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#1 of 9 Old 09-28-2012, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all, I am new here. I have been looking for sleep solutions for my 2 year old for awhile now, and after realizing that my friends and family are all in the CIO camp, I realized I'm looking in the wrong crowd. So I am here, hoping to get ideas or answers on parenting in general and sleep specifically :)

 

 

DD does not sleep very well. She starts out in her crib, and although it takes her 1-2 hours to fall asleep on many nights (i hear playing, singing, some light crying) she'll wake up in  the middle of the night and come into our beds. Lately she's been feeling ill, so she's been going to bed in our bed as well, bypassing the crib. I noticed that she falls asleep better, seems more relaxed and is more happy overall. 

 

It's crossed my mind to ignore the crib altogether and just have her directly go to bed in our bed at night. My husband's concern is what will happen with our sex life. And he is right - since she's had this bad virus and been in our room, we never have privacy and haven't been intimate. I am not comfortable having sex with her in the room with us, even if she is sleeping.

 

Are there ways to make this work? 

 

Also, would you advise me to take this step, and have her officially sleep in bed with us? Or should we try to wait out the virus, and reintroduce her to her crib (which we are hoping to turn into a toddler bed sometime soon). 

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#2 of 9 Old 09-28-2012, 09:22 AM
 
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I think two excellent solutions are to either bring her into bed with you, or to get a futon on the floor of her bedroom so that one or both of you can snuggle up with her.  (I would have continued doing that if I hadn't encountered extreme difficulties with the introduction of dd2.)  Of course, if your dd doesn't mind being in the crib and sleeps better that way most of the time, then by all means reintroduce it. I think it's nice when the sleeping arrangements are not all-or-nothing and can change according to need.

 

In our house, sex life moved out of the bedroom--onto the couch or into the spare bedroom.  At this young age, the family bed was not the main reason for a compromised sexual relationship, it was sheer exhaustion.  (How do I know this?  Even when we had the time and opportunity, it still didn't happen!  Just a sad fact of being a parent of little kids.)  It's only been recently, now the girls are 7.5 and nearly 6, that our sex life has tanked, and it has little to do with the family bed, again, but the fact that the girls need far less sleep now and DH and I are not night owls.  So, we sneak out when the girls crash and (surprise!) we still have the wherewithal to haul ourselves out of bed.

 

Disclaimer and probably too much information:  I am not 100% thrilled with our sleeping arrangement.  I *love* cuddling down with my girls at night.  I am convinced that in the unfortunately competitive environment in our house, sharing the bed, cuddling and sleeping eases a great deal of pressure.  But I don't like that I have a hard time crawling out of bed in the morning without waking them up.  And I don't like that they seem to really need me there at all times (though they have no trouble whatsoever staying asleep once they get there and I can crawl out if I am not zonked myself.  That's the main problem--they take longer to fall asleep as they get older and by then I am groggy and sleepy and there goes my evening.  It was worth it were little and I could get 2 or 3 hours to veg on the couch with dh.  That hasn't been the case in over a year now.)  

 

I'm a bit resentful about this set-up, but I don't think my challenges (including sex life) are a problem of *the family bed* specifically.  I imagine families without a family bed have the same troubles, and many with one have no troubles at all.  But I just wanted to share that not all is blissful all the time.  Everything is a trade-off, and I've made the best choices I can-- the ones I can live with most peacefully.


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#3 of 9 Old 10-26-2012, 10:28 PM
 
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A large part of raising a healthy child is making sure you have a good relationship with your partner. Sacrificing sexfor the sake of bedsharing is like sacrificing water in sake of eating vegetables -- both are good (tho I personally find bedsharing creepy and overly dependent, but we are talking about you here, not me)but you need both. Here's my solution--

(Perhaps wait until LO is feeling better to try this)

Whenever you and DH are in the mood around bedtime, put LO in her crib. I know it can be hard or impossible to explain things to a toddler, but in your best soothing-mom voice, explain that you and daddy have to go do something,you'll be right back to get her and, if she wants, you'll take her to bed with you. Don't make a big deal out of it, give her noisy toy or something shiny to occupy her, then go have sexy time with your husband. If she cries, just let her be; if you're sure nothing is wrong, put on something to drown out the noise,remember that this probably won't be an all night sex marathon orgy, the likes of which have not been seen since the Caesars, but maybe 15-30 minutes . Ain't nobody got time for hour long sex sessions, there's stuff to get done.Then go grab your kid and sleep. This way, you don't let your child kick you out of your bed (world doesn't revolve around you lesson),you and your husband get the intimacy you need,she still gets to share the bed, and all she would've done is Maybe cry first less than a half hour, which, to be honest, was likely to happen no matter what you did, at some point during the day.

I'm sad sorry if my punctuation is off. I'm on my phone and it's formatting stuff wigs out sometimes and won't space or throws in an extra period. It also capitalizes random words.

Good luck.
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#4 of 9 Old 10-26-2012, 10:31 PM
 
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CRAP! no idea where "sad" came from in that last paragraph. Autocorrecting devil!
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#5 of 9 Old 10-27-2012, 08:11 AM
 
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I don't know how often you guys are intimate. DH and I are about once a week if we're lucky. What we've done is to move intimacy to the weekend: naptime! I nurse DD down, put her in the crib and we use the time she's sleeping blissfully to get it on without worrying about her walking in or being upset. I'm sure kamikazepenguin's suggestion will work for some people but I absolutely cannot relax while my DD is upset so enjoying sex would be impossible for me under those circumstances. We either use naptime on the weekend or ask Grandma to take DD to the park/library.
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#6 of 9 Old 10-27-2012, 08:47 AM
 
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Well, you don't have to take my advice, as I'm not even with my kids' father anymore...but this is what we did...

 

We had the bedroom and the living room set-up for sleepy times, most nights.  Wherever and whenever the kids went to sleep we would then go to the other room to "get it on".  If they wake up...get on the floor, tell them you're right there you just need to meditate for awhile...tell them to go back to sleep and you'll get back in bed with them soon...this might be difficult for them to understand at first, but trust me, they will get used to it.

 

So you have a transitional spot, you go in steps, from the bed, to the floor, to the other room.  Bathrooms can also be nice and naps or times when they are out during the day...as well as every now and then actually planning some personal time in advance...like an at-home "date night".  We were known to also sometimes put on something really special like a movie and say that we were really busy...this usually worked, but I guess it wouldn't really work for a 2 year old...

 

Hammocks can also be nice, if you think your dd can handle it, because they sorta rock them back to sleep and makes them feel like you're still there when you might not be. 

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#7 of 9 Old 10-31-2012, 01:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamikazePenguin View Post

A large part of raising a healthy child is making sure you have a good relationship with your partner. Sacrificing sexfor the sake of bedsharing is like sacrificing water in sake of eating vegetables -- both are good (tho I personally find bedsharing creepy and overly dependent, but we are talking about you here, not me)but you need both. Here's my solution--
(Perhaps wait until LO is feeling better to try this)
Whenever you and DH are in the mood around bedtime, put LO in her crib. I know it can be hard or impossible to explain things to a toddler, but in your best soothing-mom voice, explain that you and daddy have to go do something,you'll be right back to get her and, if she wants, you'll take her to bed with you. Don't make a big deal out of it, give her noisy toy or something shiny to occupy her, then go have sexy time with your husband. If she cries, just let her be; if you're sure nothing is wrong, put on something to drown out the noise,remember that this probably won't be an all night sex marathon orgy, the likes of which have not been seen since the Caesars, but maybe 15-30 minutes . Ain't nobody got time for hour long sex sessions, there's stuff to get done.Then go grab your kid and sleep. This way, you don't let your child kick you out of your bed (world doesn't revolve around you lesson),you and your husband get the intimacy you need,she still gets to share the bed, and all she would've done is Maybe cry first less than a half hour, which, to be honest, was likely to happen no matter what you did, at some point during the day.
I'm sad sorry if my punctuation is off. I'm on my phone and it's formatting stuff wigs out sometimes and won't space or throws in an extra period. It also capitalizes random words.
Good luck.

 

Ugh, I just find this whole post so disturbing. Firstly, a 2 yo is MEANT to be dependent on you. Because they are still babies. If they weren't dependent on you they would die. It's developmentally appropriate. Secondly, I think it's important to have consistency at bedtime so just deciding to put her in her crib because you feel like having sex is going to be incredibly unsettling for her. Thirdly, I would be surprised if ANY parent would feel like having sex with their child crying. I can not imagine feeling sexy and turned on while hearing my child crying in the next room. Finally, it would be a very rare occasion for either of my kids to cry for half an hour straight in a day. Definitely not at 2 yo.

 

OP, sex can always be had in places that aren't the bedroom. I'm not a hardcore co-sleeper. I think that you should do what works for your family but don't let the only reason you don't do it because of your sex life. My kids slept in a cot until they were around 9 months old when they both seemed to need the comfort of co-sleeping, they pretty much slept with me until a year ago when my oldest was 6 yo and my youngest was 3 yo. Mainly because I was at a point where I wanted my bed back and I wanted to be able to go to sleep by myself at night. Anyway, all that is to say, you can still have sex, it just might have to be in the spare room, on the couch or the living room floor.


It's complicated.
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#8 of 9 Old 10-31-2012, 02:05 PM
 
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Well...hmmm.
We bed share. We love it. We have a sex life.

I don't think bed sharing or cosleeping (a second bed in the room) is detrimental to the healthy development of a toddler. We also use a sibling bed and find it very helpful. I think sleep arrangements are as varied as there are families.

When moving her out of your room, you are looking for, what we call, a push for independence. They happen all the time and when you aren't working on the six billion other things (potty training, tooth brushing, self dressing, ect) this is something to slip in. But I think it is most successful when it's their idea and it all feels like Inception (if it were a family sitcom on prime time).

But sex? Well. First off it is important to have a conversation about what aspects of intimacy you are looking for. At the risk of sounding crass, I want holding, kissing, heavy petting, massage...my husband...well, he wants to be a cowboy without feeling like he's in a rodeo (ya know, 8 seconds and you're done). But also keeping in mind at this stage, things don't have the pageantry...don't have the thrill...and tends to fall into a pattern...kinda drab. and...we redefine what erotic means.

Knowing this, it is all broken up...that which we can do in bed, like cuddling we do. So it then becomes a late night game of bed Tetris. And then cuddles away. As far as the deed, well, this requires creativity and a schedule with dash of spontinaity. We have agreed three times a month is a minimum. So if the end of the hits...we do it like paying bills. But for the most part...it's a different room in the house...folding sheets in the laundry room becomes erotic...we practice "water conservation" in the shower. The couch and living room floor are very fun...when my husband makes a big deal about the kids picking up toys off the floor I get giddy. When I mop the kitchen floor my husband gives long glances over the dinner table. Not to mention, I am not above using a special battery operated toy or tv or something Asa babysitter while we get crazy in the bedroom on a Saturday morning to play in the bedroom on the day we change the sheets. We are also clothing optional and dress in front of our children often so if they walking in after and we are standing naked it isn't as awkward. And grrrl, don't get me started on what we can during nap time on the weekends!

I guess what I'm trying to say...take it out of the bedroom, have a talk about what aspects are important (and come back to it often) in order to create an efficient working system, and consider breaking it up into sections to fit more intimacy into your life.

My husband said something interesting...I don't necessarily want more sex but I want the sex we have to be more meaningful.

I will also saying...I love my kids and I love this age...but the are soul draining monsters. You are just starting to look like a real family...like on tv! With real food, and routine, and normal looking activities...it's easy to think this part of your life should also look normal again...nope...just another year...year and a half...(unless you go for another baby!) it'll happen and until then just get by with basics. ^_^
Hope this helps.

I should also add we try to use a sheet or something to cover us a little. And yes! We have been busted. While we usually hear them right before they come in...there have been surprises. We have found that disconnecting quickly but subtly really makes the difference as well as asking the first question in a nice friendly voice, "what do you need, pumpkin?" When asked what we are doing it ranges from tickling to fooling around to trying to get comfy as well as special snuggles. When they want to be part of the party I usually wrap myself up in the sheet (get some underpants on) while my husband ducks out and I tickle and coo and cuddle then my husband comes back with underwear on and we take the time to cuddle with them if they want but over all we try to move away from the situation without bringing attention to it. My four year old is starting to realize it is different then what we do with them and I make sure to point out it is. I explain that it is special kind of cuddles that couples like moms and dads or moms and moms or dads and dads do and just like dad never nurses, kids don't have that kind of special cuddles with me or dad. My daughter (2) became jealous by it and we now have special cuddles with each, like she sits with her back to my belly while I lay on my side. 

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#9 of 9 Old 12-10-2012, 05:32 PM
 
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Aww.... special cuddles! I love that idea. But don't mind me... I'm just browsing for inspiration before I commit myself to convincing my SO that co-sleeping is a good idea. 


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