Does the family bed ever end?

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Tweens, Teens, Activities: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies, Decor, Bedtime

When my first son was born I was young and terribly inexperienced. Still in college at the time, I was not nearly prepared for all that would come with the new title of Mom. One aspect that particularly kicked me in the butt was sleeping. During the last month of pregnancy I had terrible insomnia followed by a very long and difficult labor. Upon returning home I was absolutely exhausted, so much so that we never even took his new crib out of the box to attempt an assembly. It seemed so much easier to let him slumber by my side, breast feed him in the night and then fall back into a welcome sleep. As easy as it seemed at the time I had no idea whatsoever that getting him away from my side would be a very long effort.

Fast forward 13 years and he is still there. Yes, he and his sister have their own rooms and their own beds but I simply cannot get them to leave for any length of time. When we were living in our own home they would sweetly approach me about 10 minutes before their bedtime, no matter how rottenly behaved they had been throughout the day and evening, and ask if they could sleep in my bed. If I said no, they would dejectedly return to their own rooms and usually migrate to mine sometime during the night. If I said yes, they moved with incredible speed as they burrowed under the covers. Now that we live at my mother's they have not left the big bed even once. I understand that they are traumatized over the death of their grandfather, my separation from their father and leaving their home. Some nights we discuss the possibility of them beginning to sleep in their own rooms. I point out to them that their 2 year-old brother happily sleeps in his crib every night and every day during his nap. But that reasoning holds no sway with my family bed children. It is not as though I am angry at their need for a Borg-like sleeping arrangement, I just worry that this might not be normal. The fact is that they sleep much better when in the family bed. They awake refreshed, happy and ready to begin their days. If they have a bad dream in the night, they can easily let me know and return back to sleep. If they get sick, i can help them to the bathroom with little disruption to the rest of the house. I suppose it has its pros and cons. Other than the raised eyebrows of outsiders, I am pretty comfortable with the arrangement. I figure that when my son starts to enter puberty he will want some space and migrate to his own bed. Perhaps at that point the 2 year-old will take his place.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.