These are our children, lets take responsibility for them!
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Having our children sleep in the same bed with us feels so natural and right. I can't even imagine them elsewhere. I had never heard of the family bed when my first child was born. We had bought a crib because that is what society says is right, who was I to think anything different (I've learned since). My daughter did sleep in her crib the first weeks of her life, and when I would put her down I would sleep on her floor right next to the crib. I couldn't imagine sleeping in my own room. Silly huh? Well that didn't last long, as soon as I brought her into our bed things got much easier and my worries were laid to rest. I should have listened to my intuition.
*Imagine for a moment. Imagine a baby existing in a mommies belly, safe and secure for 9 months. The baby is born and the experience is tremendously frightening, yet when ever he is near his mother he feels the familiar feeling of security. A few weeks pass and he is introduced to his new sleeping quarters, resembling some kind of cage. He has always found peace when sleeping by listening to his mothers heart beating or her breathing, yet now suddenly he is thrust into this cage. It's scary in here, a bit cold not being near mom, lonely, and the familiar sounds I am use to hearing are gone. This is quite an enormous difference. Imagine the feelings of helplessness and confusion. Now Imagine this baby shares sleep with his parents. His *desires or needs* whether it be hunger, security or comfort are being tended to. He grows. He begins to feel secure within himself and his surroundings. He develops trust. His feelings are important, he is important. He is allowed to develop naturally and respectfully without interference. He is given a gift from his parents, he is worthy of attention and love.
We now have four people in our bed and I still wouldn't change anything, either would my husband. We have a regular king size bed, although we may get a California size soon. We all fit fine. I rarely get out of bed at night with my baby, nor do we fully awaken. I do remember waking frequently when my daughter slept in a crib, I would feed her or rock her back to sleep, neither one of us slept much. I'm awakened to the underlining reasons for this now. Nighttime parenting in the family bed has many advantages and one of the best is having a good nights rest, a mom who is well rested is a much better mom during the day. The first few nights sleeping in our family bed I did worry about rolling over onto my baby, these feelings were short lived after I realized even in my sleep I was fully aware of exactly where my baby was. I also love the fact that when my children wake in the morning, I don't need to rush up out of bed. We awaken slowly and stir around in the bed until everyone is fully awake (this is nice if your not a morning person!)
I love having my children feel safe and secure with me during the day and also at night.
Babies learn to imitate healthy breathing patterns from their parents.
Nurturing our babies won't stop when night falls.
Parents who bring their babies to bed sleep longer and better.
Nursing is as simple as rolling over.
A well rested mom is a more productive mom
Suite 101/Family Bed
Ten Reasons to Sleep Next to your Child
Go Ahead-Sleep with Your Kids
The Family Bed (article)
Infants Rest A Lot Easier If Parents Sleep Nearby