Of course I am talking about family sleeping arrangements of switching beds each night, or even during the night, not the other definition of bed hopping! We tend to be very lax in the way of sleeping and bed sharing. I am almost positive my extended family thinks we are nuts, but it works for us. We didn’t sleep with the toddler when he was a baby, but now he’s bigger and likes to switch around as much as the rest of us.
As I sit here and write this, my preschooler is in my bed next to me, sound asleep. I am sure sometime during the night the toddler will wake up and want to sleep next to Baba. Maybe he will sleep until 6am. Who knows? But every night at bedtime the preschooler talks about where she’s going to sleep and with who. Yes, sometimes she does sleep in her own bed by herself, but most times she is with me or Baba. Why? We have never been strict about needing our space at night. I know that some people are and that is fine. It works for them. But I wonder if we are fairly normal or completely crazy? I just love sleeping next to this angel of mine and waking up with her, knowing that one day very soon I will not have the pleasure of doing so. It’s funny to hear what she says in her sleep and to see how she wakes up. When I sleep next to my toddler, he likes to wake me up by putting his nose against mine. On occasion he has chomped on Baba’s nose to wake him up. I love this stuff. No night is normal and it’s just fine for us. I am sure you are wondering wouldn’t it be nice to sleep next to my husband? Sure, but we can sleep next to each other for the rest of our lives and at least for right now, we get enough time together at home that we feel comfortable parting ways at night.
This has gotten me thinking about bed sharing and bed hopping – I don’t really like the term co-sleeping. In no way do I think anything of families who stay in their own beds, as I was one of those kids that slept in my own bed every night and I think I turned out okay. But there are reasons why I feel that this is the right choice for my family. I did some research about the subject, since baba grew up in another country where it was normal to share a bed with family for years. I found this interesting tidbit of information from the Natural Parents Network on bed sharing:
Co-sleeping, also known as “sharing sleep” or having a “family bed,” is a parenting practice that still smacks of taboo in our Western culture. But recent scientific studies are building a much stronger argument for the benefits of sharing sleep with our children.1 Yet even with the scientific support and the changing cultural perception of co-sleeping, the subject is typically constrained to parents of infants.
It is still socially taboo to admit that you share sleep with toddlers or older children, but research shows that the taboo is unfounded. Children who co-sleep are generally more independent and secure, develop close and lasting bonds to their families, and report more happiness and general life satisfaction than children who sleep alone. There are many reasons that sharing sleep with your children is healthy and beneficial even after they’ve started walking, but below are five of the best reasons.
For more of this article visit: http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/five-benefits-cosleeping/
What are your thoughts? Do you bed hop or does your family have consistent sleeping arrangements?