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If you had asked me five years ago if we would have a family bed, I would give you a weird look and try to refrain from tacky word vomit coming out of my mouth. Let’s talk about our family bed and the truth about co-sleeping with toddlers.
Our Family Bed
Those words, FAMILY BED – just seemed so weird to me. I know in other cultures, it is totally normal to have your children sleeping in the same bed with you for many years — but that has never been the case for us. We have never been big co-sleeping family bed people – until now.
Like many things I said I’d NEVER do as a parent — here we are with a family bed. It’s a non-traditional family bed, but it’s a family bed nonetheless.
Co-Sleeping with Toddlers
Our family bed doesn’t happen until 4-5 AM each morning. It’s routine. Early in the AM — our third child, Izaiah, creeps downstairs, crawls up the trunk at the end of our bed, and flops right in between my and my husband. Of course, he can’t fall asleep without stealing blankets!
We are still co-sleeping with our littlest, Zeke. So with Izaiah the toddler in bed, our king-size bed – well it’s full. 4 people. Mom, dad and 2 toddlers are all crammed in our family bed. The truth about co-sleeping with toddlers is well, at least our kids – they are the ones that sleep. Mom doesn’t get very much sleep these days. I am constantly dealing with a foot in my face or a kid drooling on me – but that’s this season, right? That’s at least what I am telling myself.
While this may seem like a bad habit for some parents (it did to me with our older kids!), the time with this child is invaluable. With my older kids, when they tried to pull this stunt, I immediately sent them back to their room. But see our third child is a wee bit, shall I say, active.
Toddler Sleep Problems
I hate labels, but the truth is that getting him to settle down for a hug and some love was something we never had in his early years. As much as I longed for this little boy to just sit and let me hold him, it didn’t happen. Even as a baby, he hated being swaddled and held. His little brother came along just 16 months after he was born, so I’ve always felt his babyhood was rushed.
On top of not liking affection, we have struggled with his sleep for years. From the first night I let him sleep in our bed, rather than carrying him up to his room, he slept soundly and peacefully and actually woke up rested. When it comes to toddler sleep problems, us mamas know what’s best. And while I am sure this routine won’t last forever – I am going to enjoy spending this time with this little guy as long as he (and my husband) will have it.
Do You Co-Sleep With Your Toddler? Do you have a family bed?
This post was originally written in 2012. We had a toddler and a baby at the time, life was absolutely crazy but good news – we survived… barely. I’ll let you know in a few years if we survive the teen years.