There’s a man in my bed.

by mssinglemama on January 19, 2009

But it’s not what you think.

I’m taking a self-imposed man break (in case you hadn’t noticed) and Benjamin has subsequently ended up in my bed. It’s a long story, read about it here – please – I really need advice on the co-sleeping thing. As single parents, I imagine, we have an entirely different take on the issue. 

And I’m not sure how long it will be before I start dating again but right now I just need to chill, re-group and get ready for the next round.  

—–

Not sure what is going on with Benjamin’s father.

He claims what I heard is a complete lie. But I know it can’t be. The pieces to the story, like Canada and the new car, were facts my friend had no way of knowing about. So… now I’m just waiting (as usual) and coming to terms with the fact that this entire situation is out of my control.

I’ve also put a call in to my lawyer — just to be safe.

Related posts:

  1. Daddy is coming back.
  2. Reality.
  3. When is daddy going to bail?
  4. Bye, Bye Daddy?

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Christopher January 19, 2009 at 6:11 pm

My wife and I were going through a divorce last summer (subsequenlty re-united) and during that time I would sleep in the same bed as my son, Ben, the days I had him and his sister. It was comforting to be that close him. To be honest, I wouldn’t have cared what any psychologicial study would have said, I just wanted to be near him, as if it could somehow make up for the time we were apart.

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Alexis January 19, 2009 at 6:26 pm

The scene you just desrcibed with holding the door, I just went through myself a few weeks ago…I felt awful. I had to do it so my little guy would learn how to fall asleep in his new toddler bed by himself- cause I really do need the 11/2 hrs. after he goes to sleep to mentally regroup for the next day.. I put the bed up because he wouldn’t stop jumping out of his crib- the time came. I did get him to finally go to sleep in his bed by himself, but he comes into mine every night around 1am….I can’t stop him I decided and nor do I want to. And sometimes he does fall asleep in “mama’s bed”. I have all the same questions you do so I am thankful to read whatever comments come in.

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jen January 19, 2009 at 6:30 pm

I’m not a co-sleeper that’s for sure. When he was younger he was awful to sleep with. I couldn’t get to sleep and then I was scared to move in the morning incase I woke him up as he was such an early riser and any sleep-in he did I relished.

Nowadays if I have to sleep with him, like we did when on holidays, I don’t mind so much.

Because I am a sole parent, and have always been, I’ve always been quite strict about him going to sleep, and sleeping in his own bed so I can have my own time for my sanity.

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Sarah January 19, 2009 at 6:35 pm

We’ve had our son in our bed since he was born. I mainly did it because I felt guilty about going back to work when he was 4 weeks old, and thought that would help us bond. It did. However….

I really wish he was in his own bed, in his own room. He doesn’t have his own room, due to financial issues, and has a little mattress set up in our room that is supposed to be his bed. He falls asleep in it sometimes, or is placed there, but without fail will wake up in a few hours and get in our bed.

I don’t mind having him in bed with us, or me, when dh is gone. However, I do wish my bedtime wasn’t tied to his. When he wakes up and I’m not there, he gets very upset.

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melanie @ don't expect much January 19, 2009 at 6:43 pm

My girls often end up in my bed at night but I’ve always thought it was rather important that they start out the evening in their own beds… it teaches them how to fall asleep on their own… something as a freshly divorced single parent, I needed to relearn too to make sure my next relationship wasn’t simply “filling the void”… ;) If the girls end up in my bed late at night… so be it…

However, one or two nights out of the month I designate as “sleepover” night and the girls bring their sleeping bags and sleep on the floor… great fun!

It’s a transition, for sure… You seem to be doing great! Keep it up!

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movin' down the road January 19, 2009 at 6:53 pm

I have friends who co-sleep with the kids because it gives the parent comfort. Or gives them comfort that they comfort their children. For me, I spent a long time with my oldest showing up at my bedside every night around 2am. She’d even crawl in. I;d wake up, hug her, ask her if she needed anything and then walk her back to her bed and comfort her again and then go back to my bed. She no longer comes in unless she has a bad dream. But it was a long long time. I have friends who have had their kids in bed with them since they were little and are still, at age 14. For me, it kept me up, she wouldn’t have slept well and I wanted to train her to sleep through the night without getting up and automatically coming to my room. (unless there was a real problem, of course)

it really depends on what you want. If you like it and if you sleep well with him in there. But have a plan for when the man comes along who is going to stay.

By the way, I linked you on my most recent post (titled “Ann Coulter is an asshole”. Ha.

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cyndi January 19, 2009 at 7:00 pm

I did a long post back in October about evicting the N-man from my bed. It lasted a month and he was right back there again. I hate it. But I’m too much of a wimp to evict him again.

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kristen January 19, 2009 at 7:15 pm

I am a single mom and my son started sleeping with me when he was about 7 months. He is almost 4 years now and still joins me every night sometime after I go to bed. We have had all kinds of situations over the last few years: I lie down with him in my bed to get him to sleep, I lie down with him in his bed, I even sat on his floor for almost a year to get him to fall asleep on his own. The supernanny trick of inching out of the room never worked. He now goes to bed, in his own bed, quite easily. I don’t mind at all that he joins me at night. We sleep quite well together and I can get him to sleep in on the weekends if he is with me. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty. As long as it works for you, go with it. As soon as it doesn’t, change it. It will not hurt him.

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Mama Crazy January 19, 2009 at 8:10 pm

I so wish I could be home at night to have the option to co-sleep. I work nights because I’m a single mom and can’t afford daycare (What’s child -support? Her donor won’t even speak to me!).

Anyway – I think that as long as you’re both ok with it it should be fine! I would so love to co-sleep with my little one – but she doesn’t like to cuddle. If she’s in my room with me on the weekends and she falls asleep, I leave her be and sleep better than I do when she’s not in my bed.

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Wondermom January 19, 2009 at 8:29 pm

When I was pregnant with Squirt, I was adamantly opposed to cosleeping for a lot of reasons. (Ah…remember back in the day when you didn’t have kids and knew EVERYTHING about parenting?) When he was born, he nursed literally every 1-1.5 hours around the clock. You could starve him for 4 hours, but when the time came, he’d nurse just enough and stop, then be hungry again an hour later. I went back to work full time when he was 6 weeks old and I was miserable. When he was about 4 months old, he fell asleep on our bed one evening while we were watching TV. When we got ready to go to sleep, I started to move him and Ex said just to leave him there because I knew he’d be up soon anyway. Next morning, when I woke up, he was still right there beside me and it was the best night’s sleep I’d ever had! At that point, Ex was all for it so he started sleeping with us all the time. After a while, Ex got tired of it so I told him if he wanted to help with the nighttime care, he could put him down where he wanted, as long as I was doing it all, I’d put him where it was easiest for me. That was the end of it…he was in our bed for good. When I got pregnant with Pork Chop, people started telling me I needed to put Squirt in his own bed but as the oldest child myself, I refused to kick him out in favor of the new baby. I took one rail off the crib and put it next to my bed as a sidecar so that the new baby could sleep there and Squirt could keep his place in our bed. There was just one problem, when Pork Chop was born, he refused to sleep with us! I’m not kidding, if I fell asleep nursing him, he’d nurse till he was done and then kick and fuss until I put him in the bassinet! It was crazy. When he was a few months old, he started waking up cranky during the night so my mother suggested that I try putting the crib back in his room and putting him in there. Sure enough, every night, he’d nurse and snuggle till he was done then reach for the crib and sleep through the night. Meanwhile, Squirt was still in our bed. Different kids, different needs. Once Pork Chop was about a year old, he started figuring out that something was up. At bedtime, he got dropped in his bed alone but brother went to bed with Mommy. At that point I tried again bringing him into our bed but he wouldn’t sleep that way so I decided to try putting Squirt in a big boy bed in their room. For a while, I had to lay down with him every night and then sneak out, but we did eventually get to the point where I could just tuck him in and leave. Some nights he woke up in the night and climbed in my bed, sometimes he slept through. When their dad moved out, he started begging to sleep with me again. The first night I let him, but after that, I went back to laying down with him for a little while and then leaving.

Now Squirt’s 4.5 and most of the time goes to bed on his own. Most of the time (read: always!) he comes in the middle of the night and gets in my bed. Pork Chop is 2.5 and goes to bed on his own and if he wakes up during the night, we play it by ear. Sometimes I’ll soothe him and put him back in his own bed, other times I just bring him into my bed. I’m fine with that situation and so are the boys.

The only way for me to break Squirt from getting in my bed during the night would be for me to sit up all night and fight with him. Believe me, I’ve tried. When he wakes, I’ll take him back to his bed (with him fighting and crying the whole way) and sit with him till he falls asleep. He wakes up again an hour later, rinse and repeat, except that he gets a little more upset each time. It’s not worth it for me. Our routine works for us so I don’t see a problem with it.

I will say that with Squirt, there have been definite windows of opportunity where it was easier to make a change than others. There were times even when he was a baby when I could try to put him in the crib and he’d immediately just freak out. If I backed off and waited a couple of weeks to try again, he might go down more easily the next time. Even now, there are times when I still have to sit with him, and if we get back into that routine, I have to wait for one of those windows of opportunity to break the habit.

I don’t think cosleeping creates children who can’t go to sleep on their own or forms unhealthy relationships or anything like that. I think that every child is different and has different needs so you have to do what works for you. Squirt is not a good sleeper…he wasn’t from the day he was born and nothing I could have done would have changed that. But he does sleep a whole lot better with someone nearby. Pork Chop is a good sleeper and always has been…he slept 13 hours straight the day he was born. I didn’t make him that way…it’s just the way he is. I didn’t do anything different with the two of them. I tried and tried to get Pork Chop to cosleep but he just never wanted to.

I have read research that shows that very young babies have a better time regulating their body temp and breathing when they’re in close proximity to their mother. The baby bases his body temp and breathing on the mother’s. Maybe that’s why they sleep better being held. And maybe, some children, like Squirt, need that a little more than others. Or maybe it’s because Squirt was so active during the day, he never liked to be held, so he got his lovin’ while he slept. Pork Chop wanted to be held CONSTANTLY when he was awake, but wanted space to sleep. And I can tell now that when Pork Chop is not getting as much attention and affection as he wants during the day, he’s more likely to wake up during the night and want to be held for a while.

Sorry to write a book…it boils down to trusting your gut and doing what works for you and Ben.

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Leah January 19, 2009 at 8:55 pm

I so relate, Mama. We have done the co-sleeping thing since birth – I’m into attachment parenting so it just seemed the natural thing to do. He never had a crib. A little ashamed to say that the only reason I got Sami out of my bed at all was because I had a new boyfriend who put his foot down and kind of pressured me into it. So I very slowly, using the techniques in the Good Night Sleep Tight book, got him to fall sleep in his own bed. This took like 2 months. Now he does fall asleep in his own bed, but consistently wakes up in the middle of the night and come into my bed. I like the previous poster am way to exhausted to try to deal with it.

Like so many other things in parenting, it’s an individual choice.

If you’re ready to do the transition, there are lots of gentle ways to do it other than cry it out. But you do have to be prepared for some exhaustion, especially if you want to tackle the middle of the night wakings.

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Ria January 19, 2009 at 9:46 pm

I agree with Christopher. I have my kids 50% of the time and when they are with me, we all sleep in one bed. Like you, since birth they have always slept in their own beds but now, I want them close and I think they need it too.

Dating really isn’t an issue right now and I figure if I am dating, I wouldn’t be doing it on the nights that the kids are over anyway.

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Jennifer January 19, 2009 at 9:59 pm

I’ve co-slept with my son since he was 3 mos old, and we still do @ 2.5, as we’re in a 1 bedroom apt now. We had a 2 bedroom but he ended up coming to my room in the middle of the night, which was more disruptive to my sleep than just having him there when I go to bed.

He does have a toddler bed (covered in stuff right now) that I can put him in, as well as my queen in the same room. But I don’t plan on breaking this habit of cosleeping until it becomes a problem or he doesn’t want to. It’s not because I need a body next to me, I’m fine in the bed alone when he’s with his dad. It’s just how it’s always been.

Dating or not, it’s just the way we do it and I could care less what people say to me about cosleeping. I obviously would not have a new bf in my bed while my son is in bed with me, but I’m not even in that realm yet either. Pull out couch maybe?

Honestly, the only issue we have is that my son thinks I should go to bed the same time as him. But my friends with kids at about the same age are coping with sleep issues as well, so it’s not just the cosleeping thing! I don’t know, it’s just not a big issue to me.

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Sheila January 19, 2009 at 10:02 pm

My little guy co-sleeps most nights. I put him to sleep in his crib and when he wakes up in the middle of the night, I put him in bed with me. To be honest, I have no intention of stopping this anytime soon because it allows me to get a decent nights sleep. Selfish reason, but it works and I do think my son and I have a closer bond becasue of this.

Ok, so that was no help, but just letting you know you’re not alone!

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yvonne January 19, 2009 at 10:45 pm

There was a point when I co-slept with both my kids. My daughter was a newborn and nursing and my then 3 yr old was going through alot of transitions at the time (divorce, new baby, abandonment) so I let them both sleep with me. Luckily I have a king size bed so it was not that bad. I co-slept with them not only to make them feel safe and secure but it made me feel safe and secure too.

Now my son is four 1/2 and after establishing a consistent bedtime routine he sleeps in his own room. It helped that he got all new “big boy” furniture and decor, so that helped ease the transition. Now I have finally weaned my daughter from nursing and I am ready to have her sleep in her own room. It has proven to be difficult so as of now she has her toddler bed next to mine. She wakes up around 3 am and climbs into my bed every night. As much as I want to put her back in her bed, I still love sleeping with her so I just let her snuggle up next to me. At some point I know this needs to stop but as of right now I at least get several hours of decent sleep.

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MommaMac January 19, 2009 at 10:53 pm

The reason I upgraded to a king size bed when the ex was out of the picture was so the little leopards could sleep in my bed and we wouldn’t be crowded. He was adamantly opposed to co-sleeping.

At first, considering everything that happened in our marriage the girls were with me almost every night. Especially my youngest. As we’ve moved away from the separation they’ve gotten used to sleeping in their own beds.

My youngest is the best. My oldest will come get me every once in awhile in the middle of the night and crawl into bed. It’s so sweet to wake up to one of my gorgeous little babies right next to me!

They go through phases. I get the youngest most often when she is sick and then she starts out in my bed. The girls share a room, so there really isn’t any incentive to co-sleep long term (for them). I can always tell when my oldest has stress because she crawls into bed more often.

I don’t see any problem with co-sleeping. I think children go through phases, however long or short they may be and Benjamin will find his own way back to his bed when he is ready.

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badmuthablogger January 19, 2009 at 10:53 pm

I’ve been co-sleeping with bunny since birth – he’s now 10 months old. I never intended to co-sleep, It just sort of happened. I’d never even heard of co-sleeping before I had a baby. But it just felt right to have him next to me. It was easier nursing at night, and I couldn’t imagine putting him in a crib in another room.

Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of research on the subject, and it turns out that co-sleeping is practised in almost all cultures except for ours. It’s totally normal and totally natural. Even in our culture up until recently (150 years ago) co-sleeping was standard practice for children as old as 9 or 10 years.

There is a ton of research that demonstrates the physical and psychological benefits of co-sleeping with your child / children. There are a lot of myths about safety out there, and a lot of myths about creating unhealthy dependencies in our children. The way I see it, our culture has deviated from the norm in it’s childrearing practices, and that has a lot to do with the way our culture is so messed up. We’re disconnected from nature and we’re disconnected from each other. I want my bunny to be connected to life.

Mothering magazine just published a couple of great features in their latest issue (Jan / Feb 2009) on co-sleeping. I highly recommend you get a copy and read it.

Of course, it’s all down to personal choice. if you have a partner (which I don’t) then you have to consider them in the process too. As for dating, it will be a LONG time before I let a man into my bed. I’d want to know that he’s going to be around for the long haul first, and after that we can work around the bunny’s sleep habits.

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Kati January 20, 2009 at 8:56 am

My son has always been really good when it comes to sleeping in his own bed. i never had issues when transitioning from the crib and then from the toddler bed to the twin bed. Now all of a sudden he gets in my bed every single night and I just let him. I try to put him back a few times then give up because I am tired and just want to sleep. I decided not to stress about it. I sort of like him right by me. He is almost 3. I figure I will get him back in his bed before long. I don’t know any 15 year olds that still sleep with their mothers so no worries!

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Roads January 20, 2009 at 9:53 am

Sometimes it seems like a problem, but all kids do it sometime. When they go through this phase, it can seem to last for ages. But he won’t be doing it when he’s 25, so I don’t think you need to worry — enjoy it while it lasts.

Best wishes from London. And spirits up.

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mssinglemama January 20, 2009 at 11:34 am

Can I just say that everyone’s names for their children are cracking me up.

I love Leopards, and Bunny… and thanks so much for these stories. I figured as much. I really enjoy the co-sleeping thing… it’s just SO much fun to wake up with him smiling next to me, that’s the best part.

The other morning he actually kissed me awake.

Thanks so much everyone, as always, you guys ROCK. I guess I’ll just figure it out as I go, along with everything else.

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Christine January 20, 2009 at 11:41 am

Mine goes down for the night in his own bed but at least 2-3 times a week, comes in my bed in the middle of the night. I had been told by numerous friends to never let your child sleep with you because it will never end. I don’t see it lasting forever, so what’s the harm? It’s just me in the bed anyway.

I know your situation is a bit different since he won’t go down in his bed at all so I’m not much help. But it can’t last forever, right?

I think the SuperNanny trick that was mentioned earlier would work…just takes some patience.

Good Luck!

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Penelope January 20, 2009 at 12:33 pm

My 3 year old starts out the night in her own bed every night, but usually by morning, ends up with me at some point, although on the rare occasion these days, she does sleep all night in her own bed (thankfully!)

I’m of the mind that co-sleeping has a lot of benefits (obviously our little ones gain something from being so close to their parents) and that they’re NOT going to do it forever. My sister’s son is 21 now and she can attest to the fact that he hasn’t slept in her bed for quite a number of years now. heh

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MySingleMomLife (Nikki) January 20, 2009 at 12:53 pm

I sure wish I had some advice. I co-slept for about 4 months before my little’un discovered her legs. Then she pretty much kicked me out of my own bed. I/we/she didn’t sleep through the night for a year because she was nursing, but once she was through nursing she has slept like a champ. But while nursing, since I only got 3 hours of sleep at a time, I really HAD to put her in her own bed, or I’d have NEVER gotten any sleep. Now sometimes I’d like to co-sleep because I want to be close to my babe, but she’s so busy, it would be too much FUN and it would be a game…there would be no sleeping. She ONLY sleeps in her bed or pack n play. She won’t and never has fallen asleep on me (okay, maybe once, when she’d been up about 18 hours…oy). I’m wondering how in the world I’m going to get her into a big girl bed and transition her out of her crib…because she is such a busy little girl, she wants to play all the time. I suppose I have some time to think about that.

So ya… no advice. :O)

P.S. Are there truly ANY legitimate stories where co-sleeping ruined kids? I’m sure there are extenuating and parental pyschological circumstances surrounding said instances, if there are any.

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Emily January 20, 2009 at 1:52 pm

I stopped co-sleeping when my son discovered that he could wake me up by poking me in the eye, or putting a finger up my nose! Now he sleeps in his own bed, but I lay with him for a while (how long varies each night, but until he is really relaxed) and then I check in on him several times. But also I put a gate in the doorway of his room (under the guise of “keeping the dog out so she won’t bother you,” which he totally agrees to!) So if he wants me in the night he calls for me, rather than wandering into my room, or around the house (phobia of mine – had a neighborhood child get up and out of the house very early one morning, triggering a massive search)

So good luck to all co-sleepers, but do be prepared for sweet snuggles to shift into a poking game someday!

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Tricia January 20, 2009 at 3:30 pm

My little guy (who’s six now) had some problems when my husband left. My daughter, who is older acted out in other ways, but his time was bedtime. Especially when his Dad was coming and going with no document in place and completely confusing them> Since we have regular visitation now and he’s not coming and going anymore, he has got much better. But, he too got sick a couple of weeks ago with the croup and I worry terribly about his breathing. He was happy to be in my bed and I felt better about his being there. He was not too happy when I suggested he move back into his own a few days later. ( I really don’t sleep well with him in there) – he’s a mover and shaker at night… I let him sleep in our spare room (which is next to mine and which I realise is probably not an option for you) until he felt more secure again. I sat with him and read to him and spent a little longer on the bedtime routine. (I know, it’s the most tiring time of the night for you, but it was worth it). Now he’s back in his own bed and happy again.

Maybe it’s a phase or insecurity from feeling sick – if you can get any sleep, I’d let him. But otherwise, do what you think is best for you and him. It’s not as easy as it looks is it? I love your blog – came from Matt’s – my husband left our marriage of 13 years telling me he didn’t want to be married any more. There were other more serious issues with control too and although every day is really hard, it’s better without his negative influence and toxic presence around. Really, it took his leaving for me to see that. Keep up the excellent work of representing us single moms out there, who can’t dependent on a spouse. :)

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LTP January 20, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Alaina, I’m watching the N’hood Ball so this will be short….but my first inclination (well second….b/c when I read what this co-worker had said had been said, I thought ‘uh-oh’)….but be careful and make sure that he is not going to attempt to take Benjamin to Canada….w/o you knowing. Kids, unfortunately, get snatched every day by their own parents….it’s horrible. I would just rather you be safe than sorry and I think you did the right thing by contacting your attorney. Who knows what motivates people….but I would keep a tight leash on the situation.

As for the co-sleeping, my little one, nearly four, climbs in bed with me nearly every night, like clockwork, around 1′ish….and while I miss the room, snuggling is the best. I sometimes justify it by saying he must need it emotionally–and it doesn’t hurt me either. : )

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anonymous January 20, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Do what’s RIGHT FOR YOU. Don’t worry about what anyone else says or does. You are the mommy. YOU are in charge. Not co-sleeping experts or CIO experts–you!

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Angie January 20, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Little A doesn’t sleep with me because I don’t sleep well which leads to a crappy day.

There has been a few occasions where I’ve tried to have her in my room, but it never works. The dogs move around all night and the one cat starts to pur if you turn in her direction. All that action is too much for her so she doesn’t sleep well.

We do cuddle and watch TV in my room on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings when I’m too tired to get up before 7 AM.

I say do what is best for you and your family. As long as you both are happy and rested, that is all that matters.

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Nina January 20, 2009 at 10:00 pm

ok a public admission: my son has slept at night in his crib exactly NEVER. (sometimes I feel like such a slacker parent). 1st he was in the NICU for 3.5 weeks where I could only hold him 30 min twice a day. then when I brought him home there was no way I had the strength needed to put him *tiny little him* in a crib a room away – he might stop breathing or be cold or cry and I didn’t hear or a cat jumped in with him and snuggled too close…then I had to go back to work a month after he came home and I felt ripped apart but sleeping together made me feel a little better and helped with nursing. so he sleeps next to me – snuggled up, his foot always touching some part of me no matter where he is on the bed. I think about getting a toddler bed…and then he turns over scoots his little butt back so its touching me, flings an arm over mine and I think maybe next paycheck…

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Shannon January 20, 2009 at 10:22 pm

I’ve been wanting to respond since I found your blog yesterday but I was a bit scared for some lame reason.

Anyways … all 4 of my kids have co-slept with me. Even while I was married. I personally love it and they do also. We are a cuddle family.

My kids range from 5-17 yrs old and as far as I can see not one of them as been ruined. They are all fully capable of putting themselves to sleep alone in their own beds. :)

I think as long as you are comfortable with it I say let it happen. He will not co-sleep with you forever :)

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pixiemama January 20, 2009 at 10:27 pm

First i just want to say that the concept of co-sleeping is the NORM in many societies in the world.
My 6 and 2 year old sleep with me now… I have nooo problems with it. The only thing that I DO fell strongly about is the bedtime routine and timing. I think routine and knowing what to expect is crucial for little ones because their world is complelety out of their control. They make no decisions about it.. we do. For a good reason . If they did they would eat ice cream for dinner and sleep after 2 am…
But my point is that I can see from my kids that knowing what the day would be like gives them a lot of security. So knowing that after dinner we will clean up, brush teeth . put on pajamas, all of us climb into my bed read two book and lights out is vital. The night feels safe.

I also remember being 7 and wanting more then anything to co-sleep and i was only allowed on nights when my dad was out of town.. Then i remember being 12 and wanting to not only sleep in my own bed but lock my own door.
The time will come when they want to be left alone so why not cherish the time when they want to cozy up…

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Samantha January 21, 2009 at 8:05 am

I did co-sleeping with both of my kids (now 12 and 8).

My oldest, my daughter was there out of necessity at first because we lived with my parents and I was breastfeeding. It was convenient and then something I just got used to.

After a while I was ready for her to move into her own bed when we got our own two-bedroom apartment but she wasn’t having it. I got all the warnings and ranting from family and friends but I didn’t cave in.

We bonded very well and she was the happiest kid around. Very socialble and secure with very little separation anxieties, I guess cause she knew she would have me all to herself at the end of the day.

When my son came along I had to put my foot down because I wan’t going to cram all three of us in the bed together. She fought me tooth and nail and I felt like a horrible mother to abandon her but at four years old she needed her own space and I needed mine.

One day I told her that she was to stay in her bed and that was final. She cried and even cursed me out about it (long story that I will share another time). But she finally got the message and stayed in her bed.

My son was easier. He preferred and prefers his own space. I didn’t have to fight him to stay in his own bed. Every now and then he will want to cuddle or put a sleeping bag on the floor in my room for a “sleep over” but for the most part he loves his room and is content. Both kids have a strong bond with me and are pretty well adjusted socially.

The length of the co-sleeping thing will vary with each child. I suggest a gradual weaning away if you have a high-needs child though and constant reassurance of your love and availability at any other time of the day.

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Shiona January 22, 2009 at 12:22 am

Since space is limited here I still co sleep with my son as well. I have a feeling he’s over it. Me on the other hand once we get our place I was planing on getting a king size bed and putting some rails up. The plans have changed. I don’t see the use for a toddler bed. I will probably get a daybed or a twin bed.

I will be doing the gradual weaning as well when it comes time to sleep in the newborn bed. I hope it works.

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Karissa January 22, 2009 at 10:34 am

I have been co-sleeping with Bean since practically day one (May 2006). He had his own room for awhile and would spend the first part of the night in his own bed, but since we moved to the one-bedroom we’re back in the same bed. We have bunk beds but he prefers to sleep on the bottom with me (it’s a double-sized mattress).

We’re apart most days while I’m at work, so co-sleeping brings us back together again. Some nights I wish I had the bed back to myself, but I always remind myself that childhood is short and soon enough he’ll be old enough to want to be away from me!

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Laura January 22, 2009 at 10:36 am

You said it!!!

“I guess I’ll just figure it out as I go, along with everything else.”

That is parenting in a nutshell.

Enjoy it because they are grown before you know it.

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Holly January 24, 2009 at 11:50 am

Hi Alaina!

I think co-sleeping can be really great, and I’ve been sleeping with my son since he was an infant. He’s now 3 1/2. Co-sleeping promotes a good bond between parent and child, and it’s nice to have him right there next to me.

That said, there are times when I do feel like it would be nice to have the bed to myself, like when he’s not sleeping well and whines and kicks all night. But I know that these baby years will pass by in a flash. He’s not going to be wanting to sleep in my bed when he’s a teenager! (Or at least I hope not.)

In many other cultures, sleeping all together in a family bed is VERY common. I remember being somewhat shocked when, about eight years ago, I dated an Indian guy and discovered that when his parents and 18-y-o brother visited his home, they would all sleep together on the floor together, pretty much like sleeping in the same bed. And he was in his 20s! Once I got over my surprise, I decided that it was sort of nice to be so close to one’s family.

I haven’t dated since I was pregnant with my son over four years ago (something that’s quickly rising to the top of my TO-DO list), but I suspect that co-sleeping might change a bit if I were to secure a steady boyfriend. What I imagine doing, however, is putting my son to sleep in his bed (where we both usually sleep), and once he is asleep, sneaking off to MY bed (which is rarely used now) to have a little, ummmm, adult time. I still haven’t quite figured out how that would work, though, as I definitely don’t want my son to be privy to anything that’s inappropriate or have the idea that mommy has men staying over frequently. It would have to be a very committed relationship, maybe even engagement or marriage, before I’d let him be aware that someone was spending the night.

So, don’t feel guilty about letting him sleep with you.

What I would caution you about, however, is putting him in his room to cry for a few minutes before you give in. You need to decide whether you want him in your bed or not, and then stick with that. If you are making a half-hearted attempt to get him back into bed, then giving in, you’re simply teaching him to tantrum, cry, or scream until he gets his way. If 2-3 minutes of that worked one night, and the next night it doesn’t, he will probably up the ante to 5-10 minutes of screaming. This is something I learned from a child psychologist that I occasionally see. I was definitely teaching my son to tantrum by giving in to his tantrums occasionally. This can snowball into a BIG mess!

Isn’t parenting FUN! :) ~

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Holly January 24, 2009 at 12:02 pm

One more thing. . . . .

There is a GREAT book on sleeping called “The No Cry Sleep Solution.” There is the original book, and there’s also a newer version called something like “The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers.”

The author offers all kinds of gentle ways to approach sleep, including both co-sleeping and getting children to sleep in their own beds. She is pretty pro-co-sleeping, but also acknowledges that that arrangement might not work for everyone. The thing I like about it is that she really gives so many different options to try so you can find something that works for you and your child.

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A January 24, 2009 at 7:29 pm

my daughter’s been sharing my bed with me since she was born. i looove sleeping next to her and cuddling up with her. it’s my comfort. she’s not going to be a baby forever and i know that she will eventually grow out of it..i’m not too worried about it. i think i was sleeping in my mom’s bed for awhile. i mean, even if i’m dating and stuff or invite someone over, they can stay out in the living room lol. ..yeah um..she’s like a cock blocker.. she keeps me in check like that…

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