While my parents were here, we moved my son into my daughter's room and turned his room into a guest room for the fortnight. We'd done something similar at the start of the summer, and though juggling the children's sleeping schedules had been a bit awkward, it had worked well enough.
This time, it worked splendidly. He's almost four, she's twenty-one months and our timing seemed to be perfect. The big difference between now and then was that they now go to sleep and wake up at the same time (or at least for all practical purposes). Not only was it no problem at all to coordinate sleeping arrangements, but it actually worked to our advantage. If they woke early, they just started playing with each other until the traffic-light alarm clock turned green.
Beyond that, they seemed to be getting on better with each other and playing together more, while our son had completely stopped his whining over night and finding excuses to come out of his room. It was clear they enjoyed having each other's company at night time.
It had never really occurred to me to give them a shared bedroom. We were able to give them a room each, and I assumed that was the more desirable scenario. But it only took a week of them sharing before my husband and I started discussing making it permanent.
While my parents were here, we'd simply moved my son onto the twin bed in my daughter's room. She was sleeping on the crib mattress on the floor next to it (explanation of that posted here)--she'd not yet been motivated to sleep in the bed. However, her bedroom was considerably smaller than her brothers, so we decided to turn his room into a shared room once my parents were gone. And then I put it off for a week, just because it was going to be such a big job.
But today I went ahead and did it... it took the better part of the day and I might not have finished in time, if my neighbour hadn't had the children over with her son for the end of the afternoon. One of the big motivators is that my daughter's just getting over a cold and she's waking up early at the moment with coughing. I expect the transition will also trigger some early wake-ups, so I'd rather do it while she's waking early anyway.
For the same reason, I've moved her into a twin bed. I've put the crib mattress on the floor between the two beds, but her glow-worm and pillow are on the bed and that's where she had her nap today (which was fine after one false start). She's got a wall on one side, and the mattress on the other, so I'm not concerned about her rolling out of bed. Mostly, I'm glad she's underneath a proper duvet now. I had a fleece blanket over her on the floor mattress, but she always rolled out of it and it wasn't really thick enough for winter anyway. Hopefully she'll stay warm this way!
Anyway, both children were pretty excited when getting into bed tonight, and they've got up several times while I was writing this post (I only had to get up twice, at least!). But--touch wood!--it's all gone quiet now. I'm expecting to have to go up at least once overnight to put my daughter back in bed after she falls out.
It'll take me another few days to get all the furniture, toys, clothes, etc arranged. But then we can convert our daughter's room into a full-time guest room / gaming room. We're hitting the point where it's difficult for us to watch our shows or (in my husband's case) play video games that aren't appropriate to have on in front of the children--or that we just want to watch without being hassled by them. Having a second television will be nice, and I don't really want one in our bedroom, so this is the perfect solution for me.
Meanwhile, a few more rough nights are ahead, which is not something I'm looking forward to. But I'm loving how excited the children are to sleep together and this is one of those parenting things where it just feels so obviously right that I'm excited too. Here's hoping it doesn't all feel wrong again in two months' time!