When traveling, we sometimes end up somewhere with the older two kids sharing a double bed. Initially we would put them down the normal way, as the bed was made to be used, but recently we realized it goes much better if you think of the bed as being sideways:

Kids are pretty short, and if they sleep crosswise they're farther from each other, which minimizes fighting. Our kids don't fight that much normally, though they don't get along as well as they did a year ago, but bedtime while traveling is one of the worst situations: they're extra sleepy, and the sleepier they are both the worse their impulse control is and the more irritable they are. Rotating the arrangement makes it easy for them each to have their own space. Separate sheets and blankets also help.

A Full is 54" wide and a Queen is 60" wide, so the median child gets too tall for this at about 9y on a Full and 12y on a Queen.

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also separate blankets and heads facing opposite directions.

Agreed on separate blankets, but if you face them opposite directions and also crosswise their feet will be close to each others heads, which seems like it would go poorly?

I came here to say separate blankets too. Employed this approach not 2 weeks ago with 5 and 8 y-o. Eventually 8 y-o decided he wanted to sleep on the floor, which worked out great as well with a folded up bed spread under him. With their lighter bodies, kids need a lot less padding under them than us adults - thought you might have to sell them on the idea a bit. We’ve built cozy nests in an open closet before as well, too good effect.

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