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to think children should sleep in their own beds?

(28 Posts)
northerngran Wed 01-Feb-12 08:57:46

Among my daughter and her friends "co-sleeping" seems to be all the rage. I can understand that having a new-born close by is useful especially if you are breast feeding (though doesn't all the research show that it isn't safe to have a tiny baby in bed with adults?)

But as they get older surely there is no need for a child to sleep anywhere but their own bed? I can't understand why a happily married couple would want a small child in bed with them and surely it's a dangerous precedent to be setting? I love my DGD with all my heart but find having her to stay exhausting when she refuses to sleep anywhere but with me (a real wriggler) - and it's not just about being in a 'strange' bed as the same thing happens when I stay with them.

bigburd Wed 01-Feb-12 09:09:19

Yeah northerngran I agree with u x BUT whenever my granddaughters stay over with me i cannot get them to sleep in their own beds because at home they usually sleep in their parents bed !!!They start off in their beds which is easy,however they NEVER stay in them,and as you are exhausted from the days activities with them u relent and let them stay!!!! Even though you know it is so wrong!!
I have vowed when grandchild number three arrives in June He is going to sleep in his own bed lolx

Annobel Wed 01-Feb-12 09:40:45

What is the rationale of co-sleeping? I don't think it did my sons any harm to sleep in their own beds right from the start. They grew up to be well-adjusted adults. What more could you ask?

tanith Wed 01-Feb-12 09:49:33

My grandchildren have always had sleepovers at grandma's house and the oldest is now 25 but they have always slept in their own beds, my daughters have never allowed it , didn't want their children in bed with them, that everyone has their own place to sleep and its never been issue when they've come to me. So its a rod people make for their own backs .
Children do learn that they are different rules in different houses so I think be firm and say in grandma's house we all sleep in our own beds. We all love our grandkids but I for one could not sleep with a wriggling child in bed with me all night.. If the parents want to allow that's for them to decide but you can have different rules and even a very young child will soon realise grandma means businessgrin

Of course allowances are made if a child is sick or just wants a cuddle but back they go into their own rooms. They know they have to wait till they hear movement before they creep in for an early morning cuddle or to read a book .

Carol Wed 01-Feb-12 10:53:50

Yes, their own beds, even though they often manage to get into mum's bed at home. Having a 3 year old making star shapes across the middle of your bed doesn't make for a decent night's sleep. My grandson used to stand at the side of my bed looking at me until I opened my eyes in the morning, then launch into non-stop chatter whilst I tried to figure out what day it was.

petallus Wed 01-Feb-12 11:05:38

I googled on this question and came up with something quite interesting. Don't know how to copy in a webpage address but it was Anyway, seems worldwide more parents sleep with their children/babies than not. In fact, not sleeping with your baby is a fairly recent Western convention and can be potentially harmful as babies learn proper breathing patterns during sleep by close proximity to mother/father. I'm a light sleeper and so try to avoid having grandchildren in bed with me. However, don't have anything at all against the idea of co-sleeping in principle.

harrigran Wed 01-Feb-12 11:09:47

Definitely not allowed to sleep in my bed. Thankfully GC have been brought up to sleep in their own bed and own room and only venture out when they hear adults up.
I am afraid I could not babysit children that were used to co-sleeping, I feel it is a means of keeping a child dependent on the mother and makes life difficult for the rest of the family.

absentgrana Wed 01-Feb-12 11:51:39

Whole families used to sleep in one big bed in this country and still do so in some other countries. I don't think it matters much one way or the other. Do what seems most sensible and comfortable for your family.

bagitha Wed 01-Feb-12 12:05:38

If the definition of "their own bed" includes/means the one that their parents sleep in – as it does in much of the world – there's no problem. Why worry? If you don't want your child in your bed, put it in a different one. If it's actually less bother to have it (or them) in with you, do that. Or use any variation on both themes. The only 'should' is that people get enough sleep.

HildaW Wed 01-Feb-12 12:16:14

Am a firm believer in children having own beds, own bedrooms if possible! Its all about making them feel their beds are the best place in the world to be. So 'going up to your room' was never used as a punishment and we worked hard to make bedtimes calm and comforting events with baths and stories etc. Both daughters had a say in how their rooms were from quite an early age and although no great expense was gone too they had favourite toys, bedspreads and books available They both loved story tapes and 'The owl who was afraid of the dark' was always popular, I would let it play until they nodded off.

A few times my younger daughter did need a bit of a cuddle late at night when she would wake if under the weather. She would creep into my side of the bed and we would whisper together, after about 4-10 minutes she would then say 'can I go back to my own bed please?' and off she would trot.

petallus Wed 01-Feb-12 13:30:58

When I was about 18 I went with my boyfriend to visit his grandmother for the weekend. When it came to bedtime, I found I was expected to sleep in a double bed with grandma. Although I can hardly believe it now, at the time I didn't mind at all.

As for children, I wonder if there is an underlying feeling that being made to sleep in their own rooms constitutes firm and proper discipline whilst being allowed to sleep with parents shows a regrettable laxity which will do the child no good in the end?

absentgrana Wed 01-Feb-12 13:46:47

Absentdaughter used to sleep in my bed at least some of the night when she was a baby and, when older, was always allowed to come to us if she had a bad dream or didn't feel well or something else was wrong. I don't think it did her any harm.

When I was a child my father was often abroad for many months at a time. I missed him very much and sometimes would ask my mum if I could share her bed – which she allowed. He was abroad during the Cuba Crisis, which I didn't really know much about but I did know that my mum was terrified, so I shared a bed with her while all that was going on. I don't think it did me any harm.

nightowl Wed 01-Feb-12 16:56:07

I think I must be out of step with most people here as my three children all slept in our bed (yes - sometimes at the same time, which was a nightmare) when they were small. We never set out to do this but faced with DS1 who just would not sleep we caved in after a few weeks from sheer desperation. We continued to try to get him to settle in his moses basket and then his cot but were not very successful. He had a lovely room and by the time he was one he would usually start the night in there but always came in with us in the middle of the night. When DD and DS2 came along we were fairly relaxed about the whole thing and although we always provided them with their own bed and bedroom sleeping arrangements remained flexible. I felt quite embarrassed about admitting this at the time, but even then I came across the view that petallus refers to that this is a western convention and that gave me more confidence. All three children ended up in their own beds by the time they were about 5, with occasional relapses when they were ill or upset.

DD has now presented me with my darling grandson and she has deliberately set out to co-sleep from birth. Initially he had a co-sleeper cot which attaches to the side of parents' bed (what a good idea) so baby is close but all have their own sleeping space. He now has his own cot in his own room and starts the night there but always ends up with mum and dad. He is the most secure and happy child you could wish to meet. I think everyone has to arrive at the solution that suits them, but I am impressed by this generation's willingness to look at things more widely than I ever did.

crimson Wed 01-Feb-12 17:06:31

My bed was always a place where my children could come to during the night, and my daughter has done the same. An Indian friend who came to this country a couple of years ago was shocked to find that children here are supposed to sleep in their own rooms all the time. 'Musical beds' we call it. No one knows where they'll wake up the next morning!

Yummygran Thu 02-Feb-12 10:30:15

When my first son was born he used to sleep in his moses basket at the side of our bed and invariably would end up sleeping with me when we both fell asleep whilst breastfeeding. But that only lasted for the time he was having night feeds. As soon as he slept through he was in his own room. When DS2 came long it was different somehow, he always went back into his basket after feeds. He didn't go into his own room quite so early because he was difficult to settle, but I didn't have him in my bed.

It makes me wonder how people actually get to have a second or subsequent children when they share a bed with offspring...if you get my drift! wink

I know of several couples that have co-slept but have then really struggled to get the child into their own room, I agree with others views that they are making a rod for their own back. How can you explain to a child that it is OK for a while to sleep with Mummy, but now you have to sleep alone, particularly when they see you are sharing your bed with your partner!

harrigran Thu 02-Feb-12 11:41:54

I agree Yummygran how can you have a healthy relationship with little wrigglers in your bed ?

absentgrana Thu 02-Feb-12 11:51:54

Dr Hugh Jolly was the Consultant Paediatrician when I had absentdaughter. He was very keen on mothers and babies sharing the bed – in the maternity ward and at home. He reckoned that there had never been a case of parents over-lying a baby and killing him or her that wasn't deliberate or the result of their being drunk, under the influence of drugs or exceedingly fat.

Yummygran Thu 02-Feb-12 11:59:18

I'm sure Dr Jolly was right in as much as it is rare for a baby to be smoothered accidentally by sharing a bed with Mum and I know from experience that it is lovely to have that bond when they are new babies, but it isn't condusive for a good night's sleep for either adult or child. I liked my comforts too much to share....I find it bad enough sharing with my partner grin

maxgran Thu 02-Feb-12 15:14:12

I don't know if its 'right' or 'wrong' but I think its a daft thing to start doing. My DD has 4 children. Three of them are under 8 yrs old - and she has all 3 in bed with her and her husband most nights.

To be honest - I think its more about the parents than the children. Often parents worry too much about their kids being on their own and lack confidence that the kids will be ok or they cannot be firm about them sleeping in their own beds and give in for an 'easy' life.

May be I am being a bit hard on them ?

I think if it was up to the husbands - it wouldn't happen.

UKSky Fri 10-Feb-12 14:52:34

Can I dip in as a Mum of an 18 month old? DP and I co-slept with our DD from the beginning. We got a lot more sleep than if I had kept getting up to breastfeed. DD slept much better. She generally went into a moses basket in our room at bedtime and came in with us at the first feed.

She is now 18 months old and occasionally sleeps with us if she is not well, or really upset about something. She always goes back to her own room the next night, or whenever, with no problems at all.

whenever she has stayed at her grandparents, or they have stayed here to look after her, she has always had her own bed and slept well, so I really feel for you if you have to co-sleep with your grandchildren. I would never expect DD's grandparents to share a bed with her and she has never needed to. She has always seemed to understand that it's OK with us but not anyone else.

Greatnan Fri 10-Feb-12 15:13:51

I looked up the latest advice on cot deaths - it is recommended that babies are not put in their own room under the age of six months. Having your baby/child close to you seems the most natural thing in the world to me.
The site also recommends giving the baby a dummy, even for short naps - I am sure that doesn't go down well with some people.

Carol Fri 10-Feb-12 15:22:05

My daughter has been advised by the SCBU that she should not think about putting her twin babies in their own room for at least 6 months, and to use their 'corrected age' as a guide, as they were born 10 weeks early. That's good advice, I think. Babies can sleep besides the parents' bed in their moses basket until they're too big and ready for their cot. They both have dummies, and when they drop them they stick their thumbs in and suck like crazy!

Mishap Fri 10-Feb-12 15:35:53

Ours had their own bed and room from the age of about 6 months.

But we kept a mattress at the bottom of our bed and the rule was that if they needed company in the night they could bring their duvet and pillow and snuggle down there - but not to wake us! - unless they were ill. You never knew who you would find there in the morning!

On the odd occasions when children did sleep in our bed for some reason I did not get a wink of sleep and ended up battered and bruised from flailing arms and legs!

goldengirl Fri 10-Feb-12 16:57:24

The answer to the question is 'yes' unless they are ill - and except for coming into bed on a Sunday morning for a cuddle and story.

granbunny Fri 30-Mar-12 23:54:20

co-sleeping is traditional across the world. the weird thing is putting your child in a bed of its own, in a room of its own. that's really strange, cruel and quite possibly creates dysfunctional human beings.

my daughter slept with me, had her own bed from five and slept in it when she chose, and was probably out of my bed most of the time by the age of twelve. she's 29, and she and her husband co-sleep with their baby daughter. they're reading 'the family bed' and enjoying their precious little one.