Do (or would) your kids share a bed?

boys in their bed

I’ve posted a few photos over the years of my boys asleep in their bed, and usually when I do it raises some interesting comments and questions about my boys sharing a bed. Do they really share a bed? Have they always? How did you get them to sleep in the same bed? Do they wake each other up in the night? Do I recommend it?

It’s something I’ve been thinking about lately because Marlow is now starting to ask to sleep with Ivy, and while I don’t want to risk messing up her good sleep habits, I’m thinking I might get rid of Marlow’s cot and let her join Ivy in her bed.

I love that my boys share a bed. Perhaps it would be the same if they each had their own bed within the same room, but those two boys are so close and I really think it has a lot to do with the bond that is created by sharing a bed. I think there’s something magical about bedtime, a time when they know they have to be quiet and play peacefully, no tattle-telling or fighting over toys. Whatever quarrels they have during the day are completely tossed aside at bedtime. It’s like there’s a mutual understanding between them that at bedtime they join the same team: boys versus their parents. I’ve always put them to bed around 7:00 for this reason. I know it’s early, but I figure they’ll end up talking or playing quietly together anyway, so why not make the most of it?!  We often find them asleep, lying side by side under the same book. Or sometimes we find a whole heap of little toys under their covers, evidence of some cheeky playtime before they fell asleep.

We didn’t make the decision to put the boys in one bed; they decided all on their own. When Quin, the younger one, was 6 months old we moved him into the room with his older brother. By the time he was 18 months old, we gave him a matching toddler bed like his brother’s. We joked they had beds like Ernie and Bert from ‘Sesame Street’!

boys' old bedroom

But… Quin never slept in his own bed. We would tuck each of them into their own beds, but every night we would come upstairs to find them in the same bed together. Like this…

boys in one bed2

or like this…

boys in one bed

Every single night!!

So when it came time to move into our new house, I gave the boys a choice: they could each have their own beds, or they could have one big bed to share. And of course it was an obvious decision.

The boys sleep so well together. No complaints about bed hogging or snoring. It’s like they just figure out their little place in bed and know how to sleep together (Quin always likes the flatter pillows and Easton always sleeps on the left side of the bed. They’re like a couple of old men with their little quirky ways!) I’m sure at some point they will decide it’s no longer ‘cool’ to share a bed, but for now we are happy with this sweet bed sharing arrangement. Here are some other benefits worth noting:

  • It makes traveling easier because they always sleep together and can comfort each other in new places. (We have never heard either of them say they were scared.)
  • We’ve never had a problem with scary dreams or other sleep issues. They must feel comfort knowing they have each other so near.
  • Easton often reads books to Quin. It used to be simple picture books, but now Easton reads his chapter books to Quin and I can only imagine it is beneficial for both of them to be reading together like this.
  • When guests come to stay, we can use the boys’ bedroom as a guest bedroom because the bed is big enough for adults.
  • One big bed takes up less space than two single beds, so for space-saving reasons, it’s worked out nicely in their little bedroom.

We will definitely let the girls sleep together as well, and I really hope they’ll sleep as well together as the boys do, and hopefully it will strengthen their relationship even more. (They already have bedtime conversations from their separate beds, but I can’t wait until they’re snuggled into the same bed, reading the same books, and sneaking in a few minutes of extra play.)

So tell me, do your children share a bed? Would you consider it?

x Courtney

49 COMMENTS - Add your own

1. Phillipa | July 8, 2014 | Reply

I think this a lovely arrangement. Also having co-slept with my baby it feels a natural segueway to sleep with siblings. That lovely description of no matter what happened in the day, at night it’s a time for cuddles and being close was exactly how I felt co-sleeping with her! And this sort of arrangement was often was the norm in big families especially if circumstances could not afford lots of bedrooms or even extra beds – my mother shared a bed with her two sisters until they left home (she grew up in the Spanish Civil War). I like all the positives you point out and I especially like that they get to choose their arrangements and when to change them up. We slightly regret buying a toddler bed as we’re still bed hopping and it would be nice to have a big bed in our daughters room for one us to sleep in instead of the sofa!! (disclosure: my daughter likes her bed and does sleep in it for most of the night but still will come to our bed sometimes at 5am sometimes at 3am).

2. catherine | July 8, 2014 | Reply

Such a sweet arrangement. I babysit two girls of 10 and 5. The first night, they went to sleep in their own beds (separate rooms) and the parents said ‘how did you get them to do that!’ But after I had been looking after them a few times, the little one said she was going to sleep in the big girl’s bed (the older daughter has a double bed) so we went to her bedroom together and I asked her if she wanted to share with her younger sister and she said no! This was because they had argued earlier in the night and the older sister was making a point of it by denying her to sleep together and then the little one had a tantrum.

The big girl said she was really sleepy and wanted to sleep by herself, but her little sister could join her the next night. Perhaps it works so well for your boys because they are quite similar in age.

I think the positives you wrote about are so lovely though, like Easton reading his chapter books to Quin!

3. Esther in Amsterdam | July 8, 2014 | Reply

Oh, look at that little Quin!! So cute!! I love how your boys sleep together. xxx

4. Joanna | July 8, 2014 | Reply

My girls are 7 and 5 and have shared a bed since they were 3y and 9m. I was running between two crying children and decided to put them together and lie between them. It worked and they still love to sleep together. In fact we have been talking about bunkbeds for ages and they’ve decided they want to have a double high-sleeper and play space underneath rather than separate beds. If one of them is away (my oldest recently had an overnight school trip) then the other can’t sleep. My girls are also very close and I’m sure the bed sharing plays a major factor in this. It’s so sweet to see, I have a whole series of photos like the ones you posted.

5. Ams | July 8, 2014 | Reply

This made me smile. I slept with my sister for all of my childhood till I was 10 and I was more than a little upset to stop doing it but circumstances changed and we no longer had the king sized bed to share. It was super comforting and great fun to chat and play but more than all of that, I loved that I knew where she was and that she knew where I was. I suspect the girls will love it too :)

6. Louise | July 8, 2014 | Reply

I love how your boys sleep together and I believe that it is not only cosy, but also the way it was supposed to be: sleeping together like all other animal like us do.
I have only 1 child and she sleeps with us in our (very large) bed for the same reason. When she is old enough (and that is for her to decide) she can go to her own room. But most young children like to sleep together I think, and your boys are lucky that they can.

Greetings from the netherlands, Louise.

7. Karen | July 8, 2014 | Reply

Hi Courtney,
I’ve only recently come across Babyccinno and your IG account, and I love both.
This post is great, and I think it’s adorable that your kids sleep together, oh the comfort for them. I only have one child and I’m not sure if there will be any more babies :( so alas he’ll have to make do with sleeping with mama & dadda.
I slept with all my siblings at one time or another, there are 4 of us and we ranged in age vastly. My youngest brother is 20 years younger than I and he never slept on his own, what do you do. It meant we all slept all night. As we got older and I came home for Christmas it became a treat that we’d all jump into bed together Christmas eve, not a lot of sleep happened on those Christmas eves but it was great fun!
I’ve seen and read some of what’s gone on with your IG account and came across it discussed on FB etc. my immediate thought was jealousy. Your IG account is gorgeous, other accounts with popular mothers have also been deleted. It’s nuts behaviour. We are all parents, all trying to do the best in the best way we know how. Criticizing another mother for her way of mothering / nurturing is just bad form.
So your children sleeping together works for you and them, makes them closer, sleep better, if its not broken don’t fix it! And I’m sure it happens in millions of homes all over the world. If it doesn’t work for other families or they don’t agree with it, that’s fine, each to their own.
I hope on this post you receive positive feed back. It was lovely to read and see those gorgeous boys grow!
Kindest Regards,
Karen

8. Marie | July 8, 2014 | Reply

I think this is a lovely arrangement too. I have set up two single mattresses on the floor in my 6 year old son’s room and co-sleeping with my 17 month old daugther at the moment. I want to move her to my son’s bedroom. He is really happy about this. Until quite recently, we often ended up all sleeping in our double bed with the crib (without the barrier) by it. I have tried putting them to bed together but they end up giggling so much, I have to separate them as my son needs his sleep. I am hoping to work it out this Summer. I shared with my brother (although we had our own bedrooms) and loved it. Because of the age difference, we are going to play it be ear and see when this no longer works for them. Hope it does for a long time though.

9. Estelle | July 8, 2014 | Reply

This is so lovely! There’s something really nice about siblings choosing to share a bed like this.

10. Magda | July 8, 2014 | Reply

I have 2 boys, one of 8 and the other 5 years old, what they realy like is to sleep with me :). Because the litle one used to wake up so many times during the night i had to separate them or both would wake up, and the older one didn’t have enough rest. Now they each have their room, but i am thinking this summer to put them back sharing and the extra room will be for playing, to keep the toys, etc. I love the first foto.

11. Mel | July 8, 2014 | Reply

This set up of yours is so sweet but it works so well because your boys are so considerate of one another. I have four children. My eldest was too jealous of having a younger sibling for this to be a consideration, although my younger three would happily share a bed. I fear though there would be too much messing around as seems to be the case when they share a room on holidays, perhaps it is the novelty. They all have separate bedrooms at home (I know this is fortunate) but have never slept well when they’ve shared a room. They sleep fantastically well as a result (as do we) maybe it is luck but mine don’t wake before 8am on weekends and the youngest is 19 months. I put it down to not being disturbed. Ultimately it depends on the personalities and what works for one won’t work for all.

12. Luisa | July 8, 2014 | Reply

My kids sleep together since they were babies! The are 10 ans 7 now, and we had to pull their beds together to make a bigger one because they are too big now to share one small bed.

I did the same thing with my sisters when I was a kid, and the memories and playtime and secrets and conversations we shared then are still part of our great relationship. My kids have this same “complicité” that grows on sharing a room and a bed, away from parents. And as your boys, we often find toys or books under the covers, who knows what happens there!

Now that my eldest daughter is turning 10 and wants some “privacy” as she calls it, i really don’t know what to do…

13. kristy | July 8, 2014 | Reply

ah..I see a dummy in the mouth and one in the hand. Glad I am not the only one whose babies sleep like this! I love the thought of my two sleeping together. x

14. Courtney in London | July 9, 2014

Yes, haha! All my children slept like that with a dummy in their mouth and one in the hand. (In fact, Marlow still sleeps with three dummies in her bed, one in each hand!) : ) x

15. Alice | July 8, 2014 | Reply

I’d love the idea of my children sharing a bed.. But i have a boy( 4 and 1/2) and a girl (1 and 1/2) .. Do you think it’s a bad or good idea? She would love to sleep with his brother!

16. Courtney in London | July 9, 2014

Alice,
I think it’s completely fine to let your son and daughter share a bed. Perhaps as they get older, they might choose to sleep in separate beds… but my boys might also choose that too. I don’t think the gender difference matters! It’s really whatever they feel comfortable doing. (Sometimes Ivy sleeps with the boys, and she loves it!) x

17. helen | July 13, 2014

Alice-my son and daughter are also 4.5 & 1.5. They just started sharing a bed two weeks ago (before that my daughter was co-sleeping with me). She’s not a great sleeper and still nurses to sleep and wakes a few times at night, so I’m really hoping that being next to her brother will give her the comfort she needs to make the weaning process gentler.

18. Kendel | July 8, 2014 | Reply

For her second birthday we got my second daughter a toddler bed to match her sister’s and I have a very sweet picture of her on her first night with her own bed…sleeping on her big sisters bed like a big puppy. So we pushed their toddler beds together and they now share a queen size bed. I agree with everything you say plus it makes putting them to bed easier because you can snuggle up inbetween both children when you read to them.

19. Sara. | July 8, 2014 | Reply

We recently moved from Finland to Ireland and my two boys are now in the same bed. I think they find it comforting with all the big changes in our everyday life. They slept with us for a long time and for the last year in their own beds, so this feels more natural to us and I really love that they have one another at night when their little sister is between me and the hubby. My only concern is for her, where will she sleep when she gets a bit bigger? Luckily it’s not really an issue for another uear or so.

It’s actually your photos of the boys sleeping together that really gave me the idea for my boys to share a bed too. So thank a million and we love the extra play space too :)

20. Meredith | July 8, 2014 | Reply

My 2 girls who are 7 and 3 share a bed. It is actually the older one’s bed. The younger one has her own bed in her own room, but they both prefer to sleep together at this point. We are moving soon to a smaller house and my husband and I have been considering getting them 2 twin beds or bunk beds for their new room, but after reading this and some of the comments, maybe we should just let them keep sleeping together while they still want to…they both seem to really like it and get comfort out of it. My younger daughter has always been a poor sleeper and now that she is sharing a room/bed with my older daughter, she has been sleeping much better! My older daughter used to bite her bottom lip when she was falling asleep at night (she would have terrible sores on her bottom lip from biting it), but since they have been sleeping together the sores have gone away. Thank you for posting this! I have had mixed emotions about them sleeping together-I don’t know many people whose children do this-so it was so good to read this article and know that other people’s children like to do this as well! Love your blog and your IG!!

21. (Mostly) Yummy Mummy | July 8, 2014 | Reply

It’s so lovely to read this! My youngest two girls share a bed too. It wasn’t something we planned as such but it works perfectly for us. They sort of took it upon themselves to share a bed and it just never occurred to me to stop them. They love it! I think there’s a great comfort in sleeping together it just feels like the most natural thing in the world. We often joke that they will still be sharing a bed when they are thirty they are that close! Ha!

22. Emily | July 8, 2014 | Reply

I love this idea. I only have one daughter at present, but we plan on expanding our family. I was just telling my sister yesterday that I definitely want future children to share rooms, and now you’ve put the idea in my head that they should possibly share a bed too! Love the blog and all three of y’all’s instagram accounts! Thanks for sharing snippets of your life with the world!

23. Mary {My Life in Scotland} | July 8, 2014 | Reply

I love this! I have 4 sisters. No brothers. We all slept together at one time or another. Then when the oldest two entered high school they decided to share a bed again so they could have extra space in their bedroom for clothes, shoes, and a desk for each of them. Worked out great!

Two of my nephews were having the hardest time when they moved into their new house. New bunk beds, etc. They were hardly sleeping. Then one night the youngest sneaked down to the bottom bunk with his brother. They woke up really happy and having slept all night. They had one of those bunk beds where the bottom was a double size and the top was a twin size. It worked out great! They slept like that for YEARS AND YEARS!!! Later they told me they just liked it. They had someone to talk to. Quiet time together without their little sister.

I think it is lovely and if I’m ever lucky enough to have another child I would be overjoyed to have them share a bed. Especially since my one and only had autism. I think he would like to feeling of being safe and having someone there for him all the time.

24. Steph | July 8, 2014 | Reply

That is so insanely sweet. We only have one child but when one or the other of his two best buddy in the world sleeps over they share the same bed, even though our son has bunk beds. I’m sure it will change when they get older, right now there are all 8. It is so sweet to see them zonked out piling on each other like a pair of puppies and the remains of the day strewn around them.

25. Steph | July 8, 2014 | Reply

Sorry for the typos. I should have read more carefully.

26. Tasha Sheehan | July 8, 2014 | Reply

Wow, great post! Honestly, I’ve never thought about it before. My girls are 3 and 1 — our oldest has already hinted that she wants to share a room with her baby sister so we are starting to make arrangements. We thought about bunk beds, but I wouldn’t be opposed if they asked to share a bed eventually. Thanks for sharing! :)

27. Polona from Baby Jungle | July 8, 2014 | Reply

This is soooo sweet Courtney, I love the photos!!! Ever since I’ve read about your two boys sharing the bed I knew I’m going to try the same with my two – even though they’re not the same sex. Tila is already looking forward to that!

28. Aaf | July 8, 2014 | Reply

Too sweet for words.

29. martine | July 9, 2014 | Reply

I have been thinking about this very topic.I am going to try bed sharing,I hope it works.So cute and special

30. Luana | July 9, 2014 | Reply

So sweet. Your eldest son really resembles your baby girl! I plan to have my children in the same bedroom when my second, due in October, sleeps through the night. We have the space but I think it develops good habits such as sharing and courtesy. I don’t care if they are not the same sex… I shared a bedroom with my little brother happily until I was a teen. The bed sharing is a sweet idea, and let’s be honest… Children are so demanding if they didn’t like it I’m sure they would let you know!

31. Didi | July 9, 2014 | Reply

This is so sweet! I think it’s wonderful and the closeness your boys will have forever. I would definitely consider doing this when baby brother number two is ready for a big boy bed. For now, my husband and I co-sleep from time to time with our almost 2 year old and we love it.

32. Courtney in London | July 9, 2014 | Reply

Thank you everyone for your comments! It’s so nice to hear all the different sleeping arrangements, and to know that it’s more common than I thought for children to sleep together. xx

33. Dianna | July 9, 2014 | Reply

So very sweet! I shared a bed with my younger sister growing up. Because of this, we have always been very close, closer than my other siblings. It’s a time I think back on fondly. As a mother now, I often remember feeling maternal back then in soothing her to sleep. Should my own children want to share a bed now, I would be very encouraging. Thanks for sharing bits of your lovely family!

34. Jess | July 9, 2014 | Reply

I had never even considered sibling co sleeping but what a fantastic idea. I can’t see any downsides at all! I’m currently 3 months pregnant with my second and your post has inspired me to one day let the 2 of them try it out, in spite of the (future) gender difference, lol! How truly sweet that they read to each other, what special memories they are making!!

35. Marietje | July 9, 2014 | Reply

Thanks for your post! I’m thinking what to do with the cot of my second girl (almost 2). She shares a room with her older sister (3 years). I’m considering to let them share a bed now!

36. Alexa | July 9, 2014 | Reply

Oh I love this! Such a sweet arrangement, and one I am sure they will treasure more and more as they grow up. Some of my sweetest memories in life are of the times my little brother would crawl into my bed and we’d fall asleep singing quietly together.

Bravo to you for encouraging what works for your family!

37. Lesley Stefanski | July 9, 2014 | Reply

I love the idea of this, it just seems so simple…a way for children to find comfort in one another and also create a strong bong between them, despite what has happened during the day. If I have more than one, I would be so interested in doing this!

38. Melissa | July 9, 2014 | Reply

I have a 22 month old son (cot in his own room) and 6 week old daughter (Moses basket in our room). But when we move back to NYC at the end of the year we are planning on having them share a room.
I love the idea that they might share a bed at times and find comfort in eachother’s company. Does it get any sweeter?
Your children are lovely and it’s encouraging to see such a close family!

39. Anneka | July 9, 2014 | Reply

I think it’s lovely that they share a bed! My boys share a room and often we will find them in each other’s beds reading together and talking. I think it’s a great idea for saving space also and it’s something we think about to free up floor space in their room
Anneka x

40. nina | July 9, 2014 | Reply

Our kids, daughter 7 and son 5, love to cosleep, too. They are very close and have always been. When we moved to Ireland two years ago we rented a small 2 bedroom house and naturally they slept together in the big queensize bed. They had no problems with their new home!
I agree, no bad dreams, no scared of the dark etc, they comfort each other and it strengthens their companisnship.
Now they both have their own rooms with a queenbed in each – they sleep in his or hers. I like this arangement.
We had a little addition to the family almost a year ago and I wonder, will our baby boy be happy on his own? I would love another baby but I am a little overwhelmed with the thought of four – well at least at the moment. How do you do it Courtney? Is it that much a difference from three to four?

41. Justyn | July 10, 2014 | Reply

Our eldest two girls are the same! They are now ages 12 and 14 and have their own beds but up until a year or two ago they chose to push their two twin sized beds together to make a large bed in their room.
This was their room in 2007 : https://www.flickr.com/photos/53082558@N00/2137313248/ and 5 houses and three countries later they still occasionally push their beds together during room configuration changes ;)
They are as close as can be and love sharing a room. Recently when we were looking at houses we suggested that if we found a house with more bedrooms they could have their own rooms they both looked at us as if we were crazy!
Our youngest two (boy 9 and girl 6) have always had their own beds but share a room for the time being. Occasionally if the younger is having nightmares or feeling restless she doesn’t make it all the way down the hall to our room but climbs in with her brother and drifts off to sleep. I love that all the children feel so close to one another as to be able to think of their siblings as comforting soothers and not just their parents.

42. Justyn | July 10, 2014 | Reply

and when you think about it this is how families have been doing it for ages. The idea of a bedroom per child, each with their own bed, dresser, and such is a very new idea in most socio-economic groups and cultures.

43. Meaghan Roozen | July 10, 2014 | Reply

I LOVE this post so very much!! Happy they sleep together, it makes my heart so happy! Xxx

44. Jen | July 11, 2014 | Reply

This is the most lovely thing ever. It’s so beautiful. I only have 1 child but if my children wanted to share a bed, I would say absolutely. I know it creates such bonds and senses of security that are irreplaceable. My brother and I are a year apart and we shared a bedroom till I was 12. We had little twin beds with a night table in between and many nights my brother would move the night table and put our beds together. We loved it. It was definitely our time as a “team” like you mentioned! Thanks for sharing!!! xox

45. Jessica | July 11, 2014 | Reply

Beautiful photos, beautiful, natural life! Xoxo

46. Emilie in Paris | July 11, 2014 | Reply

I just love how practical it is. the boys room easily becomes a comfy guest room. How lucky are your guests! ;)

47. Elaine Whyte | July 17, 2014 | Reply

I love this its what happened years ago out of neccity & anyone I know who did it has great memories of that time! I think now we are in to much of a rush to get children sleeping independently, its only natural to want the comfort of someone.
I love your IG account and blog xx

48. Autumn | July 19, 2014 | Reply

I love this, and I love their bed set up/linens too. Is it on a frame or just on the floor? I want to do this with my boys but want something nice and low.

49. Linda | August 3, 2014 | Reply

Hi Courtney,
Thank you for sharing this post. I’m from the Netherlands and from age 8 till 14 I slept with my little (7 years younger) sister in one bed. We always LOVED this, despite the occasional ‘cat-fights’ of course, but we snuggled up each night and now I can say we truly have a great siblings relationship. Being 32, I look back at this as one of my favorite childhood memories… I’m sure your girls will love this too! Oh and for the record; you seem like a loving mother to me, I’m not that often online, but every now and then I love to read your blog posts and instagram pictures. Thank you for the inspiration!
Best, Linda

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