Our 2 kids co-sleep with us. We never turn them away. (2024)

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Essay by Bethaney Phillips

Our 2 kids co-sleep with us. We never turn them away. (1)

  • At 8 months old, our oldest started co-sleeping with me and my husband.
  • Then, when our youngest was 3, he also joined us in bed. At 5 and 7, they're still sleeping with us.
  • Co-sleeping won't be a lifelong arrangement, but for now, it works for us.

Our 2 kids co-sleep with us. We never turn them away. (2)

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Our 2 kids co-sleep with us. We never turn them away. (4)

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When he was just 8 months old, our oldest began sleeping in our bed every night. (Before that, he slept in his yet-to-be-recalled Rock 'n Play.) It was something we said we'd never do. We weren't going to be co-sleepers. But suddenly, we had a son who refused to sleep in his crib, and we were tired and a couple of softies. In our king-sized bed, there was plenty of room, and he began going to bed with us regularly..

Two years later, we had another son. This one liked his crib. He slept in it until he was 3. By then, our oldest was 5 and slept in his own bed about half the time. It was only when our youngest wandered in and saw his brother in our bed that he even realized co-sleeping was an option. It was like a lightbulb moment for him. But this caused a problem: while one baby fit fine, two growing boys don't fit quite so comfortably.

We know co-sleeping not a lifelong scenario — our kids won't always want to sleep with us — so for now, it's comfort that we can provide them. The warmth and safety of "Mommy and Daddy's bed."

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There is only one exception to co-sleeping: cases of the stomach flu are not allowed to share the bed.

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Our 2 kids co-sleep with us. We never turn them away. (5)

They usually start the night in their own bed, but almost always end up in ours

The boys climb into their own twin-sized beds and get cuddles. Both want me — an infuriating compliment — so I take turns about who gets snuggles first. After a long day, snuggler number two is likely asleep before I reach them.

At some point in the night, one or both of them crawls into our bed. It might have been a bad dream, they may have been cold, or they could have just woken and wanted some cuddling time. It's not uncommon for me to wake up to find a child in the middle of me and my husband, or wedging me into the middle. It's also not uncommon for me to move and relocate to their bed, which is plenty comfortable. And a 5'3", I'm an easy fit. (My 6'1" husband hangs his feet off the end.)

On days when the kids are overly tired or upset, we allow them to go to bed in ours and then move them once they are in a deep sleep. Occasionally, this can be used as a reward, too. Of course, they ask not to be moved, to sleep there all night, but we make no such promises.

Our 2 kids co-sleep with us. We never turn them away. (6)

We don't see things changing anytime soon

My mom jokes that we need another mattress in our room, essentially doubling the size of our current bed. And while I know our habits are a bit unorthodox, it also allows us the freedom to sleep in the way everyone needs.

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They each have night lights in their rooms, and we run two fans on high. The youngest piles his bed with about 15 stuffies, while hard toys such as Lego bricks or cars are fair game in the oldest's bed. Therefore, when they come in needing comfort and I need to decamp to a twin bed, I opt for the former. I can toss a few fabric animals to the floor, but rolling onto a metal car would ruin my entire night of sleep.

In any case, I've found it's easier to move than try to convince them they don't need us nearby. Besides, if sleeping in our bed can give them the comfort they need, some great core memories, and the peace of mind they need at night, why wouldn't we provide it?

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Our 2 kids co-sleep with us. We never turn them away. (2024)

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