Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Family Bed

Little B has been having trouble coping with an unwell mummy in the last few weeks. I cant run around like I used to and play soccer or chasey. I also cant lift him anymore (nor can I lift and drain a saucepan over a sink but I digress). Also the move to Granny B’s has disoriented him slightly.

This has resulted in one very unsure little boy. Little B wants his mama all the time and never wants her out of sight. He also needs a lot more physical affection and reassurance. In the most literal sense, “hand holding” or “lap sitting”.

We are an affectionate family, so this poses little problems. He is the recipient of muchos kisses, cuddles, wrestles, hand holding most of the time anyways. So to give more is no hardship :-) And since we follow attachment parenting ideas, a lap sitter or shower sharer is nothing new.

But Little B has also taken to waking up to 5 times a night. He needs mummy to hold his hand and just check she is there. So we decided to embrace the family bed. We moved 2 single beds together to make a king and we haven’t looked back.

Little B is waking less and when he does we are just there. Plus it’s nice to just roll over and give him a pat or hold his hands, rather than hauling my butt out of bed to another room. Or like last night, he sought me out during the night and slept cocooned in my arms.

I’m sure there are people who would pass judgement on this. An older relative told me to put a lock on his door and leave him to it. In contrast, a mother at kindy told she has 5 children and they all sleep in the same bedroom as her and her husband.

I’m a big believer in being there for our children when they need us. I also like the closeness of our family and Little B is also showing signs of being calmer, happier and more confident during the day time. He also loves telling people about our “bunk beds” LOL.

Obviously I wont be sick forever nor will we have a family bed forever. But I’ll keep doing whatever it takes for my little boy to be confident and happy. Like the mum at kindy I want to be open and honest about attachment parenting and our family bed. And also let people know it's normal for a child of any age to wake during the night to seek comfort. And that it's ok to comfort that child in any way that feels right to you and your family.


  1. Although I understand why some people feel the need to restrict a child's access to their bed it really amuses me when older generations draw the hard line.

    Very few of them would have been sleeping alone in a separate room and bed at the ages modern society pushes this "independence" on our children. They would have in most cases been in a basket crib, or family bed, beside their parents and when they graduated to a bed.. they were often slotting in beside a sibling and if not actually in the siblings bed at least in the same room (cause who could afford enough bedrooms for them not to share when you had 5 kids).

    We got told as we got "richer" that we can afford for all our children to have their own space and somehow that became that they had to stay in their own space.

    Kind Regards

  2. OMG. lock the door. That's going to lead to security and peace of mind as he grows. the mind boggles.
    We are trying to persuade our little lovely to stay in her own bed a little more, simply because she is such a wrigglet that we don't get any sleep when she is in with us. We get bruises. (biff! boom! Bam! Thwack!) But we have rearranged her bed and her sister's so that they are closer together, and that seems to help.
    Really. If it works for all of you, where is the problem? Give them a secure base to fly from, and they will fly when they are ready. Push them from the nest and they are quite likely to go splat! You are doing a most wonderful job.

  3. Thank you ladies - I really couldnt put it better myself!

  4. But you did. :)

    I love your comment about being there for our kids when they need us. And who knows best whether they need us or not? They do!

  5. I'd be doing exactly the same. I hope he feels settled soon. (and I hope your health is improving).

    We've had our daughter in our bed at varios stages when she's unsettled. Peoples comments about never getting them out are rediclous. As soon as she's passed her unsettled stage she's happily back in her own bed.

    There's nothing sweeter than waking up to a smile from a little one.