5 Reasons Why the Family Bed Is Not For My Family

  1. I am a self proclaimed safe sleep psycho. Everyone has their own feelings on where members of the family should sleep. Mine formed long before parenthood. I unfortunately witnessed some devastating consequences of unsafe sleep practices working in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. For this reason, I knew I could never add anything to my son’s crib and I could never co-bed. I could barely sleep after he was born for a probably unhealthy fear of SIDS. Maybe it was post-partum anxiety, but the least I could do to assuage that fear was to make his environment as AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) safe sleep compliant as possible. Or as a family member joked, “prison like”.  No fluff, no pillows/bumpers, tight fitting crib sheet, and a sleep sack rather than loose blankets. Maybe I will give him a blanket as a high school graduation present.
  2. I am a bad mom when I don’t sleep. Of course like all new moms I have functioned on not enough sleep but I am not nearly as engaging. Those days often involve a screen and a lot of “independent” play. I don’t sleep well when my husband tosses and turns. Let alone if I were dealing with my toddlers acrobatic sleep. Seriously the kid is all over the place.
  3. I believe in self soothing. I know I will get a lot of eye rolls especially from the attachment parenting cohort, but to me raising a child who is learning to manage their feelings is a measure of resiliency. Of course I will be there if he needs me. Sickness, teething and nightmares are part of being a parent. I would never expect him to handle these things on his own but a random night waking, he’s got that! I am also learning this as I go. Sometimes I am too present sometimes probably not present enough, but we are figuring it out. This is something my husband and I both feel very strongly about and it works for us.
  4. My kid won’t do it. When he was tiny I never allowed it (see number one). Recently we found ourselves with a sleepless toddler in a hotel room (or torture chamber for families as I like to call them). I pulled our boy out of the pack and play and tried to get him to settle on me. He wouldn’t do it. He thought that meant it was time to play. This my friends is how you end up driving around Dallas at 3 am with a singing toddler.
  5. It’s important to us as a couple. From talking to friends co-bedding can really impact relationships if both adults aren’t on board. My husband and I try to have State of the Union conversations every so on to check in on issues. This is one on which we have never disagreed. Not that there aren’t others because #marriage. We believe children function best when the marriage comes first.

I will never claim to be some sort of parenting expert. I have one kid with another on the way and am figuring this out just like everyone else. I truly thought we would keep B in our room until 6 months in his bassinet, but at 8 weeks to his nursery he went. The best piece of parenting advice I ever received was when I was pregnant with my son, “Parent within your personality.” You do yourself and your children a disservice when you try to become someone you are not. For me that means separate sleep spaces.

https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/Committees-Councils-Sections/Child-Death-Review/Pages/Safe-Sleep.aspx

 

4 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why the Family Bed Is Not For My Family

  1. I’m on board with all of these now! Our son was an amazing sleeper until about 4 months old when that amazingness started regressing…. fast forward 2 months later and he was sleeping on my chest in 30 minute increments and I was a zombie. I was desperate… time to sleep train… fast forward only 1 week later and baby boy is sleeping in his own bed and always will from now on! It really is best for the family!!!

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  2. Couldn’t agree more! 🙌🏻 ESP on the safe sleep! I won’t even let our dogs in the bed (2 Yorkies, so it’s not like they take up much room).

    Charleston has been in her room since 7 weeks. I couldn’t stand all her little noises. It’s not the actual noises that bothered me, it was waiting for the scream that often accompanied the noises. I was awake even when she wasn’t!

    She has slept 8pm-9am since she was 3 months old. I think part of it is her personality, but I think getting her used to her room & crib at such an early age definitely helped! Whenever we have another baby, they will likely go straight to the nursery.

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    • I am definitely jealous of that sleep! Ben is a 7:30 to 6:30 sleeper and it took us some serious sleep training to get there. 9 am sounds dreamy (literally lol). Oh well at least I ca sleep soundly knowing he’s safe! Thanks for reading!

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  3. I have such a unique story on this one. I truly love my sleep, I will take it anywhere I can get it. I have fallen asleep in the waiting room while my son was having therapy. Before he was born I could not understand how parents could let their kids sleep with them lol

    My son was on a ventilator for 8 years so we always had someone sitting at his bedside, whether it was a nurse or me. When he was decanned at age 9 we figured he would just sleep in his own bed like normal. However, we lost nursing so I literally could not sleep without checking on him ALL the time. I’m sure its an anxiety issue. 🙂
    So we put him in our bed at 9years old so we could watch him closer. Now he won’t leave…he’s 12. I should write a blog on this one.

    BTW #ILoveNurses ❤

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