To bunk bed or not to bunk bed?
Pictured: Stompa CK Bunk Bed with pair of underbed drawers
Opinion is often divided about whether siblings should share a bedroom or not. Some parents insist sharing a room has a whole host of benefits, such as strengthening sibling bonds. Teachers, meanwhile, may suggest that late-night chattering leads to children who are unable to concentrate in class.
Due to lack of space, not all families have the choice as to whether their children share a room, and there is no denying that bunk beds provide a clever and stylish solution to sharing. So, if you're wondering whether it is a good idea for your children to share a bunk bed, you may like to hear some of the pros and cons to help you make your mind up.
Pros of bunk beds
Space saving - Where space is tight, bunk beds are a great space-saving solution and can remove the pressure to upsize while creating more floor space for collaborative play - that is good for children's social skills, and is easier to encourage if children share a bedroom.
Comforting - Sharing a room can provide comfort to siblings and help sooth one another to sleep. New-born twins find comfort in sharing a crib with their sibling, after having shared the confined space in the womb for nine months.
Storage space - Some bunks, such as the bunk beds for kids from Room To Grow, come with integrated storage space as well as the option to add additional storage drawers underneath the bottom bed.
Forward planning - Certain models, like the Jubilee bunk bed pictured below, are versatile and can easily be separated into two full-sized single beds for later use. This can be useful for when the children grow older, or in the chance you move to a bigger house.
Principles of sharing - Living in the same bedroom will inevitably teach your children to share and to compromise, which could cut down arguments later down the line.
Every child's dream - As well as being functional, bunk beds can be lots of fun for children, and are also great for promoting emotional closeness between siblings. They are, after all, sharing their personal space, meaning they will have more discussions over the years.
Pictured: Jubilee Bunk Bed in Soft Grey easily splits into two single beds
Cons of sharing a bunk bed
Differing sleep schedules - If your children are different ages they will have different sleep schedules, so sharing a bunk bed may not be ideal. For example, toddlers need a nap time, and this will mean that their older sibling will not be able to play in their room while the toddler is asleep. Equally, it can be very disruptive for a ten-year-old if their teenage brother or sister is up late and watching television until 10pm.
Tidying - A lack of ownership over the space may result in children being more reluctant to respect it, which may affect their willingness to keep the room tidy.
Privacy is important - Teenagers and siblings of the opposite sex will certainly benefit from a place they feel comfortable is their own. Without it, certain situations, such as getting dressed, could become difficult for them.
Pictured: Acacia Bibop Bunk Bed
It might be useful to bear the above in mind if you think you'd like to try having your children share a bunk bed, even if bedroom sharing is the only option in your family.
To overcome some of the cons, common tips from parents who have tried this include ensuring that each child has ownership of a bunk and possibly also a side of the room, which is decorated according to their favourite colours.
For siblings who wake one another due to different sleep routines, a handy tip is to have some background noise in the room, such as a fan.
Trying to balance all of these things may be tricky but they will pay off in the long run!
Author: The HID Team, 21 November 2018
Photo credit: Room to Grow