Bedsharing? No, Thanks. My Bed is Full.

Some parents, particularly the attachment parent, are really into bedsharing.  I’m not going to write a treatise on whether or not bedsharing is unsafe or not.  It comes down to this: there are parents who agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation to avoid co-sleeping with baby in your bed due to increased SIDS risk, and there are those who support the practice as promoting bonding and actually reducing SIDS risk.  It’s up to you as the parent to decide where your baby will sleep.

Bedsharing?  No Thanks.  My Bed Is Full (Cloth Diaper Addicts)  And really, this is totally what it would look like if we tried bedsharing... except there would be a couple of dogs, too.Clearly, I am not an attachment parent.  Since Norton seems to like his independence and has responded well to sleeping alone in his own infant crib, in his own newborn nursery, it doesn’t seem like he’d be a good baby to practice Dr. Sears’ attachment parenting with, anyway.  So, win-win.

I have many reasons for having no interest in bedsharing, not the least of which is a safety concern.  The fact is, my bed is already pretty crowded.

The husband is a big guy.  He likes to snuggle, and used to chase me across the queen size bed we used to have.  Then we got T’akaya the Brilliant Border Collie.  We were going to have her sleep in her kennel at night, just like the mother-in-law did with her dog.  I had never had a dog that slept in a kennel.  The first night, she cried like she was being murdered as soon as we closed the kennel door.

I let her sleep with us that night.  I tried to get her in her kennel for about three more nights before I gave up on the idea of T’akaya sleeping in her kennel.

So, now we had a queen size bed with a football player sized husband, me with an expanding rear end, and a growing puppy.  A year later, we got Winston the Wonder Chihuahua.  I didn’t even entertain the notion of making him sleep in a kennel.  He slept with us the first night we brought him home, and he’s slept with me every night since.  (Exceptions being when I was in the hospital or out of the country without him, of course.  But even then, he was home with the husband.)

Rather than kicking a dog out of bed, our solution was to upgrade to a king size bed.  It’s the perfect size for me, the husband, and two hounds.  We’ve had Norton in bed with us in the mornings for some cuddle time, but not as part of a sleeping arrangement.  There are other problems, aside from space, with bedsharing with Norton and two dogs.

The husband can sleep through pretty much anything except the phone ringing and me talking to him.  He does not hear Norton screaming if he’s asleep.  Ever.  Plus, Winston likes Norton’s toes.  And T’akaya forgets he’s there if something gets her attention.

And I toss and turn.  Plus, I’m a ridiculously light sleeper who will wake up if I hear a baby on a tv commercial.

So, no Norton sleeping in our bed on a regular basis.  Our bed is already full.  Fortunately, he rather likes his crib, so he doesn’t seem to mind.

Originally written June 10, 2010 for another website.  While I’ve become more open minded to other parents doing what works for them (amazing what happens with more parenting experience!), I’m still militantly anti-children in my bed.  Norton will play and bounce around since Mom and Dad’s room is a magical play land of amazement, though he’s starting to get to the point of being mellow enough to lie down and watch something on the iPad.  Eudora, while quite snuggly, is a very light sleeper and would wake up to have noises in such close quarters.  Plus every one of my children have hands and feet like ice cubes: so cold that they feel like they’ll burn you.  And the husband has developed the ability to sleep through his phone, too.

If it works for you, awesome.  But I like my bed.  And Winston likes not being stepped on when he’s snuggled under the covers.

Image credit: Photostock, Free Digital Photos.

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

Comments

  1. I am also a non bed sharer. I enjoy having my own space. No kid elbows or knees in places they dont belong. Once in a while he will crawl into bed with us for an hour or two but then he goes back to his own toddler bed (he’s two).

  2. Hi, I have a question. My kid is very similar than your little one, always loved his crib. But, when I travel, it’s impossible to not co-sleep. She is 3 and I’ve been in Mexico for over a month now, I fear once I’m back to Vancouver, she will NOT go back to her independent self. Any tips?
    Mama and the City recently posted…Elf On The Shelf Does Mexico – The FinaleMy Profile

    • Maybe put her in a “big girl bed” of her own when you get home? (And next time you travel, maybe a pack n play or something?)

  3. Ooooooh yes….I sympathize with this. Hubby and I only have a full-sized bed, so we’re crowded in there to begin with – but if a baby needs cuddles he is so scared of rolling on them (he sleeps like a rock) that he’ll head out to the couch. So if I share with baby, I’m *not* sharing with hubby. We finally put an air mattress up for me and baby since he has so many sleep issues….ugh. I can’t wait for this phase to end.
    Jaime @ Slightly Steady recently posted…Scene: Hubby’s Racy Phone CallMy Profile

  4. While the girls were babies, I often slept with them in our bed. After the first 3 months, they pretty much stayed in their cribs 99% of the time. However, we still have a 5 year old who runs to our bed almost every night. I just don’t have it in me to tell her no. 🙁
    Xiomara @ Parkesdale recently posted…Quick Dinner Ideas Dan Dan NoodlesMy Profile

  5. We never did the bed sharing thing…

    While I am all for attachment parenting…my husband and I needed to be able to be “free of our kids”. I do not mean that in a bad way, but rarely do we get “us” time.
    AlannaB recently posted…Tips For Creating Healthy Kids Lunches & SnacksMy Profile

  6. I was always open to bed sharing especially with my third baby because I had to go back to work. However, my husband wasn’t a fan and didn’t want to have to break the habit later down the road. He loved sleeping on top of me after a late night feeding and instead of dealing with the fussing for 1/2 an hour and waking everyone else up in the house. I would cave and sleep on the couch for the rest of the night. He sleeps in his own room now with no issues expect the initial getting him down.
    Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families recently posted…New Year, New You Giveaway Ends 1/31/14My Profile

  7. Thank God My 2 Girls Sleep In Their Bed MOST Of The Time!! LOL!
    Lisa Jones recently posted…DELICIOUS SALAMI & HAM OMELETS/THE OZERI GREEN EARTH FRYING PAN WAS A HIT IN MY HOME!My Profile

  8. Oh man, I was so NOT going to be a bed-sharing Mama…. but it just kind of… happened! It can get pretty crowded, but, funnily enough our cat often sleeps in the baby’s (former) crib. To each their own!
    Lindsay recently posted…Don’t Get Duped By Group Buys: The Scoop on Cloth Diaper Zulily “Deals”My Profile

    • I think a *lot* of people who bed share start with the idea that they won’t do it… but it just works better. I’m relieved to not be one of them. 🙂

  9. We bed share until around 1, and then I’m ready for them to be in their own bed!
    Alix recently posted…Top 10 Posts of 2013!My Profile

  10. No dogs or kids in our bed if we can help it. Tiny, nursing babies – yes. Beyond that, I just prefer kids in their own beds.
    Mindy recently posted…Cuddle Up Day $50 Nicki’s Diapers Giveaway!My Profile

  11. My dog was never allowed in our bed but we did and still do bed share with our two children. I’d much rather cuddle with them than our dog 😉 We upgraded to a king after the birth of our second to make room. Now that they’re 3 and 4 they start off the night in their bed and than come to join us around 3-4am.
    Danielle recently posted…Creating a Healthy Lifestyle with Weight Watchers Simple StartMy Profile

    • To each’s own. 😉 I’m happy with my snugglebunny. To be fair, it’s a Chihuahua, and those are sort of bred to be heat seeking cuddlers.

  12. Bed-sharing is only practical for us when our babies are very young, and even then I use a co-sleeper right next to my bed. Rarely does the baby sleep all night with us in the bed. We have a double bed and there just ain’t room.
    Anne Sweden recently posted…Top 10 Baby Strollers Available for Pre-Order Right NowMy Profile

  13. I don’t have any children so I have no experience on this topic however I never did understand bed sharing. I have seen parents that have had a child sleep in the same room until the child was ready to leave. To me this is simply wrong. Thanks for the article. Best Regards, Wendy
    Wendy Bottrell recently posted…Benefits Of Exercise For Women – What To Do About It!My Profile

    • I’m not sure if I’d go so far as to say “wrong,” but I definitely do understand why you might not feel comfortable with it.

  14. I’m with you. I’m also not going to debate the safety of it because there are safe and unsafe ways to do it. Those who want to bedshare usually ensure safety. I also will not get into whether or not it promotes bonding or not because my kids are both very attached and bonded to me even though they slept in their own beds. Quite frankly, I hate sleeping with my kids. They are both bed hogs who kick and end up practically on top of me. I don’t like to be touched when I’m sleeping so that means that I do not want to sleep with my children. I almost don’t even want to sleep in the same bed as my husband since I get annoyed when he moves his way to my side of the bed LOL.
    Regan recently posted…Manage ADHD and Medication Refills Easier at WalgreensMy Profile

    • It’s why I LOVE my king size bed. Through the years, it’s developed a bit of a “hill” in the middle… so that means that my husband stays on his side of the bed. (I hate that the hill exists because it means that there’s sagging, but I can’t figure out how to not have that happen since we rotate the bed religiously.)

  15. I think personality can play a huge role, and some of us are naturally cuddlier than others, whether we are adults or babies! Sounds like you are doing what works best for your family!
    My main beef is with doctors who promote a blanket ban on co-sleeping rather than promoting ways to do it safely and risk factors that make it more dangerous like being very overweight or on certain medications (even formula feeding seems to make a difference, presumably because of hormonal differences in nursing moms). Almost all co-sleeping deaths (actually every single one I’ve heard about, but that’s anecdotal) seem to be in situations that violate the guidelines for safe co-sleeping set forth by dr. sears and Dr. McKenna from Notre dame.

    PS: not co-sleeping in no way excludes you from being considered part of the “attachment parenting” or “natural parenting” or whatever movements! It’s a big crunchy tent 😉
    Crunchy Con Mom recently posted…My favorite cheap tops for postpartum/nursing!My Profile

  16. I was completely against bed sharing. We have a 50 lb and 150 lb dogs that used to sleep on our queen size bed and usually a cat as well. When baby came they all got kicked out.
    The issue came when I struggled with milk production and we slept in my rocking chair almost all the time since she nursed almost every 20 mins. Eventually I broke down and set up the bed where she slept beside me away from daddy because he also sleeps through anything. She ended up I her pack and play eventually but then a two week trip messed that up for months (she wouldn’t sleep alone in the strange house). We’re back to the pack and play now at 15 months and I sure hope to keep her in her own bed 🙂

  17. This is probably the funniest reason I’ve heard yet to not cosleep! I love it!. I don’t plan to cosleep at all. i don’t think it’s safe, and the same as you, my bed is full. While our terrier mix isn’t allowed in the bed every night, when he is, there is barely room for the 3 of us. Thanks for the article.

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