A Case for the Family Bed
by Denise Punger, MD, FAAFP, IBCLC
It's getting really crowded in my bed, but I would not insist on changing our nighttime co-sleeping routine until the boys are ready because:
I love seeing them when they are sleeping. They are angelic.
Reading together and falling asleep together is a loving routine. For me it is easier than other kinds of bed time schedules.
Waking up together is even more enjoyable. I don't know what it is about the mood in the morning, but when we have a chance to linger in bed and laugh, share, and play peek-a-boo, it is my favorite time of sharing.
On days that we are busy as adults, bed-sharing makes up for lost time.
Sleeping together is also healing for them as they go through emotionally difficult times.
I remember when I was single, studying, and not dating, nighttime was a lonely time. I would not expect or want my young ones to be separated at night and be exposed to unnecessary or unwanted alone time.
They can't be in trouble if they are next to me.
Less sheets to wash. Less beds to make. I am going to enjoy it while it lasts.
There is less "scared of the dark."
It is energy efficient, if you only want to regulate the temperature in one room.
Bed sharing saves on heat because children's bodies generate heat.
Sometimes one of the boys wakes-up at night and wants me to accompany them to the bathroom. I suspect if they woke up alone, they would not go to the toilet and would have wet bed. I would incorrectly call this enuresis.
If we lived in caves or tents out in the forest would we put them in their own cave or tent at night to be taken away by a night predator.
When we visit relatives (the ones who oppose our family bed) we take up only one bed and room.
And finally, makes breastfeeding at night a lot easier. (In fact, full or part-time co-sleeping is probably necessary to maintain breastfeeasting.)
I suspect when the boys move to their own bed, they will go together and share bunks or a full.
For more information: See the Bed Sharing protocol by Clicking Here
If you enjoy this article, you will enjoy the book Permission to Mother which includes the updated version.