Interesting article on how evolution explains why children protest bedtimes so strongly.
The answer begins to emerge as soon as we leave the Western world and look at children elsewhere. Bedtime protest is unique to Western and Westernized cultures. In all other cultures, infants and young children sleep in the same room and usually in the same bed with one or more adult caregivers, and bedtime protest is non-existent.. What infants and young children protest, apparently, is not going to bed per se, but going to bed alone, in the dark, at night. When people in non-Western cultures hear about the Western practice of putting young children to bed in separate rooms from themselves, often without even an older sibling to sleep with, they are shocked. "The poor little kids!" they say. "How could their parents be so cruel?" Those who are most shocked are people in hunter-gatherer societies, for they know very well why young children protest against being left alone in the dark.
How do your kids handle bedtime? Where and with whom do they sleep?
my three were vastly different from one another. the oldest slept with me until he was four; the second never slept with me and happily waved good-bye to the room as he was carted off to his solitude. the youngest slept with me on and off till age six.
i think that treating people as individuals is what is most natural.
Small child? NO.
Child almost as big as me? YES.
We never planned on co-sleeping and in fact, my daughter slept in her crib by herself just fine. She even transitioned to her toddler bed fairly well. Switching to the full size bed was not as easy, but she really didn't fit in the toddler bed anymore. I started out by laying down next to her while she fell asleep, then that turned into me falling asleep in there and my husband waking me when he came home from work. Then when he started working from home (in our bedroom) we all just started hanging out in our bed so we could socialize with him before bedtime. YEAH. It just kind of happened. Now it's me, husband, nine year old, two dogs and a cat in our bed.
For us I think it's more of a social thing than a fear thing.
I just keep telling myself that someday she won't want to sleep with me and I'll be sad and reminicing about when she couldn't be without me. :)
Our 5-year-old and our 2-year-old (still night nursing) both sleep in bed with us. To do otherwise seems totally against nature. No other altricial mammal kicks its vulnerable young out of the nest so early, so speak.
My son who turned 21 today, slept in our bed for the first 3 1/2 years. That's how long I nursed him also. Which btw gave him an awesome immune system. It never made sense to me to separate the baby from the mother at night. When it gets dark they don't need us anymore? Totally unnatural and goes against the laws of nature.
All three of my kids coslept with me. The now 13 yr old went to her own bed when her brother was born (she was 4). My 8 yr old finally moved to his own bed a few months ago but he gets up in the middle of the night and gets in bed with me. My youngest is 3 and sleeps with me, but didn't start out that way. I moved him to my bed one night that he got sick and the rest is history.
I have a king size bed and I am divorced, so it's just us. I've actually gotten everyone out of my bed before but I hated it. I actually enjoy the wind down time where I am reading a little and we're talking. Almost like dinner table type stuff....oh wait, I guess that's pillow talk eh?
Yeah, my four year old still sleeps in our bed. The two year old actually prefers his own bed...go figure. They both co-slept while nursing.
And glad to see yet an article validating "what comes natural".
Our two daughters (1 and 3) sleep alone, and go to bed at 7pm, about 1 and a half hours earlier than us parents. The 3 yo had a brief period of bedtime protest, but that ceased when I started singing songs to her after the lights were out. Now she turns the light off herself and is eager to hear "Sweet Baby James." They will soon share a bedroom, and I hope that they both ask for songs when that time comes.
7 month old sleeps with us and the 4 year old (who slept with us for about 18 months) sleeps in her own bed. I just finished reading "The Continuum Concept" actually, so I've told my 4 year old she can come sleep with us if she wants to (we have a king size mattress on the floor now instead of the double bed w/ frame we had when she was a baby). So far she hasn't taken us up on the offer, but she's always welcome.
We coslept with all three of our kids. We also did extended breastfeeding.
I put my oldest child in his cradle the first night we were home and laid down (across the room) in our bed. I couldn't sleep at all. I went and got him, put him in bed with us, and never looked back. Plus, it made night feedings soooooooo much easier. I got way more sleep than most of my friends did because I didn't have to get out of bed to feed a hungry baby--I barely even had to wake up.
Starting around age 2-3 they had their own toddler beds in their bedrooms, so they could choose to sleep there if they preferred (they rarely did). But, eventually all of them did move out and into their own rooms.