Whether out of necessity or to develop a sibling bond, many children share a room. When my wife and I decided to put our boys in the same room, we imagined one of two scenarios: they would either destroy the room and each other, or they would become the best of buddies.

Fortunately, it looks like the latter is developing, thank goodness.

Moving your kids into the same room does take work and planning (like everything else a parent does, right?), but it can be incredibly rewarding for the parents and the kids.

There are many questions to answer before buying those bunk beds, though. For instance, what is the best age to move children into the same room? Sleep patterns might be at stake with the answer. If you have a baby or toddler who consistently wakes in the middle of the night, it might be best to hold off until she’s getting a full night’s sleep to transition her into a room with her sister. I don’t know about you, but one child who’s awake in the middle of the night is enough for me.

Watch your childrens’ sleep habits, too. Does one child fall asleep quickly while the other one wants to keep her sister up? Does one child wake early and subsequently wake her sibling? Talk to your kids about respecting their sibling's sleep and privacy to keep this from becoming a growing problem.

Next, you should ask yourself if your children get along and be honest with your answer. Your intentions might be good in terms of wanting your kids to develop a closeness – and sharing a room would certainly foster that in the right circumstance. But are your kids ready for that type of relationship? If one child persistently picks on the other or refuses to share, it might be a sign that proximity will not help their friendship to grow.

Another question to consider is how will your children solve the inevitable problems that arise? One of our sons is more aggressive than his brother so we hear many complaints from their room about aggressive behavior. One of the benefits of sharing a room is it forces your children to begin solving problems on their own. But at the same time, we don’t want one of our children to be in fear of getting hurt by his sibling. You can try to give them workable solutions to potential problems and encourage them to put those solutions to use when trouble starts.

Anyone who’s shared a room – whether at home, at camp or at college – knows that a lack of personal space can be a bummer. Without anywhere to get away, you can feel like there is no privacy. If you put your kids in the same room, encourage them to give each other space during the day by leaving the room for a period of time or working out a schedule when one child can be in the room for homework or private time.

Also, get your kids involved in the process. How do they want to decorate the room? Do they want matching sheets from one of their favorite TV shows? How do they want to arrange the furniture? If you give your children a voice in the decision-making, they will be more invested in making the situation work.

As a parent, you also need to pay close attention to when the time is right to move your children out of the same room, if possible. When your kids hit puberty or transition into their teenage years, they might have more of a need or demand for their own space. Even though they’ve shared a bunk bed with their brother or sister for the overwhelming majority of their lives, it might be time for a change.

If you have small children, another thought to consider is how you will handle those middle-of-the-night trouble spots. Does one child wet the bed or have restless nights filled with bad dreams? Try to decide on a backup plan before the problem crops up because you won’t want to seeking out a solution at three in the morning.