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co-sleeping without the proper option of seperate bed - when is dc too old??

(31 Posts)
zebramummy Fri 19-Jun-09 21:59:45

i love cosleeping with ds who is coming up to 4. i always told myself that i would stop doing this before he starts school - he will start in january but in many other areas he would be starting in september.

he has his own bedroom since birth which was thoughtfully furnished & originally had a cot in it but he obviously outgrew this in time & it was not replaced by a childs bed as he was already a fully-fledged co-sleeper by then. even though he has his clothes and some toys/activities in there i dont think he retains any real emotional attachment to the room - instead he sees the main bedroom as 'his sleeping/resting/reading/lounging about place' for obvious reasons. dh now sleeps in ds' room and both ds and i feel that room is now dh's room. btw dh and i have an otherwise good relationship and this issue is far from being a bone of contention.

i feel reluctant to force this upon ds as he is otherwise an independent, mature child. however, it feels fantastic to be there when he reaches out for my arm while asleep and drifts back into deep sleep rather than playing out that other scenario which would result if i were in a different bed. however, i worry that he would be bullied by his peers if he let slip that he was still cosleeping as even though i know that it is the norm in many cultures it is basically not so in this culture esp at that stage.

PrettyCandles Fri 19-Jun-09 22:05:23

IMO the most important thing at this stage is whether you and your dh are honestly comfortable with this. Are you both absolutely sure that you don't miss each other? Are you both happy with your sex life?

If yes, then I think you can let the relationship continue until either he or you feel it needs to change. He may well want his own place to play when friends come over, which would be a good lead-in towards a transfer to his own bed in his own room. My ds1 and dd shared a bedroom until earlier this year, and we celebrated dd's move into her own room (age 6) with a sleepover.

paranoidmother Fri 19-Jun-09 22:08:57

Personally I think you will find that once he finds out all his friends don't share a bed with their mums that he might wish to go into his own room. Esp. when they want to come round and play or he goes to their house, they'll take him into their bedrooms.

I know of someone who has co-slept with all her DC's for the first 4-5 years of their lives (4dc's) and the last has just gone into his room.

I would just see how it goes and if he wants to go back into his own bedroom and see how it goes just let him and as long as he knows you are there for him I imagine he'll be fine and sleep through as normal.

What happens when you have a night away from him? Does he sleep on his own then?

Elliemama Fri 19-Jun-09 22:38:23

Wow! I think that it's so lovely that you are still cosleeping!

my DS is 17mo and he co-sleeps with us. It seems strange to think that in 3 years time he might still be in with us. But then again it seems really sad to think one day he'll be in his own room.... I just think that we are so lucky to share this time with our children and can't quite understand why my friends think its so mad, and voluntarily missout on one of the most amazing parts of parenting.

Anyway its lovely to think that there are quite a few of us cosleepers out there.

I'm sure that like the other posters have said he will move on when he realises that his school friends all have their own rooms. Also isn't the point of cosleeping to encourage real confidence in our children so that they have the freedom to move on to independence in their own time? Have you tried asking him what he thinks and how he feels about one day sleeping in his own room?

LilianGish Fri 19-Jun-09 23:04:20

Am I the only person who thinks it slightly odd that dh would move into your son's room so you and your son can share a bed? It would concern me if my dh was happy with that arrangement. I don't have a problem with cosleeping - dd spent nearly a year sleeping in our bed when she was about 3 although ds has never wanted to - but it's always been very clear that they are coming into our bed. It's important to me that my children feel safe and secure and if that means they want to snuggle up in the night that's fine, but not at the expense of my relationship with dh and I think it's good for them to know that that relationship is important too.

nomoresleep Sat 20-Jun-09 08:12:01

zebramummy, I'm in the same position! My DD is 4, starts reception in January and co-sleeps with us. She has a bedroom with a bed and her clothes but never sleeps there. My DP is in our bed rather than DD's bed ( we have a 6 foot wide bed) but otherwise our situation is the same.

I've been wondering how it's going to change too...she is just waking up to the realisation that her friends sleep in their own beds and perhaps this will motivate her to sleep in her own bed but it hasn't done so yet. I've been thinking that starting school is a big step and that we should carry on co-sleeping through it and look at encouraging her to move out at Easter next year if she hasn't done so before. Also, we have a new baby and I don't want her to think she's being pushed out to make room for him.

So no advice, but wanted to let you know that I'm in there with you!

flamingobingo Sat 20-Jun-09 08:19:03

We co-sleep and have done for 6 years now. DD1 and DD2 moved into their room in their bunkbeds a month or so ago, when DD1 was nearly 6 and DD2 was 4.

We put a king size next to a single on a low bedframe so that DH wouldn't have to sleep elsewhere - that was important to us. And he also benefits from co-sleeping - he thinks it's helped make him feel much closer to the children.

We've now got our nice king size bed back and we share it with DD4 (9m) and DD3 sleeps on a mattress on the floor next to us, and comes in to bed to cuddle DH on and off through the night.

It suits us, we're all happy, and it's no one else's business. I think it's been good for the children too.

I would say that you don't need to stop co-sleeping unless one of the party isn't happy. Get a bed for your DS in his room so it's ready for him when he wants to leave your bed. And enjoy your boy while he's little and still wants to be cuddled up to you - it's a special time.

Perfectgangofthree Sat 20-Jun-09 11:32:49

"dh now sleeps in ds' room and both ds and i feel that room is now dh's room".

How sad for your dh.

flamingobingo Sat 20-Jun-09 11:34:06

Why sad for him if he doesn't mind? hmm

Perfectgangofthree Sat 20-Jun-09 12:17:32


Because I doubt very much that her DH doesn't mind. How would a MNetter feel if her DH and their DD took over her bedroom and she slept in a single bed in the child's room? Pretty sad and left out I would guess.

The OP wrote "both ds and i feel that room is now dh's room". I'm sure her DH is thrilled about that.

It's just wrong on so many levels.

I'm not against co-sleeping but it should involve both parents, not banishing daddy to the kid's room to sleep alone under a Ben 10 duvet for pete's sake.

Twims Sat 20-Jun-09 12:23:57

Agree that co-sleeping should not be done with 1 partner being banished to another bedroom whether they like it or not (apparently this dh does) Just think it's odd that you would prefer to sleep with your child and not your partner or at least as a family.

zebramummy Sat 20-Jun-09 12:55:29

well we did have dh in there originally but when ds was around 2 we could no longer all fit into our small double. dh tried sleeping in a bed alongside ours but his coughing, occasional sleeptalking and much later bedtime meant that it became too disruptive for us. tbh i had never really enjoyed sharing with dh because he is not an ideal bed companion for the reasons mentioned above. i concede that he was not happy to leave at the time but is ok with it now. i was still bf at that point too and i had just discovered the 'australian method' so i was not prepared to encourage ds out at that point. ds was only bf at night and first thing in the morning but he was still learing how to sleep through at that point having been weaned off night feeds very recently (btw he self-weaned around his third birthday so i must stress that this is not a current consideration!!)

Bucharest Sat 20-Jun-09 13:17:15

Dd (5.5) and I are still co-sleeping and dh sleeps in the bedroom that will, when dd wants to, be hers. We all sleep extremely well, I personally can't think of anything worse than having my snoring, tossing and turning and grunting like a wild animal dp asleep next to me while I have to listen to him all night! Obviously, I am in the fortunate position whereby my dp is perfectly happy to sleep on his own....OP- if your husband isn't, then you do need to find some kind of compromise, I agree.

OP- Have you read Three in A bed by Deborah Jackson? It should allay any fears you have or any prejudices anyone else throws at you. It is only in the western "developed" world where there is this insistance on children being put to bed in their own rooms.

Just because I don't sleep with my dp, doesn't mean I don't fvck him. Regularly. And in a variety of places.

I would also wager money that more people than you would think co-sleep. My SIL wouldn't even know the expression, for example, but in conversation she has often mentioned that more often than not, she sleeps with the 3 children in the big bed whle her hubby has one of the children's beds..

Do what you feel is right for your family smile

LilianGish Sat 20-Jun-09 15:55:44

I think the problem you may have Zebra is in persuading ds to swap rooms with dh and letting dh take ds's place in your bed. I accept what Budapest says and I agree that lots of families play musical beds when children are small, but that's not what you are talking about. Ds thinks his bed is your bed and that daddy has his own room.
I also think Bucharest's point that "It is only in the western "developed" world where there is this insistance on children being put to bed in their own rooms" is a bit spurious. Surely that's more about circumstances than lifestyle choice and I don't imagine dad has his own separate quarters there! I go back to my original point which is that I think co-sleeping is fine, but children should understand they have a bed of their own - even if someone else happens to be sleeping in it.

Bucharest Sat 20-Jun-09 15:58:18

Who's Budapest? grin

LilianGish Sat 20-Jun-09 16:00:33

Sorry - geography was never my strong point blush

hercules1 Sat 20-Jun-09 16:04:46

I can't understand the point made here that a husband and wive's relationship can suffer due to cosleeping. How??
Ds coslept with us till he was 5 and dd is still cosleeping with us at 5 and will move shortly.

We have a 6ft bed also and never crossed dh or mine mind to do it any differently.

Relationship is fine too!

zebramummy Sat 20-Jun-09 19:08:42

thanks for posting - i have decided that the thing to do is to perhaps invest in a small bed to be placed alongside the double bed and to encourage ds to gradually accept it as his bed - in that way, we would each have a bed (the biggest one for myself of course!!!) and we would then see how things pan out

HuffwardlyRudge Sat 20-Jun-09 19:17:25

Why is it that an adult man sleeping alone in the second bedroom is "banished" and sad, but a young child sleeping alone in a bedroom while the rest of his family are snuggled in the main bed together is considered normal and healthy?

mehdismummy Sat 20-Jun-09 19:37:16

my ds co slept and still does sometimes and he is 3.5 years i got his favourite cartoon/character(mr bob the builder!!) duvet set and posters etc and made it into his room!! i started by sitting with him whilst he went to sleep and when he got use to it he started to settle himself, i also got everybody to clap and cheer when he slept in his big boy bed!! my ds self weaned from bf at 2.11 years and it was hard and tbh i miss him at times, he has a happy very confident little boy and i strongly believe he is because he bf and coslept. so just go with it is my advice

Scrumplet Sun 21-Jun-09 02:21:36

DS (just turned five) and I co-sleep. We have since he was two, when we moved house and he couldn't settle at night. I now wish I had co-slept since he was a baby.

Because of how we got started with co-sleeping, I sleep in DS's room (his dad and I are separated). He has always had his own room, and he has a double bed in there. This means my room (which has all my clothes and toiletries in, plus a six-foot bed which I never sleep in!) is my room - and DS knows this. And his room is his room.

He has nearly finished his first year at school. His best friend comes over to play every week and for the occasional sleepover and has never commented about his big bed. A couple of his other friends have said, "Wow, what a big bed you have!" But it isn't obvious to them that I co-sleep with DS, and he doesn't (usually) tell them.

DS is happy co-sleeping, even though he knows all his other friends sleep on their own. He reckons he wants to co-sleep for another year or two, and then he'll be ready to sleep on his own. This is fine with me.

Is your DS's room big enough to put a double bed in there (albeit a low-to-the-ground one with no big frame, so it doesn't seem so big, IYSWIM)? Then you and he could start sleeping in there and he could take ownership of his room before school starts, and in readiness for eventually sleeping in there on his own.

And I agree with other posters who say that if you and your DH are honestly happy with your sleeping arrangements, that really is all that matters.

macdoodle Sun 21-Jun-09 09:34:29

"i concede that he was not happy to leave at the time but is ok with it now"

BonsoirAnna Sun 21-Jun-09 09:39:00

I think you should involve your DS in making his bedroom into a proper grown up boy's bedroom. There is no chance he will create any attachment to his own room if it isn't properly set up for his developmental stage.

moondog Sun 21-Jun-09 09:39:58

Poor swimes. Your dhs are not happy with this arrangement.
I can guarantee it.

piscesmoon Sun 21-Jun-09 09:48:08

I much prefer to sleep with my DH on our own, I really don't see what is unhealthy about that HuffwardlyRudge.My DCs have always been happy in their own room-they weren't 'banished'.

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