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-   -   Co-sleeping with older children - tell me I'm not crazy. (

sunnylady303 05-01-2009 08:56 AM

My girls are 3 and 5 and very much wanting to still sleep with us. Right now DH sleeps with the 5YO in her single bed; I sleep with the 3 YO in our queen bed. And we all miss each other. It has been such a treat when we have stayed somewhere with a king and been able to all sleep together. So we are considering moving our queen mattress on the floor and putting a twin on either side of it. I really miss sleeping next to DH (I'm not talking about sex! We manage fine other times with that ) but just being close to him, but I am not feeling like my girls are ready to be alone in their own room. But this is such a drastic thing and my girls are so "old" compared to other cosleepers I hear about. And my inlaws when they visit will practically call CPS. Is this an ok idea? Am I the only one in the world who sleeps with her older children? Someone tell me something, please. Even if it's bad. I just have no frame of reference. Thanks!

filiadeluna 05-01-2009 09:42 AM

Do your in-laws live close? If not, I would maybe just set up something different for when they visit if it is a serious concern that they might call CPS.

Anywho, I slept with my mom (divorced since I was 3) quite frequently throughout childhood. It was mostly when I'd have nightmares, but I slept in her bed a lot, even as a teenager, though I never would have admitted it to friends. We'd fall asleep watching SNL or Jay Leno, or a movie we'd rented. I don't see the harm in at all, but some people might think it was weird.

sunnmama 05-01-2009 09:43 AM

Dh and I sleep on our queen, and our 8 yo dd and 2 yo son sleep on a full size futon next to us

We have 2 bedrooms, but our family of 4 only uses one

sunnmama 05-01-2009 09:46 AM

Also, I don't think CPS is a real risk here, in the absence of other factors. We went to a family therapist for a year when dd was 6-7, and he knew that we had a family bedroom. He didn't think it was the greatest situation, but he never suggested it was *wrong* or reported it (and he is a mandatory reporter).

churndash 05-01-2009 03:46 PM

Have you asked your daughters if they are ready to sleep on their own? You may not be ready but if they are...

Absent that, I wouldn't make any decisions based on what visiting inlaws might think.

Is it possible for you to purchase a king mattress, so that the other beds are available for the eventual day when your daughters do wish to sleep alone?

Not just a mom 05-01-2009 11:43 PM

Hi. My first post in this community. I'm new to the yuku/zboard, etc.

I have 2 boys, ages 7 & 9, and they still sleep with me. Not because they can't sleep in their own bed but because they prefer it. They always have. We don't tell many people about it, though. Have enough battles without adding more.

I'd be concerned if your kids can't fall asleep without you. Otherwise, do what's best for your family. JMO

purplemoon 05-01-2009 11:48 PM

I cosleep with my two boys, 2 and 4. They want to still so I have no issue. I figure when they are ready they will want their own beds. I don't think that is too old.

verde 05-02-2009 12:09 AM

My 3.5 y/o DD still sleeps with us and shows no sign of wanting to leave. Personally I love it. Every morning she wakes up and says, "let's snuggle." DH, DD and I all scoot in together for our morning snuggle.

minmoto2 05-02-2009 12:28 AM

My 10 yo dd sleeps on the floor next to our bed since her baby bro was born She has slept in her own room off & on since she was 3yo, but made it into our room at least 3 nights a week. She informed us that she was sleeping in our room again once the baby arrived, and she kept her word! I think she feels comforted being close to us, and it helps her process. I love having our family bedroom Our kids are welcome to come & go as needed, even if they are "too old" according to others.

Jojo F. 05-02-2009 01:11 AM

Oh goodness it's not bad!! DH sleeps with DS and he is 6. I sleep with my 3 month old DD. If our rooms were big enough we would TOTALLY put the beds together but alas, this house was built in the 1920's so that's a no go.

I say go ahead and put the beds together, there is no harm in that.

As a side note- my cousins slept with their parents until they were 12 and they are the most well adjusted boys I know, so sweet and kind

CPS couldn't do anything to you

SunnyDaeze 05-13-2009 11:53 AM

My son is 5 1/2 and I don't think he will ever move to his own bed. He has his own room and bed and it's his decision when he moves. DH and I both love it, but he just keeps getting bigger. We may have to add on a bed. I wouldn't worry.

choosewisdom 05-13-2009 12:42 PM

None of the following scenarios are unusual at our house:

Bedtime routine, DD sleeps in her own bed all night.

Bedtime routine, DP and I fall asleep in DD's bed with her.

Bedtime routine, DD goes to sleep on her own in her own bed, comes to me later in the night wanting snuggles.

Watching a movie on the weekend, we all fall asleep in the family room.

Our LO is ten years old... I don't have a problem with any of the above happening on any given night.

Our only concern is that we may need to get a bigger bed as we are TTC.

Peony 05-13-2009 01:43 PM

We have musical beds right now, so who is sleeping where varies from night to night. Lately it's been a family bedroom with 6y DD1 being the oldest co-sleeper. Other nights, she sleeps downstairs with just DH.

prothyraia 05-13-2009 02:15 PM

Originally Posted by sunnylady303 View Post
Am I the only one in the world who sleeps with her older children?
Actually, for most of history in most of the world families would only ever have had one bedroom/sleeping space for everyone. There's absolutely no reason to sleep separately if everyone in the family is happy curling up in bed together

vegemamato 05-13-2009 02:49 PM

we've been using the term musical beds too lately

currently, my 8 and 4.5 yr old always sleep together, whether it be in a kitchen fort, in our bed, on a futon in the livingroom or any random place on the floor

My partner and I sleep in our bed most of the time with our 15 mo old, but we occasionally fall asleep watching a movie on the futon.

When we move, however, we will be living in a tiny apartment and sharing one room. Our plan is to dump our king-size bed (which has been peed on more times than we can count ) and buy 1 queen and 2 twins. (we'll fit them with a twin on each side, so the kids can choose where they want to be)..

So, nah, I don't think your kids are too big.. but don't tell your in-laws about us, k

1littlebit 05-13-2009 03:42 PM

My parents said screw it and got a king size bed after my little brother was born and i showed no signs of sleeping in my own bed despite their best efforts. we both slept in their bed until we were quite a bit older then your little ones are now... eventually they added a chaise b/c it was to crowded with my brother my parents the dog and the cat. i was in my own room by then

i doubt cps would be a problem b/c i cant imagine how they would find out. when your inlaws come pretend the kids are only sleeping in their while they are at your house or something. aside from that though i doubt the kids will say anything.. not because its shameful but because i cant imagine when it would come up.

ann_of_loxley 05-13-2009 04:12 PM

Sounds like a fab idea to me!!! DS is 3.5 and I don't see him anywhere near ready to be in his own bed. We have wall to wall be ourselves! hehe

rzberrymom 05-13-2009 04:50 PM

Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
Actually, for most of history in most of the world families would only ever have had one bedroom/sleeping space for everyone. There's absolutely no reason to sleep separately if everyone in the family is happy curling up in bed together
Exactly! It's only in the last several generations that there's been enough wealth to even consider *not* sharing sleep spaces. In most of the rest of the world, there still is not enough wealth for everyone to have their own sleeping space.

Niranut 05-13-2009 11:13 PM

In Asia, co-sleeping is the norm and is not related to whether or not you can afford to have a bed and/or bedroom for everyone. Much more a cultural thing than anything else, really. Here in Thailand, kids sleep with their parents or other relatives for as long as they like (anywhere from pre-school age all the way up to teenagers). The other day, one of my neighbors here was telling us how one of her sons slept with them until he was in high school, and that he would hold her hand when he slept, even when he was a teen. No one even batted an eye at her statement, and I chuckled inside wondering how that kind of thing would have been received in the U.S.

So as others have said, no need for concern. And rearranging the sleeping area so everyone can be together would probably help. We've got a king & twin next to each other on the floor, which allows all 5 of us to sleep quite comfortably (ds is 3, dd1 is 21mo, & dd2 is 6mo). The mattresses are literally sandwiched in from wall to wall, so we only sleep in that room, but it works well and allows everyone the room they need

k8s-mom 05-26-2009 12:25 PM

DD is 9 and still prefers our bed. We have a queen & a twin next to each other so we have room. Very supportive DH admits he is looking forward to DD sleeping in her own room on a regular basis, but DD and I are happy snuggling up at night for now. She sleeps in her room when we ask for alone time. Whatever works for you! If my in-laws acted like that, they are the ones who wouldn't be welcome. so there!

swiesz 05-26-2009 04:38 PM

my 6yo ds#1 and 4yo ds#2 sleep together in ds#1's queen bed, but i lay down with them until they fall asleep. 1y/o ds #3 sleeps with me in his queen size bed and we are often joined by Ds 1 or 2 sometime in the night. dh sleeps in our bed (he can not get any sleep with the kiddos, he can't even stand the dog in the room).
this is what works for us.

MomToKandE 05-26-2009 04:52 PM

You're not alone. (we may both be crazy, not sure about that LOL)

My 5 year old sleeps in the king bed with me and dh. My 8 year old sleeps in a twin bed right next to the king.

The 8 year old talks about wanting to move to her own bed but when bedtime rolls around she gets scared and doesn't want to. I'm not sure if I should nudge her out to help her make the switch or keep encouraging her to do whatever she wants at the moment.

skolbut 05-28-2009 11:33 AM

As long as it's their choice, who cares??? You get to sleep with your kiddos, they get the security of sleeping with you, and that's what they want! Yay!!

We too have musical beds, also musical recliner when the baby is sick.

I have a friend who has musical beds with her 4 and 8 year olds. I also have a friend whose 3 kids sleep together in the master bedroom and mom and dad sleep together in one of the smaller rooms. Whatever works!!

beanma 05-28-2009 11:50 AM

A Queen and a Twin make a lovely big bed. We have that arrangement in our big bedroom, but I am looking to rearrange this summer. My kids are 8 and 5 and both still sleep with me, but DH doesn't like sleeping with us so much (or actually doesn't like getting kicked) anymore so he usually chooses to sleep on the couch (we do have a guest room bed he could use, but he chooses the couch). We put the twin on the floor next to the queen when our youngest was 1 or 2. It has worked out really well for us and is very spacious.

This summer, though, I'm planning on painting our girls' shared bedroom and putting the twin from the big bedroom in there with the other twin that's already in there. I plan to maybe cable tie them or otherwise affix them together and make a king. Did you know that two twins put together equal a king? They do. We have a set of king sheets and I recently bought a king mattress pad so I'll make a king in their room and revert the family bedroom back to just a queen for DH and me. I plan to lie down with the girls until they fall asleep and DH can have a grown-up bedroom again. I'll join him after they fall asleep. If they need me I'll go back to them. I can't really handle sleeping with them in anything less than a king. A queen is just too tight.

Something like that might be a workable plan for you if you don't want to start out with expanding the family bed at this time. I figure that when the girls want their own beds I'll just separate the twins and they can each have one. Keeping my fingers crossed that it works!

OP: I just read your blog about your 3 yr old. I would definitely not think twice about continuing to cosleep with a little one who was sick. Let the in-laws say what they will. She needs you!

LaughinWillow 05-29-2009 03:35 AM

Wow. I have a 15 year old daughter, and she would come get in bed with me nearly every night until she was 11 - and even then she would have continued, but we moved in with my fiance (now dh), and I was at least conscious enough to realize that even though I trusted him completely to sleep with her, schools/doctors/whatever might not feel the same way...

Anyway, my almost-5 year old ds and almost-2 year old ds sleep in bed with my husband (and used to be me too, till we had ds #3 last week!). I just think it's crazy to tell children that they have to sleep alone. Who wants to sleep alone? Sleeping alone (for children, but often even for adults) is often scary, lonely, and cold in winter. I think that Americans are so hypersexual that just the thought of a bed is linked to sexuality. So eventually - to the modern mainstream US way of thinking - if you sleep in bed with a child, eventually something sexual is going on. Or if that's too extreme, there's the whole desperation to force children to be "independent" from birth, forcing them to sleep in cages alone, rather than snuggled up against a warm human being where they belong.

Just cuz society's crazy doesn't mean you have to be!

Sijae 05-29-2009 03:43 AM

I slept with my mom till I was about 9. My daughter is 7 and slept with me for most of the last year. Recently we moved and have no beds so DH and I have a queen air mattress. It's bad enough just with the 2 of us so there's no way we can do more. She's been sleeping in her room ok since we got here but occasionally I go and sleep with her since I miss her.

ChinaDoll 05-29-2009 11:12 AM

Your idea sounds like a wonderful set-up!

FWIW, we had a family bedroom (2 mattresses) until DD decided she wanted to sleep in her own room at age 4.5. DS only just moved to his own room at age 5. They are normal, and it's also totally normal for kids to sleep even longer in their parents' bedroom (family bedroom).

If you're really worried about grandparents, why not set the bed back up in one of the kids' bedrooms, house grandparents there, and say, well, since the kids are displaced, they can sleep in Mom and Dad's room tonight ... grandparents won't think a thing about it (trust me )

boatbaby 05-29-2009 11:38 AM

Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
Actually, for most of history in most of the world families would only ever have had one bedroom/sleeping space for everyone. There's absolutely no reason to sleep separately if everyone in the family is happy curling up in bed together
You rock! Absolutely! We still happily sleep with our almost 5 year old and I can't imagine not having him cuddled with us at night.

D'sMama 05-29-2009 11:56 AM

When you said "older children", I was imagining like 10 and 12 or something. 3 and 5 is so young still!

I think people in the US associate bed sharing with sex, since it's most common to share a bed with a sexual partner, we refer to sex as "sleeping with" someone, etc. ...which is probably why some people get uncomfortable with the idea of bed sharing with children at all, even though most people do it at least occasionally. Silly, but whatever. Other people's hang-ups shouldn't be your problem.

Recently, I was talking with a certain in-law, who asked me when DS would move to his own bed (he's only 4 months!). I said "when he wants to" and smiled. She then said she knew a family where the wife was sleeping with the 3 year old daughter and the husband was sleeping separately. She said they had really screwed up priorities. :

If it works for your family, what does it matter to anyone else, right?

MaryJaneLouise 05-29-2009 12:23 PM

Did you ever notice how many kid's books talk about "monsters under the bed" and such? Young kids like yours are not ready to be by themselves at night.

Your bed doesn't need to be on the floor, if you don't like being on the floor. If you live in a high humidity area, sometimes mattresses on the floor can mold and mildew.

Put all the mattresses up on bed frames. Bungee cord the legs of the beds together tight so there is no gaps between mattress. Scooch one edge of the bed up against the wall, and put a bed guard on the "out"side. Voila! A super-deluxe-extra-double-king bed!

Happy dreams!

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