My first child, Jason, was a good sleeper, sleeping through the night really early - I think it was about six weeks. I'd never heard of the term - family bed - so Jason always slept in his crib in another room.
My second child, Michael, slept in a cradle beside my bed, and woke several times in the night to be nursed. After being hospitalized at six months for a serious illness, I was never able to put him back in his own bed, and we became
family bedders. He didn't sleep through the night until he was about 3 - 3 1/2 years. Jason also started coming to our bed sometime in the night when Michael was a year old, and I didn't have the heart to make him go sleep alone - when the rest of us were all together.
My youngest child, Joshua, slept in my bed since his first night. He often woke up every hour or two to nurse, due to discomfort from his severe allergies and he didn't sleep through the night until about 4 1/2 years.
All my children were long-term
family-bedders. As they got older, they would start the night in their own beds, but I usually woke up with them in my bed in the morning. I can't imagine how I would have survived if I had to get up and go to them every time they woke.
Actually, our family-bed saved my youngest son's life. When I got up one morning, I stepped into a puddle. Looking up, there was a tiny crack in the ceiling and water was dripping. I called the landlord and he said he would come and check it out the next day.
That night, I was woken up by a small sound. Before I even had a chance to identify where the sound was coming from, I heard a very loud crack - I had just barely enough time to grab 18-month-old Josh, who was sleeping next to me, and roll out of the way of a collapsing roof!
Not only was my side of the bed completely covered in heavy plaster, and plaster dust - but Josh's never-used crib, which was next to my bed, was filled with huge, heavy shards of plaster!! From the look of the crib, I'm really not sure he would have survived the crash, nor had there been any time at all to have grabbed him before the roof fell in.
My boys have all grown up and moved on to beds of their own. Jason, my oldest, and his wife welcomed their new baby son into their family bed, and Michael and Joshua have their own beds and their own rooms.
Now I have the whole bed to myself, and can sprawl out to my heart's content. But I will always cherish the memories of those sweet smiles that greeted me in the morning, and ease of parenting my children through the night.
This article compliments of Born to Love.
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Last updated - April 12, 2016