Do you feel the "family bed" does more harm than good?
Parents that allow their children to sleep with them are faced with the inevitable transition of getting the child to sleep in a bed of their own.
My experience has been that if our daughter comes in bed with us we don't sleep very well and neither does she. If she insists we try to get her to sleep in our bed and then move her to her crib. So by and large we haven't allowed it to become a habit just for our own sanity. Maybe it would be a different story if we had a California King.
I think it sets a routine of "easiest" not really "best". The kids then only feel really comfortable in bed with the parents and the few times we tried it no one got any sleep. Again, it might be different with a larger bed (we only have a queen) but I think it is important that the child learns to sleep in their own bed and have a consistent bed time routine. It seems to be the best solution to the "family bed" is to never start it in the first place.
It's a movement in parenting I just dont agree with, not only for the reasons you both have mentioned but also for the child's false sense of security along with a parents inability to "cut the cord" so to speak. I understand it if space and resources are limited for a family but I cringe to see these beautifully designed babyroom's getting no other use than to change a diaper. The family bed just feels like another "quick fix" with little account given to the long term difficulties both parent and child will face.
Personally I feel a family bed does more harm than good both medically and psychology. First it doesn't allow the husband and wife personal time alone and it doesn't teach the child how to be independent. Ever once in while when the child as a nightmare is fine but not all the time. Plus if the parents toss and turn like my husband does he could hurt the children that are in the bed. There has been some occasions when he has accidentally hit me in the night but not as much now since we have king size bed. Besides the tossing and turning what if the parents are sound sleepers and don't realize that they rolled over on the child or the child fell out of bed. On the other hand I am a light sleeper so having children in bed would cut down on my quality of sleep which could lead to health problems down the road. All in all its better for everyone to have their own space.
Indian customs work very differently as far as parenting is concerned. We are usually over protective parents, believe in strong family ties. The baby sleeps with the parents and graduates to a separate bed when their is space constraint or if the child wants to sleep in a separate room. So the transition is pretty normal, gradual and easy.
From what I've seen with parents that have allowed their children to share their bed, no good seems to come from it. My wife & I never allowed our children to sleep in our bed, we would comfort them in their own room & then they would end up resting in their own cot or bed as we never wanted them to be in a habit of being used to it. I have never heard anything positive in regards to parents who have allowed their kids to share their bed, so I would have to say that I believe it to do more harm than good.
I really don't. I have three kids. Some nights we snuggle together through storms. Some nights we just pack in the bed for fun. Most of the time, the kids can't stand each other, so I relish the times when they get along. haha When my kids decide to crawl in bed during the night, we have great conversations in the morning while we procrastinate getting out of bed.
Some of my favorite memories are crawling in bed with my mom and dad. It was a wonderfully safe and happy time.
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