Toddlers Sharing A Room

They look completely innocent and adorable....until you try to put them to bed.


We first attempted to move Maggie into Claire's room last summer, when she was six months old and Claire was two. It worked pretty well if we put Maggie to sleep first and then tucked Claire in. But staggering their bedtimes wasn't always easy and we had a pack-n-play waiting in the guest room, so eventually we just gave up. 

Finally, a year later, when Maggie was eighteen months old and Claire was three, we tried again. This was at the beginning of May, right after our San Francisco vacation. We put them to bed at the same time. They'd talk and play for a little while, but then Maggie would start whining and Claire (who was now in a toddler bed) would come out to get us every time she made a disgruntled peep. 

After going in a few times to quiet them both down, only to have Maggie whine again and Claire come running right back out, we would give up and take turns sitting with them until at least Maggie fell asleep. We'd put them to bed at 7:30 and spend until 9:30 getting them to sleep.


A month went by with no real improvement. We usually have to spend a while after the girls' bedtime finishing our chores - cleaning up from dinner, watering the yard, making lunches, starting the laundry. Since we were dealing with their bedtime shenanigans instead, we had to stay up late completing household tasks and had no time to relax. 

So...we turned their door knob around and started locking them in. This at least gave us time to finish our chores and then sit with them until they fell asleep. So, we'd put them to bed at 7:30, finish our chores by 8:30, and sit with them until 9:30, giving us an hour of our evening back. They weren't crying the whole hour - still playing for a good chunk like usual. Claire would end up lying on the floor and kicking the door a lot, which got her sent to time-out quite frequently.

 A month later things had improved tremendously. We don't have to sit with them at all anymore. Usually we still have to go in there once or twice to tuck them in again, but there are also plenty of nights when they play for a little while and then fall asleep on their own. We've tried keeping the door unlocked, but they immediately return to their old habits. Hopefully we can transition away from that soon though.


We always, always unlock their door before we go to bed. Having the lock on the outside of the door has also allowed us to avoid Claire or Maggie accidentally locking themselves in the room and then freaking out. That had happened several times previously. I mean, it could be easily unlocked with a credit card but I'm still glad to avoid the situation entirely.

Maybe things would have gotten better in two months anyway, but locking the door really saved our sanity. Now we're thinking we should have powered through the room sharing transition back when they were both still in cribs, that way they would have been stuck and forced to get used to it.

I'm glad we won't have to worry about getting toddlers to share a room again for several years. Getting very small children to sleep together seems to be fairly common but it's the one parenting milestone we couldn't really find any advice for, so I'm sharing what worked for us - committing to sticking with it, waiting a couple months for things to get better, and confining them in some way.


In high school, I babysat for a family with three very small, very busy children. They locked the kids in at bedtime when absolutely necessary. Even though I totally understood, I swore I would never do that to my own kids. Ten years later, here we are!


  1. Their little faces!!! They are so adorable and precious together!

    I would totally lock the door if necessary. It wasn't too hard for us to get the twins to sleep together at night because they were the same age, but we did still do staggered bedtimes at first. They are both still in cribs though ... I'm not sure what will happen once we switch to beds. Not looking forward to it!!

  2. Yup, I've locked ours in their rooms, too! You do what you gotta do!

  3. Yup, I've locked ours in their rooms, too! You do what you gotta do!

  4. Yup, I've locked ours in their rooms, too! You do what you gotta do!


You are awesome.