Friday, February 7, 2014

The Family Bed

This isn't actually in bed, it's on the couch
The thing about co-sleeping with an infant is that it leads to co-sleeping with a toddler, which isn't too bad until your co-sleeping with a toddler and another infant. A queen size suddenly feels small, like really small. Tim and I started growing very sick of getting kicked and ending up with random toddler limbs in our faces, and Angry Bean fell off the bed once...don't worry it was onto a pile of clothes (because I'm terrible at keeping our room clean), and she is completely fine. Maybe I shouldn't have share that last part?

What I'm getting at is unless our bed is suddenly looks like this one. It's time to kick Love Bean out.

Her bedtime is about 8:30/9:00pm, and we have always put her to sleep in her own bed. Generally our routine is this—she kisses daddy and Rosie goodnight, we head up to her bed to read a book, sing a couple lullabies, talk about how much Jesus loves her, and say her bedtime prayer. Then I lay with her until she falls asleep, because I can't resist the sweet "cuddle me mom" that she gives me. Then I go back downstairs.

Then around 2am every night, she would come in our bed for the rest of the night. This is what we decided had to stop. Now that Angry Bean is in our bed a lot of nights too, it's just too crowded. Overall the process was not as bad as I expected. Since she does start out in her own bed every night, I think it made things a little easier for us.

Night 1
I actually couldn't send her back to her room, she wasn't feeling the best, and I'm too much of a softy. I put her in our bed and explained that it was the last night she was going to get to sleep with us.

Night 2
She came into our room at her usual time. Tim took her back to her room, but that went horribly. I didn't want to be the mean parent, but she kept crying for me. We told her she could sleep on our floor, but of course she only wanted to be in the bed. I stayed strong and didn't let her. I took her back to her room and laid with her. We both ended up falling asleep, and about an hour later I woke up and went back to my bed.

Night 3
She was up twice. But both times I just took her back to her bed and laid with her until she fell back asleep. She cried the first time, but the second time there was no crying at all.

Night 4
She was up at her usual time, but didn't come into our room. She just stood outside the door asking for me. I took this is as a sign of progress. I took her back to bed and we both fell asleep. I went back to bed when I woke up a little while later.

Night 5
She was up at her usual time, but didn't come into our room. She just stood outside the door again. I think Tim actually got up and took her back to her room, and laid with her for a little bit.

Night 6
She didn't get out of bed until 5am! Love Bean is an early riser, so we had decided at the start of this process that if she came in our room after 5am we would let her snuggle in bed with us until we were all ready to get up for the day. So when she came in a 5am, I pulled her into bed with us and we told her how proud we were that she stayed in her own bed until morning. We all fell back asleep until 8am (it was a Saturday morning) and I'm not sure how we got either one of the girlies to sleep in that late!

Night 7
Rae spend the night with us, so her, Love Bean and I had a slumber party in the living room. I was worried that it would mess up all that progress we made.

Night 8
Again, she didn't get out of bed until 5am!

Night 9
She made it to 5:15am. We're feeling good. And man, it felt good to get two nights in a row of uninterrupted sleep.
I wouldn't say she's totally broke of the habit. A lot of nights she is still waking around 3am. But she no longer comes in our room. She stands outside our door and waits for me to come and tuck her back in. I think her waking up in the night has something to do with her sleep cycle, especially since it's at about the same time every night. I'm trying to encourage her to find a way to get herself back to sleep. I think not laying down with her at bedtime, would help this out a we've started working on that too.

We started co-sleeping with Love Bean while I was nursing. It made night time feedings easier. And we just never stopped. We have found with both our girlies, that sleeping with us during nights that they are fussy, calms them and helps them to sleep better. Angry Bean (and it was the same for Love Bean) always starts out in her crib, but if she becomes fussy or restless during the night, we put her in bed with us. Although, we are trying to do this less often than we did with Love Bean. Not sure I want to go through all of this again, when we have a third child. My family picks on me a lot about it, but no one really gives us a hard time or makes us feel like we're horrible parents for letting them sleep with us.


I felt compelled to share this on the blog, after a couple of comments on my personal Facebook page. To sum up the comments—moms are shy about admitting to co-sleeping/bed sharing because it's a controversial parenting topic, it's tiring to hear about how hard the habit will be to break, it makes night time nursing easier.

I know there are some people who would suggest that I am putting my kids in danger. You are entitled to your opinion, I just ask that if you do comment here on the blog or on our Facebook page, that you are respectful. And would also ask that you remember the leading cause of child deaths is car accidents, but we don't think twice about driving our children everywhere.


  1. there are nights I am so exhausted, especially during a growth spurt, that I would put my first when she was an infant and my newborn now in bed with me to nurse and we'd both fall asleep. It was actually the position she nursed the most efficient. Everyone is allowed to make the decisions that are BEST for their children and family. Good for you! and it's even better when you KNOW it is time to stop for the better of the family as well. There is nothing wrong with extra loving and close cuddles with your littles!

  2. Love the read Jamie. My girls both sleep with us. Mila almost the entire (if not the entire night) and Elsie once she wakes up she asks to 'nuggles' with me :) 90% of the time it's fine and I don't care about the bad perception that co-sleeping has. However, when we have the bed to ourselve, it is SUCH a luxury. We've been talking about transitioning to both girls leaving our bed. Your post is encouraging!

    1. Jackie, I'm glad you find it encouraging! It is glorious on the nights that both girls stay in their own beds!


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