The Family Bed

This year, my “Valentine” is of course my husband, but I also have love for my Luna and my Freya (okay, Midnight too!).

At one time I spent hours on end browsing Cafe Mom and other mommy forums, looking for friendship and advice.  I’ve since figured out that I don’t need the friendship or the advice of the drama queens that frequent such places (not that every user fit that description, but there were far too many that did).

When I was still a forum crawler, I noticed that certain topics kept coming up as highly controversial, the same topics time after time after time, no matter which forum you entered.  Women could get pretty mean hurling insults, the worst of which was of course “You are a bad mother.”  I am not going to spend time trying to define what does and does not make a person a bad mother; if you’re not murdering your children or something similarly absurd you’re probably not a bad mother.

One of the topics that kept coming up was the concept of cosleeping, sharing a bed with your children.

Public Domain Image by WPC Clipart

The Pros

  • If you are breastfeeding, you won’t have to constantly get out of bed throughout the night;
  • the innocent intimacy of cuddling;
  • keeping warm on cold nights; and
  • in my experience, kids sleep longer when they’re close to mommy (my Luna will wake up during the night and crawl into my bed and fall back to sleep if she’s in her bed at night).

The Cons

  • Children used to cosleeping may not want to give up the habit;
  • couples can’t enjoy adult intimacy with a child in the bed;
  • infants could get suffocated or squashed by heavy-sleeping parents or roll off the bed; and
  • bed-wetters will soak the whole family.

I’m sure there are more pros and cons, but these are just a few that I’ve experienced or been concerned about. The hospital that I birthed both babies at had a sign on the wall that explicitly stated cosleeping was dangerous–I ignored that and didn’t put my babies down unless it was absolutely necessary.  I was terrified that something would happen to them if I let go.  When the nurses came to take them for testing I fought sleep, concerned for their return.  I had immense anxiety about them getting babynapped or dying while not in my care.

To a certain extent, I still feel that way, even though Luna will be four years old in May.  I get these feelings sometimes and I just have to bring her to my room.  Since husband works nightshift, he’s rarely in the bed at the same time I am.  Luna has gotten quite used to being able to climb into my bed if she’s sick or sad or too cold in her own room, or if she wakes up earlier than I want to be awake.

Freya is only four months old, but she’s still a titty baby most of the time and I’m a lazy mommy.  Why get up out of the bed and go to another room to gather the baby and then sit upright on a chair or couch and stay awake for an hour or so then put the baby down and go back to bed and repeat the whole process in two more hours when you can just feed the baby in your sleep and switch sides when she starts to fuss?

On Friday morning, I was feeding Freya (in my sleep) and husband was home and in bed because he’s been on vacation from his night shift job.  Luna came into our bedroom crying; it was almost ten and us adults should really have gotten up already, but we hadn’t and it was cold in the house.  I did get up then, but only to get her dressed (she’d soaked a Pull-Up and needed another).  I told her to get in our bed, and then–after a potty break–I got back into bed with Freya.  We tried falling back to sleep, but by that time husband’s business partners (for the anime shop he’s started) kept texting and calling him and Luna lost her desire to go back to sleep. We lay there as a family, crowded into the queen-sized bed for another hour or so.  It was nice.

Nursery Rhyme–There were four in the bed, and the little one said: “Roll over! Roll over!” So they all rolled over, and one fell out.

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