Grdaughter sleeps with us

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by HereWeGoAgain, May 17, 2007.

  1. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    We have been letting our almost 6yo granddaughter sleep in our bed pretty much from the start. I was initially very concerned about this but lately I don't feel like it is a problem. It is inconvenient now and then, but as long as we read a story, say prayers and tuck in, she'll go to sleep and we can stay up for awhile. At some point this will no longer work -- she'll be too big, for one thing -- but at present it does. Also I think I saw something about a study that was done on third-world cultures where it is common for the whole family to sleep together, and they found that there were no detrimental emotional effects on the children and in fact they were better adjusted and more secure.

    What do you all think?
  2. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I personally never really even let my kids sleep in my bed with me because I couldn't get a good night sleep when they did. Just my personal preference. When they were sick I would opt to curl up in their beds for a little while. As far as the effect of allowing it, I really couldn't tell you. I know many who do it and I know it's an extremely hard habit to break. I also always felt that they need to learn to do things on their own, in their own space in order to learn some independence. Just my opinion.
  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi, I post mainly on the early childhood board but the subject line of this post caught my attention.

    I've spent many hours sleeping with kids for various reasons--I had to become a "sleep at all cost no matter where" type mom due to children's sensory issues, serious separation anxiety, chronic sinus problems, ear infections, and a little daughter we just didn't have a room space for. Sure, I would have rather had uninterupted sleep in my own bed without kids through all of those years but my children just weren't there yet.

    BUT, when my difficult child's issues settled down and space freed up for my daughter, I did gradually work towards them learning to fall asleep and sleep through the night independent of me. This transition didn't happen overnight, especially for my daughter who had mostly slept with us from birth to age 5, but it did work out gradually. There are still brief periods when someone needs to sleep near mom for some reason (sick, anxious, upset) and I've no problem with that but I'm glad--and so are they--that they normally can handle this without needing their mom. I think there's something to giving kids the opportunity to live up to what they are capable of in terms of independence.

    I don't think it's emotionally detrimental to sleep with familiy members, but I do think in our culture most children will encounter situations where they need the ability to handle it on their own. Our job as parents is to raise children who can function well independently of us and that includes the hours of nightfall just as it does daytime. I want my kids to be able to go on sleepovers and to youth group outings and be comfortable enough with themselves to get to sleep and sleep through the night on their own.
  4. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    can I join you guys?? I have always hated sleeping alone. I crawled in with my parents til I was 8. my mother hated it. I gradually would just lie on the floor next to their bed.

    my grandson Kaleb is three but I do not let him sleep with me because he hogs up the space and I cannot sleep with all that motion.
  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    That was a habit I didn't want to start because I saw how (almost) impossible it was for friends of ours to redirect their daughter to sleeping alone when she was 6. It took them almost a year and everyone was crying every night before it was over.

    On those nights when Rob needed the comfort of someone else, I would read him a story and lie down on his bed in his room....then leave after he'd fallen asleep. During bad thunderstorms it wasn't unlike him to sneak into our bedroom and sleep next to our bed on the floor.

  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I agree with Suz. It's just easier not to start a habit that (l)
    takes years to undo and (2) can cause questionable responses from
    those outside your immediate family. Having your "own" room, bed, clothes, etc. helps develop a sense of independence.

    With all the ongoing talk about abuse and potential abuse I would
    not want my grandchild to say "I sleep with Grandad" or anything
    similar even know it is totally innocent. DDD
  7. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    DDD, I hear that. One time she introduced me to a gentleman at church saying, "This is my dad -- his name is Papa." Shades of the Jim Bob/Billie Jo/Ornith Ray thread, eh? The gentleman happened to already know some of our history so he just winked and said, "Now I know you're from Oklahoma." (We are both ex-pat Okies.)

    About two years ago I pushed wife into trying to break the habit but with all the issues going on with difficult child (one of which was some separation anxiety related to mother's protracted absences) and what not we didn't stick with it.

    I remember at her age going to my parent's bedroom and climbing in with them once in a while.

    Lately it's just been the two of them. I've been staying up very late working on a project and just going to bed in the hide-a-bed in the basement. wife is a very light sleeper (I could sleep through WWII, myself) and I don't want to wake her.

    I don't even get started on my project until 9 or later, because I want to spend the hours between when I get home and she goes to bed in quality time with her. Then I spend three or four hours on my project. You do the math. By the way, I could really use an extra 4 hours a day -- does anyone have 4 spare hours they don't need? LOL.
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Because of my daughter's anxiety, she slept in my bed from age 2 1/2 until age 11. She did have periods of time in there where she was in her own bed, but not much. Often she would start out in her own bed and end up in mine at some point during the night. It was a security issue for her and I figured we had bigger things to worry about than where she was sleeping.

    We broke the habit by taking the mattress out of the trundle on her daybed and putting it on my bedroom floor. She slept there for several months. Then we made a big deal about buying her a new bed. She decided on a really nice futon with a nicer mattress than I have on my bed. Because of her sensory issues, we still ended up getting a memory foam mattress topper for her as well. She hasn't been in my bed for months now.

    Honestly, at some point she is going to want to leave your bed on her own. This wouldn't be something I would worry about.
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Actually I have friends who said their daughter slept with them from birth until she moved out at age 18.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My kids all slept with us at various times. They had their own beds and would sleep in them when they wanted to but would sleep with us when they wanted to. It wasnt uncommon to find a child or two in our bed even when they were teens if they were sick.

    Actually, when Jamie came home from boot the first stop he made was to come jump in our bed to announce he was home!

    I dont have a problem in the world with the family bed. I dont think the kids will invite the parents on their wedding
  11. sameold sameold

    sameold sameold New Member

    My difficult child slept in my bed for years, as he got older we put a small mattress on the floor beside our bed, eventually when he was probably 13 or so, he "decided" he was gettting too old to sleep with "momma", his older brother teased him about it, and he just started sleeping in his own room. Even now he loves to have me sit and talk with him as he going to sleep. I see nothing wrong with them sleeping in your room.
  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    There's an exception to every rule, SRL.
  13. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Very appropriate timing for this thread.

    Guess who just snuck into my bed, forcing me out?

  14. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    That is one thing I've always wondered. How does something so small take up so much space in the bed??? I never understood that.

    I only have a double bed, so when difficult child slept with me it was interesting. Because we were also joined by the dog and at least 2 of the 3 cats.
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LOL Heather...back when the kids slept with us we only had a double bed too. It never failed that we ended up with the kids, a dog or two and cats. And back then we had BIG dogs! Try having a sick teen, a 100 pound rottie or two and two very large adults in a double bed...lmao.
  16. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #663366"> we did the family bed thing for years tho husband switched to the couch early on lol. neither were difficult child at that point. they just craved the physical contact. jarrod moved to his own bed at about 6. sarah not until she was 10. truth be told i missed them when they transitioned.

    kids seek what they it emotionally or physically. i never saw a reason to deny them the need for human contact & physical warmth. truth be told....i enjoyed it too.

    </span> </span> </span>
  17. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Back when I was agitating to break the sleeping with Nanah and Papa habit, we got granddaughter a child bed. Later we moved it into our room thinking maybe she would sleep in it in there. Mostly it is occupied by five or ten stuffed animals from her vast collection, along with one real animal, who starts in the same bed with wife and grdtr but gets ticked off if grdtr moves around too much and hops over there.

    Well, this morning I went up to rouse wife (which doesn't take much) and grdtr was asleep in her own bed, pushed right up against ours, and Scoo the dog was curled up with wife.
  18. Sue C

    Sue C Active Member

    Well, Melissa actually slept in her own bed until she was about 4. Then we moved to a new house and she began sleeping in our bed. We put her to bed in her own bed, but she would sneak into our bed in the middle of the night so eventually we just let her sleep with us from the start. We only had a double bed at the time and 2 dogs and a cat. She slept in our bed until she was probably 8.

    However, then she slept on our bedroom floor on my side of the bed. She did this until she was TWENTY YEARS OLD!!!! She has a great fear of a stranger breaking into the house and killing her. I am serious.

    She now sleeps on the couch with the light on and TV on all night. It is the only way she can sleep.

    I see no problem with a young child sleeping in their parent's (grandparent's) bed. It becomes a problem when the kid is a teenager and won't move off the parent's floor because they are too scared. I'm speaking from my experience. I don't know how we could have done it differently. We told her over and over to sleep in her own room. Her friends told her she was too old to sleep in our room. She would start out in her own bed, we would go to bed, and not long after that she would drag her sleeping bag and pillow into our room. (sigh)

    You'll have to do what feels right for you.
  19. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I personally don't have anything against it. But I've seen families who did and had the worst time getting them back OUT of their bed when they did get too old.

    My kids only got to crawl into bed with us if it was storming or they had a nitemare. But even that stopped at about age 6.

    I just can't sleep with a little one in the bed. They're all knees, feet, and elbows for crissake! lmao

    N just broke the baby from sleeping with her. OMG it was horrible for a few nights. Now she goes right to sleep in her crib. (N started it cuz the baby couldn't sleep during teething)

    I slept with my grandma during my entire childhood. There was nowhere else for me to sleep. lol I still have fond memories of snuggling her as I fell asleep. :smile:
  20. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Once when I was visiting some friends and sleeping in their guest bedroom, there was a t-storm overnite, and their 4yo son came and crawled in the bed with me for some reason. I was oblivious until I woke up in the morning and there the little guy was, sleeping peacefully. I felt a tad awkward about it but the parents were not fazed in the least. Seems he just goes and finds an occupied bed when it storms.