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Do kids NEED beds?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
I've never, ever considered the possibility of not having beds. But lately, I'm considering lots of things that I never gave a second thought to previously.

Here's our situation. I have three kids (DDs 13 & 8, DS 11) in one room. They have a very old, falling apart bunkbed. DS sleeps on the top and both DDs sleep on the bottom (twin bed). With their dressers and bookshelves, there is not any room for another bed, which is why the girls share. But my oldest is tired of sleeping with her sister (who is kind of a wild sleeper).

So, we were thinking of getting a newer bunkbed for DS and younger DD, since I believe theirs is a little dangerous, and getting some sort of loft bed for older DD, and putting their dresser and bookshelves underneath. I think that would fit, with very little room to walk around.

But now, I've been thinking. For one, we don't have money to just buy new furniture, for another, I will be taking the Compact pledge and won't be able to buy these things new and don't know how to acquire them used and inexpensive. But for another, I'm thinking, if we got rid of their bunk bed completely and just had them sleep on some kind of mats or pads, it would save so much room in there and they could just be rolled up in the morning and stored in the closet.

I have no idea if this even makes sense since I've never questioned the "traditional" way that things are "supposed to be."

I'd love any input or ideas (even if just to say that I'm crazy )

Thanks so much!
post #2 of 40
I'm not sure that they NEED beds, but I do believe that they need someplace to sleep/relax that is their own space, where they can feel comfortable, etc, especially as they grow older.
I guess that could be a mat or futon, and I guess that these things could be rolled up during the day if you are short on space.

The one thing I would suggest is that you talk with your children about it and get their opinions. One (or more) of them may suprise you with a great idea.
post #3 of 40
I think some sort of mat for them to sleep on is necessary, but whether not it has to be able to be rolled up is optional IMO. What about a big futon (you can definitely get one used on craiglist or freecycle) that they could share, either on the floor and you can roll up if space is needed, or on the frame and put into the sofa shape during the day as a place to sit. I think if you are doing the Compact (I am too) that you may have a harder time finding some alternative used item instead of a typical used bed or futon.
post #4 of 40
The Japanese model would seem to suggest that *no* one needs a bed as such. If you're in an environment with nasty creepy crawlies you'll want a bed with legs and little dishes of water around each leg. Otherwise, no, no need for a bed.
post #5 of 40
We have three kids in an 800 square foot house. The two older kids share a room - (5 and 2 1/2)- ds has a loft bed and dd has a toddler bed underneath. The baby sleeps with us- and actually the 2 1/2 yo does most of the night too.

So we have 2 bedrooms, everyone says we need to add on- but we are thinking about finding different solutions. For instance, upstairs in our bedroom, we have slanted ceilngs, and in the walls are crawl spaces that are slatned too, but about 5 feet wide (I hope that makes sense). Right now we use them for storage- they are a pain to get into, though and I have this crazy idea to build in little sleeping cubbies for the kids- basically open the spaces, put in little beds, and make them closable with curtains. They could each have there own light and book shelf.

My mom thinks I'm completely nuts- but after reading this thread- I think I like the idea more and more.

I think kids need their own space, but not necessarily their own furniture and rooms.
post #6 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
The Japanese model would seem to suggest that *no* one needs a bed as such. If you're in an environment with nasty creepy crawlies you'll want a bed with legs and little dishes of water around each leg. Otherwise, no, no need for a bed.
This is probably something I should know already , but...what is the Japanese model? What is commonly used in homes in Japan?
post #7 of 40
Another idea is a bunk bed with trundle. I shared a room with my younger brother and sister for a few years and we had a mattress in the trundle that disappeared during the day. Just another idea.
post #8 of 40
I'm not sure of all the "compact" rules, but I think the loft ideas sounds like a wise way to use your resources. You have a small space and you want to get the most out of it. I've have always lived in small spaces and wish that 12 yrs ago I would have just bought furniture that truly works in small spaces rather than keep the large but free furniture pasted down through my family.

Lofts are great. It will give the dc their little space (you could even add curtains for more privacy- one dc could sleep while the others did something quiet)
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguazul View Post
This is probably something I should know already , but...what is the Japanese model? What is commonly used in homes in Japan?
as you may know, space is at a huge premium in japan. families often live in 400-600 sq ft area, so each space has different uses at different times of day. to acheive this, sleeping surfaces are put away each morning and set up each evening. this is the origin of 'futons', although the futons that we know of here are basically a bed with a matress made of a soft material as batting instead of springs. the ones in japan are very light, and they put down multiple layers to create a soft sleeping surface. then, when they wake up, they fold the futons and put them away in closets so that the 'bedroom' is now the 'living room'.

that is what i grew up with and it's wonderful. so your child(ren) could still have their own 'room', but it would be a wide open space during the day, and just set up their futons at night before going to sleep.

we americans make our beds in the morning. the japanese make their beds at night and put them away in the morning.
post #10 of 40
Our house is 513 sq ft with 2 BR. My kids have the bedrooms and they each have a loft bed. They really free up a ton of space. My son's room is 8x8 and there would be no room to walk if he had a normal bed in there. I have seen loftbeds listed for cheap on craigslist, and I've seen lots of bunkbed sets listed on Freecycle.

I am actually thinking about getting a loftbed for myself! I sleep on a futon in the living room and my cheapo TrashMart futon mattress has just about had it. It would be cool to have the extra space.
post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmaze View Post
We have three kids in an 800 square foot house. The two older kids share a room - (5 and 2 1/2)- ds has a loft bed and dd has a toddler bed underneath. The baby sleeps with us- and actually the 2 1/2 yo does most of the night too.

So we have 2 bedrooms, everyone says we need to add on- but we are thinking about finding different solutions. For instance, upstairs in our bedroom, we have slanted ceilngs, and in the walls are crawl spaces that are slatned too, but about 5 feet wide (I hope that makes sense). Right now we use them for storage- they are a pain to get into, though and I have this crazy idea to build in little sleeping cubbies for the kids- basically open the spaces, put in little beds, and make them closable with curtains. They could each have there own light and book shelf.

My mom thinks I'm completely nuts- but after reading this thread- I think I like the idea more and more.

I think kids need their own space, but not necessarily their own furniture and rooms.
We did this in college in my sorority house...... Except we did not open the space up, just put doors on the walls which is pretty dangerous from a fire standpoint. Anyway, if you open them up they would be safe and it would open up a lot of space. We have that in one of our bedrooms and now my mind is mulling over the possibilities......
post #12 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmaze View Post
Right now we use them for storage- they are a pain to get into, though and I have this crazy idea to build in little sleeping cubbies for the kids- basically open the spaces, put in little beds, and make them closable with curtains. They could each have there own light and book shelf.
That sounds really neat! I'm sure if we were in our own house instead of an apartment, we could employ more creative techniques to give the kids their spaces. For now, we're just trying to figure out the best we can in the space we have.

If you do end up doing this, I hope you'll post a picture for us to see how it turns out!
post #13 of 40
We aren't quite as cramped but we only have two bedrooms with the intention of three children - but hte larger bedroom has the type of eves you describe (its a gambrel) - I've been thinking it would be neat to do that and each child could have their cubby and then the bulk of the room would be open for other uses.
post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmaze View Post
So we have 2 bedrooms, everyone says we need to add on- but we are thinking about finding different solutions. For instance, upstairs in our bedroom, we have slanted ceilngs, and in the walls are crawl spaces that are slatned too, but about 5 feet wide (I hope that makes sense). Right now we use them for storage- they are a pain to get into, though and I have this crazy idea to build in little sleeping cubbies for the kids- basically open the spaces, put in little beds, and make them closable with curtains. They could each have there own light and book shelf.

I think kids need their own space, but not necessarily their own furniture and rooms.
I have those upstairs in my house too. I love that idea. Right now there are little doors that open and I have always wanted to make closets and storage space but I really like the idea of opening up the space and using curtains to block it off. That would be neat.
post #15 of 40
I hope to do something with those storage places- if not the cubbies for the kids- maybe just a cubbie for reading or something cool!

Our dream was to live in a yurt- which would be 700sq feet- and almost no walls. We had it all planned out (but we couldnt qualify for the property, ended up buying a house...for now), and we planned to have a sleeping space behind the kitchen area (that would be the only wall).

When you start to think about it- bedrooms ae such a western culture thing- everyone needing there own indivual area with a door and everything. Most of the world just lays down somewhere dry and safe.
post #16 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmaze View Post

When you start to think about it- bedrooms ae such a western culture thing- everyone needing there own indivual area with a door and everything. Most of the world just lays down somewhere dry and safe.
Wow. That is such an interesting point.
post #17 of 40
My dad built me a loft bed to use in my college dorm room (actually he built me one when I was a kid & we were living in a small apartment too).

I do think that some people (I'm one of them) NEED someplace they can go to be alone. I don't kow how other societies handle this, but I know that when my grandparents moved in with us when I was a kid (I honestly don't remember when, somewhere in the 10-13 age range I think) I started spending the vast majority of my time in my room. My grandmother blatantly favored my younger brother & nothing I did was good enough for her (I still have issues w/ her) plus I NEED time to myself & it was hard to find that w/ extra people in our house. Even now, so many of my mommy friends will talk about how they NEED to talk to adults every day & have such a hard time if they have a week w/ little to nothing planned & their dh is working long hours. While I can understand the dh working long hours = burnout & needing a break from 24/7 kid duty, I honestly don't understand NEEDING to be around other people, I just don't . . . so to me the concept of not even having an "alcove" of space that was all my own makes me feel . . . whatever phobia a fear of not being able to get away from people would be LOL. So, before I took away the option of at least a bed of their own, I'd at least talk to the kids & see how they felt about the concept. My girls are twins so used to being together 24/7 and tend to worry abit if they're not together, but even so they each chose a corner of the family room & designated it as their "house" after awhile of it being consistent & a daily part of their play, I re-arranged the toy storage to accomodate them (so now Ashlyn's toys are stored in her corner, Lexie's are stored in her corner & the shared toys are in a 3rd corner), and I honor their need to have those corners be THEIR spaces. So if one of them says "stay out of my house" I'll enforce that request (though it's harder when other kids are here since to anyone else it just likes we have stuff scattered).
post #18 of 40
Thats why I think more and more about letting my kids have their own little spaces upstairs in our house. The room they share right now actually doesn't provide them much of an escape. My son calls his bed his room- but theres no privacy for him.

I wonder if I could get dh to do this for me...
post #19 of 40
Thread Starter 
Well, as much as I'm drawn to the idea of mats on the floor, I think that loft beds are probably the way to go. Now, I will have to really look around so that I can find one used and inexpensive.

As far as more private space for each of them, I don't really know how to work it. We're in an apartment, so we can't remodel or get anything built in. We've only got a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and 2 bedrooms. Nowhere for private escape time.

I'll have to keep thinking about this. I'm very much welcoming all your advice, opinions, and suggestions.
post #20 of 40
we're going the japanese way.
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