Author Topic: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...  (Read 4579 times)

newgirl

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For those of you who have two or more kids who share bedrooms... HOW, exactly do you make that work for your family.

Note: I am aware that for the vast majority of human history, siblings and even entire families shared rooms. And that many many continue to do so today. So obviously young children sharing rooms is not some bizarre outlier thing. However, using my own kid as an example, at 18 months old, she still does not sleep through the night and needs mom or dad to sleep with her for at least part of the night. If we put her in there with another kid, all I can think is that they would just both be waking each other up ALL the time, as each kid would be going through sleep regressions, bad dreams, etc at different times. And then mom and dad would go slowly insane.

Also note: We have chosen to not sleep train and not do any sort of cry-it-out. If you have made that choice for your family I respect that, but I am not in need of any advice or examples that involve sleep training or CIO.

If you have any advice or concrete examples of how you make toddler sibling room sharing work for your family, I would LOVE to hear them - my partner and I are discussing whether to make any changes to our living situation next year, and I would like to be more open to making a two bedroom solution work, because then we have many more (and cheaper) options available to us. We would intend to room share in our bedroom when baby #2 is born and for as many months as we can make it work thereafter, but at some point we are going to want to reclaim our room and either put the kiddos in separate bedrooms (3+ bedroom house/apt option) or in the same room somehow (2 bedroom option)

jac941

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2018, 09:36:43 PM »
White noise. My kids rarely woke each other ó even the bad sleeper slept through night time disruptions by his sibling.

Now that my kids are past the baby stage, they love sharing a room and are devastated when we separate them for too much goofing off at bedtime. They even sleep in the same bed a lot of the time. I canít imagine them not sharing a room.

Zamboni

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 10:15:05 PM »
As soon as my kids could get out of their cribs, they would mutually comfort each other at night and we almost never had to intervene. There was a child gate in the hallway outside of their two rooms, but they could get to each other. My son would be afraid of "hyenas" and his sister would tell him it is okay and they'd fall asleep. Or my daughter would be spooked by the cat, get up and go lie down on the floor in her brother's room, and conk out there with her pillow and blanket.

When they got a little bigger we just put them in the same room, and they loved it! A couple of years after that we moved to a bigger house with separate rooms and they complained (but now that they are teenagers I know they appreciate the privacy.)

Frugal Father

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 06:35:34 AM »
Zamboni, that's adorable.

Newgirl, when number 2 came along, we did similar to what you plan to do and had him in our room for several months. Eventually, we started putting up the pack'n'play in the living room at night and put him out there to sleep so he wouldn't wake us or his older brother. We would then move it into our bedroom for his naps. Pretty recently (when the younger was around 16/17 months), we moved them into the same room, and for the most part, it's gone well. There will be an occasional night where they wake each other up, but those are few and far between. We put them to bed at the same time, and that usually goes well. You could always try moving them into the same room, and then if it doesn't seem like it's working after a week or two, move the younger one back into your room or the living room for a bit, and then try again after a while. EDIT: To be clear, we tried a couple times between when he was born and this last time, and reverted back each time, so even if you run into issues, don't lose hope!
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 06:37:58 AM by Frugal Father »

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 06:45:47 AM »
As others have said, you're likely to find that siblings sleep better together, not worse. Our second child was a terrible sleeper until he was about 18 months old. That's when we moved from a 3 bedroom house into a 2 bedroom apartment. Immediately - and seriously, I mean the first night - after he moved into a bedroom with his big sister, he began to sleep better. There was no sleep-training or crying-it-out involved. They are now 4 and 6 and still share a bedroom with two twin beds. They sleep fantastically most nights. Now, their 2-year-old brother, on the other hand...maybe it's time to move him into their room so we can get some sleep again...

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ysette9

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 08:07:38 AM »
I am interested in and heartened by what I am reading in this thread. We have a 3.5 year old and a 4 month old. We are sleep training the little one now so that is a work in progress. Like the OP, I was anti-CIO with this one because we did that method at bedtime with our oldest to get her to learn to soothe herself to sleep and it was a disaster. I was very skeptical when our sleep coach told me to let the baby cry for five minutes if she wakes up at night and it has been fewer then three hours since the last feeding. I was expecting all hell to break loose. Instead I have been VERY surprised to see how she fusses and complains and then somewhere between minute 5 and 6 she magically puts herself back to sleep. Now I’d like her to not wake me up at all, but I am sure that will come in time and some more gentle pushing on my part.

That said, these two girls will definitely share a room one day. My oldest was a terrible sleeper and still isn’t the best. In our dark moments we sometimes joke about locking the two of them in the same room so they can scream st each other at night. Perhaps there is a nugget of a good idea in that?

What advice do people have in when it is a good time to move the little one in with the big? Do we have to wait until the little is sleeping through the night?
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dphngbr

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 03:30:07 PM »
Yes, white noise machines!  I wish they were cheaper -- it's basically a fan in a box! -- but they really do keep everyone asleep. 

Our older 2 share a room (6.5 and 4), but we didn't put them in the same room until they had similar sleep patterns (sleeping through the night, bedtime within an hour of each other.)  They were both pretty lousy sleepers until about 18 months (we don't sleep train or CIO either), and then things fell into place.  Now, they do great together. 

I'll throw this out there in case it helps, but YMMV:  with our youngest (now 18 months), we did a little experiment and skipped the crib altogether.   We moved her into a a Montessori bedroom setup once we stopped nursing and cosleeping at about 15 months, which means she sleeps on a mattress on the floor and everything in the room is accessible to her.  (Kind of like here:  http://www.howwemontessori.com/.a/6a0147e1d4f40f970b01b8d1f06a33970c-pi).  There is a baby gate so she can't wander away, but she otherwise has the freedom to move around her room.

It has been AMAZING.  She went from waking every 2-3 hours to sleeping through the night, and she independently decides when she's tired and is ready for a nap.  Early on we did lie down or hang out with her until she fell asleep, but she fell sleep pretty quickly even at the beginning.  I wish we had tried this when she was closer to 1 year, because everyone sleeps more.  She also started matching her schedule to her brothers', so they all go to bed at around the same time at night.  I haven't tried yet, but I suspect she'd be able to move into their room and everyone would sleep just fine together. 

Good luck!

Cranky

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 03:43:51 PM »
It was fine. Once they were out of cribs, they slept in a double bed until they were ready for bunks.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 01:34:52 PM by Cranky »

ysette9

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 03:44:45 PM »
For white noise, we resurrected an old phone with a cracked face and installed a free white noise app. Seems to be working pretty well so far.
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tthree

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 05:38:47 PM »
What advice do people have in when it is a good time to move the little one in with the big? Do we have to wait until the little is sleeping through the night?
Nope.  You might be waiting forever.....our 4 (almost 5 year old still wakes up every night).

Our kids are 4 years apart.  They have shared a room since since kiddo #2 was about 9 months.  Kiddo #2 was a non-sleeper, but it never was an issue.  The oldest slept through pretty much everything.  If #2 was complete spazzing out (which she did a lot when she was teething), I would console her in the rocker in the living room.

newgirl

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 06:49:05 PM »
Thank you for the stories and advice everyone :) Two bedrooms is definitely back on the table!

ysette9

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 07:25:32 PM »
I’m grateful for the input as well. So for those who moved the second one in before the second one sleep through  the night, did the big one just learn to tune it out? I can imagine me sleeping with both doors cracked open and one ear tuned to know when to do in and nurse the little one.

I love the idea of them comforting each other. My big one didn’t sleep through the night until 15 months and still wakes up to scream half the time. To outsource the midnight comforting would be spectacular 
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Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 06:04:47 AM »
Iím grateful for the input as well. So for those who moved the second one in before the second one sleep through the night, did the big one just learn to tune it out?

For us, our 3-year-old daughter was a pretty hard sleeper by the time we moved her 18-month-old brother into her room. I can't remember a single instance where he bothered her. If he was being particularly loud, my wife or I would come to the room to comfort him (or tell him to hush). And my daughter was a terrible (I mean, terrible) sleeper for her first year. Now she falls asleep before I leave her room at night, and I can barely wake her up for school in the morning.
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Kmp2

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 11:02:52 AM »
This is awesome, we have #3 on the way, and are looking at moving our 2 year old in with his  5year old sister once he is big kid bed trained... I thought that would be easier to do while he was still in his own room. Then baby would have his/her own room until either he/she gets moved in with the sibling of it's sex... or my oldest is mature enough to move into the basement bedroom that is waiting for her.

DD is seriously excited for him to move and for them to share a room - I'm not sure she realizes yet that he will have total access to all her stuff though. It's going to be interesting :)

MayDay

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 07:31:31 AM »
We were effectively Inna one bedroom house due to construction for awhile.

We bed shared with the baby and the toddler slept in a twin bed next to us. We comforted him and the baby didn't wake up. The baby nursed back to sleep without being noisy so she didn't wake the toddler.

It still sucked.

Then we moved to a two bedroom house and the kids shared a room. At that point we were done nursing. They have Never gone to sleep nicely together nor comforted each other at night. Rather we put the younger to bed in our bed and the older in the kids room. When we went to sleep we moved the younger. At this point theyw ere 2 and 4. The 4 slept all night. The 2 woke at night but we could go comfort her back to sleep and the 4 didn't wake.

I think two bedrooms is fine because you can separate the kid I'd still rather have 3 but obviously it is way more expensive. We found the price of a 3 bedroom apartment was much higher than a two,plus you could barely find them.
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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2018, 08:03:50 AM »
Yes, white noise machines!  I wish they were cheaper -- it's basically a fan in a box! -- but they really do keep everyone asleep. 


Right now we are using a humidifier that hums loudly enough to be a white noise machine.

But the one I travel with was only about $15 and has 10 sounds to choose from.

EmFrugal

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2018, 09:42:05 AM »
I have to second the white noise. We just use an old desk fan. It is quite loud and works well.

I was so nervous about moving my two in together. Sleep is precious to me so I did everything possible to make sure mine slept. I was concerned that moving them in together would disrupt that. The first couple weeks were hard because they basically just "partied." My husband and I thought it was hilarious the first couple nights and we basked in the feelings of "yay, sister love." By night four we were exhausted and started setting some ground rules about when they had to stop playing.

My girls were 2 and 4 when we started. Two years later I am so happy that they share a room. They really do comfort each other and although they fight at times, I love that they are so bonded. Neither of them can imagine sleeping apart now.

When they are older, we will continue to let them share. I know it's harder when they are teens but our house is a 3-bed and the youngest (who is a boy) has the third room. I'm sure they will complain, but I would rather them have the ability to be able to talk out their middle and high school issues with one another at night when parents and distractions aren't around.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2018, 09:22:31 AM »
When they are older, we will continue to let them share. I know it's harder when they are teens but our house is a 3-bed and the youngest (who is a boy) has the third room. I'm sure they will complain, but I would rather them have the ability to be able to talk out their middle and high school issues with one another at night when parents and distractions aren't around.

I grew up sharing a room with my little brother, since we were a family of 6 in a 4-bedroom house. I didn't get my own room until my older brother went to college, during my freshman year of high school. It was really no big deal. Just the way it was.
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galliver

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2018, 05:19:53 PM »
I shared a room with my 2 sisters for most of my child/teen-hood. Youngest sister is 8 years younger so I remember her moving in...she was probably about 12-18 months...I think she slept through the night. Either way, I'm sure we all woke up at night sometimes and needed mom and dad, I remember only a few times being woken up by fuss with the sisters, and it usually involved being sick. And on one occasion a lamp that got toppled over (probably would have woke me in the next room, too). ...we all slept pretty soundly and pretty much went back to sleep if woken. A much bigger issue with room-sharing was stuff-sharing and mess responsibility! (Had to clean up for sisters. Resented it. Builds character though.)

Think of it this way...you've mentioned that humans have almost always shared living/sleeping spaces. You've also mentioned your kiddo sleeps better with you guys than alone in her room. Maybe having others nearby is a comfort to us? Why not a sibling instead of a parent?

Also, you could consider the problem from the perspective of "well what if we *couldn't* have more rooms" (which was my parents' situation; the budget must have already been straining with a 2 bedroom). Reframe as "glad to have 2 rooms AND a living room to spread into instead of all having to be in the same space all the time!"

letired

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2018, 06:14:44 PM »
When they are older, we will continue to let them share. I know it's harder when they are teens but our house is a 3-bed and the youngest (who is a boy) has the third room. I'm sure they will complain, but I would rather them have the ability to be able to talk out their middle and high school issues with one another at night when parents and distractions aren't around.

This sounds lovely, but maybe think about having a backup plan. As the oldest, I got my own room while my brother and sister shared, then had to go back to sharing  a room (and double bed!) with my sister when my brother got older. We fought like cats and dogs every. single. night. My parents' house had a semi-finished 3rd floor/attic, so eventually I moved up there and we each had our own room. It might not have been an issue if we had always shared, or not had to share a bed. But yeah. A backup plan is probably a good idea.

furrychickens

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2018, 07:14:35 AM »
I have 3 kids currently 11,10,8 of mixed gender in a 2BR 730sqft house. They all share a 10x10 bedroom. Bunk beds and a mattress that we pull out as a trundle. It works fine. Obviously thereís some fighting but that happens no matter what with siblings :)

When they were younger, the baby was typically either in our room or sometimes out in the living room.

The main difficulty we had with kids waking each other up wasnít so much at night, but during the day for naps. Even with white noise, my youngest dropped his afternoon nap around age 2 because heíd be constantly woken up by his older sisters.
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firelight

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2018, 11:43:43 PM »
I shared a bed and room with my sister (king, but still) till I left home and hated it. My parents wouldn't hear of separate rooms even though we had enough space and we had to bear it. I think it led to a worse relationship than if we had separate rooms. Please don't put them together unless it's an emergency. If it all works out, it's good else it can turn out bad. And you don't want to mess with sibling relationships.

simonkkkkk

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2018, 04:47:37 AM »
Yes that is true

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2018, 05:00:22 AM »
I shared a bed and room with my sister (king, but still) till I left home and hated it. My parents wouldn't hear of separate rooms even though we had enough space and we had to bear it. I think it led to a worse relationship than if we had separate rooms. Please don't put them together unless it's an emergency. If it all works out, it's good else it can turn out bad. And you don't want to mess with sibling relationships.

I think that is more a function of being forced to share when it wasnít necessary, causing resentment. My kids have to share a room and they get along great. Sure thereís fights, but all normal sibling stuff. Weíre constantly together too because I homeschool.

But obviously YMMV. Personal and family dynamics are all different. Just trying to offer examples of it working well. Some people freak out just because we have mixed genders sharing a room. Maybe it will start becoming an issue when all 3 have hit puberty, but we already have one there and itís no big deal at all. My kids have all worked out, mostly on their own, the level of privacy they desire.
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chaskavitch

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2018, 04:08:36 PM »
I shared a room with my sister until I was 12 or 13.  We were homeschooled through elementary, and that's when I started public school and had to actually have an alarm clock and wake up early in the morning.  We honestly probably started fighting more then, too, with tween/teen hormones and attitudes, lol.  Up until then, though, we loved it, even though we had enough space for separate rooms.  I think when we were little I moved into my own room for a few months, and we moved back in together because we missed it. 

I can't imagine sharing a bed with a sibling, though!  I had a loft bed, so we each had our own light for reading at night, and our own dressers in the room.  I imagine it is easier with siblings of the same gender.  We only have one kid right now, and DH is upset that when we decide to have another we'll have to turn our guest room into another kid bedroom - he and his sister were 7 years apart and always had their own rooms.  I'm secretly convinced our kids will end up sharing.

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2018, 03:55:26 PM »
My kids are 2 and 5 and share a room.  Some thoughts:

Good sleepers:  Our kids are good and heavy sleepers in general.  We've had horrible nighttime shenanigans with both, and the other never wakes up.  I think some of that may be attributed to the fact that we deliberately NEVER quieted normal house noise to accommodate them as babies, so they're used to noise.  But, I also think there's a decent bit of good genes / good luck in there.  So, for some families, it just may not work. 

Staggered bedtimes:  We have a bathroom / story / song routine, and we do it separately for each, little one first.  It's worked out nicely.  The 5yo is old enough to goof off in the living room for 20 or mins while we do the little one, and then we get a little only child time with each kid.  We do not wait for little one to sleep before we put the big one down, and they're both awake at the end.  Whole thing generally takes 30-40 min start to finish.  Within the next 30 mins or so (or sometimes more) they're actually asleep.

Naps separately:  The big one doesn't nap anymore, but when they were both doing afternoon naps, we let the big one sleep in our bed.

Crib!: Almost forgot this.  Little one still sleeps in a crib, so he's stuck there.  All bets may be off once he shifts to a bed.

3 in a room?:  We're going to start trying for a 3rd in a few months.  The plan is to keep them all in the same room.  Wish us luck.

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2018, 05:18:07 PM »
I think there seems to be a universal consensus against sharing beds and I don't think OP was considering it anyway, but I feel like it brings up a bigger issue: sharing a room should not mean sharing everything; each kid should have some space or some thing they feel is their own. Their own bed, their own part of the wall for posters, artwork, etc. Their own storage. My parents got me a locking cabinet when I was 9 or 10 to keep all my "big kid stuff" away from my 5yo and 2yo  sisters...board games and craft supplies lived there (side effect: if my sisters *did* get into my stuff, it was totally my fault for not putting it away! Responsibility!). At 11 (middle school) we all got our own desks (with drawers and everything).

newgirl

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2018, 08:12:31 PM »
Yeah, I was not considering actual BED sharing for siblings, just room sharing. Though my sister and I would sometimes choose to sleep in the same bed when we were really little, there is an aspect of comfort there (and also opportunities to goof off).

Thanks for also pointing out the need for the kids to have private/non-shared areas and things as well - critical to developing independence and a sense of responsibility and ownership of surroundings. While also keeping sibling relationships in good standing! We do loosely follow Montessori at home (and they follow it strictly at daycare), so the way we've set it up is that the bedroom is STRICTLY for sleeping (there is only a bed, some books and stuffed animals in there), and other areas of the apartment are for play, climbing, art, etc. I think we would probably extend this concept for 2+ kids.

Now that I've gotten over the room sharing thing I'm freaking out about the daycare $$$ thing. I have a goal to max out my 401k and HSA for the first time ever this year, and adding on $1700/month in infant daycare costs is not going to help much. Sigh. Sorry for going OT on my own thread.

EmFrugal

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2018, 08:23:59 PM »
When they are older, we will continue to let them share. I know it's harder when they are teens but our house is a 3-bed and the youngest (who is a boy) has the third room. I'm sure they will complain, but I would rather them have the ability to be able to talk out their middle and high school issues with one another at night when parents and distractions aren't around.

This sounds lovely, but maybe think about having a backup plan. As the oldest, I got my own room while my brother and sister shared, then had to go back to sharing  a room (and double bed!) with my sister when my brother got older. We fought like cats and dogs every. single. night. My parents' house had a semi-finished 3rd floor/attic, so eventually I moved up there and we each had our own room. It might not have been an issue if we had always shared, or not had to share a bed. But yeah. A backup plan is probably a good idea.

Thanks, but we don't really have the option of a back-up plan unless we buy a $1.1M+ SFH or something from the 1940's that is smaller than what we have now (for about $750K) and completely falling apart. Our 3 bed townhome is a happy compromise. It is in an amazing neighborhood filled with children our children's ages. And it allows us access to an excellent school system and a newer construction home (well, built within the last 20 yrs newer). 

When the girls are older my plan is to loft their beds and place a desk under each. Kind of dorm-room style. For us, it just works to keep our 2 yr old son in his own room from day one. For the record, my girls do not share a bed and they never will. So if that was miscommunicated, apologies. Each has their own twin bed.

Hopefully it will all work out. Otherwise, I guess someone will be sleeping on a sofa bed as back up. The good news is at the ages of 4 and 6 they adore sharing a room. So here is to lots of optimism for the future!

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2018, 08:39:13 PM »
For white noise, we resurrected an old phone with a cracked face and installed a free white noise app. Seems to be working pretty well so far.

We did the same.

When it finally started failing this winter we bought an Amazon echo for $30.  Similar price but has more functionality for long term. 

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2018, 06:10:00 AM »
When the girls are older my plan is to loft their beds and place a desk under each. Kind of dorm-room style. For us, it just works to keep our 2 yr old son in his own room from day one. For the record, my girls do not share a bed and they never will. So if that was miscommunicated, apologies. Each has their own twin bed.

Hopefully it will all work out. Otherwise, I guess someone will be sleeping on a sofa bed as back up. The good news is at the ages of 4 and 6 they adore sharing a room. So here is to lots of optimism for the future!

I didn't think you'd have them sharing a bed.  I was amazed at the number of other posters who DID have to share beds with a sibling.  That would never have occurred to me as a solution to having a small room - bunk beds or lofts seem like a much better choice, as you spend a significantly smaller time with someone else's cold feet on you, or losing covers to a bed hog :)

I really loved my loft bed, so I hope your plan turns out well.

Domigab

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2018, 07:33:35 AM »
     We went on vacation 3 years ago and our middle child slept in a bed vs his crib for the first time. We moved him to a room with his sister when we got home. They both slept on crib mattresses on the floor. Our pediatrician recommended this since we were scared of them falling out of bed. When we moved my in laws gave us a bunk bed. The transition went smoother than I thought it would.
      Eventually we are going to have our two sons share a bedroom and our daughter will have her own room. Right know we are just trying to survive the sleep regression our 3 year old is going through. He wakes up in the middle of the night and ends up sleeping with us.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2018, 07:42:20 AM »
We had son and daughter sharing for many years - part of the time we had a three bedroom house and they chose to sleep with each other.  Then we moved to a two bedroom house and they had to share.  It was great in the beginning because they enjoyed the security of knowing each other was in the room.  Then when my son was 11 it became a problem.  He needed way less sleep and would leap out of bed in the morning and slam his dresser drawers getting dressed and bounce his way into the bathroom and slam more doors.  Even if he tried to be quiet - a pile of books would fall off the bedside table or the lego creation would collapse.  Daughter who was 8 would be awake for the day - sometimes a full two hours earlier than she would have been.  If son was away at grandparents or a friends, daughter would have a great long sleep.
What started to happen was daughter was having a great deal of difficulty coping at school and was out of humour all the time.  We suddenly had this anxious, whiny, crying kid that we didn't recognize.  Then in a moment we put it together - she was sleep deprived.  We let her camp on the floor in our bedroom for a while and she was falling asleep about an hour earlier than her brother.  We put the push on to finish our bedroom in the basement and get her moved into her own room.  Within a week she was a different child.  We couldn't figure out a way to have her get enough sleep while sharing with her energetic brother.  So early years it worked really well but hasn't worked since then.  Now son is sleeping 11pm to 7am and daughter sleeps 9 to 7:30.  A huge difference in sleep need.

I think you have to observe your kids.  And needs change. 
Seeing the possibilities

SECB

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2018, 09:01:57 AM »
I just have to chime in on this because I have a hilarious story on this topic. I grew up in the 90's and shared a room with my brother who was 3 years younger than me. He's always been a little more of a sensitive soul than I, especially when it comes to external stimuli (sounds, textures, etc.). He was more of a crier, and prone to not sleeping as well so we usually had to make accommodations for him. From ages 6-8 he insisted upon falling asleep with the Pokemon soundtrack blasting. No white noise for us. We also owned a guinea pig which was housed in our room. It was ridiculous but it worked fine - we slept well. In fact, when we finally got separate rooms as I entered my pre-teen years, we both had a difficult time adjusting to being apart. I'm 27 now and I still know every single word to the first 2 songs on that soundtrack.

BeanCounter

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2018, 09:20:52 AM »
My boys 5, and 9 have always shared a room and it's been great for both of them.
When the youngest was an infant in the co-sleeper next to our bed we let our oldest sleep on the crib mattress on the floor next to the co-sleeper next to our bed. So the whole family slept in the same room for about 9 months. When we moved the baby out of the co-sleeper and into the crib we put the toddler in a twin bed in the same room. And they have had no problems.
We do not let them sleep in our bed, and we don't ever offer to sleep in their room, but we have given them an open invitation to grab their sleeping bag out of the closet and sleep on our floor any time they feel they need to. If they are scared or sick they can choose to do that. They also do comfort each other, and if one thinks the other needs us they will come and get us.
This relaxed approach has worked really well for as everyone is getting a lot of sleep.
Good luck!

chouchouu

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Re: Apologies in advance for what will seem like an insane question...
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2018, 03:38:52 PM »
We have five year old twins who have always shared a room, first with us and later by themselves. Bedtime gas always involved us cuddling them to sleep, first one, then the other. One is a better sleeper and often the not so good sleeper will come to our bed to sleep and then I put her back to her own bed. Until around 4 they would cry at night and I'd go in to comfort,  they almost never woke their sibling or if they did the sibling would just put themselves back to sleep. When they were 3 I took them on a long overseas holiday and we bed shared, since then they would come into our bed at night when they woke instead of me going there. We only have a queen so when both Jen us I would wake and put one back or both. Now only one comes occasionally and doesn't wake us so much. The one issue I have is them playing at bed time. One thing that really helped is "the rabbit who waneed to sleep," it kind of hypnotises them to sleep. Sometimes it puts us to sleep too and honestly when I've read the whole darn book and they're still not asleep I want to scream but it's better than nothing. Sometimes I just tell them they can stay awake so long as they stay in their room, are quiet and don't disturb mummy. Helps with my sanity and eventually they do sleep. My kids have always been awful sleepers, they take after my husband, I also shared with siblings and was an excellent sleeper.  Couldn't keep my eyes open past 8 pm.