Friday, January 7, 2011

Our Family Bed

The other day the hubby left for a business trip quite early in the morning. Later on, when he called, I asked why he didn't wake me. Turns out he had tried but I was in one of my dozing, nursing, sleepy states and I didn't budge. I had no clue he had tried to wake me... I was clearly comfortable, nestled next to my boys. 

I had never considered a family bed before I had kids or even while pregnant the first time. In fact, I had never heard of that term. When J was born we did what most first time parents do, we bought beautiful furniture for J's new room. Complete with a lovely crib that would eventually convert into a double bed for him. We decorated his room and the hubby's aunt got us a fabulous video baby monitor. We were all set to have him sleeping in his room, far away from "our space".

That didn't last long... I hated getting up in the middle of the night, all night long, to tend to the baby in another room. I would get up, pick up J, sit in the rocking chair, nurse him on one side, then change his diaper, nurse him on the other side until he was asleep and make a feeble attempt at getting him back into the crib again. Then came the anxiety of trying desperately to sneak out of the room, wood floors cracking, praying that he'd sleep long enough for me to try and rest a teeny tiny little bit. By the time I got back to my bed I was wide awake and couldn't fall asleep right away and soon enough J would wake screaming for me again... I was over-exhausted!

I smartened up when he was about 2 or 3 months old and brought J to bed with us after he'd wake the first time... and that's where he's been ever since. He used to start his nights in the crib [and eventually his own bed] then come to us when he woke up. But ever since EJ was born J doesn't even bother sleeping in his room at all. And that's alright by me.

Asleep and Cozy

I had already briefly written about this a while back in a post called My World. You can see our setup in the picture above. Essentially, we have a king size bed with a crib attached to one side [and one side railing removed]. Of course, safety is important so if you consider bed-sharing here are a few resources for information: Safe bed Sharing, UNICEF, and read here to learn how to sidecar a crib.

There are many reasons I believe and enjoy bed sharing. Here are some of them:
  1. I don't have to get up in the middle of the night to feed my child.
  2. I can sleep, or at least rest, while I feed my child. I can't even tell you how often EJ wakes at night because I just don't know. I'm not fully awake so I don't even realize it's happening.
  3. There's something comforting about being able to see your babes at night, to know they are comfortable and resting well and not have to wonder about how they are doing. I remember constantly worrying when J was in his own room... was he too hot, too cold, did he need a blanket, was he going to roll out of his bed, etc.
  4. When the babes are not well I can comfort them and still be comfortable. Case in point, EJ is getting 4 new teeth all at once and he's in a lot of pain at night. He's always been a good sleeper [well, I think he has, I'm not sure... see #2 again] but lately he's been waking up wailing from the pain. Since I am next to him I can comfort him quickly and he barely screams for a few short seconds then falls right back to sleep.
  5. I don't like to sleep alone so why should I force them to do it if they don't want to either.
  6. My kids know that night time is for sleeping. I don't mean that they always sleep through the night. They do wake, but when it happens it's often short and then they fall right back to sleep. I haven't experienced the baby that wakes up in the middle of the night and just wants to play.
  7. Their body heat is incredible.
  8. 
    Wake up time
  9. But, most of all... There is nothing better than waking up to these sweet little faces ;)

7 comments:

  1. My 5-year-old moved into her own bed for good when she was around 2 1/2. And now I am soaking up every moment of co-sleeping with my second. I'm really going to miss it when it's over.

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  2. @Amber

    That's really funny because J moved into our bed rather permanently when he was 2 1/2... the arrival of his little brother really rocked him and I think this was his way of coping.

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  3. My little one sleeps with us 99% of the time. I like it. It's stress free, except for the stress I am starting to feel from the hubby "don't you think it's time for her bed now?" My little "E" is 3 and is starting to ask for her own BIG bed..so we'll start shopping soon....these precious moments don't last forever. Love, L, mother-of-4.

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  4. You know, my hubby didn't love it at first. In fact, he would sometimes go sleep in the next room... that was a long time ago and I guess he just got used to it eventually. That, and the fact that our sleeping arrangement works better now that the toddler can't roll on top of his dad at night ;)

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  5. My sleeping situation is identical!!! I love it!

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  6. I found your site from researching tetra paks. I am a mother of 2(so far:) little ones. I have a 2 and 3 year old. I co-slept until recently(my little boy decided at 2.5 to wean and sleep by himself) in two full size beds zip tied together so it was a giant "family nest". I still sleep with my almost 4 year old little girl, who loves to cuddle, and in the same room as my little boy. I couldn't be happier. It was so easy to nurse, and tend them through sickness, and never have that "run across the hall are they breathing?" panic you have with tiny ones. But anyways, I wanted to share a study with you that was done in 2009 that states that tetra paks do in fact leach endocrine disrupting chemicals(albeit not BPA), even more so that "#1" plastic bottles, and even more than some polycarbonate(BPA + phosgene) bottles. I am trying to find more evidence than this one study, or maybe do one of my own. But here is the link. http://www.springerlink.com/content/515wg76276q18115/fulltext.pd oh yeah, because of a recent Maine state law, lots of toys are shown to contain polycarbonate plastic, like "chicco" and "playmobil". Just wanted to share. I have researched hours(always while my little ones are asleep:), on things like bpa, flame retardants, phthalates, plastics, organics, GMO's, etc...I am just another concerned mother who wanted to share.

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  7. @Karina

    It's funny how you found my blog.
    I have had my doubts about tetra paks for a while now. But it's impossible to buy anything that isn't in them now. It would mean not buying anything to drink at all... grrrrr!
    Thanks for the link. I'll look it up.

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