Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

To wonder why having a bed is a cp issue?

(79 Posts)
BrittaPerry Thu 08-Nov-12 21:21:04

I keep reading that one of the main things checked when ss visit is if the child has a bed and what state it is in.

Would they be upset if the child shared a bed with a sibling or the parents, or had a mattress on the floor?

(My two have their own beds, but both regularly sleep in my or each others beds - it isn't a huge leap to imagine this happening so much that someone wouldn't bother with wasting the space for another bed. Me n my sister shared a bed when we were under 5 in the late 80s, because my mum was worried I would hurt her climbing into her cot every night for a cuddle and we turned out fine.) (we are also thinking of getting that Ikea bed where the bottom mattress is on the floor to reduce the possibility of the kids hurting themselves falling out of the top bunk) (we have just started HE and I have a history of mental health problems that have led to a surprise SS visit in the past, so there is the slight possibility of the wrong end of the stick being got)

SeratoninIsMyFriend Thu 08-Nov-12 21:50:26

I'm a social worker and if I visited and found children sharing a bed, it wouldn't necessarily be an issue: I would need to look at the context and why it was the case, ensure the children were happy about it etc. The point that there are individual beds for each person if they want them is important, and I would possibly look into why children were so keen to share, but I used to bunk in with my sis sometimes when little so understand it from the fun point of view. Agree that clean and comfortable is also important. The main thing is that you can show you are able to consider and meet each child's needs separately, and make changes if needed.

Bproud Thu 08-Nov-12 21:50:39

It is easy to tell when visiting homes whether a child has an adequate bed. They need to be able to get to the bed/mattress, ie not in a room full of rubbish/broken furniture/junk, and they need to have clean(ish) and adequate coverings for the season.

BertieBotts Thu 08-Nov-12 21:50:51

My HV didn't like it when DS was 1 and had a bedside cot attached to my bed, and a futon mattress in his room (because he never ever slept there - we'd just moved due to EA, and I thought he'd be more settled in with me where he'd always been).

Then when he was 2 and I mentioned to my (new) HV that I was planning to get him a mattress to sleep on for now and buy a bed frame when he stopped rolling out of it, (as suggested by MNers!) she was a bit touchy about that too confused Perhaps the SS thing is why, then. She told me he'd soon learn not to fall out of bed hmm - well, he's stopped now, but he's now 4! We had duvets down by the side of the bed as it was a nightly occurrence at one time...

"there are individual beds for each person if they want them is important"

What if there aren't? What if two infant age children share a double?

Narked Thu 08-Nov-12 21:54:18

SS don't wander the streets, peering through windows, looking for bad housekeeping. They come in to assess if a child is being properly cared for when a concern is raised. Bed-sharing is one factor, not the only one.

DeWe Thu 08-Nov-12 21:54:24

Ds didn't use a cot/bed from when he was about 7-8 months until he was 19 months.

Problem was he was climbing out, and I decided after a couple of bumps he was safer in a mattress on the floor than in a cot. Once we had moved house and we had space he got a toddler bed.

I would expect that sort of reason (combined with it was a good cot mattress with blankets and sheets and his toys) would be good enough.

It was also better for tidying away when we had house viewings, but that was only a nice side effect.

He still prefers to climb in with us a 5yo than stay in his own bed. But he does start the night in it.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 08-Nov-12 22:00:11

Failure to provide and maintain a proper bed can also be a sign of not coping. I don't mean the weeks we all have where the bedding isn't changed as promptly as it probably should, I mean just not able to keep on top of washing and cleaning to the extent where it's very unhygienic.

<eyes our bed, which really needs changing, but can't face it without DH's long arms to sort the king size duvet>

fraktion Thu 08-Nov-12 22:03:36

Oh dear. Well I'm glad SS didn't come round when we moved. We cosleep (may I tentatively put coslept? DS did last night all in his own bed!) and the cotbed was in the very delayed shipping container so DS was in with us or had a crappy travelcot mattress on the floor because he climbs out of cots.

He also had no high chair (booster seat) and we lived with virtually no stuff.

It needs to be taken in context. If a child wants their own bed and doesn't get one, or the cosleeping is unsafe then it's an issue.

5madthings Thu 08-Nov-12 22:05:09

What counts as an innappripriate age for bed sharing? As they get older mine have bern happy to go into iwn rooms but when poorly will hop back in with us. I remember being poorly and sharing my parents bed, i was certainly school age, maybe 7?

All I know on the subject is that someone I know (who was pretty inadequate in lots of ways, very long story, who used to bend my ear when I was her captive audience), complained that the social workers had used it against her that her children didn't have a single bed each, with their own covers and bedding etc. She has since actually lost custody of the children and they are in foster care. Now obviously there was much, much more to it than the fact they didn't have a single (specifically single, they had a double) bed each, but it was a factor in amongst the myriad of other issues the family had.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 08-Nov-12 22:07:10

Shrieeek, infant age children can't really express that they want their own bed. I think the indicators of something not quite right are older children who don't want to share a bed with an adult anymore (typically "mummy's boyfriend"), for example, or children whose only comfort in life is being able to share a bed with a sibling. Not two little ones sharing a big bed, or kids sneaking into their sibling's bed at night to tell stories to each other when they should be asleep. Or - like my friend's sons - identical twins, who like to go to sleep with at least some part of their body touching (this is very sweet to see, by the way!)

Sorry I meant infant age (ie 4-7ish)

Sirzy Thu 08-Nov-12 22:09:21

5mad - I read that as more amongst siblings, so a 13 year old sharing with a 3 year old (especially if different sexes) would be something which would start alarm bells ringing. 2 young children sharing would be fine.

DS and DD share a bed as I'e mentioned. DS is coming up to 6 and DD is 3. If either of them said they wanted their own bed we could sort something out but it wouldn't be straight away - there isn't a fully made up bed waiting iyswim

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 08-Nov-12 22:11:13

5Madthings - when I stay over at my parents' house, I still get into bed with my mum in the morning (and dad brings us a cup of tea and some toast!) blush Unless my son has got there first...

I reckon at the point when children don't want their parents cuddling them in bed is the point at which it is inappropriate ie different for everyone

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 08-Nov-12 22:15:17

Shrieeek, the key thing is that if (when?) either of your DC want their own bed, you will sort it out. If children's wishes on this front were being ignored, I'd bet good money that this wasn't the only area where their wishes and needs weren't being met

yes that's what I assumed. After all what would they do anyway, take the children? I hardly think so! They'd say get another bed. It's just the terms used "lack of bed each" made me think.
Lol at you getting in bed with your mum. Do you turn horizontal and kick your legs?

5madthings Thu 08-Nov-12 22:23:56

My 10, 7 and 4 yr old (all boys) would and do share a bed sometimes, i dont let them do it on a school night. Tonight dd trief to get in bed with ds4. I took her into my bed, where she sleeps as he was already asleep. Good job i did as he spectacularly vomitted a bit ago and have had ti shower him, change bed, clean mattress and floor! Had dd been in there she too would have been puked on (boak)

Shriek - for instance, a case I worked on the mother suffered from anxiety and had a 3 year old and an 8 year old share her bed. She used them for reassurance at night and they had nowhere else provided for them to sleep, despite the 8 year old expressing the need for his own bed. There were a lot of other issues at play in the case, but this was an important factor. As other posters have mentioned, context is important and each case is different.

Junebugjr Thu 08-Nov-12 22:33:43

Social services really ain't going to be bothered about normal parents bedroom arrangements, but will be interested to see the bedroom get up of families of have other issues such as alcohol/drug misuse, schedule 1 offenders as partners etc, as it can build a clear picture of what is lacking for the child. A 3 year old whose bed is a dirty mattress with no bedding is going to be some concern for SS, especially if there are other problems within the family.

Also, in some cases it can demonstrate where the priorities lie. We have had instances where a mother has had a CCG worth a fair bit, and has used it for partying, or an iPhone etc, and the children have been left without a bed, as all the money has been spent on other things deemed more important iykwim.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 08-Nov-12 22:50:22

Shrieeek, no, I snuggle... blush blush

In our house, DD is the horizontal leg kicker; DS spoons; DH sprawls over the whole bed and fidgets. We are not good co-sleepers, much more a morning cuddle family grin

Startail Thu 08-Nov-12 22:55:06

DD is 11 she has a whole double bed. She frequently manages to fall out of it. She would be much better on a mattress on the floor.

hellymelly Thu 08-Nov-12 23:00:40

We had a big mattress on the floor until recently, never thought it was an issue at all. Now we have bed bases so there is a king sized bed and a single joined together to make a bed for all 4 of us (dds are 5 and 7). There is one single bed in the dds room, not always made up, but usually, but neither of them want to sleep there. I could put another bed there, or a double, or bunks, but it would just make the room even smaller so am putting it off until they want to stop co-sleeping. Quite a shock to think this would be frowned on by ss!

Startail Thu 08-Nov-12 23:00:47

She'd love it, hates the floor space the double takes up. Unfortunately it is also the gust room and I can't see GPs being happy on the floor.

Premier Inns second child beds are mattresses on the floor. DD2 declares them far comfier than the expensive holiday inns folding double which had to be shared with DD1

We choose to put our collage mattresses on the floor as our bed frames were so bad they gave us back ache.

Shagmundfreud Thu 08-Nov-12 23:01:58

My ds is on a mattress on the floor. I don't want to spend money on a bed when he's perfectly safe, warm comfortable and happy where he is. I shove the mattress under ds2's bed during the day so they have loads of floor space for play in their bedroom.

Really - as long as children are safe, loved and have a comfortable place to sleep then SS have no business to comment on the furniture or lack thereof in a home. In itself lack of a bed frame isn't indicative of anything.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now