Should Your Twins/Multiples Share a Bedroom?

How and when to decide if your multiples should have their own rooms.

Should twins share a bedroom?. Credit: Shestock Creative #: 592006567

Should your multiples share a bedroom?

From birth, twins go from "wombmates" to roommates, as many parents of multiples find it most convenient to establish a single nursery for their infant twins, triplets or more. One bedroom houses all the cribs and one closet contains dozens of cute infant outfits. While that can be a wonderful solution for babies, many parents begin to consider the potential benefits of putting their kids in separate bedrooms once they grow older.

Same-sex twins are often more likely to share a bedroom than fraternal multiples of different genders. Multiples born into a family with older siblings may share a space with an older brother or sister as well.

Deciding how or when to put twins in separate bedrooms is an issue that most parents of twins face at some point.

Every family is different, and every set of multiples shares a unique bond. So, there is no definitive timetable for making the transition.

A home's space limitations may determine the final answer, or the children themselves may indicate a preference that prompts a change. While every family will have their own timeline, there are several stages where it is common to make the move to separate bedrooms.

In the toddler years, a shared bedroom may be a distraction during bedtime, especially once the children transition out of cribs into beds from which they can climb in and out. Naptime can become playtime when there's a buddy in the room, which may prompt parents to separate their multiples in order to promote a more peaceful environment.

Toddlers can be very sensitive to the idea of separation, and it may initially feel like a punishment rather than a privilege. The presence of their co-multiple(s) may be a comfort, and the separation may create even more disruptions.

If you choose to establish separate bedrooms for your toddler twins, time the move carefully to avoid conflicting with other lifestyle changes, such as potty training or starting preschool.

As multiples grow older, they are better able to communicate their feelings and desires. That's when parents can ask for input, allowing the children to express their preferences and then accommodating their requests as you see fit.

The school years are a common time to make the transition to separate rooms, especially as students need a private place to study and complete homework.

If separate bedrooms are not a possibility, parents should at least consider establishing individual desk areas for each child to promote good study habits. Starting school is also often an important milestone for multiples; they may be in separate classes for the first time and focus more on developing their own identity.

Establishing a sense of responsibility and individual accountability is another motivating factor for moving twins into separate rooms. In fact, that is exactly why we decided to move my twins into their own rooms. We found it increasingly difficult to encourage them to work together to keep their shared bedroom clean; the mess was always "sister's" fault and there was endless squabbling over possessions. Once they were settled in their own rooms, they found it much easier to keep track of their "stuff," and we found it much easier to hold them each accountable for the upkeep of their respective rooms.

Although they've had their own rooms for a while now, they still choose to sleep together from time to time. They enjoy the companionship, and I don't mind, as long as they still go to bed on time. Their giggles and whispers remind me of the old days when they shared baby talk and threw their stuffed animals from crib to crib. At the end of the day, this makes me feel good about the decision to give them their space while still allowing them to maintain their bond.

By Pamela Prindle Fierro
 Pamela Prindle Fierro is the author of several parenting books and the mother of twin girls.