As an editor for a national parenting magazine, My boss was not keen to write stories on shared bedrooms for kids since she believed many kids do not share these days. In reality, she was right: American houses keep getting larger, and families are becoming smaller, so it is logical that most children have their own space. Yet, in my everyday life, I have come across families with children sharing bedrooms, particularly in cities where limited space is available.
Even in homes that have more space, families typically choose to let their children share rooms. My sister and I shared a room until we reached our tweens, even though the home we lived in included 5 (!) bedrooms. Like many others, my parents believed that sharing a room with their kids would strengthen relationships between children and teach us a bit about compromise and problem-solving. (I believe that they were right!)
When will my baby and toddler begin having a shared room?
Ideally, you’d like to hold off until your baby reaches the 6-month milestone. Before that, you should keep the bed or bassinet in your bedroom as long as possible.
There are several reasons for this. The first is that it is the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that infants room-share (never share a bed) together with parents during at least the initial six months and possibly for the first year to avoid sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
There are practical aspects to consider. In the early years, placing the infant in your bedroom can help feed at night faster and more comfortably. The older child will get more time to become familiar with the family’s youngest member.
If possible, you might want to avoid having the children sharing a room until your child is (mostly) asleep throughout the night or, at a minimum, being able to clock in longer sleep stretches at the same time. So, you have fewer chances to have to soothe two children to sleep when you wake up with your baby.
Use Rugs In Your Shared Bedroom
Rugs can be the difference between leaving the room peacefully while a baby is napping and having a baby cry when they wake up.
Rugs can absorb sound, so it makes sense to put one in the room you’ll share with your child.
Focus on the First Six Months
While the AAP states that the best scenario is to keep the baby in your bedroom for the entire year, they emphasize how important it is to stay in the baby’s first 6 months since this is when the chance of SIDS becomes higher.1 If your family’s situation hinders your ability to share a space with your child for the whole year, you can keep the baby in your bedroom for the first six weeks of their life.
Different Use For Things
Make use of items in different ways, such as:
Make use of this shoe holder that can be placed at the door to store items like burps, lotions, garments, nail clippers, diapers, and shirts. It occupies almost all space, and it’s at the door!
You can also purchase these hangers for your closet and hang baby blankets in case there isn’t enough space in your drawers to store them.
Consider Bed Layout
Deciding on the best place to put the beds for children is essential when you are putting together an area for sharing, especially when you have children on different schedules for sleep, such as toddlers and babies. One method of ensuring that everyone sleeps soundly is placing the youngest child close to the entrance. This can allow you to reach a crying toddler or baby quicker without disturbing your sleepy child.
Decorate with sound-reducing objects
The decor you choose is crucial if you’re sharing a tiny space. If you choose to decorate too much and you danger of making your space seem empty and uninteresting, you’re suddenly crowded and trying to squeeze in space.
Your decorations should serve double duty when you share a tiny room with your infant. While it’s fine to have certain items that help make the room feel more comfortable and lived in, most accessories must be practical and stylish. Items that reduce noise can help your baby rest better and ease some of the pressure of waking up late at night.
The most effective methods for adding or reducing the noise in the nursery include:
It’s a white sound (or different noise) machine. A machine that emits white noise can mimic gentle sounds for babies while they are asleep. This model from VTech looks adorable and gives off a soft light.
Rugs or other floor coverings specifically for floors made of tile or hardwood Rugs provide an additional layer of protection against noise and make the floor feel more welcoming and inviting for your child.
Curtains that are longer and heavier – The hanging of curtains to the ceiling or wall will help soften sounds for the infant. The curtains will give elegance while also reducing loud noises.
Hide Your Clutter With Curtains
You can keep your baby’s room in your bedroom neat by putting up a few curtains.
You can also put curtains on storage spaces, shut them, and open them when needed.
The curtains need to be pleasing to the eye and easy to reach.
These covers can also prevent dust and other items from being in the way.
Are There Any Cons When Sharing a Room With an Infant?
As mentioned above, sharing a room with babies is a fantastic way to keep your baby safe. But, there are a few negatives that come with this type of arrangement. One of them is the likelihood of the baby moving to the parent’s bed, which puts babies at greater risk of suffering from SIDS or sudden infant mortality syndrome. In addition to posing a danger to the infant, It has been found that babies who share a room sleep for shorter lengths and are restless through the night. This means that mothers of these infants also sleep less, and consequently, sleep deprivation can be a possibility in those mothers. Sleep-deprived mothers are more likely to develop PPD, also known as postpartum depression.