By sandi | March 26, 2008
I have always been a long time proponent of co-sleeping. I believe that it strengthens the bonds of parent and child. I also think that it sends a clear message to your children that you are there for them day or night, no matter how small the need. Ever since Annie and Kimberly were born we have co-slept with the kids. It has lead to more rest for our family which often is worth it’s weight in gold.
For the longest time Kimberly was our big hold out on co-cleeping. Every night she would climb into our bed quiet as a mouse and we would all sleep through it. Only knowing she was there when we awoke to her sweet face smiling back at us. Recently when Madeline was sick with influenza she grew attached to sleeping curled up next to me. She needed me to keep her elevated during that time and I liked having her near me so I could ensure her seizures never got out of control. Annie only comes in very rarely. She sleeps like a rock, just like her Mommy. When she goes to bed for the night you will often find her in the exact position she was in when she fell to sleep. So walking around in the night is not something she does often.
Unfortunately, lately it has been getting a bit out of hand. Picture the Napping House by Audrey Wood and you have it about right, except that we aren’t getting as much sleep.
I would like to continue to have a family bed but it must be unser the pretense that we all will be getting sleep. Often Mimi comes in and tries to fight with Kimmie over space rights. Annie comes in wide awake because once you wake her from her slumber she is up for a bit so she starts playing with the cats. Kimberly isn’t the tiny peanut she was before and so she is taking up more and more room of the bed. So you have all five Browns squeezed onto one king size bed. Often Bill is hanging off one end of the bed and during the night I have resigned myself and gone to sleep in Annie or Kimberly’s beds. (Their beds are far more comfy than mine anyhow and there is nobody in there.)
We have had talks with them about when Salty comes that they will have to share space with him. Unfortunately, they behaved like wild grizzlys defending their territory at the mention of this and made it seem like he would have to fend for himself. We have let them know in no uncertain terms that that is not acceptable to us. Salty will have a chance to bond through co-sleeping.
I cannot imagine banning them from our bedroom at night so we will not be doing that. We do however, have to keep thinking of a way to improve this situation. We all need our rest and the current arrangement is not providing that. I am sure it is a stage and will work it’s way out. I will certainly be thinking of ways to help the stage leave.
**ETA: Last night was perfect. Some kids came into our bed but everyone slept. Hooray!