Is Your Family All Snug as a Bug in Bed?

Few parenting issues are as confrontational and overly debated than the family bed. In one camp are the parents and experts who believe co-sleeping – or sharing their bed with their children – is the best way to nurture and provide security for their kids. On the other side are those who contend that the safest and most developmentally appropriate place for children to sleep is in a crib apart from their parents.

A friend recently posted on Facebook, “As much as I want my 2.5 year old to go back to sleeping in his bed and not mine, it really is such a precious gift to have him fall asleep cuddled up in my arms.” I admire her candor.

Many mothers, especially those breastfeeding, report that they get more rest and their babies sleep better in the family bed. The practice, which certainly encourages bonding and security, has been a cultural norm all over the world for centuries, and it’s still practiced widely outside of North America.

While the divide between opponents and proponents may seem unbridgeable, many child-development and safety experts – as well as parents – say that if you look at the facts and follow some basic guidelines for safety and emotional attachment, there is no right or wrong – just a matter of personal family choice. This is a topic that many parents including my husband and I continue to wrestle with.

What are your feelings on the family bed/co-sleeping? Is three a crowd or the more the merrier?

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Lainie Gutterman - Before giving birth to her son in 2009 and becoming a stay-at-home mom, Lainie was a founding partner of a Public Relations firm. Lainie describes herself as "a natural born publicist who is constantly spreading the word about new products, activities and events." When Lainie is not chasing after her son or they are not watching Nick Jr or reading together, she scrapbooks and writes posts for her blog, "Me, Myself & Baby I" at http://memyselfandbabyi.wordpress.com. Lainie and her family live in New York City, where she sacrifices living space (but not style) to be in the center of it all in "the city that never sleeps." (Fortunately, her toddler is a sound sleeper who doesn't rise until after 9am, on most days.)

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7 Comments on "Is Your Family All Snug as a Bug in Bed?"

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Jenny
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It all depends on the child(ren) and the family. Whatever way gets you the most sleep wins, I say! My 2 year old FINALLY sleeps well in her own bed, but if she wakes up in the middle of the night we’ll bring her in our bed just so we can go back to sleep quickly. I don’t sleep as well though, she’s always up really early thrashing around and kicking us. I’m hoping by 3 years old to have her in her own bed permanently. Slow transitions work best for us.

Heidi
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From the time I was a small child I did not like to share a bed with anyone, even my own parents. It took awhile before I got used to sharing with my husband. Due to some extreme circumstances both of my older two kids were born while I was sleeping on a pull out sofa bed. I was afraid that if they shared the bed they might fall into the working of the bed, so unless I fell asleep while nursing they went into the crib. When the last came along, I had never developed the habit of co-sleeping.… Read more »
Laura
Guest

We cosleep. It works for us and is appropriate and safe for our family. It is also our private choice and none of anyone else’s business to judge. Do what works for you and it doesn’t matter what other people do.

Amanda
Guest

I have coslept since my first son was born (he just turned 4). He now has a 5-month old brother. Most nights he’ll start in his bed next to ours and move over during the night. I have never been a tired mom, nursing the baby on demand and going right back to sleep. I have never had to fight bedtime, my older son often asking to go to sleep. I know not everyone can do it but it has worked great for us

Laura
Guest

I resisted co-sleeping for as long as I could, but in the end, I needed sleep more than I needed to “win” this one. Eventually, I learned to enjoy it. Now at 2.5, Little Dude still crawls into bed with us when he wakes around 4 a.m.

Sometimes, I put him in our bed myself, especially if I have had the poor foresight to watch one of those police procedural shows where something awful happens to a little kid. Co-sleeping isn’t entirely for his benefit; I find it very reassuring sometimes!

Katie P.
Guest

We co-slept until about 9 month. For me it was a necessity, I work full time and the week I went back to work my son decided to reverse cycle his feeding schedule. There would have been no way for me to function and feed my child every 2 hours all night long if he had slept in a crib. After 9 months he moved to his own crib as he started to sleep 8 hours through the night.

Rachel
Guest

We have a king bed with a crib sidecarred and a 3yo & 6mo. I love sleeping with both of them, too often they are so gogogo during tge day that we don’t get a chance to stop and snuggle, so we snuggle all night. I think it has really helped my husband become bonded to the kids as well.

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