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? about 3 y/o co-sleeping, no room, no bed, guilt!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sorry - that wasn't the most descriptive thread title in the world, was it?

My youngest DS is almost 3. He co-sleeps with me. DH is in the spare/junk room and older DS (5) is in his own room.

DH and I are planning to move younger DS into the junk bedroom (once it's painted) and he can share it with his older brother.

Our plan is the two boys have captain's beds and the 3rd room becomes a family study room.

The issue is ... we are struggling financially and we can't just magically buy two new or even used beds for our sons. Our house has extremely small rooms and no closet space (it's a90 year old house) so the beds we choose should have storage space.

So - I feel guilty because my son will turn 3 in July and he still sleeping with his mommy and DH is out in the spare room. (Which is kind of a blessing since DH snores and I am a light sleeper!)

But everyone we know assumes DS has his own room - so we lie and close the doors to the rooms.

And I feel guilty because we don't have enough money to buy bed frames for the kids. DH thought we could start with mattresses on the floor and then slowly save the money for the frames.

I feel guilty. I don't know anyone in real life who would not go out to "Sears" and buy a new bed for their kid or a used bed. I feel like we're letting them down some how.

I figure on this board there must be some parents who have had similar issues.

Tell me about your sleeping arrangements and if your kids noticed at all when you didn't have enough money to buy furniture, etc. And my 3 y/o co-sleeping -it's all cool, right? Even if no one in real life thinks it is?!

Just need some feedback!
post #2 of 18
It's totally cool

We did have a bed set up for dd... why I don't know... She wasn't interested in it at ALL until after 4yrs old. Then she slept in it for a couple of months... now she's back in our bed.

If he needs space, he'll let you know.

post #3 of 18
My boys have a room they are share together... but they sleep mostly with us... (almost 7, 4 and 2)...

My mom bought the two older boys a bunk bed a few years ago so we were lucky, but if not we would have found something that didn't cost too much... ds#3 has a double mattress on the floor because we had the mattress and we don't see the need to buy a frame...

the boys are used to getting most things used.... furniture, bikes, toys etc... they don't see problem and neither do we because DH and I both come from poor families...

oh... and DH co-slept with his parents until he was 8 and his sister was born and then slept on a mattress next to their bed until he was about 12... so 3 is still on the young side of co-sleeping imo!
post #4 of 18
DD is almost 3 as well and co-sleeps with both of us. We just set up a room for her a couple months ago with a bed and of course she doesn't sleep in it. She does like to call the room "my room" though and always asks DH, I or her sister to come play with her in "her room". Honestly though, she'd be perfectly fine without the space as well.

So, I wonder, can you do anything to make the spare/junk room that DH sleep in, more like a little boy's room? Organize it differently, paint, put his toys in there? You could make it "his room", but DH can still sleep in there at night in whatever bed he is using now. That way, your DS has a room that he can call his own, can play in, etc. but he just won't sleep there.

Another solution would be to move your older DS into the spare/junk room (since that is where you eventually want him), and if you have a 2nd mattress, set it up as a bed for your other DS. Decorate it as "the boys room", toys etc. and then they have a room. A mattress on the floor is fine for your younger DS right now since he's not likely to use the bed full-time anyway. DH can then move his current bed and all the junk/spare room stuff into older DS's room and sleep there.
post #5 of 18
Could you make your room "his" room? You just sleep there and keep your stuff there?

That's what we do here. I sleep in the kids' room.
post #6 of 18
i say ditch the guilt and feeling that you have to do what everyone expects of you.

my daughter just turned three. she sleeps with me. for a variety of reasons i can't sleep with my DH, never could. and we've been together for 10+ years! (he also snores, twitches, and has to get up for work in the middle of the night. i'm a light sleeper, like my space and enjoy a little "me" time after both DH and DD are asleep.) so having DH in another room is comfortable for me, and i do enjoy sleeping with my little one. i also nurse her overnight when she wakes up needing it (rarely anymore) and first thing in the morning.

we just put an addition on our house, and DD got a brand new pink bedroom. she also has a toddler bed that i got on freecycle. it's "her room" and she proudly tells everyone. she likes to "practice" sleeping in her toddler bed. she will play a game where she is "____fill in the blank character" from Word World or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and i am "____fill in the blank other character" and i my character has to wake her character up.

i have told her she can sleep with me as long as she likes. things are going to get a bit more complicated when her brother is born in september, and i might be transferring her to her toddler bed (perhaps moving it into my room?) from time to time overnight, as well as using a bassinette for her brother from time to time overnight, if i need to power sleep between night nursings and general caring for two little ones.

so that's how it is in my life. i don't feel guilty. and yes, people assume she sleeps in her own room. in fact, our hairdresser lady, who works out of her home and is pregnant like me, and does both DD's and my hair, inquired directly to DD regarding where the new baby will sleep, with mommy or in DD's room, i think b/c she is planning to put her new baby in with her 5 yo son. to my surprise DD replied that she will sleep in her own bed and the baby will sleep with mom. (we'll see if that's how she really feels. i'm betting she's gonna want to continue our current arrangement.) but i just let her answer on her own, and that's what she said.
post #7 of 18
Why can't you just make it work with what you have already.

Bring your husband back to your bed. Put whatever he is sleeping on in your boy's room and put your 3 y/o in there with him.

Or swap your DH and your 3 y/o so that everyone has their own room (even just in the short term).

I don't think you need money to change your sleeping arrangements. If you're not ready to change them and that is what make you feel guilty then that makes sense. Assuming your husband is OK with everything (b/c it seems like it's working for you.. but is he OK w/it?) It's OK to not feel ready!
post #8 of 18
oh mama, it's ok! i know several kids who didn't have their own rooms until they were 5. you don't need to have the $ to set up your ideal bedrooms for it to work for everyone. i sleep in a bed with my partner, our 2 yo, & our 4/5mo & our house building plans are in the far distant future. so i fully empathize with wanting more than you've got house/room wise. but do'nt feel badly about "alternative" sleeping arrangements- just do what works for you & your family.
post #9 of 18
It's all good mama!!! Plus, thinking back to my own childhood, I would have LOVED to be sleeping with my mama instead of in my own room.
post #10 of 18
My 4yo dd still doesn't have a room. We are in a similar situation, not really any money to buy a bed and the room we would use is our only storage in the house. It is only recently that she has even mentioned it and that is because she wants bunk beds because she thinks they are cool. She has no desire to move out until she can get a bunk bed and she knows that can't be until we are able to move. The house we are in now has super low ceilings, especially in the upstairs, so there is no way to bunk beds up there. Anyway, I totally wouldn't worry about it. You do what you have to and I am sure your lo is happy to be sleeping with mommy
post #11 of 18
I think you've gotten great suggestions. DS(2) really loves having his own room, if nothing else, to play in and show off. Its the first place he takes friends when they come over. We have no $$ either, but we made it into a really cute space for him with pictures, toys and a wee bit of creativity.
I can appreciate, as a mom, having an idea in your head about what this room should have, though. I respect that. Its like your wedding, no one can judge, because its just something you've thought about for a long time. With that, i'd put an ad out on craigslist/the equivalent there of letting people know you are looking for toddler beds. I betcha there is someone around with one or two they would love to get out of their garage. Just a thought.
You are a good mom and sounds like your kids are well loved.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sharr - you're right - I have received great suggestions! :

Thank you everyone for your replies. Not only have you given me helpful information, but you've also given me permission to do what works for "us" and not worry about mainstream arrangements.

I loved reading about your own households!

The other thing you all have done with your sweet replies is actually make me feel good about being my kids' mom! Thanks!
post #13 of 18
  1. I sleep with my kids in one bedroom, dh sleeps alone in another, and our third bedroom is an office (that we need). Although our sleeping arrangements aren't perfect, IMO it's important that families do what works for them at the time. There's a lot more flexibility in family sleeping arrangements than you might think, but people aren't always forthcoming about it. Read this NYT article.
  2. IMO toddler beds are generally a waste of money. I could afford to buy them but I wouldn't buy a piece of furniture that we would use for such a short period. My kids have always been fine with sleeping on mattresses on the floor. It makes a cozy nest and their friends love to come over and bounce and play on the bed. They can wrestle and be rambunctious without hitting the bed frame.
  3. I'm pretty frank about telling my kids what we can and can't afford...there's no shame about living within your means. I also tell the kids about my spending priorities. For example, I would rather go on a camping trip than buy bed frames. It's hard when your standard of living is much lower than your peers (my case when growing up), but that became an issue mostly when I was 12+ yo.
  4. If you are feeling money scarcity, the best thing you could do is deal with your "junk" bedroom. I know what I'm talking about because I had a bad case of one and I'm still dealing with it. Without spending a penny you could hugely increase the liveability of your home by decluttering. My kids have loved the results of every decluttering project that I've done . I have a lot of guilt about the amount of clutter that we've been living in. I think that children function best in a decluttered environment -- that's way more important than buying new furniture IMO. Read It's All Too Much from your library and get inspired . Then get over to the Decluttering/Simplifying forum here at MDC for some support. I know this is not what you were seeking support for, but I just have the feeling that not getting the most from your space might be part of your frustration.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ksenia- thanks for posting that NYT article - it was interesting and reassuring.

I should add - my label of junk room is a bit of misnomer. It is a not cluttered at all. I'm actually fairly good at getting rid of clutter and junk. The bedroom only just contains my DH and our laundry baskets and his clothes. The big issue is the money and the just plain lack of space. Our house is 90 years old and there is only one small closet in a bedroom. No other closets anywhere and the rooms very boxy and small. So - just by necessity I must keep things spare.

All of our three bedrooms are extremely small. Two bedrooms can barely fit a double bed and the room my oldest son has - it is so small that it can only fit a single bed. So we need to be creative as well as thrifty!

We will take that third room that DH is in and give it over to both boys but I now feel much less guilty about doing it at slower pace.

Thanks for all your ideas.
post #15 of 18
for the first 4.5yrs, Dh, dd and I lived in a 1br apartment. there wasn't any pretending, there just wasn't a room for dd. It was never a problem for dd. She still co-sleeps now even though she has her own room.
post #16 of 18

It's all good!

I loved reading all of these posts. We are fortunate in that space is not an issue in our home, but DD is 9 and sleeps with DH and me. When our queen bed got too small, we put a twin bed in between the queen and the wall so everyone can stretch out as needed. Most nights though we are cuddled into a small area. I don't lie to anyone about it if they ask, and if they see our room, it's hard to deny what's going on. DD nursed for 6 years but even when she announced she was through, she enjoyed the nighttime cuddles. I say live and let live... what works for one won't work for another. Judge not! I love reading that we are hardly alone.
post #17 of 18
Ds wanted NOTHING to do with his "room" until he was going to go into pre-k then he wanted to sleep in his own room but I think he LIKED the idea but not the reality he is 5 and he still comes in our room every morning around 6 or 7 or in the middle of the night. I did eventually around the time he was wanting his space clean out his room as it was storage space for the last 4 years he played in there I think more to get the feel for the room and now he LOVES his room his grandparents bought him bunk beds before that he had a bed that was over 40 years old and they wanted to get it for him so I said hey why not
post #18 of 18
Originally Posted by Tuesday View Post
Our plan is the two boys have captain's beds and the 3rd room becomes a family study room. Sounds good to me!

The issue is ... we are struggling financially and we can't just magically buy two new or even used beds for our sons. Our house has extremely small rooms and no closet space (it's a90 year old house) so the beds we choose should have storage space.Makes perfect sense

DH thought we could start with mattresses on the floor and then slowly save the money for the frames. Yes, do this

I don't know anyone in real life who would not go out to "Sears" and buy a new bed for their kid or a used bedBull. Especially in this economy.
Me. I would not just go buy my kid a bed. I got a crib given to me, a toddler bed given to me that we do not even use, ds1 sleeps on my brother's old mattress put right on the floor, and we're getting a bunk bed from dh's cousin who is in high school now and was going to junk it otherwise.

I slept on a mattress on the floor when I was 5-8ish years old and I'm sure I'm not the only one... and at that point surely we had the means to get a bedframe... I was just a ccccrrrraaazy sleeper.

Get the beds you want for your boys. Save up for them. It will be more meaningful to them anyway, since they'll know how much time and love you put into finding something *just right* for them.

You're doing the right thing, mama!!! It works for YOU and YOUR FAMILY, not anyone else's, and that's what matters.

(And there's nothing wrong with having clothes stacked in bins in bedrooms or getting one of those rolling racks from Target to hang stuff on and leave it exposed... it will not hurt, not even one little bit)
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