very open to trying new things to make it a good arrangement for everyone.
Here are a few tips we’ve learned along the way.
Find a Sleep Schedule
With a 5 year gap between our youngest and oldest, it makes sense they don’t need the same amount of sleep. I drove myself crazy the first week trying to keep my two older kids from waking up their younger brother Wesley when they got up for school. But I quickly realized that I couldn’t easily control that. They could be relatively quiet and still wake him up on their way out the door. So we focused on what we could change. His bedtime. We don’t expect Wes to want to go to bed earlier than his brothers so we’ve tried to be creative and frame it as part of their reading/quiet time before bed. Since Wes can’t read himself, his reading is limited to the two books we read to him. His older brothers can continue to read their books and soon after Wesley is relaxing and falling asleep in his bed.
My husband and I used a fan in our early married life to have background noise. Now we use a handy app on our phone with a portable speaker that does the job without a fan blowing in our faces or dust around our room. Our kids are used to it as well and we’ve got the same setup in their bedroom playing brown noise. This helps keep sounds like our toilet flushing, coughing or snoring from disturbing their rest.
If this is something your kids are not used to, try starting out with the volume low and slowly work your way up!
Keep Toys Out
If possible, make the bedroom all about sleeping and quiet time. Our main concentration of toys is in our basement playroom and alcove off the living room. We keep the focus on relaxation in the bedroom so our kids can transition at night more easily. If this isn’t possible, be sure to have rules about when it is acceptable to play and when it is quiet time.
If possible, try to create a space within the room that each child has control and ownership over. It might just be the area around their bed and a dresser. But having a spot that is all their own with bedding that fits their own personality is a great way to make each child still feel special.
We’ve had plenty of opportunities to teach our children about compromise. For example, one of our boys wants to fall asleep with the door wide open and the hall light on while the two other boys prefer it very dark. Keeping the door open just a crack or using a night light has been a lesson in compromise and is something all three can agree on.
Come up with some ground rules, but be flexible as you go. Be willing to change the rules to make a good night’s sleep more attainable for everyone. When our youngest has gone a couple of days with less sleep, then we add a nap back into his day or even let him crawl into bed with us. When my oldest kept stealing his brother’s pillow, I found him a new one he liked rather than just scold him.
Products with Protection
A big part of sharing a bedroom with your siblings is the added security of knowing you aren’t alone. I’ve also tried to offer some protection built in with bedding products that fit their needs. For example, a mattress protector is a must! If you have a child who is sick or is prone to nighttime accidents, PureCare Kids 5-Sided mattress protectors and PureCare Kids perfect-fit pillow protectors will save the day!
What is so great about them? They are treated with antimicrobial silver chloride that inhibits bacteria, mold and mildew that causes deterioration, stains and odors on this product. PureCare Kids covers help provide a cleaner more hygienic sleep environment. If your child suffers from allergies, this mattress cover provides a physical barrier against allergens, dust mites (MiteTight®seams), stains, moisture, mold and mildew.
I have had a child call out to me in the middle of the night because he didn’t make it out of his bed when he got sick. Why add to an already stressful situation? Skip scrubbing the mattress or throwing out the pillow with these products from PureCare. The mattress and pillow protectors can be washed and even dried on hot for added peace of mind.
These PureCare products are super soft and easy to wash so they are comfortable to sleep on and keep kids cool. I do wish the mattress protector was a little tighter on my kid’s bed. However, this isn’t noticeable once I put the sheet on and is ideal if you have a thicker mattress.
How would you like to win your own PureCare set including both a pillow protector and mattress protector for your child? I have 5 sets to give away to my readers. This is up to a $120 value each!
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