Sizzling Sex When There Are Kids In Your Bed

Photo by Amodiovalerio Verde

We have a family bed. Our bed has grown a bit over the past 9 years. We started with a King size bed. Then we added a child. We continued adding beds and children until our current arrangemet – a King+Queen+Twin with four kids, my husband, and myself. It’s not like that every night. Sometimes our older two children sleep in their bunk beds, either one in each bed or sharing the full bottom bunk. However lately, most nights include the entire family snuggled up in our room. It isn’t for everyone, but it works for us. Soon enough they won’t want to snuggle with us anymore or need a parent close. We are happy to provide them with a healthy secure attachment to provide the foundation for them to go off on their own.

Surprisingly, the question most people ask when they hear about family beds is about sex. I’ll admit that the first time someone broached the subject, I didn’t initially make the connection. Call me naive, if you like. Beds just don’t happen to equate sex to me. In my world, beds are for sleeping.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had plenty of sex in beds; beds just don’t happen to be THE place we head to for a little rendezvous. Frankly, if you looked at our sex life pre-kids, the bed still only held a small percentage of our frisky endeavors. So I’m always a bit mystified when someone thinks we don’t have sex because our kids sleep in our bed, not only because I don’t view beds as the sex spot, but also because, with four kids, it’s kind of obvious that yes, we do have sex.
I’m sure, years from now, our bed will start to see more action. When the kids are teenagers, staying up late and scrounging in the kitchen for snacks, we’ll need to curtail some of our amorous activities around the house. Even later, when we are enjoying our twilight years and find that certain places are hard on our hips or joints, we’ll make certain we have a nice big bed.
However, for now, it’s nice having all the kids tucked away in bed while the rest of the house is our playground. Early morning showers before the kids are up are steamy in all the right ways. When my husband walks in the kitchen in the afternoon, asking me to come help him put laundry on to wash, I know it’s a double score: some special time with him and my handsome husband doing laundry.
Having kids in our bed hasn’t diminished our love life. If anything, it has just ensured that we haven’t found a rut and that sex is just as sizzling as ever.

Symbiotic Sleep

Welcome to the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival

This post was written for inclusion in the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival hosted by Monkey Butt Junction . Our bloggers have written on so many different aspects of cosleeping. Please read to
the end to find a list of links to the other carnival
participants.

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Photo by Fabrizio Salvetti

For 9 months, we carry our children inside us. All of their needs are met by our bodies, and while many describe the relationship as being parasitic in nature, it is actually symbiotic. Mothers also benefit from pregnancy. Besides the joy of experiencing our children grow and move around inside, hormones associated with pregnancy lower a woman’s risk of certain cancers, such as ovarian and breast cancers. Of course, we are also ensuring that our genes are carried forward by future generations – the biological goal of every species.

This symbiotic relationship doesn’t end with birth, however. It continues with breastfeeding, which also lowers a woman’s risks of cancer and later onset of osteoporosis, while giving our children the best start in life. As one would expect, this symbiotic relationship we have with our children is not limited to working hours; it continues day and night.
While the environment has changed for certain cultures in the recent past, our biological need for a symbiotic relationship remains. The benefits of co-sleeping are well documented for both child and parents.
  • Better, more peaceful, sleep for everyone. The mention of better sleep with co-sleeping families usually focuses on thegreater ease of breastfeeding. When mother and child are next to one another, no one has to get up to go get the baby to nurse or bottle feed. However, there is a deeper reason for better sleep among co-sleeping families. Multiple individuals in close proximity will naturally synchronise with one another. Corresponding sleep cycles result in mothers who are in tune with their child, automatically sharing cycles without abruptly waking from amidst a deep sleep cycle.
  • Worldwide research shows a dramatic decrease in SIDS among children who sleep in close proximity with their parents. These children typically sleep on their backs or sides, lowering their risk of death. Increased CO2 levels stimulate breathing. 80% of the world cosleeps in some form; those countries where co-sleeping is the norm have the lowest (or nonexistent) SIDS rates, ensuring the survival of our genes.
  • Safer sleep. Sleeping next to a parent helps infants and children to regulate body temperature, heart rates, and breathing. In the event of an emergency (health, natural disaster, or other threat), parents are able to quickly act. Parents can sleep better, knowing that their children are at less risk in a safe co-sleeping environment.
  • Attached children gain a healthier independence, are more secure, have better self-worth, and have more control over their actions, resulting in a better environment, and easier relationship, for all parties. Co-sleeping helps parents who may be away from children during the day to better connect during sleep. Human touch and sleep interactions help individuals bond, even while they sleep.

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Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival

Thanks for reading a post in the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival. On Carnival day, please follow along on Twitter using the #CosleepCar hashtag.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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  • Emotive Co-Sleeping Campaign – Miriam at Diary of an Unconscious Mother talks about her feelings on Milwaukee’s anti-cosleeping crusade and its latest advertising campaign.
  • Why Cosleeping has Always been the Right Choice for My Family – Patti at Jazzy Mama shares how lucky she feels to have the privilege of sleeping with her four children.
  • Cosleeping is a safe, natural and healthy solution parents need to feel good about. – See how Tilly at Silly Blatherings set up a side-car crib configuration to meet her and her families’ needs.
  • Black and White: Race and the Cosleeping Wars – Moorea at Mama Lady: Adventures in Queer Parenting points out the problem of race, class and health when addressing co-sleeping deaths and calls to action better sleep education and breastfeeding support in underprivileged communities.
  • Reflections on Cosleeping – Jenny at I’m a Full Time Mummy shares her thoughts on cosleeping and pictures of her cosleeping beauties.
  • Cosleeping and Transitioning to Own Bed – Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine shares her experiences in moving beyond the family bed.
  • What Works for One FamilyMomma Jorje shares why cosleeping is for her and why she feels it is the natural way to go. She also discusses the actual dangers and explores why it may not be for everyone.
  • Really High Beds, Co-Sleeping Safely, and the Humanity Family Sleeper – Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama gives a quick view of Jennifer’s bed-sharing journey and highlights the Humanity Family Sleeper, something Jennifer could not imagine bed-sharing without.
  • Crying in Our Family Bed – With such a sweet newborn, why has adding Ailia to the family bed made Dionna at Code Name: Mama cry?
  • Dear Mama: – Zoie at TouchstoneZ shares a letter from the viewpoint of her youngest son about cosleeping.
  • Cuddle up, Buttercup! – Nada of The MiniMOMist and her husband Michael have enjoyed cosleeping with their daughter Naomi almost since birth. Nada shares why the phrase “Cuddle up, Buttercup!” has such special significance to her.
  • Co-Sleeping With A Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler – Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares how co-sleeping calls us to trust our inner maternal wisdom and embrace the safety and comfort of the family bed.
  • Fear instead of Facts: An Opportunity Squandered in Milwaukee – Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction discusses Milwaukee’s missed opportunity to educate on safe cosleeping.
  • Cosleeping: A Mini-rant and a Lovely Picture – Siobhan at Res Ipsa Loquitor discusses her conversion to cosleeping and rants a little bit about the Milwaukee Health Department anti-cosleeping campaign.
  • Our Cosleeping Story – Adrienne at Mommying My Way shares her cosleeping story and the many bonus side effects of bedsharing.
  • Cosleeping can be safe and rewarding Christy at Mommy Outnumbered shares how her cosleeping experiences have been good for her family.
  • Adding one more to the family bed Lauren at Hobo Mama discusses the safety logistics of bed sharing with a new baby and a preschooler.
  • The Truth About Bedsharing – Dr. Sarah at Parenting Myths and Facts discusses the research into bedsharing and risk – and explains why it is so often misrepresented.
  • Cosleeping as a parenting survival tool – Melissa V. at Mothers of Change describes how she discovered cosleeping when her first baby was born. Melissa is the editor and a board member for the Canadian birth advocacy group, Mothers of Change.
  • Dear Delilah – Joella at Fine and Fair writes about her family bed and the process of finding the cosleeping arrangements that work best for her family.
  • CoSleeping ROCKS! – Melissa at White Noise talks about the evolution of cosleeping in her family.
  • Safe Sleep is a Choice – Tamara at Pea Wee Baby talks about safe sleep guidelines.
  • 3 Babies Later: The Evolution of our Family Bed – Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment talks about how her family’s cosleeping arrangements evolved as her family grew.
  • Tender MomentsThe Accidental Natural Mama discusses tender cosleeping moments.
  • Cosleeping Experiences – Lindsey at An Unschooling Adventure describes how she ended up co-sleeping with her daughter through necessity, despite having no knowledge of the risks involved and how to minimise them, and wishes more information were made available to help parents co-sleep safely.
  • The early days of bedsharing – Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares her early memories of bedsharing with her then new born and gets excited as she plans including their new arrival into their sleeping arrangements.
  • The Joys of Cosleeping in Pictures – Charise of I Thought I Knew Mama shares pictures of some of her favorite cosleeping moments.
  • Symbiotic Sleep – Mandy at Living Peacefully With Children discusses how the symbiotic cosleeping relationship benefits not only children but also parents.
  • Co-sleeping Barriers: What’s Stopping You? – Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares how she was almost prevented from gaining the benefits of co-sleeping her family currently enjoys.
  • Co-Sleeping with the Family Humanity Sleeper – Erica at ChildOrganics shares a way to make co-sleeping safe, comfortable and more convenient. Check out her post featuring the Humanity Organic Family Sleeper.
  • Why We CosleepThat Mama Gretchen’s husband chimes in on why cosleeping is a benefit to their family.
  • Adding to the Family Bed – Darah at A Girl Named Gus writes about her co-sleeping journey and what happens when a second child comes along.


A big thank you to all of the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival participants!

monster bed…

 When asked one time about sleeping arrangements with subsequent children, I shared with a group about our sleeping arrangements. We have a family bed, which at this time, includes two adults and four children. A young mother exclaimed how she would never have that many children in her bed. That is her perogative. It works for us.

Six people in a family bed together does sound like a lot. Squished onto a king size bed, I doubt we would be comfortable. However, rather than arbitrarily try to fit our family and its needs to commercially and socially expected bed sizes, we have fit our bed size to our family’s needs. We had a king size bed before having a child. When our first was born, it was only natural that he sleep with us. Before our second child was born, we decided to add on to the bed so that everyone would have plenty of room. We found a great deal on a queen size bed, and the next thing we knew, we had a king/queen combination. This lasted us for quite a while, including a third child.

When our oldest turned seven, and I was pregnant with our fourth baby, we found a need to add on again. Our seven year old was kicking in his sleep, and no one enjoyed sleeping next to him. Many families would have decided it was time to make him sleep on his own. However, we had decided that our children would decide on their own when they were ready to move out of the family bed. We know that they will eventually; they won’t still sleep with us by the time they are ready for college.

Faced with our son’s desire to continue with the family bed and a number of individuals who preferred not to sleep next to him, I asked him if he would like a space of his own. We had a twin mattress in our storage room. He was delighted with the idea, and we added the twin bed next to our king/queen combo. We didn’t have a boxspring for the twin, as it was designed for a bunkbed, so his bed is at a lower level than the rest. It allows him to remain in the family bedroom while giving him a little space of his own in a way that any kicking won’t bother anyone else.

Our king/queen/twin combo may seem like a monster bed, but it works for us.

where the baby sleeps…

This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.

Shortly after the birth of our first child, I was on the phone with my grandmother. We had just discussed the fact that our child had been born via a planned unassisted birth. After a pause in the conversation, she demanded, “Is that baby sleeping with you?”

I cringed. Having dealt with grief from my husband’s family for every pregnancy and parenting related decision we had made, I wasn’t expecting a pleasant response. I may not be forthcoming to everyone about our decisions, but I’m not about to lie. So, I replied that yes, we coslept. 

Instead, I heard, “Good. That’s where babies should be – snuggled with their mamas. Babies need to stay with their mothers in order to stay warm and keep breathing, and so they remember to nurse throughout the night.” This was what had been passed down to her through generations of women. Interestingly enough, studies have shown it all to be true. Sleeping next to mom helps a baby’s body regulate temperature and stimulates breathing. The scent of the mother’s milk and the mother herself signals a reminder to babies to nurse frequently so that they can gain enough weight and grow.

We have enjoyed cosleeping with our children. We now have four children in bed with us, although it looks like our oldest will probably be moving out in the next couple of years. Our family bed, using safe cosleeping practices, has been a wonderful experience.