Family bed - how old is too old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 07-09-2013, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you think there's an age where kids are too old for the family bed? Is there an age where it keeps them from becoming independent? Is there an age where it becomes inappropriate?

I am not personally concerned about independence. I think kids become comfortable in being independent by being allowed to step into independence when they want to and being secure in the fact that it was their choice and that I was there for them while they were independent. So far, I have two pretty independent kids. I started transitioning my older one to her own room at 3, but really she was in my room on and off till she was 7. I did leave it up to her.

I'm not sure how I feel about having postpubescent kids in a family bed. I guess it depends on whether beds seem inherently sexual to you, but I guess I'd question that. They're primarily for sleep. But that seems more potentially controversial anyway.

What about a teen, or college aged kid?

What do you think?
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#2 of 21 Old 07-09-2013, 03:45 PM
 
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Do you think there's an age where kids are too old for the family bed? Is there an age where it keeps them from becoming independent? Is there an age where it becomes inappropriate?

 


I think they are too old to be in the family bed when they want to sleep in their own space. It keeps them from becoming independent when they express their desire not to sleep with the parents and the parents wouldn't allow them.

 

As with anything AP, I think that the key is being in tune with the child's needs.

 

I'm willing to bet that a college-aged kid would not want to be anywhere near a family bed (unless they are the parent, at that point).


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#3 of 21 Old 07-15-2013, 11:03 AM
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I think it really depends on the child/children and the family situation. Personally, I don't have a problem with a teen sleeping in a family bed. I do wonder how CPS would view it.

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#4 of 21 Old 07-15-2013, 11:07 AM
 
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It would really depend on a lot of different factors, I can't make a blanket statement about how old is too old.

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#5 of 21 Old 07-16-2013, 11:31 AM
 
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This is an interesting question. I was raised AP but conservatively religious. We slept with our parent(s) as babies and were weaned and moved out when the next pregnancy came. My younger sister was the last child before my parents divorced and stayed in my Mom's bed longer than she wanted to. She felt guilty about expressing her desire to leave. I think my mom was ready for her to be in her own bed, too. She was just waiting for her to ask. Lol. Eventually (I think at 8) she moved into a bed in the nursery attached to my mom's room. Two years later my mom had my youngest sister, who has congenital cerebral palsy. She is 11 and still bedsharing 95% of the time, but mentally she is closer to a 3 or 4 year old and probably always will be. I remember when I was entering into adolescence wondering if I was too old to have sleepovers with my friends. It seemed weird, especially if we were sharing a bed. Also, one time our car broke down on our way back from a vacation and we had to get a motel room. I slept in bed with my grandma and it was weird for me. To get to the point, I think that children are very unlikely to desire to bedshare with parents beyond a certain age, barring some extreme need.

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#6 of 21 Old 07-21-2013, 07:14 PM
 
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My experience being raised in a large AP family (although it wasn't called AP then...)

 

All five of us kids slept in our parents' room off and on until we were 7.  Usually around age 3-4, whenever the next baby came along, we would move from the bed to a pallet on the floor.  It's funny that I see the OP mentioning age 7 again - I've talked to several friends who were also raised with a family bed, and across the board, everyone said they slept in the room/bed with the parents until they were 7.  7 is also an important developmental leap in the Steiner/Waldorf philosophy.  

 

I guess I would think it was strange if a 13 year old was wanting to sleep in the family bed full time.  At that stage of development I'd expect a big shift away from the parents...but that could be cultural bias talking.  I would think it was odd, but not unhealthy.  When we went on vacations or camping, none of us ever felt it was strange to bed share.  I know that when my mom visits my 22 year old sister in NYC that they share a bed, rather than one of them sleeping on the couch.

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#7 of 21 Old 07-22-2013, 02:04 PM
 
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Interesting about age 7...which is the approximate dividing line between two of Piaget's stages of cognitive development, too, and is also the age at which my child finally accepted being left alone in bed when he was not yet asleep.  We had the family bed in his room--that is, I slept in his bed to nurse him during the night, but as he got older I gradually spent more of the night with my partner in the master bedroom, so we never had to transition the kid out of our bed into his.  But we did lie next to him until he fell asleep, every night.  We started trying to transition out of that when he was 5, but he would not get to sleep for hours and kept getting up again, crying, etc.  It was not until he was 7 that I was able to tell him firmly that he would be able to go to sleep on his own and it would be okay, and he cooperated well enough to find out that it did work.  Now he is 8 and only asks to have a parent sleep with him if he is sick or very upset.  Saturday when I was sleeping late, he came in and slept next to me for a little while, but that's unusual.

 

My parents did not do much co-sleeping, but when I started junior high and had to get up an hour and a half earlier (at the same time as my dad) the same year my mom started a job with a lot of travel, we developed a routine where I would come in and lie next to my dad (not touching) after my alarm went off and we'd listen to the radio together for a little while.  It was a nice transition into getting up earlier than we wanted to, and I don't think I was "too old" for it.

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#8 of 21 Old 07-25-2013, 07:51 AM
 
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I think they are too old to be in the family bed when they want to sleep in their own space. It keeps them from becoming independent when they express their desire not to sleep with the parents and the parents wouldn't allow them.

 

As with anything AP, I think that the key is being in tune with the child's needs.

 

I'm willing to bet that a college-aged kid would not want to be anywhere near a family bed (unless they are the parent, at that point).


truedat.gif  I think that's the key. If the child still enjoys the family bed or sleeping in the same room (our son has a twin bed next to ours) and it's working for the family then everything is fine. I think it goes against AP and the natural flow of things to force it. I know our son would be upset if we stopped but he's a sensitive kid. His sister, only 2.5 yrs right now, is a different child and she may chose to sleep on her own much sooner than he has.


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#9 of 21 Old 08-27-2013, 11:03 AM
 
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I'll share. I slept with my kids until they were grown and left home. Bed was a place for the family to sleep. My husband and I had another room, another bed, for talking privately and lovemaking. I have a boy and a  girl and we all slept where we wanted to, and they have no issues that I know of! They also had their own beds to sleep in if they wanted privacy, but mostly we all slept together. Just saying.

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#10 of 21 Old 08-28-2013, 08:22 AM
 
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My parents only co-slept with us kids as babies.  So... I asked a friend who was raised classic family bed.  8 kids in the family... and it was pure convenience/opinion/whatever when the kids moved out.  She said they were all in their own beds by about 8, but some moved out earlier than others for all sorts of different reasons.  She says if she had to give a single answer, the needs of the individuals and family were always considered.

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#11 of 21 Old 08-28-2013, 09:20 AM
 
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Cynthia- :)  I think cps frowns on everything not "mainstream".  

 

Envirobecca-thanks for bringing up Piaget-something new to look at. 

 

 My 6yr old sleeps in our room 90% of the time, either in bed or I made a pallet for them.  The 8yr old is off/on.  I felt so pressured with both, to move them to their own room at 1, that I have to reassure the older that it's ok to sleep in our room. So not letting him sleep there/greatly encouraging him to stay in his room has caused him some type of issue-trust? sleep?  I'm not sure.  The 6yr old started sleeping in there most of the time when he was 4 and I went back to work pt.  With baby coming, I think both will be in there, just to be close and not feel left out. 

  Both are independent.  I don't think sleeping together has caused any problems.  I don't think it's effected our marriage negatively, since we always went to bed different times/fell asleep on couch etc.

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#12 of 21 Old 08-31-2013, 07:33 AM
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Cynthia- :)  I think cps frowns on everything not "mainstream".  

 

 

I'm sure that's true in the US and perhaps other countries. It's a shame. It is very cultural for some other parts of the world. In fact, a single sleeping room for the whole family is not uncommon, though it is becoming less so as people "modernize" their ways of living. 

 

Something interesting in Islamic culture regarding co-sleeping - after puberty divisions in sleeping should be done with separate bedding. Sleep in the same room but everyone has their own bedding. I don't know that separate beds are required but definitely separate sheets and covers. 

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#13 of 21 Old 09-01-2013, 05:07 PM
 
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That is so interesting about the bedding! I am a CASA (court-appointed special advocate) for children in foster care. I do remember a CPS case where a child was removed from his mother because she slept with him. Crazy stuff!! Many of the children I deal with live with grandparents or other family members. I recommend co-sleeping for little ones who have been removed from their moms. They've been through enough trauma. Why make them be alone at night? I've also asked that a foster mom put a cot in a child's room to be there when she was having nightmares.
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#14 of 21 Old 09-09-2013, 10:41 PM
 
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We play musical beds in our house. Everyone is always cuddled up to someone, no big whoop. I am fine with it for however long it happens.

 

Growing up I always slept in bed with my mom when my Dad was out of town. I guess that's not the same as having a family-bed, but kind of.  Even now as an adult I'd be happy to snuggle up in bed with mom if an opportunity presented itself.

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#15 of 21 Old 09-15-2013, 05:59 PM
 
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I think it depends if the bedsharing is full-time/part time. When my husband was out of town last month DD and I stayed at my parents house. They don't have a guest room so we both slept in bed with my mom but kicked my dad to the couch lol. I'm 25. I also remember being a teenager... somewhere between 14-17 and had a horrible migraine. I went into my parents room and slept in bed with them. I think my dad was kicked out of the room then too but can't remember.

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#16 of 21 Old 09-16-2013, 12:51 PM
 
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My parents were divorced for as long as I can remember. My dad had a small apartment and I slept in the same bed as him because it was easier on space for him. When I had sleepovers with friends at his house, he'd have a temporary bed sort of thing in another room.

 

When I was a pre-teen, not sure the exact age, maybe by 11, mom told him I was too old for that and so he got me a bed. It wasn't a big deal for me either way. I don't know how I would have felt as a teenager.


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#17 of 21 Old 09-17-2013, 02:39 PM
 
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I slept in my parents bed until age 5. My 3.5 year old is still happily in my bed and #2 will join soon (with the appropriate precautions of course). Eventually, I want the two girls to share a room and I have no issues if that means they prefer to sleep in the same bed since my sister and I chose to share a bed until I was 16ish and got too cool for it. Really, I think families should snuggle more and worry less. The only people who think it's weird are the people who have weird thoughts in general IMO.
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#18 of 21 Old 09-17-2013, 08:17 PM
 
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I'll share. I slept with my kids until they were grown and left home. Bed was a place for the family to sleep. My husband and I had another room, another bed, for talking privately and lovemaking. I have a boy and a  girl and we all slept where we wanted to, and they have no issues that I know of! They also had their own beds to sleep in if they wanted privacy, but mostly we all slept together. Just saying.

This is exactly how my family was growing up. And neither my sister, nor I have any issues or problems as adults. And we are both very independent. We were always allowed to sleep in our own rooms if we desired, we just usually didn't want to. And I remember coming home to visit from college and waking up early and going in to snuggle with my family. And as adults we have often bed shared in hotels while on family trips.
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#19 of 21 Old 09-17-2013, 09:32 PM
 
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My friend would take naps with her parents until she moved out of the house, and the only reason she moved was because she got married, so early 20's.  I don't think adults in bed equals sex.

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#20 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 09:08 AM
 
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My daughter moved into her own bed in her own room about a year ago at age 8. She wanted to before then but didn't feel able to because of a complicated living arrangement/room sharing situation. (She only had to wait a few months.) I sometimes worried she'd never be ready to sleep on her own, but she decided on her own she wanted her own space at night on her own schedule.
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#21 of 21 Old 09-29-2013, 06:50 PM
 
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My just turned 6 year old girl is still in my bed...she has no plans of sleeping in her own bed anytime soon either...That is what she tells me when we talk about it anyways...LOL My son slept with me until he was a bit over 5 also....

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Family Bed , Family Sleeping Configurations , Co Sleeping With Older Kids , Co Sleeping And The Family Bed

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