Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Family Bed

I used to be opposed to the idea of a "family bed"...that is, until I got tired of climbing the stairs, going to help my daughter back to sleep, then getting my son back to sleep, back down the stairs, etc. One night after my son and daughter had fallen asleep in our bed, my husband said, "You can just leave them here. Let's get some sleep." It's not the best quality sleep for us, but it's nice every now and then not to have to climb those stairs during the night. We don't let them sleep with us every night (especially my daughter...she's getting too big, and she's a kicker!), but I actually enjoy it sometimes. I enjoy being that close to them during the night.

Houses today are built so different than they used to be. Mom and Dad are now in a room far away from the kiddos' rooms, and I think that would've scared me when I was a kid. I loved growing up in a house where I could fall asleep listening to my parents talking in the den. And if they were in their bedroom, they were right next door to my room. I always felt secure knowing that they weren't far away. But my daughter feels like we're so far away when we're in our room (I've tried to explain to her how baby monitors work, but it's just a little green light to her). My kids' pediatrician doesn't exactly promote the family bed idea, but he did remind me that our country is the only country in the whole world that thinks of it as weird. Kids have been sleeping with family members since the beginning of time.

As my Granny told me, "This too shall pass!" I try to remember that while these kids are little...they won't be little for very long at all! Then we'll have all the space in our bed that we want because the idea of cuddling with Mom and Dad will gross them out.

Note: If you try the family bed, do make an investment in a waterproof mattress pad. These are expensive for a king-sized bed, but it would save you from having to clean the mattress. I wouldn't know this from personal experience, of course..........


At 2/1/07, 10:12 PM, Blogger Reijn of the Elfin Muse said...

my mom would always crawl into bed with me, and stay until i fell asleep. I was rarely allowed to sleep in bed with my parents. I was allowed to crawl into bed and fall asleep, but then my mom would carry me back to my own bed for the rest of the evening. I also remember keeping my door open so that the family dog could come in and sit by my bed. She would stay there until i fell asleep too. I loved that girl. She was amazing. Oh, i also liked listening to Adventures in Odessey. That helped me fall asleep too, up until i was in high school, and instead i would pass out intead of fall asleep. ^_^

At 2/3/07, 3:28 PM, Blogger Karen said...

All of our kids slept with us... and on occasion they will still come in and find a spot on the bed or in the floor. I know I sure got a lot more sleep when they were babies than I would have if they'd stayed in their own rooms. They slept better, too.

At 2/9/07, 7:26 PM, Blogger Douglas said...

My wife and I both grew up in our own room, but we are trying the family bed thing out and really like it so far. We were both able to get decent amounts of sleep with our babies because it was so easy to feed them at night. My son is going on 4 and we are transitioning him into his own toddler bed in our room. We'll see how old he is when we transition him into his own room on the other side of the house. This is all new territory for us, having not grown up with it, so we'll see how it goes. It is encouraging to read about other people bucking the norm and trying new stuff out. Thanks for sharing.


At 2/12/07, 3:37 AM, Blogger Susanne said...

Thanks for your comments, guys!

Reijn, thanks for sharing your memories. My daughter loves for me to crawl into bed with her too. We'll have to think about the dog idea...hmmmm...

Karen and Douglas, thanks for the encouragement! We're taking down my son's crib this week because he so rarely uses it. We'll try him in the "big bed" in his room, but I'm sure he'll sleep with us most of the time. I have to say that I love having him sleep next to me!


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