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Brynhild
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, 06:25 AM
There seems to be something in the air with all this recent talk about babies and parenting here on the forum.

I was remembering a time when my kids were babies and how I loved having them close beside me - with their bassinet/cot in my room, and even sleeping next to me in my bed.

I loved having my kids near me for several reasons. It was convenient to have them nearby when they suddenly woke up for a feed, nappy change, feeling cold etc. When they woke up, it was as easy as getting out of my own bed (especially during the cold winters) and tending to them straight away. Their warm bodies and unique baby smell is a delight as well, I just loved it!

When the kids got older and slept in their own rooms (around 1), they still wanted to climb into bed with me sometimes and I let them. But in saying that, there came a time when it had to stop, and for all of them it was around the age of 7 or 8.

So, for the new parents, expecting parents, the old hands whose kids are more grown-up, along with the non-parents - I would ask what you think of this practise.

Did you/would you allow/not allow?
Why or why not?
Is it a common Germanic practise or something more universal?

Your feedback is much appreciated.

Was Hael!

CrystalRose
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, 06:38 AM
I would allow it to an extent.. obviously when they're babies you want to hear if they're choking, need to be changed and/or fed. It would seem comforting having them close by, gives you peace of mind. I also think it would affect your relationship with your partner.. so there would need to be an age limit for sure. I would be worried about the parents (my) sex life. I guess you'd wait till the kids were off to school? That's years away!! Sorry kids no homeschooling for you! 7-8 seems a bit old to be sleeping with parents.. but also common. It's not the first i've heard of it. A mother and childs bond is strong. I guess i'll know when i get to that point in life. lol

Brynhild
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, 06:48 AM
7-8 seems a bit old to be sleeping with parents.. but also common. It's not the first i've heard of it. A mother and childs bond is strong. I guess i'll know when i get to that point in life. lol

That is why I said sometimes. It may only have been a few times in a year, for instance, waking up from a nightmare - common occurrences at that age.

Having all of your kids in the bed at the same time is fun! :D

CrystalRose
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, 06:52 AM
Yeah, that's perfectly acceptable. :) I could see having movie night or something once in a while.

MockTurtle
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, 07:07 AM
Did you/would you allow/not allow?

It would depend greatly on the situation. Obviously, when the child is very little, it is completely understandable given the particular needs of small babies. Also, most parents have special emotional attachments to the child during this time anyways, and want to be with them as much as possible.

I don't think there's any universal 'cut off' point at which it becomes inappropriate; every child is different, and some might require more of this type of nurturing than others. Plus, besides the individual nature of the child, there are special circumstances that can make this practice necessary (or at least acceptable). For instance, what if the child watches a scary movie and then is too frightened to sleep alone?

Of course, even if there are no universal endpoints, there are certainly some general guidelines that every child should be at least somewhat expected to follow. It's probably not good for the child to develop a negative type of attachment that might impair his/her ability to grow a sufficient sense of independence and personhood. It's okay to make substantial emotional bonds with the child, but there is a line beyond which it actually becomes harmful to the development of independence. This could have significant consequences later on. Apart from general guidelines, it's really a judgment call on the part of the parents regarding the exact location of this line.

I don't have any children right now, but I've always really liked them myself. I can imagine that I will want to cherish the time when they're small babies to the utmost. In the really early years, I'm sure that it will be practiced quite a lot, but then later on I will just have to make an intelligent decision depending on the peculiar nature of the child. I would aim for creating a sufficient emotional attachment while at the same time allowing the child to make his/her own sense of individuality. Things will also most likely differ according to sex; I would expect to practice this less with a male baby, for instance, because of the relatively greater sense of independent-mindedness that is expected of males in general.

CrystalRose
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, 07:18 AM
What if they pee the bed? :p:D

Oski
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, 09:32 AM
My baby sleeps in bed (with us) next to her mom. She's almost 4 months old and we're starting to move her to her crib more often. I think it's ok for a few months, maybe a year (AT MOST!). I don't think it's too healthy or natural to have toddlers and school age kids in bed, they need there own bed it is only natural, cut the umbilical cord already!

I could be seen as cold hearted at times :o

Ĉmeric
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, 03:16 PM
Having an infant in bed with the parents - when the parents are sleeping - can be risky. There have been cases of babies being smothered to death by the mother rolling on the babies, not necessarily all the way but enough to keep the baby from breathing. Ours slept in a crib in our bedroom for the first year. And they stopped crawling into our bed at about 6. My youngest is 4 & I normally wake up with him in the bed about twice a week.

Mrs. Lyfing
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, 03:47 PM
I never had my children in the bed with me, I thought it would turn into a habit I didn't want. I put them in their crib from day 1. Now there were and still are times they might lay there with me, but not sleep with me. I never liked the idea because it always seemed to turn into a never ending episode from the people I knew who did allow their children.

Also, my grandparents did this with their first born. It was around 1930 or so, I don't know how old she was but she was an infant, the doc told them she had a cold, so whatever they were suppose to do they did, along with thinking letting her sleep between them would be good for her, since she was sick. She smothered to death. Or so they thought. :(

Cuchulain
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, 04:46 PM
Having an infant in bed with the parents - when the parents are sleeping - can be risky. There have been cases of babies being smothered to death by the mother rolling on the babies, not necessarily all the way but enough to keep the baby from breathing. Ours slept in a crib in our bedroom for the first year. And they stopped crawling into our bed at about 6. My youngest is 4 & I normally wake up with him in the bed about twice a week.

Human beings have a built in mechanism that keeps them from rolling over onto a baby, pet, midget spouse, etc. while they are sleeping. It can be impaired by alcohol, or prescription/nonprescription drugs.

Thats what my nutrition professor said back in college anyway.

Mrs. Lyfing
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, 05:13 PM
Human beings have a built in mechanism that keeps them from rolling over onto a baby, pet, midget spouse, etc. while they are sleeping. It can be impaired by alcohol, or prescription/nonprescription drugs.

Thats what my nutrition professor said back in college anyway.

Maybe some but not all. My grandparents were def not on prescription drugs or alcohol. These cases have occurred often, and I don't think they were all on some kind of substance, if any.

Maybe its not a good idea for heavy sleepers?

Cuchulain
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, 05:28 PM
yeah it wouldnt be surprising if not evryone had it. I bet other things like carbon monoxide, snoring, sleep apnea and all kinds of other things could inhibit it as well.

Brynhild
Saturday, August 2nd, 2008, 12:05 AM
My baby sleeps in bed (with us) next to her mom. She's almost 4 months old and we're starting to move her to her crib more often. I think it's ok for a few months, maybe a year (AT MOST!). I don't think it's too healthy or natural to have toddlers and school age kids in bed, they need there own bed it is only natural, cut the umbilical cord already!

I could be seen as cold hearted at times :o

A commendable outlook, but circumstances arise in the middle of the night that are beyond our control. I have listed a few below

Bedwetting - The bed is so badly soaked that it simply can't be slept in. It takes a long time for it to sink in with some kids as to when they should wake up. They don't fully realise what their bladder is telling them, until it's too late. If a child has other siblings, they can sleep together the night, but they have to go somewhere.

Illness, in particular, vomiting - My kids have been sick at various times while they were little. Their immune systems were still developing when they started school, and they came home with nasty stuff. Anyway, the bed is again unfit for sleeping in.

Nightmares - probably the most traumatic experience a young child will have to endure. What works best in this situation will depend on the parent, but the child needs to be reassured that they are safe and not alone.


Having an infant in bed with the parents - when the parents are sleeping - can be risky. There have been cases of babies being smothered to death by the mother rolling on the babies, not necessarily all the way but enough to keep the baby from breathing. Ours slept in a crib in our bedroom for the first year. And they stopped crawling into our bed at about 6. My youngest is 4 & I normally wake up with him in the bed about twice a week.

I have heard of that happening myself but they seem to be more the exception than the norm. Most parents are on the alert when their baby lays beside them.


I never had my children in the bed with me, I thought it would turn into a habit I didn't want. I put them in their crib from day 1. Now there were and still are times they might lay there with me, but not sleep with me. I never liked the idea because it always seemed to turn into a never ending episode from the people I knew who did allow their children.

I would admit that there were many times when I didn't allow my children in bed, especially as they got older. They needed to learn that their bed was safe and comforable - and they could have it all by themselves. Sleep didn't come easily, and I get cranky when I'm deprived! :D

They got out of the habit, and I haven't had nightime guests for at least the last 4 years (bearing in mind that I have 3 kids born within 5 years).


Also, my grandparents did this with their first born. It was around 1930 or so, I don't know how old she was but she was an infant, the doc told them she had a cold, so whatever they were suppose to do they did, along with thinking letting her sleep between them would be good for her, since she was sick. She smothered to death. Or so they thought. :(

That was unfortunate, and tragic. I remember a woman telling me that babies who sleep next to their parents are less likely to die from SIDS. I don't know how true that is, so I can't substantiate that claim, but I do know that a baby needs to hear and feel the mother's heartbeat, it's comforting and reassuring.

I have a cousin who lost her 3 month old son to SIDS and she flipped her lid (as you would). I had post-natal depression with my first child, and worried a lot about SIDS in particular. Having my babies with me reassured me as much as it did them.

Yes, it can be said that SIDS happens anyway, but that was my mindset at the time.

I have 2 teenagers who will eventually want to share someone else's bed within the next 5 years (may the Gods help us then! LOL) while the 3rd has only just reached double digits. They're all turning out fine, so I'd like to think that I've done something right - no matter how unorthodox it may appear to others. :p

IvyLeaguer
Friday, October 31st, 2008, 12:10 AM
I am the mother of one child who will be 14 in January. When he was a small infant he slept next to me in my bed and there was never any problem. I think this is quite natural and would highly recommend it to new parents. I never felt my son was in any danger of me rolling over on him. I heard all these ridiculous stories from my own mother about how that was possible but I just ignored it. Anyway, my son was fine.

About sleeping in your parents' bed for a really long time, my husband was an only child and his parents were WAY over-attentive. (Yes, that's totally possible.) I think he stayed sleeping in their bed until it got absolutely ridiculous. (I've asked him about this and I don't think he's being completely truthful with me. He said it was like 8. I wouldn't be surprised if it was more like 10-12.) His parents ARE WAY too attached to him and it's gotten ridiculous.

Actually, I think my in-laws are the prime example of how doting parents can go completely overboard. For example, when my husband and I got married I had to sign all these documents so his father would be sure that I didn't take all his stuff if the marriage didn't work out. The funny thing was, we had practically nothing anyway. I felt overwhelmed signing all this legal crap in Swedish that I couldn't even read right before our wedding. To this day I don't care for my father-in-law because of it. Well, it's been years later and we're still married. As I reflect back on those times I can honestly tell you that I never once thought, no, not even for one moment, about trying to take off with that used 1985 Toyota.