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About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • Trish

    January 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Oh thank you for this question and answer. I have been wondering this exact same thing. We have a (relatively for the area) large 2br house, and I have been stressed out over the thought of toddler and baby in one room. I know it is doable, but hearing another few experiences gives me more hope that i win’t regret it. Not ready and probably can’t afford bigger right now, so we will be in the “by necessity” crowd.

  • laura

    January 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    I laughed out loud at that, “yeah I said it, come at me bro” part. Oh for the day when people can find their own way in the sleeping/eating/poop and peeing terrain without fear of crazy judgment. And we are also thinking of moving our youngest into a room share with her older sister once she graduates to a big girl bed. So I’m glad to hear it went so well for your boys!

  • Karen

    January 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    We are expecting our boy any day now and he will share a room with our 2.5 yr old daughter after about a year in our room and the crib in the second room. The extra bedroom will be a guest room and play room (we have no play room in our tiny house). My neighbors have two boys in a room and a boy/girl in the same room too even though they just added on to their house to have more space. The kids prefer it that way.

  • JCF

    January 27, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    We have three kids (4, 3, and 18 months) sharing one very small room. We have two toddler beds and one mini crib in that room and nothing else, save some books on a built in shelf and a small beanbag chair in the corner for whichever parent is on bedtime duty. It actually works quite well, and the only reason we plan on eventually splitting them up is to put our daughter in her own room when she gets older and sharing with the boys isn’t so great anymore. In our case, we have decided that the best scenario for bedtime is to have one parent sit on the beanbag until everybody settles down (about 30 minutes). This wasn’t necessary back when only one kid could escape the bed, but now that two are in toddler beds, things tend to get circus like when they’re left alone.
    The other thing to keep in mind is that you may want the kids to nap separately, even if they share a room at night. My oldest doesn’t nap anymore, so he goes in the playroom for about an hour for quite playtime (aka–let Mama collapse on the couch and regain her sanity for a bit), the 3 year old naps in her bed, and the baby naps in a pack and play that we keep in our room for that purpose.

    Despite the occasional grumblings on our part about all three packed in one room, we really love how close the kids are and we love hearing them chatting with each other over the baby monitor in the morning.

  • Eef

    January 28, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I’m expecting my second in about a month, and we have only one room for the kids. We plan on having the boys share, but not right away. I worry about leaving a tiny tiny newborn alone with a boisterous toddler. 
    What if he decides to “help mama” by trying to get the baby out of the crib? What if he lovingly piles stuffed animals on the baby, creating a suffocating hazard? Or, a realistic possibility as well, what if he does something to the baby out of jealousy? I would not leave the two alone until I have seen how they interact, and everyone’s more or less used to each other. Intentional or not, there is a risk that the toddler would hurt the baby in some way. Maybe I’m being overly anxious about this, but I know I wouldn’t get a wink of sleep myself if I put the newborn with the toddler. 

    Also, my toddler usually sleeps through the night (barring sickness), and the baby would need several nightly feedings. I wouldn’t want to wake the toddler unnecessarily. So our newborn will stay in our bedroom at first, and with his big brother later.

  • SarahB

    January 28, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Yay, Ferber and sleep for Amalah! We are fans here too.

    I think I would start with the baby sleeping in your room and have a guest futon instead of a guest bed so you have some flexibility. Guests stay on futon, #2 says with you, then decide what feels right when #2 is ready to move to a crib in another room.

  • Julie

    January 28, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I have a almost 3 and almost 1 year old, and they share a room. The youngest slept in a co-sleeper in our room until about 6-months, then we did sleep training in a pack and play in our room to keep him from keeping the oldest up, then moved him into the crib in the oldest’s room. While the youngest was still crying himself to sleep for short periods of time, I just told the oldest to “cover his head” and he fell asleep without problems. And once he’s asleep, he almost always stays asleep through the youngest’s wakings. They seem to like sharing a room – the oldest will sometimes ask me to put the youngest to bed with him, especially when they were younger and weren’t always sharing the same bed time. So I’d say go for it.

    Much like Amalah, the kids bedroom is a bookshelf, a dresser, a hamper of stuffed animals, and the crib and bed – all the toys are elsewhere.

  • Annie

    January 28, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Thanks for this post! Perfect timing. We have a 4 year old and almost 1 year old. We’re about to move them into one room and hope that it goes well! Thanks for all the tips in the comments!

  • Kim

    January 28, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Go for it. I’ve got the same deal – good size house for the area, three bedrooms, 2 girls. The nursety got moved around and the crib reinstalled before the baby came. She ended up cosleeping, but after about 4 months she moved into the other room. The girls have always been great together, and they started snuggling in bed together when my Little was 3 mos. (Not sleeping, snuggling. Great fun for all) They’re now 2 and 5, and occasionally my Big gets woken up by my Little, but only in the morning. I can’t ever remember a night time waking, ever, that woke her up, too. The nap thing was more problematic, since my Big was long past them when Little was born. She has mostly nappped on my bed, or in the guest room. She only fell off once when she was small – whichwas about two times fewer than her sister. And because she was so used to sleeping on a bed, we moved her into the bottom bunk when she was 18 mos. old. We’re all good over here – wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Nancy

    January 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Can’t say anything for the sibling room sharing (we only have the one kiddo), but I say if you can keep a guest room – DO IT! Like you, we have no nearby family so our small third bedroom is a guest room. I’d love to make it a play room (small house – my living room is crazy overrun with little people, cars, Thomas, balls, you name it!) but the guest room is essential for when family comes. (And they do – frequently!) Also much more convenient than relatives using the couch. Because of the aforementioned living room/playroom and because kiddo thinks 6am is a reasonable wake up time. Family? Not so much.

  • Diana

    January 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Can I just say THANK YOU for telling us that daytime sleep isn’t so easy, and that Ike has just started sleeping in his crib!? Max sleeps well and long in the carrier, the swing, ANYWHERE but his bed. There he wakes up after about 30-40 minutes, so is ont staying down for one sleep cycle. I feel a lot less pressure!

  • Brooke

    January 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    We have a 6 year old girl and a 3 year old boy who share a room. When he was born, we lived in a two bedroom apt. He had a cosleeper and crib in our room, she had her own room. When we has 18 months old, we moved into a four bedroom house. The fourth bedroom is tiny and on the lower level, so it’s the office. The kids really wanted to share a room, so they got the biggest bedroom, and we have a guest room. It’s really nice not to have to stash guests on the futon in the dining room. And the kids love sharing a room. Eventually we’ll need to separate them, but I suspect that is several years away. They just like being together. We, also, have the luxury of having a separate place to stash toys, which does really help.

  • Phillipa

    January 29, 2012 at 11:07 am

    We have our 7 yr old daughter and 5 year old son in one room. Their 1 yr old brother has his own room – for now. Expecting number 4 (GAH!) in 3 mths and while he? will be in with me for the first 6 mths or so, eventually he will have to share with older brother. We’ll eventually build a room on the third level for the eldest, and then when she’s old enough, she can move down to the basement and then the older boy can have her room and then each of the younger two will have a room upstairs….this leaves however no spare room and we have two big dogs sharing the third level space. Is it ideal? God no…..but will it do until we come into a windfall of cash and can move to someplace bigger? It will have to. Having two different genders in one room I think will be the hardest part, and I have the feeling we’ll have to build that new room sooner rather than later.  

  • Meg

    January 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I just went through this SAME scenario w/ my two (almost exactly 2 years apart. We started with the baby in our room in a bassinet, then pack-n-play. They just started sleeping together when the l.o. turned 4 months old… the hardest part was getting the two-year-old, who had just recently transitioned to a toddler bed, to not jump up and down if we had to give an extra pat at bedtime. But after a week or so they both adjusted and we have not had any problems with baby-wakings waking up the toddler — she sleeps right through it. Our biggest problem right now is having the toddler end up in our bed at 5 am – the baby often finishes her night in our bed (I’m tired of traipsing across the hall and she is Not A Good Sleeper — awaiting the accounts of Ike’s journey to sleep with baited breath!). So the big one likes to join the party -oy for mama who is a light sleeper.

    anyhow, naps worked themselves out (baby has a morning nap in her crib, afternoon nap on bed with aforementioned exhausted mama while toddler sleeps in her own bed) and we think it’s great. Be prepared for speedbumps the first few nights but all in all worth it (especially to have a guest room, the same trade we made).

  • professormama

    January 30, 2012 at 2:04 am

    We live in the city, in a 2 bedroom apartment, because you will not find a 3 bedroom apartment here, also it would cost more than any normal person can imagine. Our son is about to turn 7, and we have a 2.5 year old daughter. When she was a baby (and before that) our son had his own room. She slept in our room until she was about 20 months old… when we bought a bunk bed. She informed us that she would be sleeping on the bottom bunk and moving in with her brother. I was going to wait until she turned 2, but she was ready. Our son would like his own room again, but he isn’t going to get one for a really long time, because that’s just reality. Tons of kids share a room, especially in big expensive cities where it’s necessary, it’s no big deal. I think the kids get along better, and share their stuff more easily etc.  It’s not selfish to expect them to share, but I’d definitely keep the baby in your room for the first 6-12 months, just to make sleeping easier for everyone and so you don’t have to worry about the big kid climbing into the baby’s crib, like I did when I was little. 

  • jL

    January 30, 2012 at 8:26 am

    My 18 month old twins have shared a room since birth (and a crib for the first four months). We are expecting another one in August and I am planning on keeping the baby in our room until 4 or 5 months in a pack n play and then am kind of really considering letting he/she just stay in the pack n play in the twins room after that so I can keep my “guest room” which is actually more of a storage unit.

  • Myriam

    January 30, 2012 at 9:19 am

    No experience here, but why not combine the baby’s room with the guest room. Put the crib in the second bedroom and voila! In addition, you’ll have a bed to use in the baby’s room for the occasional “long” night, or if you decide to cosleep, but not in the same bed as your husband. Then, if you decide to move them together at a later time do so. If not, remove the guest bed. Good luck!

  • Auntie G

    January 30, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I have two boys, 3.5 years and 3.5 months, and they share a room. It is not without challenges, but generally everything works fine. Wanted to chime in with the experience of doing so from day one.
    Big brother LOVES sharing “his” room with the baby. Regarding baby’s safety and big brother’s understanding – we talked a LOT about sharing a room before he was born, and how the crib was not for climbing in, etc. I think big bro has and had a good idea of the sitch – and then shortly after baby was home, we realized that big brother really did think “his baby” was going to snuggle in the toddler bed with him. 🙁 Challenges: Baby was NOT a good sleeper from day one, and he was with us in a bassinet for about a month. I do not like sharing a room with a baby, as I am a CRAZY light sleeper, so that was quite hard for ME. But I was not able to risk the preschooler’s sleep also being ruined in those early days. I still end up taking baby into our room to nurse in the middle of the night, though I’m not sure it’s necessary anymore. Baby’s down for the night by 7:30 and big brother by 8:00. They both get up for the day between 6 and 7. Big boy doesn’t really nap anymore *sob* so that’s not an issue, though I agree that we moved most toys out of the room — beds, clothes, and books only. I’m somewhat convinced that having the baby with me so much in the beginning has contributed to his nap reluctance and need to be held at all times — but he clearly had those inclinations anyway, and we’re sloooooooooowly making progress on both. Baby did have a nighttime regression about a week ago and we decided we needed to move big brother into our room on an air mattress for a few nights so baby could “fuss it out,” and that worked fine.

  • Kate

    January 30, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Thank you Amy! I am bookmarking this for my husband to read when I start negotiating for baby #3. One of his big reservations is that our two boys (currently 2.5 and 5 mos) would have to share a room to make room for another baby. Hopefully he will see that it’s not a big deal and they’ll probably actually love it!

  • Zoë

    January 30, 2012 at 11:15 am

    My now 16 month old has been sharing a room with her big sister since she was 9 weeks old, and big sis was almost 3. It worked out so much better than I had hoped. They very rarely wake each other up, but on the nights the baby would not settle, I just brought her into our bed. That hasn’t happened in nearly a year (probably stopped about the time she could find her paci herself). Every morning, big sis and big brother wake up first, and little sis sleeps for at least another hour. They learn pretty quick to block out noises, and a fan helps to block it out too. As for naps, we just let big sis sleep in our bed while little sis is in her crib. The only issue is a bedtime. We put big sis to bed first as she can be a pain about going to bed, but little sis follows soon after and it won’t be long before they go to bed at the same time. Eventually, we plan on doing bunk beds, and I’m sure there will be nights when both are in the same bed (probably with big brother in the top bunk). Looking forward to it!

  • SarahC

    January 30, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I’m expecting my second baby in May and live in a 3BR house. Not only does my MIL come to visit for about 3 months out of the year (which we love) but our third room is my office too. Luckily, the room is large and it will have a queen size bed, my office desk, crib, dresser, and rocker. When we have guests, the baby will sleep in a Pack N Play in my room. when the baby starts daycare, I’ll be working from my desk in the nursery. It’s not ideal, but it’s not a bad solution.

  • Lindsay

    January 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Oh please yes the Ike sleep story! We’ve just succumbed to Ferber ourselves and I could use a laugh about it. Please soon!

  • JayelleMo

    January 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    There is *maybe* one night every two months where I regret having my 2 girls share a room.
    They are 2.5 years apart and they’ve been sharing a room since my youngest moved out of our room at 5 months old. We found that my oldest has no trouble sleeping (or pretending to sleep) if/when her sister cries. I think siblings develop a bit of an immunity to each others noises.
    I did hear my oldest going “shhh shhh, go back to sleep” one time when her sister was making awake-but-not-crying noises and that made it all worth it.

    Oh, and the older one has now taught the younger her morning ritual of saying “Daddydaddydaddydaddy…” so that works out well for me!

  • MR

    January 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    We just did this several months ago. We have two bedrooms, one of which was a guest room and the other my older daughter’s. Originally we made the guest room our baby’s room, figuring she would cosleep with us for a while and unsure how we would get them both to actually sleep in the same room. (They are just under 3 years apart.) The baby did cosleep for the first 4 months, but she suddenly turned into a really noisy sleeper and was keeping me awake and deciding to eat constantly just because she could and not because she needed/wanted to, so I moved her to her own room. Almost immediately, my older dd wanted to sleep in the baby’s room. After a few weeks of saying no, we decided to let her try it. The trial run she slept on the guest bed. The baby went down first, and my older dd went in to bed about half an hour later when the baby was good and asleep. We had gone over all the rules “you need to be quiet because sister is sleeping. No playing on the glider, and absolutely NOTHING goes in sister’s crib – no toys, no hands, no blankets, and when mommy comes in to feed sister, if you wake up, just go right back to sleep.” and she would repeat them back before we went in quietly and tucked her in. She LOVED it. The following weekend we replaced the guest bed with our dd’s toddler bed and left all her toys in her original room. It works great. Occasionally we DO have the night where they go down together and are laughing and giggling at each other (they are 8.5 moths and 3.5 years and older sis loves to make little sis laugh), and we do occasionally have to go in and remind big sis to be quieter, but they sleep through a lot of each other’s noises. The biggest issue is if they go down at the same time. If you stagger it just a little, it is SO MUCH EASIER. And it is so much easier to have a dedicated guest room at night for our frequent family visitors. Neither hold gets displaced for crucial sleep time. And dd still gets to play with her toys in that room. She usually just drags Grandma in there to play away from sister. Lol. It actually has worked well, because now that the baby is mobile, we just keep all the toys she can’t play with in the guest room, and it gives sis a place to get away and not have to share.

  • elz

    February 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Yes, to everything Amalah said. My girls have been sharing since my youngest was about a month old (the eldest was 23 months at the time). Now they are 5 and 7 and we all LOVE them sharing a room. At first it was out of necessity due to a smaller home, but for the past 4 years it’s been by choice. I wholeheartedly agree on keeping toys elsewhere. Their room has books and stuffed animals, but toys are in the playroom. They do homework at the dining room table, so nobody is up late doing assignments at this point. We often find our two snuggled in the same bed (they have a twin over full bunk bed) and My GOD the sweetness slays me. I’m sure they’ll want their own rooms eventually, but it works for us.
    Also- benefits- neither one is particular about having to have absolute quiet/dark/etc when she sleeps. We went through potty training with both while the other sister slept soundly, sickness, vomiting, etc, they really don’t wake the other up b/c they are so used to it.

  • Lisa

    February 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Our two girls are a year apart and share a room. We too have talked about buying a larger house and they say they still want to share a room. Probably we’ll buy the bigger house and then the two of them and their baby sister will all want to be in one room together. Until they’re 11, 12, and 13. Then we might need separate rooms for each. Or boarding school.