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What does your family bed look like? And a poll...

Poll Results: What does your family bed look like? Check all that apply.

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 17% (7)
    The oldest child in bed is under 12 months
  • 45% (18)
    Under 3yo
  • 15% (6)
    Under 5yo
  • 12% (5)
    Under 8yo
  • 7% (3)
    Older than 8yo
  • 65% (26)
    I have 1 child in bed with me
  • 20% (8)
    I have 2 children in bed
  • 7% (3)
    I have 3 or more children in bed/beds with a parent/caregiver
  • 5% (2)
    I am a single parent
  • 70% (28)
    DP is in the bed/room with us
  • 10% (4)
    DP is in another room alone
  • 10% (4)
    Both DP and I have kids with us in our separate rooms
  • 80% (32)
    I am nursing at least one child
  • 12% (5)
    At least one child has transitioned to a separate bed in your room
  • 30% (12)
    At least one child has transitioned to a separate room
  • 25% (10)
    All of my children sleep with a parent/caregiver
  • 37% (15)
    I planned on cosleeping/bedsharing from the beginning
  • 50% (20)
    I didn't plan on it: I started cosleeping/bedsharing in response to our needs
  • 7% (3)
    The size of our house/apartment/room has limited our choices.
  • 40% (16)
    We have the space, but have no plans for transitioning.
40 Total Votes  
post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Another thread reminded me to start what is becoming a regular, kinda-sorta-yearly thread.  The first thread I ever started was asking if other families slept alongside their older children, as I was only seeing threads about infants and toddlers, troubles and transitioning.

In the past, I've heard responses from many mamas who happily sleep alongside their kids, some 11 and older.  Hopefully these mamas will find this thread come out of the woodwork again.  

I know that until recently I didn't find much in this forum for me, but then I thought that I'd keep an eye out, just in case the perspective of a mama bedsharing with her older daughters might be welcome.

This year I've added a poll and hopefully enough people will answer to make it meaningful to someone.  I don't know... a poll just sounded fun.  Disclaimer:  polls always end up not having enough options for everybody.  Please post and tell us your story!

The point of this thread is to illustrate that there are all kinds of family beds, beyond the nursing years, beyond school age, even.

So, are you bedsharing without plans to transition?  Planning/ hoping for a transition?  Sleeping alongside older kids?  Just starting out and curious about what others are doing?

What does your family bed look like?

Edited by SweetSilver - 11/19/12 at 9:29am
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 

Snafu.  Couldn't edit poll, wanted multiple choice.  Working on it.


ETA:  HA!  And thank you to what ever computer power that helped divine the answers for me.  As long as I had the right line and the right first word, it remembered the rest.  Phew!


Now I've spent way too much time here and owe my daughter a few games of Candyland (and a chance to brush my teeth!)


ETA:  again!  Parents of 8yos, choose the "over 8yo" option.  It should have read "8 & up" but I can't edit the answer without deleting the whole poll.  Sorry! 

Edited by SweetSilver - 11/19/12 at 10:28am
post #3 of 13

errrr...the thing is we don't really have fixed places for the kids to sleep per se. They have their own rooms and generally start the night there, But they are all free to come in to us when they choose and we have spare mattresses in our room. The oldest is 9, it would be rare for him to want to come through but if he did it would be fine.


Generally we end up in one room if someone has been away for a while (kids with grandparents or if a parent has been working away), if we've been watching a film and its late (the tv is in our room) or at the start and end of a special day like Christmas or a birthday.


I think for us it is more that the family bed is there and they are welcome to come through if they want. My experience is that they usually stop coming through around age 6.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Of course--poll limitations!  It would have been nice to have 2 more questions.  However, I think I had that question once, but it got changed and edited and I think the original intent got lost in the shuffle--the last question I think.  Somehow it morphed from a welcoming bed to no plans to transition, and I have only a vague notion how.


Good to hear from a family with an Open Bed Policy.  I think that is the direction we will be heading.  I realize I misanswered my own poll.  I *used* to have plenty of space, 3 bedrooms, or plenty of room in the master bedroom for separate beds (we had room for 2 queen-size futons pulled together).  Now in our new house with the unfinished daylight basement, we have only one large finished bedroom.  So, any plans we might have had to even create a bedroom for them (which we pushed out of our minds for the time being) are on hold indefinitely.

post #5 of 13
Our family bed includes myself, DH, and our 5 yr old. Some nights the 7 yr old joins us. It's a good thing we have a king sized bed. The 9 yr old occasionally comes and sleeps on our floor. The 11 yr old, is almost always in her own bed. We have 5 bedrooms, but apparently, the one where mom and dad sleep is the best!
post #6 of 13

We have a king and a twin pushed together.  DD1 (4.5 years), DD2 (2 years), DH and I sleep there.  I am 29 weeks pregnant and baby will be in bed with all of us when he is born.  

post #7 of 13

Ok, this is very private, but I feel a need to express this...perhaps others are in the same boat. My husband and I began sleeping separately on a regular basis soon after my son was born. Actually, it started happening when I moved in with him, before we were married. I was really weird about noise. I had earplugs, but I could still hear him, and feel him moving around, so I guess out of courtesy, he would sometimes go to the other room to watch TV and fall asleep there. Over the years, I got used to this...so if he didn't leave, I would. Now, on week nights, I just say goodnight and go upstairs. When the kids were younger, it was an excuse to be near them...but they are 6 and 9 now. We have been married 13 years now and don't fight that often. Yes, we have issues at times, but overall, things are OK.


When my son was an infant, we lived in a house that had poor insulation and was very cold, so we co-slept with him, but it scared me sometimes. We had lots of comforters and blankets due to the cold and he would sometimes get lost in them, so we didn't co-sleep every single night...just for a while. When my daughter was born 4 yrs later, she was preemie, so not as much co-sleeping...plus we were in a more insulated home. As they got older, they would get to sleep in our bed as a treat sometimes on a Fri or Sat night...watch movies with Daddy. Mostly my son, sometimes my daughter. Now that my son is almost 10, it doesn't really happen any more. Now they usually go to their rooms when the movie is over, so that my husband and I can be alone, or not. He is a lot more open to them staying up and watching movies with him, and co-sleeping with him back in the day...but I didn't like co-sleeping with them as much. I usually only did it if they had a nightmare or were sick. I always wanted them to be well rested...comfortable...and not have a dog or an alarm waking them up at 6AM, etc. My husband was more laid back about that stuff...I guess because he doesn't have to deal with them when they get sick and cranky from not being well rested...he spoils them more. I am the stricter one, for sure!


I usually only fall asleep in our room on weekends now...and when I wake up, my husband is usually gone to another room...either that, or I will take off to another room due to being uncomfortable. I think I just got used to sleeping alone, and so did he. Plus we have two dogs that sleep with us...and they hog the whole bed. It makes it a lot more comfortable if one of us leaves and takes a dog with us. Weird, I know. But from what I have heard, people who clean homes say that they always find extra beds that look like they are being slept in. It's like an untold secret or something. We are still married and relatively happy...so it works for us. I just wonder if it has an effect on our kids...like if they wonder why we don't sleep in the same bad, KWIM? My husband told his mom (or maybe one of my kids mentioned it to her) and she thought that it was weird, especially for the kids...what must they think?? 

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jmarroq View Post

 I just wonder if it has an effect on our kids...like if they wonder why we don't sleep in the same bad, KWIM? My husband told his mom (or maybe one of my kids mentioned it to her) and she thought that it was weird, especially for the kids...what must they think?? 

My girls are surprised to hear that a lot of kids never sleep in their parents' bed.  They are used to DH being in the "sidecar" and so am I.  Unlike most couples who miss each other terribly at night, dh and I have never been very compatible sleepers.  Totally opposite, in fact.  The only really useful thing being right next to him is I used to be able to get him to stop snoring without hauling myself up (same for him getting me to stop snoring orngtongue.gif.)  We cuddle now and then, if we have the chance, but I ultimately make him too hot and he doesn't have enough covers for me and he arranges them just so and wakes up if I disturb them much.  


So, I do love snuggling with the girls.  And when they are out of the bed?  I guess we'll get a king-size bed and I'll have the covers piled up on my side, and he'll have his whisper of a sheet tucked just so (and unattached to mine, I think that would be best).  We can sleep well in the same room, but the same bed is tricky.


I used to think it was funny when I would watch Leave It to Beaver, that their beds were separate.  What a funny thing!  I know it was a Hollywood/TV thing, but I didn't think of it at the time.  Then I saw my mom's cousin's bedroom had two twin beds.  Odd, again.  Now I get why people would want to sleep separately and still love each other.  And the people that say that if you had a truly happy marriage you would do X and Y, are the same people who say never to go to bed angry or don't ever let the kids see you fighting.  These blanket statements are not particularly helpful, nor necessarily right.


I think as far as the kids are concerned, you must be genuine.  It doesn't do to model an "ideal" relationship for them if that's not yours truly looks like.  Overall, is everyone happy?  (And I don't mean your MIL!)  That's what counts.

post #9 of 13

 I didn't click all the correct boxes. redface.gif We have had many, many different arrangements over the years. At one point we had three different beds in our large master. We are a family of 6, the two girls are almost 10 and 6, the two boys are 3 and 1. All are currently co-sleeping in some fashion. Right now I sleep in one room with the 1y old, DH sleeps in another room with the 3y old and the two girls take turns rotating between mine and DH's rooms. The girl in my room sleeps with me and the girl in DH's room sleeps on a mattress on the floor due to that bed being smaller. We moved last month and gave the girls the large, beautiful master suite yet again, only we haven't even set up their beds because honestly why should we really bother, they only really play in there. They go through phases of sleeping in there for a couple weeks only to bounce back in our rooms for months again. We choose a 3 bedroom house this last move because we really didn't need a fourth bedroom and I am thinking that will not change for several more years. My kids do not just magically move out and into their own rooms, all really prefer to sleep with parents. 


It does really does not bother us. Ideally it would be nice to not always have so many kids crammed into a room but this is the only way we get any sleep. The oldest struggles with anxiety, depression, and insomnia, nighttime is very difficult for her. The second girl has a lot of chronic health problems and we often need to monitor her at night. The oldest boy is on the autism spectrum and wanders at night. When he is sleeping pressed up against you, you always know where he is at night. 


Dh and I haven't slept in the same bed in 6 years, that probably will not change anytime soon! Finding places for um, our nighttime activities is getting increasing difficult. Even if the girl's room is empty, bunk beds do not alway work well for adults and frankly after many years the couch and floor get increasingly harder the older we get! That really isn't going to change anytime soon either. Now we actually prefer to sleep apart and we are not looking forward to the day when we will be forced to sleep together again due to space issues with a larger family. He snores and with my insomnia, is is not a great combo. My kids think it is normal for kids to sleep with parents, most of our friends have co-slept. DH is getting more worried, the older DD1 gets about sleeping with her in the same bed. It doesn't help that she is a rather free spirit and only sleeps in the nude. She is fine with it but do to his comfort level, we try to spilt those two up if we travel and get two king beds for all of us to share like we often do. 

post #10 of 13

Just like PP, our family bed changed over the years. I start with the the baby in my bed, and dh in a different room. Then around 18 mo we nightwean (mostly), dh takes over night parenting and I move in the spare room. Then after 3, child sleeps alone, but still comes to our room whenever he / she wants. So we're almost at this point with dd.

post #11 of 13

Ours has evolved over the past 12 + years.  For many years it was two queen sized mattresses pushed together and surrounded by wall on 3 sides.  In it was two adults and kids- 7 year old, 4 year old and twin newborns.  This lasted until about 3 years for the twins.  


Currently I sleep in a queen bed with my spouse.  Everyone is in their own room except the oldest, who is now 12.  He has a mattress on the floor right next to my bed.  The other 3 come and go but spend most nights in their own room from start to finish.

post #12 of 13

3.5 year old in one bed w/DP.  DD1 still wakes infrequently, maybe once a week, but cries very loudly and for a longish duration.


10 month old in bed w/me in another room.  She mostly fusses to nurse, but otherwise stays asleep. 


Works great for us! I would love for all of us to sleep together, but I'm too afraid of the kids waking each other up.  Plus, it seems like it would take forever to get both of them to sleep in the same room; they get each other so worked up. 


ETA: Like previous posters, this is just our current arrangement.  The family bed is always changing.

post #13 of 13

I love this thread! It's great to see what everyone else is living. Sometimes it is easy to feel like the only wierdos in the whole world who are continuing to co-sleep beyond infancy.


We have been co-sleeping from the beginning and plan to continue for an indefinite amount of time--at least another few years. DD is currently almost 3yrs old and is still nursing,  and I am 10 weeks pregnant.


At first it was DH and I in a Queen bed with an Arm's Reach side-cared, though DD didn't always sleep in there. As DD got bigger we got lucky and a family member gave us a crib with a broken drop-side that we just removed. So now that crib is side-cared to our Queen. We all sleep together in the bed about 4 times a week. The other nights DH works the graveyard shift, so it's just DD and me (and the bed feels HUGE then!)


When the next little one arrives I think we are going to use an Arm's Reach Mini on DH's side of the bed, though I'm not sure how that will work with the baby needing to nurse frequently. But we will have a crib, queen-sized bed, and a Mini Co-Sleeper all pushed together. We only plan to keep that configuration until the new baby is big enough to sleep safely next to DD. Then we intend to get a King-sized bed and sell the Co-Sleeper, but keep the crib side-carred. And as the kids get bigger we will probably replace the crib with a twin-sized bed so we can all fit.


We only live in a one-bedroom apartment, so space restraints do play a roll, but I am certain that even if we had an extra room, it would only serve for storage purposes (which would be Awesome!) and not for sleeping. We do have a really nice, comfortable Queen-sized sleeper Sofa in the livingroom that might see some use in the early days with the new baby, but then again maybe not. Right now it is only used by family or friends who come to visit.

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