How many kids in one bedroom? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-21-2006, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! I live in a 3 bedroom house and want a big family(6+ kids). We are hoping to make the attic into a rrom someday and we have a very large living and dining area that is combined. OUr home right now is 1500 sq feet. We live on 1/10 acre but there are walking trails and a little elementary school with big fields/playgrounds wakling distance.

Now before I go and do a ton of work in the backyard converting it into a garden...Could we have a big family here? My grandmother says 3 to a bedroom was fine at her house(she had 3 boys and 3 girls). I was the oldest of 7 and liked sharing a room...well actually the bed...with my sisters.
We are very into simple living, I just don't want my kids to think they were abused!
What do you think???

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Old 03-21-2006, 02:02 PM
 
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I had friends growing up who were from large families and shared rooms. It seemed to work. I had one friend - get this - the oldest of 6 kids in an 1100 square foot, 3 bedroom house. There were three boys and three girls, and there was one room for the boys, one for the girls, and one for mom and dad. He said it was very cramped...he and one brother were 2 years apart, but the third boy was the baby of the family, 13 years younger. Two teenage boys and a toddler/young child sharing a room was NOT a positive experience, especially in such a small house. The girls were all closer in age and he said it was easier on them because there wasn't such a huge age gap. They made it work - and he said having roommates in college was a breeze!

I shared a room with my brother for nearly a year, because we lived in a 2 bedroom condo when he was born. Since there's a 6 year age difference between us, my parents felt that once he was into toddlerhood, we should have separate rooms and purchased a larger home that allowed for that.

We have a 3 bedroom house, about the same size as yours (but without a finish-able attic), and would like to stay as long as possible - potentially until after we've had all our children. I'd have no qualms about having siblings share a room.

Unless it was a large room, I wouldn't do more than 2 per room, though - just my opinion. The bedrooms in our house aren't THAT big, so for us, having 3 kids per room would be a bit too cramped. Since we're planning on 3-4 kids, that means that we wouldn't have more than 2 per room anyways unless we had 3 of one sex and 1 of the other.

I also wouldn't have a brother and a sister sharing a room past early childhood...it's our feeling that sibling "roommates" older than about 7 should be of the same sex. Probably a bit puritanical, but again, that's for OUR family.

I don't think there is ANYTHING abusive about having kids share rooms.
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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It's totally doable. We live in a 2 bedroom 650sq.ft. apartment. When we have a 3rd, they'll eventually all 3 share that room. We have a kid-sized bunkbed already, plus a crib. I figure that once they need an adult-sized bunk, we'll be in bigger place.

DH grew up in a small 3 bedroom house. Parents in one room, sister in one room, 4 boys (on 2 bunks) in one room. It worked just fine.

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Old 03-21-2006, 02:24 PM
 
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The original family in our 1945 1 1/2 story, 3 bedroom house had 7 girls. The 2 bedrooms on the main floor are 10 x 11 and the upstairs is finished with a bigger bedroom.

On the main floor, we have a 'girls' room and a 'boys' room set up now with a set of bunk beds in each room. There's still room for another set if needed in each room.

We have the upstairs which has room for a toddler bed or two just outside our room and we have a crib sidecar'd to our queen bed.

We have room for PLENTY of kids

I'd say as long as the kids get outside enough they really don't have a prob sharing sleeping quarters

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Old 03-21-2006, 02:30 PM
 
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There is a family in my neighborhood with 6 (or 7 - can't remember) boys, ages 17 to 4, in a 1200sq ft house, 3 bedrooms. It's basically the same floorplan as mine. And, they homeschool, so they are home all day. They all seem happy though. They play outside A LOT and their yard is full of fun engaging things (like treehouses and ropes and just fun imaginitive stuff. I'm not sure I could do it, but they seem to be fine. I certainly don't see it as abusive to have kids share rooms, make do with less "stuff" and smaller living spaces.

In my family of four kids (growing up), my 2 bros shared a room and my sis & I shared a room & bed. Most of the time I liked it. I was the youngest, and we didn't have separate bedrooms until I was 10.
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newcastlemama
What do you think???
I think you should be fine. Hopefully you end up with 3 girls, 3 boys, therefore 3 to a room. I think after a certain fairly young age (perhaps 5 or 6, depending on the child?), it's probably best to have separate rooms for the sexes. That is also assuming you aren't doing a family bed. If you are doing a family bed, then the other rooms could be used for playrooms, computer rooms, whatever.

Then again, my husband grew up in a family of 10 children and there was always 2-3 children per room and now he wants one room per child, he prefers that the children don't have to share as they get older. They have shared as young ones, that is not a problem, but DH is thinking more of privacy once puberty starts getting close.

Personally, I greatly disliked having to share a bedroom with my much younger sibling who was still in diapers (stinky) and I didn't enjoy having a young toddler in my things.
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:58 PM
 
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Well, we are currently six in a bedroom (all cosleeping - 7yo and 6yo have twin futons, and 2yo and 3yo share a futon, and DH and I share a bed). We don't feel cramped.

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Old 03-21-2006, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oops

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Old 03-21-2006, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do agree that once the kids are older they should only share with a same sex sibling.....My toddler stills sleeps in our bed so we may end up only using one room like amyamanda (you go girl!!) for quite a long time!
I think that is a good idea to have the kids running off their energy so they are not bickering at their bunkmate. We also plan to homeschool...that is why I like the idea of converting our attic into an extra space for people, books, whatever.

I really want my kids to learn to share and not be into material possessions. I found that I became really minimalist in college and I have continued those habits until this day..(except I do have kitchen wares ect...and it takes me more than 30 minutes to pack!!!)

I just think it's kind of sad when I go into modern mansions and there are only 2 children...it would be possible to never interact, share, with others....Jennifer

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Old 03-21-2006, 08:30 PM
 
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I guess I'm not the right person to ask But I think you would be fine!

We have a 2 bedroom mobile home and we like it here; it's cute and modern and it really looks like a ranch style home.. but it is on the smaller side with practically no yard (good thing the park is nearby!) and we can't afford to move right now since we're on one income (I am a SAHM/ part-time student). It's nice because it is very affordable and we have practically no debt (just the mortgage). We will move eventually, once I'm working full-time, but I don't want to work full-time until our children are older.... I would LOVE to have another baby in a year or so, but don't want to deal with everyone thinking we're crazy for doing that because of the size of our home!
We co-sleep right now (DH, me, 4 yr old ds, 16 month old dd) in a king size bed, so the other bedroom is just a playroom, anyway.

Anyway... I'm dealing with a similar dilemma

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Old 03-21-2006, 09:30 PM
 
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I don't think kids necessarily need their own bedrooms but if possible you should provide some "away" space where each kid can have some privacy as they get older. Some people (like me!) just need to be away from people sometimes, and it would be torture to never have any place to go by yourself. Maybe you could provide some space in the attic, or even outdoor space if you live in a mild climate.
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:21 PM
 
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My 10 and 12 year old (opposite sex siblings) share a bedroom, and are in our bed once in awhile. I don't buy the "opposite sexes shouldn't share a room" argument, because if anything's going to happen, it'll happen no matter what their sexes. And if they want privacy, they're going to want privacy no matter if it's from a brother or sister.

With that said, my grandmother grew up in a 3 bedroom home with 13 kids. The baby slept with their mom and dad, there was 2 years that 9 girls slept in the same room (grandma's oldest sister is 16 years older than she is), and the 3 boys in the other room.
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:44 PM
 
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As a single mom with little money, I still shared a room with both my kids until the oldest (boy) was 11. Then I was able to get him his own room and I stayed with my daughter who was 9. She got her own room when I remarried and she was 10. Many families around the world share one or two rooms for the whole family.
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:06 PM
 
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My advisor in undergrad had a 3 bedroom house with 11 kids.

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Old 03-23-2006, 12:24 AM
 
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I had to share with a sibling 9 yrs younger and it was not fun. I will have my dd and ds in the same room until 5 or 6. I shared with my brother (6 yrs younger) until I was 10, got my own room for one yr as a b-day present and then not until I left home. I think it's more about age difference than anything. It was difficult to balance a teen and a young child.

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Old 03-23-2006, 11:31 AM
 
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This is a good thread. We have 4 children and will have 5 in August. We are moving to a 3 bedroom house that is MAYBE 1300 sq... I am nervous about fitting all of our stuff in it. Mainly, there is not a lot of closet space and so we are going to have lots of dressers. Does anyone have a creative way to store clothing? I was thinking maybe get some bins that will slide under the beds? But it needs to be easy for the kids to access.

Right now, we live in a 3 bedroom and the three older kids (ages 8, 5, and 4) sleep in the same bedroom (a bunk bed and a mattress on the ground) and then a playroom. I like having a playroom but in the next house we are going to have to have a boy and girl bedroom. If this baby is a girl, we will have 4 girls in one bedroom!

For those of you whose kids use bunkbeds--- I am nervous about my 5 yr old dd sleeping on the top bunk, but I don't think we're going to have a choice. She is very agile and could climb up and down pretty easily but it still makes me nervous. Does 5 seem too young?

Thankfully, we will have a good sized yard for the kids to run around in.. we are moving to the deep south, so they can play outside most of the year.
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Old 03-25-2006, 04:44 PM
 
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I have four (soon to be five) children, and although we actually have a girls' and boys' room, all four kids currently at least start the night together on a king-sized mattress in the girls' room.

We never pushed this, this is coming from them; in fact, they complain bitterly when they have to be separated from one another (due to illness, etc.)!

Will this change as they age? Likely yes, but I really don't believe it's the sq. footage of your home that kids remember, anyway. It's certainly not what sticks with me from my own childhood (I was the oldest of five.) I grew up in an average neighborhood in an average-sized home, and while I was peripherally aware there were families who had both more and less than I did, it never made me feel either enriched nor deprived in any way. My home was just that, my HOME; it was my safe haven, my refuge, and how big or small it was or the relative size of my bedroom never entered into the equation for me.

As for what I've done since having my own family, our first house was 1400 sq. ft.; we had 3 kids there and still felt like we had plenty of room to spare. Then we moved to a new city into an 800 sq. ft. apartment for 6 mos. until we could afford to buy another home. Our current home is around 2000 sq. ft. and could easily see us through several more children, if we chose to have more (I think we're done with 5, though...)

Interestingly, for almost a full year AFTER we had moved out the small apartment into this house, my oldest child repeatedly told me he wished we still lived in the apartment complex.

"Why?" I asked him, baffled, since I was very much enjoying our new, larger space.

"It was so cozy there, mama," he said. "Everything and everyone was right there all the time. I liked that better!"

Out of the mouths of babes (okay, well, 5 yr. olds, lol)! DH and I really appreciate the open floor plan of our current home and having some space to ourselves, but our kids (at least at their current ages) really could care less about "personal space." They care far more about "being comfy and cozy with everyone and everything right there."

When they do start wanting more privacy (as teens), we'll do our best to give them a space for that, or, should that prove impossible, find ways for them to enjoy privacy outside our home.

Guin
*edited to add... Mel, I meant to throw this out as a suggestion -- is there any way in your new house to consolidate EVERYONE'S clothes and store them in one place? Like have ALL the dressers in one area, and everyone just goes there to get dressed in the mornings? We've done that for all our kids (there's not enough room for our clothes, too, unfortunately) and it's actually worked really well, not to mention that the dirty laundry tends to end up all in the same general area, too, instead of on the floor in several rooms. All the laundry hampers are in that area, too. And it makes putting away clean clothes a lot easier, as well. Just a thought!

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Old 03-25-2006, 04:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mat4mel
For those of you whose kids use bunkbeds--- I am nervous about my 5 yr old dd sleeping on the top bunk, but I don't think we're going to have a choice. She is very agile and could climb up and down pretty easily but it still makes me nervous. Does 5 seem too young?
I just realized that this hasn't been answered yet. No, I think that it sounds like your daughter will be just fine on the top bunk of the bunk bed. Just make sure it has safety rails on it, I'm sure it would unless it were a very old used bunk bed. I believe the AAP suggests the age of 6 for the top bunk of bunk beds but my 4 year old has slept up there just fine on a couple of occasions.

I've known of people who had their much younger children using bunk beds. That I wouldn't suggest.
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Old 03-25-2006, 05:41 PM
 
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My brother and I shared a room until I was about 10 or so and starting to want my privacy. If either one of us had friends staying the night, then the one with the friend set up pallats on the living room floor. We didn't have any problems sharing a room until that age.

As for bunkbeds...My little brother (six yrs old) has a bunk bed and my three year old, when he stays there, has been known to climb up on the top bunk in the middle of the night and sleep there just fine. My mom has one of those full-length side rails and the bunk is up against the wall. While it's not something we're exactly thrilled about, I just thought I'd throw that in. I'll probably be getting them bunk beds in the future, since I have three boys, but probably not until the oldest is around five or so.
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Old 03-25-2006, 06:18 PM
 
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We have 4 kids in a 2 bedroom mobile home.
My older 2 have bunkbeds, baby sleeps with me, and toddler is in toddler bed next to our bed.
We do plan to build a house on this property when we can , but that may be 10 years.
By the time we need another bedroom, my built on sewing room will be a bedroom for us probably, when I am ready to quit sewing diapers.
BUt when I grew up, I shared a bedroom with 2 brothers till I was 13. I dont remember it a problem. We have a large living room, and an acre of preoperty, so I dont think bedrooms is important. How much time do you really spend in the bedroom anyway?
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Old 03-30-2006, 01:59 AM
 
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This is something I wonder about too. Although I don't think it's detrimental for kids to share bedrooms, I also know that I didn't enjoy it as a child. I was desperate to have a room of my own, and finally talked my parents into letting me move into the basement when I was about 10.

Right now we have 4 kids and 3 bedrooms on the main floor. We have a boys' room, a girls' room, and a parents' room. The kids' bedrooms are pretty small, and I don't know what we're going to do in a couple of years when baby #5 is ready to move out of our bed. Our options are to move kids into the basement, or move to a bigger house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mat4mel

For those of you whose kids use bunkbeds--- I am nervous about my 5 yr old dd sleeping on the top bunk, but I don't think we're going to have a choice. She is very agile and could climb up and down pretty easily but it still makes me nervous. Does 5 seem too young?
I know the AAP doesn't reccomend bunk beds until the age of 6, but I think it depends on the child. My DS started sleeping on the top bunk at age 4. My DD started sleeping on the top bunk at age 3.5 (with her 1yo sister sleeping on the bottom). We've never had any problems with this arrangement.

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Old 03-30-2006, 02:05 AM
 
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I'd do 3+ kids per room, but would try to have an "extra" room. Shared sleep is shared sleep, whether it's with one sib or three or five, but sometimes alone-ness is needed. Especially approaching adolescence. My personal ideal for several kids is four bedrooms--master, boys, girls, and spare--a room where anyone can get a few minutes/hours alone, or can go when they are sick and up all night or if they are upset with a roommate or something.

But I'm the voice of inexperience. No clue how this would play out IRL, just something DH and I have always kind of thought would be neat. Although when we had a couple familes living with us we let the kids hide out in our master bedroom when they were looking foor some peace and quiet for a littel while. It worked out well in that situation.
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Old 03-30-2006, 12:31 PM
 
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however, lots of people did for many generations. Houses for large families were small by today's standards. In my extended family most of my aunts and uncles had large (4-8 kids) families. Most everyone shared a room at least for part of the time.

I have no problem with having children sharing a room if by some chance our family grows really quickly.

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Old 03-30-2006, 12:51 PM
 
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I was the 5th out of six. I hated, hated, hated sharing a bedroom.
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Old 03-30-2006, 12:54 PM
 
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We live in a 1 1/2 story 1200 sq foot 3 BR house. (Enough numbers for you? )

We have 3 boys. The youngest is still sharing the Master bedroom.

At one time there was a family with 10 kids living in this house.

When I feel bad about having a small house, I think of them.

Now that I've decluttered, the house is feeling more comfortable.

I'd love to make the kitchen bigger (it's not big enough for a table) and add 1 bedroom and a bathroom (there's only one) but we don't have the money now and also I'm not eager to disrupt our lives that much.

It would probably be easier to just get a bigger house but I have never found one I like as much as ours.

I do think it's kind of silly this idea that we all "need" a big house. I know many people like them and if they can afford them that's fine but it's possible to survive without them.

I also like the fact that our mortgage payment is so affordable. Makes it much easier for me to SAH
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Old 03-30-2006, 12:56 PM
 
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I am so impressed to read this thread. So many people think that they need to have a huge house and I think you are all on to something. In today's society it seems like people think a bigger house is better, but that is not always true.

I can't talk from experience about having several kids in one room as I only have one child and a 4 (really small) bedroom house. Our house was built in 1919 and when I say small rooms, I am talking one of the rooms could barely fit a twin bed and maybe a little dresser. Anyway, I know the people that lived in this house a few years back owned it for 50+ years and raised 4 or 5 kids here. It would have been quite cramped as it only had about 1100 square feet of finished space when we moved in. We have since finished the basement which adds nice square footage and is definitely big enough for us...too big really. With only one child, we don't need much space.

We live in a part of the country where real estate is very inexpensive so it is not unusual for people to have big houses and small families here. It is crazy what some people think they need. I applaud you all for having such wonderful families and for making the most out of the space you have.

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Old 05-02-2006, 10:02 AM
 
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Personally, I think it all depends on many factors. Things like whether or not there is a sufficient space to play outdoors, where you are storing toys and such, how big the bedroom are, etc.

Thus far both of our girls share a room (even though there is another room that isn't even being used!)
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Old 05-02-2006, 10:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by newcastlemama
I just don't want my kids to think they were abused!
What do you think???
Room sharing is absolutely NOT abuse!!! It's amazing what some people today think regarding the "rights" of children to have their own huge living space. Many/most of my friends think DH and I are crazy to have our two sons sharing a bedroom. Just two kids in one room. People ask "don't you have enough bedrooms?" Ugh. The boys love it. Giving them their own rooms would seem silly (why would a three-year-old or a one-year-old need their very own room?) and lonely, too.

Their room is big and could easily accommodate a third child. I'm not sure what my upper limit would be for how many kids to put in one room. It would probably have to do with the dynamics of a particular group. I imagine that space and personalities would have something to do with it.

I'm one of 5 kids and shared a room with one or more siblings for most of my life. My three brothers shared a room for years. We didn't love every second of it, but that doesn't mean it was a bad thing. Companionship is good, having to share space and learn to peacefully co-exist is good. All of us had some impressive roommate skills when we went off to college. I think we also had to get creative with finding ways to make/get our own personal space.

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Old 05-02-2006, 10:18 PM
 
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I am living with all 5 of my children in one bedroom. We share kitchen/bathroom with two other adults. We use plastic bins for dressers, have one king bed, and 2 twin beds in here along with my computer desk and TV stand. It is a tight fit but I am not complaining. It has been a many lessons time packed with enlightenment. lol!

I don't think your kids will think of it that way unless you present it that way. know what i mean? I think it is better for kids to share spaces and bedrooms.
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Old 05-02-2006, 11:04 PM
 
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Regarding bunk beds - my brothers had bunks. I think the one in the top bunk was 5 when the bunks were purchased. Never any problem. We're planning to get bunks for our boys whenever baby #3 comes along, which will probably be when Griff is 5. He has already informed me that he *needs* bunk beds and that he is going to sleep on the top bunk.

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living whatever they sing is better than to know  - e.e. cummings
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