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One of the big decisions you have to make when you are expecting twins is whether or not they will share a room. Yes, they were “wombmates,” but does that mean they should be “roommates?” A lot of factors play into this decision, but is it ultimately okay for twins to share a room?
My answer: yes, it absolutely is!
Is it normal for twins to share a room?
In fact, it’s perfectly normal, common, and beneficial for twins to share a room. That said, there isn’t one correct answer – what’s right for your family depends on many different elements such as the age of your twins, the number of bedrooms your home has, if you have or plan to have other children, the schedule you follow, and more.
As I’m a proponent of twins sharing the same schedule as newborns, it comes as no surprise that I personally recommend that newborn/baby twins also share the same room. Ultimately, having a single nursery is most convenient for you as a parent. Then, as your twins get older, there may be more benefits to separating them into different rooms.
Benefits to twins sharing a room
To start, establishing one nursery for your infant twins means you’ll have to decorate only one room and you’ll need less products (e.g., only one nursery changing station, one noise maker, etc.) – so that’s a pretty huge plus! But more importantly, being able to access and tend to both infants in one room instead of two will feel more convenient and will surely save you energy and stress.
The best way to make one nursery work for your twin babies is to have them on the same schedule and to provide a consistent day and night routine that ensures they will be both well-rested and well-fed. Of course, you can’t control when your newborn twins will wake up, but you can read more here about the steps you can take to influence when your babies are hungry and tired by following an “eat, play, sleep” schedule.
Babies are much more amenable than we realize and have the ability to conform to a schedule you put in place (barring any medical conditions, illness, and temporary circumstances—such as new teeth coming in), resulting in long stretches of sleep at night, as well as successful nap times. What this means is that both twins will typically sleep well and are therefore less likely to wake up the other – or that if one wakes up to eat, you’ll wake up the other to eat, as well – making a single nursery arrangement feel much more doable! Also, as they get older and no longer need nighttime feedings, they aren’t likely to wake each other up if one does stir because they will be so used to these noises and each other’s sounds – and thanks to your consistent schedules, they will have developed tools to stay asleep or put themselves back to sleep in these instances.
Cons to twins sharing a room
This may not work for everyone, and you could be in a situation where your twins wake each other up no matter what you try – or you simply may have decided that you don’t want to have your twins on a tighter routine and prefer to be more flexible with a day-to-day approach. This is completely understandable. Truth be told, twin parents often mourn the loss of flexibility but have ultimately chosen to follow a stricter schedule so that their twins’ routines match up, allowing for benefits like sharing a nursery.
As your twins grow into toddlerhood, you may decide that having one nursery is no longer needed or working out. Perhaps you have enough bedrooms to allow them to separate, and the convenience that a single nursery provided when they were babies is no longer as important. Maybe you want to continue using one bedroom, but your twin toddlers aren’t allowing it any longer because they are keeping each other awake too long at night or naptime, chatting up a storm, and won’t fall asleep for up to an hour (and maybe they’re even starting to escape from their cribs and play with each other). Whatever the reason may be, even pro-room-sharing parents may change their minds come toddler years.
Cons of Twins Sharing a Room in Toddlerhood and Beyond
At this point, the advantages of separating twins into two rooms may very well outweigh the disadvantages. For example, they may distract each other too much or one may need a shorter nap. If you have another bedroom but don’t want to commit to separating them or can’t separate them long term (perhaps because you plan to have another child soon), you could consider getting a third crib (or bed) for the spare bedroom and separating your twins just for naps in the meantime. For more advice, you can reference this past post about sleep solutions for twins toddlers.
Older twins can still benefit from sharing a room, as well. It provides bonding time devoted to one another instead of parents, toys, and all the other day-time distractions. For these reasons, some parents stick with one bedroom and eventually let their twins decide what to do as they get older. The same goes for non-twin siblings, as well – there are many great reasons to have them share rooms. In fact, my Irish twin boys share a room and it allows them some alone time with each other that they don’t get during the day. This is important to me given that they are so close in age. That said, unlike differently-aged siblings, twins’ lives are extremely intertwined, and having a separate bedroom could provide them space and alone time needed to recharge. On the flip side, your twins might prefer staying together. However, there might be a time you have to make the call yourself; if you have a boy twin and a girl twin, you may decide yourself that separation is more appropriate, and a common maximum age for that transition is around 8-10 years old.
When deciding whether your twins will share a room during the newborn phase, toddlerhood, or beyond, it could feel like there’s no one magic answer. That’s because there isn’t! As laid out above, this decision is largely based on factors such as the number of bedrooms you have, your twins’ individual behaviors, family planning, and more. But ultimately, you should do what feels right for you and your family – and once your twins are old enough, I suggest talking to them about what they want.