I was reading an article about holistic parenting and wondered if Speedy and I had been observing a philosophy we didn’t even know there was a term for. I guess we have. There’s the family bed, for instance.
It is a modern practice to let a baby sleep in his own bed (crib) and, in some instances, even for the baby to have his own room. Sam and Alex had their cribs but they served mostly as nighttime playpens whereas their real playpen served its purpose during the day. They slept on our bed, one on either side of me. In fact, when they were about one and two years old, they developed this habit of sleeping on my arms — one upper arm served as a pillow for each child while I held them in a loose embrace with my lower arms and hands. Kinda hard when I needed to scratch my nose, really. But they slept soundly and contentedly that way.
When they are two and three, we moved them to their own beds but still in the same bedroom with us. A year later, we moved them to their own bedroom. But when one child was sick, it automatically meant she slept next to me so I could monitor her condition all throughout the night. And this practice holds true to this day even when they are 13 and 14 already. For some reason, my kids feel more secure and cared for this way.
At their age today, when they ask to sleep in our room, we let them. We all sometimes get this need for physical proximity during those peaceful and restful hours of the night. Crowded bed, really, and Speedy often needs to take out a sleeping bag and settle for a night on the floor but we do it anyway.
There was one time… well, I lock Speedy out of the bedroom sometimes when we have tiffs, you know? And, one time, the girls said they’d sleep in our bedroom since daddy was going to sleep on the sofa anyway. Sleep… well, the way things turned out, we spent half the night chatting and gossiping — very noisily I should say since the the story telling was interspersed with squeals of laughter. Girl talk, mostly. The following day, when Speedy and I made up, he told me he could hear us through the closed bedroom door. :razz:
On cool nights, we would sometimes move the living room furniture, take the mattresses from our beds and arrange them on the living room floor. We would watch movies together until we get sleepy. Best time to watch horror movies because we can snuggle close under our blankets and giggle at how we love to scare ourselves silly. Sam and I especially love doing this; Alex isn’t fond of horror movies.
Family bed. Holistic parenting. New terms for me but we’ve been doing it before the terms were coined.