Should kids share or have separate bedrooms?
Many of us assume that every kid should have his or her own bedroom. But on the other hand, some families have the bedtime ritual where kids share bedrooms. Let’s take a look at several factors in the bedtime ritual and when deciding to give kids separate bedrooms or having kids share a bedroom.
Sharing With Siblings
Factors to consider when deciding to have children share a bedroom or have separate bedrooms:
- Young children may find comfort in the bedtime ritual of sharing a room with their siblings
- Children sharing a room can get deep sleep by having the same bedtime ritual
- At a certain point in child development most kids will want their own space
- Some kids truly enjoy being together and have a healthy emotional connection and helps them get deep sleep
- Brothers or sisters learn sharing and negotiation by sharing a room
- Sharing a bedroom can better prepare kids for roommates when they are adults
- Gender does not necessarily have to keep kids in separate bedrooms
- Small spaces can be comfortably shared by using bedroom decorating ideas like bunk beds or single beds
Sleeping In Bed With Parents
In addition to sharing a bedroom, some children sleep in bed with their parents. Sleeping with parents is sometimes referred to as co-sleeping and bed-sharing and has been a controversial child development topic over the last few years.
There are a mix of benefits and risks when having children share a bed with their parents. Some considerations are:
- Bed-sharing is a personal decision for each parent and child. Research in pediatric psychology indicates kids need to foster a strong bond with parents and siblings, however researchers are split on the benefits of sharing a bedroom or a bed. Some kids between the ages of 2 to 6 years old may benefit from co-sleeping
- A risk is that co-sleeping can dramatically disrupt a parent's deep sleep and sleep loss can cause issues for parents
- Bedwetting may be a risk. Mattress protectors and additional bedding may be needed when sharing a bed during transitional stages of development, such as during toilet training
- Very young children may be at the risk of getting smothered by bedding, pillows, quilts or even their parents; it might be a better idea for very young children to sleep in separate bedrooms
- If kids have been co-sleeping, they may experience 'separation anxiety' and lose deep sleep when asked to move into their own bedroom
- Setting a bedtime ritual is important. Getting children to sleep independently does not necessarily have to be rushed, but once started should have a consistent time and routine. Reassuring kids that they are cared for should ease this transition and help with deep sleep