We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation and wildness.
David Orr from "Earth in Mind"

May 29, 2007

Why We Have a Family Bed

So awhile ago we bought a crib. We thought it might be good for all of us if Alder had his own place to sleep sometimes. The first week he actually spent part of every night in it. Then for a while it was a napping place where he wouldn't fall out. But then he figured out how to carefully get off the bed so the crib has been used exactly six times in three months.

When Alder was born we were unsure about a family bed. We like the idea but were unsure of how it would work in reality. It was rocky at first, Kevin was afraid of rolling on him, but it seemed impractical to get up to breast feed him throughout the night. So he stayed in our bed and after the first week discovered mornings.

Mornings in our house have always been early, but now they are wondrous. Those moments when we are all awake and being with each other in the warmth of the bed are our happiest. To wake up to Alder running his fingers through my hair or burrowing against my side it pure joy. He usually spends the first half hour or so going back and forth between us with cuddles and smiles.

We spend this time talking about our plans for the day, our dreams and much more. Before he was born the mornings were always about bounding out of bed and getting dressed. Sure we would slow down for breakfast together but there was always a period of rushing before hand. Time in which our moods could change, stresses be remembered. Alder has taught to slow down and move at a natural rhythm, I have many more calm days now that we have our morning routine.

Of course we are often asked how long we are planning on sleeping with him. I can't really answer that yet. Right now it works for us, someday he may want his own space but we are never going to force him out of our bed. Any of the reasons that we had tried the crib have evaporated, sleeping as a family is one of the greatest pleasures in life.

[note: I use the term family bed rather than co-sleeping because I feel that co-sleeping sounds like some medical or educational term rather than something that creates cozy connections]

1 comment:

Christy said...

My husband's biggest complaint with the family bed was that our son was between us and we couldn't cuddle at night. We took one of the sides off the crib and put it next to my side of the bed. Logan can sleep on that side of me and not be between DH and I. No worries about rolling over on him. He is 7 now but we still have the crib set up for the extra room.