In many practical communication systems, one binary encoder/decoder pair is used to communicate over a set of parallel channels. Examples of this setup include multi-carrier transmission, rate-compatible puncturing of turbo-like codes, and bit-interleaved coded modulation (BICM). A bit mapper is commonly employed to determine how the coded bits are allocated to the channels. In this paper, we study spatially coupled low-density parity check codes over parallel channels and optimize the bit mapper using BICM as the driving example. For simplicity, the parallel bit channels that arise in BICM are replaced by independent binary erasure channels (BECs). For two parallel BECs modeled according to a 4-PAM constellation labeled by the binary reflected Gray code, the optimization results show that the decoding threshold can be improved over a uniform random bit mapper, or, alternatively, the spatial chain length of the code can be reduced for a given gap to capacity. It is also shown that for rate-loss free, circular (tail-biting) ensembles, a decoding wave effect can be initiated using only an optimized bit mapper.