Four Kids, One Bedroom

I get asked often enough how well our kids do sharing one bedroom and if there are any tricks we have up our sleeves to make that transition to bedroom sharing.

Well, we're not pros on the subject (or anything else regarding parenthood for that matter, ha!), but with a year and a half under our belts of successful sibling sleepery, we'll tell you the whys, whens, and hows we've found to make it work for us.

Plain and simple, this started because we were renting a small three bedroom house and we really didn't have room in the living room (like we sort of did in our previous house) to keep the kid's toys in the living room or any other living space.  You know how kids do.  They play and scatter their colorful plastic objects all over the place and we really wanted to not have to obstacle course it through the already small living areas we had.  We also didn't want toys in the bedroom because we've found that keeping toys in bedroom hinders bedtime (I'm talking to you three-year old).  ;)  We really wanted to corral all of their stuff into one of the bedrooms - a dedicated playroom.  But in order to take one of the three bedrooms for that, we had to put them all into one room.  Another minor reason for the room-sharing idea - Gianna had been our very worst sleeper.  I mean, none of our kids were all that great at letting their old man/lady get shut eye but man, she loved the night hours and really, we think she just loved our bed more.  We thought and HOPED that maybe letting her sleep with other people might be comforting and those nightly wakings might decrease.  I know.  It sounds crazy.  Put the little kid who wakes up all the time in with the bigger kids so she can just wake them up too.  We knew that might happen but we also had hope in the fact that maybe it wouldn't.  And guess what?  She went from horrible sleeper to pretty good sleeper just by bunking with her siblings.  Yes, it was crazy.  Girl doesn't like being alone apparently.  :) 

Gianna had her own room until we moved into our rental, like I mentioned above.  We we first moved in, her crib and the older kids' bed (an air mattress on the floor at first) got put into one bedroom.  At the time we moved her, she was a few months shy of turning 2.  For her and us, it was a great age to have her start rooming with her siblings.  The other three were 5, 5, and 4.  So they weren't too old that we felt they needed their own space for privacy reasons quite yet.  Right now they're obviously all still sharing a room at 7, 7, 5, and 3 and it's all going swimmingly.  I don't know when the girls will reach the age that they'll need a space away from the younger two but it's not yet.  I'm going to take a guess and say nine years old might be the age.  We shall see.  It will happen eventually but for now, it's great to have a couple of extra bedrooms we can use for other purposes (aka a play room and office/guestroom).  Overall, the toddler and little kid stages, we think, are great stages to room share.

Two words - bunk beds.  They have been crucial for us with four kids.  (Ours are these beds.)  The kids' room isn't huge (maybe 11 x 13?) so we've had to think upwards and take up the least amount of floor space as possible.  When Gianna was still in a crib, we passed on putting slats in the bottom bunk of one bunk bed and slipped her crib in instead.

 In order to give her enough head room and clearance to get out, we also took the legs off of the crib (ours just screwed off so it was a simple change).

When we moved to our current casa, she got upgraded to her very own "big girl bed" - the bottom bunk plus mattress.

Besides bunk beds, scheduling and routines are very important parts of harmonious room-sharing for us.  Our kids are all close in age so they all have the same bedtime at this point.  I think we could still do room-sharing with staggered bed times but we'd have to make sure the ones that go to bed later are good at keeping quiet when getting ready for and into bed so as not to wake the littlest.  Once we finish our bedtime routine each night, our kids are expected to be quiet in bed.  There are usually a little bit of small whispers but, for the most part, they all cooperate and either lay quietly or go right to sleep.  (If I were superstitious, I'd go find the nearest tree to tap...*nervous laugh*.)  In the mornings, they struggle just a little with quietly leaving the room while other sibs are sleeping (I blame the birds on the bird feeder outside their window...they're always excited to see the birds in the morn) but for the most part, everyone gets uninterrupted sleep.

Sibling room-sharing has just become the normal thing for us now that we've been doing it for over a year so I might've forgotten some of the tricks we tapped into in the beginning.  If I did and you're wondering or you just have other questions, email me ( or comment below!  

If you've been discerning putting siblings together in a room, we'd say go for it!  The hardest part might just be moving beds around.  Try it for a month and see if it works!  Our kids are pretty close for lots of reasons (hello, family) but we like to think sharing a room has given them an extra ounce of camaraderie.  That's not to say that siblings not sharing rooms are somehow missing out!  I had my own room my entire life and my four siblings are some of my favorite people in the world!  But think about those bunk rooms you got to share with your siblings on vacation and how many fun memories came out of them...and then think about how fun that would be everyday!  ;)

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