29 answers

How Long Is It Ok for Siblings to Sleep in the Same Room?

I have to children, a boy who just turned 7 and a girl who is 5. They are 19 months apart and have always been very close. We have tried to have seperate rooms in the past but always end up with a room together. Thay do have seperate beds ,and stay in there own most of the time. My 7 your old has become very dependent on sleeping with his sister. So much it has caused problems at grandmas house where she does not allow it.
So my question to you today is at what age do children need to stop sleeping with there siblings? Thanks for any and all replies.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Too bad that there's not bathrooms in their individual bedrooms. It might seem a bit cruel but you could lock you son in his room by reversing the bedroom lock. Continuing to sleep in the same bed as an opposite sibling can/might cause problems later in life.

Good luck.

M.,

I've seen studies that show that siblings who bunk together form closer bonds.

Here's an article on it:

http://www.parents.com/big-kids/socializing/sibling-issue...

Good luck!

More Answers

I agree with the majority of the posters to let them continue to bunk together. And personally, I would never lock a child in their room. What problems? That siblings find comfort in each others presence..that they treasure their time together..trust me, if either of your children begin to feel uncomfortable, they will make the move to their own space. I really give kudos to the idea of letting them personalize thier rooms so they may feel drawn to that space, but really, there is no reason to push them apart. Before you know it, the oldest will be packing off to college and these bonding years will be in the past.
And I'm really sorry if something terrible happened to the mama who wanted to lock them in their rooms, but I really don't support that idea.

My brother and I shared the same room the whole time we were growing up. From the time I was born until he graduated from high school and went to the army. He is 3 years older than me. We both had our own twin bed and we always slept in our own bed. Not because our parents told us to but because there just isn't enough room in a twin bed for 2 kids for very long. My brother and I were very close growing up. We shared all of stories with each other and we fought like cats and dogs some days. Privacy was not an issue as we went through puberty we just set our own boundaries. My parents never really got involved in any fights we had and they never really told us to set privacy boundaries.

I think you should be open and honest with them about who they are and what's expected of them as siblings but don't worry so much about there dependance on each other. They will out grow it or they won't, but forbidden fruit is always sweeter.

You might also ask grandma to lighten up because she can have a huge influence on their dependence by not allowing them to sleep together. I know when we would stay at my Grandmothers house, she didn't have 2 beds in one room and I would have nightmares at her house because my brother wasn't in the same room with me. He would come sleep on the floor some nights when I couldn't sleep.

If you really feel they need their own rooms you should try encouragement. All 3 of my children slept with me and my husband until they were about 3 years old. We got them out of our bed and into their own by encouragement not by forbidding them from coming into our bed. We had a lot of nights that they still wanted to sleep with us but we would encourage them to go back to bed and if they refused we didn't push the issue and let them in bed with us. My 2 sons shared a room for several years and when we bought a new house they each got their own rooms and they got to pick their rooms. They picked rooms that were right next to each other and put their beds right next to the doors so they can see and hear each other.

They will grow up and they will move in their own direction and they will be well adjusted adults. I know our society tells us that our children especially of opposite sex shouldn't share a room. Sometimes out of necessity they must or just because they choose to. But I wouldn't worry about it. Families used to have only one room for all their children and in some countries that's still the common way of life.

I just started the process of separating my 4 1/2 year old son and 6 1/2 year old daughter last night. The only reason I am trying to separate them is so my daughter's sleep doesn't suffer. My son is a snuggler and tends to push anyone out of the bed he is in due to wanting to be close to them. Since my son still takes naps and my daughter can't because of school, my son tends to talk at night and keep my daughter awake. Separate beds doesn't solve this one and my daughter has started complaining about it and shows definite signs of being tired.

If the sleep disturbance wasn't the issue, I would have no problem letting them stay together. I shared a room with my sister until I was in high school. We are very close. I always liked the security of having someone near. That is way I first started letting my two sleep together. They both were going through a scared phase and that helped. Now my daughter is too tired to care. The change is a bit harder on my son but we are trying to help him feel good about being such a big boy to sleep in his own room. He did great last night after only getting out of bed three times before finally falling asleep.

Good luck.

I think it is fine until 1 or both want their own room and more privacy.

My brother and I had our own rooms but slept together in the guest room for years. I finally decided I wanted to sleep by myself when I was 12 or so but my brother would sneak into my room at night and sleep on the floor. I wouldn't make a big deal about it and let them decide when they are ready to sleep alone. Eventually one of them will be.

My cousin (who is a boy) and I are 14 months apart and slept in the same room most of our lives not to mention the shared baths! I don't see what the issue is....

I am sure that when one or both of them are old enough to need privacy :o) they will let you know. Until then, its perfectly fine for them to sleep in the same room. I would be more concerned what the underlying issue is with other people!

They are close and thats great, I would foster that relationship so they will have a steady rock in each other as they grow.

K.
Mom to 5

My brother and I (3½ years apart) slept in the same bed and/or bedroom until about age 10 (I was 10, he was 7)...that I can remember...and we turned out just fine. We are both normal, grown adults with our own children and we have a very tight sibling bond...always have had.

They'll reach the point where they are ready for their own rooms/beds. But, at 7 & 5, I don't see anything wrong with siblings co-sleeping (gender not important either). I'd probably say double digit age would be a good rule of thumb to use, though...it's when we grew out of it. A 10-year-old will tend to get tired of 'lil sis/bro' kicking and stealing the covers all night. ;o)

At the age that your children are now especially your son, they should be sleeping in separate rooms. Your son needs to understand that he is a big boy and big boys do not sleep with their sisters. This teaches him boundaries and privacy. Be firm and let your children know that they are not doing anything wrong but this is all a part of growing up.

We just split our kids up (ages 8 and 6). They were ready for the change. If you want to instill a little bit of privacy, try stringing a curtain across the room or a room divider, that way they each can have some of their own space when they want it without separate rooms.

My brother and I shared a room from when he was 6 yo. We are 8 years apart. I didn't move into another room until my sister moved out when I was 19 yo. We had bunkbeds which later were broken down to beds on either end of the room. Never had an issue. Infact, we have a great relationship. He's lived with me after I've owned my own homes in other cities and states and is now a thriving adult with his own home.

My younger boys (2 and 5) will share a room until they no longer want to. My older 2 (now boy 13 and girl 11) shared a room - but not a bed - full time until they were 7 and 9 at their mom's. They shared a room for weekends at our house until, at 9 and 11, the boy stopped coming over. Now my 11 year old claims the futon and the 13 year old, when he does come over, sleeps in his little brothers' room... Economics have put us in a 2 bedroom apartment right now.

I shared a room with my big sister from the time I was born until she married, at 23. I was 5. If my little boys and I go to see her alone (without the older or husband), I still share a room with her and my sons share with her sons (1 and 4).

So I guess my issue comes from the different genders - and it would stop the day I saw any sexual behavior between the two of them, or sooner if one wanted to start sleeping alone or I started feeling uncomfortable.

S.

I don't know if this is helpful, but my sister and I (who are six years apart) slept in the same bed until I was in high school. She had her own room, but she would come get into my bed almost every night. My vote is to give them their own rooms (if that's possible/feasible) and then let them figure out when it's time to have their own space. Being close with a sibling is a tremendous blessing to the siblings - and I would imagine to the parents as well!

Personally, I would think it's okay while your son is under 10 - if it were the reverse - daughter older and son younger, I would recommend that you are very close to needing to separate them. As long as their in their own beds I see no problem. However, you should work on them not changing clothes when the other is in the room etc. - i.e., have them get dressed in the bathroom in the morning or when the other is in the bathroom. That is unless you are raising your family in the European way, where they are much more relaxed about "skin". I personally think that is a healthier approach, but it's clear it's not a good approach with grandma.

That all said, it is not a bad idea at all to start letting your son decorate his room and allow your daughter to choose things for her room. This might naturally encourage your son to stay in his room. Also, if you let them spend as much time as they like during the day in one another's room, then they might ensure they get lots of time together.

Personally, I think you should count your blessings that your kids are close and don't seem to have the rivalry that so many other siblings have.

Hi M., I shared a room with my brother until I was in 2nd grade. We were both devastated when we were split up. I would sneak into his room every night for a long time to sleep on my old bed (we had bunk beds). I had horrible nightmares every night that I slept alone. I think it was ridiculous for us to go through such trauma for no reason. I think your kids will give you the cue when they're ready for their own space.

Another thing to think about... several cultures grow up with many family members in 1 or 2 bedroom homes. They all sleep together as long as they live at home, there is nothing wrong with them socially or psychologically. They grow up happy, healthy, and with close family bonds that last throughout their entire lives.

Too bad that there's not bathrooms in their individual bedrooms. It might seem a bit cruel but you could lock you son in his room by reversing the bedroom lock. Continuing to sleep in the same bed as an opposite sibling can/might cause problems later in life.

Good luck.

I grew up in a big family with a small house and had to share a room with my siblings until I went off to college...there wasn't any other choice. We all turned out just fine. I always found it comforting to know that I was never alone. There will come a time when they will not want to share a room. If I were in your shoes I would just wait until they are ready to split, but I would be open and honest to both of them that that day will come so that when it does come they are not surprised/hurt by it. The one thing I would discourge is making your son feel like he is weird or that sharing a room with his sister is strange or "not allowed" because I really don't feel that there is anything wrong with it. We tell kids from when they are little bitty to share your toys...what's the big deal about sharing a room. I think you could look at their ability to share a room so easily as a blessing, they must have a great relationship. Good luck!

I shared a room with my brother (two twin beds on either side of the room) until I was 10 years old. Some of my best childhood memories would not have happened if we were in separate rooms. I honestly don't remember if we changed together or separately (which probably means it was not acknowledged as an issue in our house). When I was about 9 1/2 I started asking for my own room so on my 10th birthday we redid what was the guest room into my room. My guess is that your kids will gradually become more independent and when they do they will ask for a separate rooms. I think that kids who are not exposed to inappropriateness will not think or act in such a way. I would be a little concerned if Grandma were making them feel like wanting to share a room was wrong in any sort of way. I think that is more likely to lead to issues over anything else.

In the olden days when not all children had their own rooms, I too was with my brother, three years my elder. The arrangement stopped when my oldest brother was kicked out of the house and my brother immediately occupied the haven in the basement. I think he was the luckier of the two of us.

If the kids are capable of sleeping apart which will happen when they start spending the night with friends, then all's good. I had no privacy issues, hellooo, you go change in the bathroom or lock the door if you are changing.

Don't worry about how it looks if the kids are well adjusted and happy, you should change things to make them miserable? Just be prepared to have another room for one to move into when they hit the teen years.

as you know there should be nothing wrong with sleeping with a family member but society has really played a big part on how we look at things. my girls love to sleep together but i finally said you can only sleep together on weekends...friday and saturday night. it gives them something to look forward to as well. they actually plan it out. i know you want your kids to remain close b/c the family bond should be the strongest but if you are beginning to question it then you knwo it is probably abotu time to split them up a little. try the weekend thing. plus, your share a room so they can still have their special talks and sibling time. good luck!

I could ask this same question. I have a 12 yo Daughter and 6 year old Son and will be having a baby shortly. well, we only have two rooms for the kids so the older two are going to have to share. I can't see putting either with a baby since they are in school and need their sleep. I couldn't get either of them to sleep in a crib in a separate room as babies so i'm going to do my darnedest to get THIS baby to do it! LOL anyway, with me in and out of a room all night with an infant I would hate my older kids to be woken up. So, is 12 and almost 7 girl and boy too old to share a room?

I don't see why it would be. Obviously the 12 year old girl would like her space and will eventually get it back but for a while it shouldn't be an issue....and i dont' think it should be for you eitehr. At 7 and 5 they are still young and if they are close then it's all the better.

I think some of the people that would protest this are actually putting some sort of sexual connection to the question as if the siblings will just naturally be attracted to each other or something b/c they sleep in the same bed or room! If you decide to make them separate be sure you don't imply anything to them about it being bad to sleep togehter (as siblings) but rather that it's better for them in that they would get a better nights sleep if they weren't fighting for space or covers or whatnot.

I'm not sure why your 7 year old would be more dependant on sleeping with his younger sister but i'd highly doubt it's for any reason that you'd frown upon. 7 isn't all that old and he could still be struggling with some sort of nighttime fear or whatever. I'd think that chances are, as he matures, he will start to out grow that but whose to say. Ask him why he likes to go to sleep with his sister and make sure there isn't some fear you could help him with.

Otherwise I wouldn't worry about it right now. i think siblings will stay close to each other when they are able to rmember times like this when they were close. They'll probably be at each others throats before you want them to be! LOL maybe they will remember those old days when they were so close and forgive each other for being jerks when they are teens! LOLOLOL

They are still very young children, long from puberty. Nature will take it's course as they near their "tween" phase, when every kid starts to want more privacy and becomes more modest. I would do as another mom recommends, and be sure they change clothes in private--it's your call if they need to have separate beds. Just don't make an issue out of it, and it won't become an issue.

My two are 16 months apart they don't sleep in the same room yet they are only almost 2 and 3. I figure it will happen and I think I would probably start stressing for them to sleep in their own rooms when they around 10ish.

My kids (who are 11 and 12) STILL "bunk" together on most nights!

They are 16 months apart and they are very close as well. They have started to go through phases where one or both will want to sleep in their own beds; but then they always end up back together...

It will end when they feel it is appropriate. They end up talking, and getting things settled and having fun when they go to bed.

My thought is why bother with something they love so much? They are not going to be young forever! At SOME point, they have got to stop!

I have two childern that live in the house and two step children that visit on holidays or vacations. With my two childern, 9 (boy) and 5 (girl), they are only allowed to sleep together on weekends. My duaghter has two twin beds so they are able to sleep sperate. When in my son's room they sleep together in a full size bed, animals in the middle. When we have all four children together girls sleep with girls and boys with boys. However, there are sometimes when the older two 10 girl and 9 boy, want thier space and want to hang out together. We think there is nothing wrong with this. Our family and friends don't have a problem with it. I believe it is all up to you and how your family feels comfortable.

Best of luck.

M.:

What a sweet sweet relationship your kiddos share with one another. I think you should leave the situtation alone. My sister and I are 23 months apart and we always ended up in the same room at night until we moved out of my parents house. I would let them enjoy the memories and time together. Life goes by to fast,, do what you think is right for there relationship. Good Luck!!

I am 4 years older than my brother and we slept together until I was 6 or so (our choice), then shared a room with twin beds when we moved to another home. We lived in a three bedroom house, but my parents used the third bedroom as a game room for their pool table. I matured early (started my period at 9) and begged for my own room from age 10 until they finally gave in when I was 12. It was fun sharing a room until I wanted (or needed)my privacy, in other words. Don't worry about them sharing a room when they're little, but please listen when they say they want their own room. I still resent that the pool table was more important, and that was almost 30 years ago.

M.,

I've seen studies that show that siblings who bunk together form closer bonds.

Here's an article on it:

http://www.parents.com/big-kids/socializing/sibling-issue...

Good luck!

I think us as adults worry more about this issue than kids do. As a matter of fact, I think the bigger deal we make about it, the more aware the kids become which makes them uncomfortable with each other for no reason. My brother and I didn't sleep in the same room, but I we used to bathe together. I remember when my father began to make a big deal about it...I was about 6. I remember it hurt and embarrassed me that he thought our bathing together was inappropriate. There was nothing inappropriate about our behavior. I would follow the advice of the others. Encourage them to play in their rooms and take an interest in decorating them, but for the most part, let the children decide when they are ready. I would monitor them (not shutting their door), but for the most part, your little ones are only forging a bond that all siblings enjoy - and possibly one that is a little closer than other siblings. That bond will carry throughout their lives and this time they spend together will be a warm memory to them when they are older.

My kiddos turned eight & ten over the summer & we just started separate sleeping arranagements when school started. My eight-year-old was very dependent on slees ping with her big brother but the time had come because he no longer wanted to share his space. I always said that they would let us know when it was no longer appropriate & they did! Kids will let you know when it isn't working for them any more - until then, let them go with it - no reason to upset the balance of things! By the way, as a special treat I let my eight-year-old sleep with her brother every once in a while as a treat & my ten-year-old gets rewarded for being nice enough to tolerate his sister for the night.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.