Bed sharing definitely has its sweet moments, like the constant closeness, the feeling of everyone being in one place, and the cute sleep sounds they make, to name a few. However, there's also a lot of sacrifice. For one, you lose space because your kid loves to take up as much bed as possible. It is almost like a cardinal rule. In fact, sometimes it feels like there are a lot of rules your kid is following when they bed share, that feel insidiously designed to ensure you have the worst night of sleep possible.
It almost makes you wonder, "Are they doing all of these things on purpose?" The answer, my friend, is yes. A resounding yes. The kids are completely scamming us and we are, apparently, none the wiser. They are in charge, and they have come up with some key tenets of bed sharing that they cling to with little to no regard for, well, you. Hey, you can't be all that mad. After all, they're just following the rules.
The following Bed Sharing Commandments highlight the fact that while our littles may look sweet and innocent, there is a lot of scheming and high-level plotting that goes into every horizontal sleep position and every "lost" pacifier. Here are some of their other so-called "rules," so at least you can know what you're getting yourself into:
Thou Shalt Push All The Covers Away & Scream If They Touch Any Part Of Your Person
Kids who bed share tend to do so only on the most specific of terms. Those terms, of course, being theirs.
For some children, like my own toddler, that means that not a centimeter of their parents' blanket may touch their epidermis. If I dare pull the covers up to shield my bare shoulders from the winter's chill, and I haven't strategically pushed down the blankets so that my son is safe from their cottony grips, he will scream in agony as if he's been scalded with burning acid. Several times a night, my husband and I must carefully arrange the blankets in a moat-like fashion around our kid so as not to ignite his ire.
Thou Shalt Wake Up Before The Sun & Request Sippy Cups That Don't Actually Exist
For some reason, bed sharing children wake up wanting irrational things. Most of the time, they want things that either do not exist in real life, or that you don't actually own.
The other morning, my toddler, who was still half asleep, groggily requested a sippy cup. I brought him the same sippy cup he had gone to bed with. He took it in his hand, brought it to his lips and registered that this was somehow a tainted sippy cup. "No! Not that one!" he said, before catapulting it across the room. I went to get another cup, and presented it as an offering to him. "No!" he wailed. "Don't like this sippy cup! Want another one!" I proceeded to get every sippy cup in our kitchen, but none of them were "the one." I still don't know which sippy cup he wanted and, for all I know, he is still mad about it.
Thou Shalt Sleep Horizontally & Exclusively Kick Parents In The Face
It is nearly a scientific fact that the parent who is the lighter sleeper will be the one who gets it worse from your bed sharing child. If you had to pick which end were the better end of your kid to receive when they sleep horizontally, I would choose the snoring end (i.e. the head) because I could sleep in the middle of a construction site.
My husband, unfortunately, is a light sleeper, and he has gotten the crappy end of the stick in that our kid likes to sleep with his feet in my husband's face. All night long my husband gets kicked in the face or the neck. With the talons that we generously call "toenails" on our son's feet, the morning bruises and scrapes on my husband's neck are pretty gross.
Thou Shalt Refuse All Attempts At Ever Sleeping In Own Bed
If a parent dares suggest a paradigm shift to their child, as in, "Maybe tonight you try sleeping in your 'big kid' bed?" they should expect maniacal laughter. Once a child has gotten a taste of the excessive attention, extra time with the grownups, and warm body contact that comes along with bed sharing, it is likely that they will remain in their parent's bed until they leave for college.
Thou Shalt Perfect An Off-Rhythm Snore With Your Snoring Parent In Order To Keep Your Insomniac Parent Awake
Super fun times, you guys. Every parent I've talked to who shares a family bed with their little ones, has a little bed sharer that seems to always pick up the off-beat when snoring next to their also-snoring parent. Why? Why can't two humans snoring beside each other just snore in some motherlovin' tandem, so that the other parent can get some rest?
Thou Shalt Insist On Hogging The Most Comfortable Pillow In The Bed, Then Toss It To The Floor In The Middle Of The Night Out Of Spite
Our toddler demands that he get the fluffiest, most shape-conforming pillow in our bed and won't sleep until we've given it to him. (Sure, I could buy more pillows, but that would be far too practical).
However, on more than a few mornings my partner and I will wake up to find that, at some point in the night, he has thrown that very pillow onto the floor. Why? Because bed sharing children are vicious, spiteful creatures sometimes.
Thou Shalt Find Only The Most Obscure Crevices In Which To Lose Your Most Valuable Comfort Object, Then Tantrum Until You Locate It
Bed sharing kids will enter your bed with their most prized lovey, or blanket, or pacifier, but the next morning you won't realize it has been lost at some point during the night.
Suddenly, just as your about to leave for school, your child is asking for "Mr. Binks," or whatever it is your kid calls their stuffed bunny that smells like pee and mold despite the 17,000 times you've washed it. You look everywhere but can't find it and manage to get through the day. The next morning, you feel something weird in your sleep pants, probably near your underwear. Somehow, someway, Mr. Binks made a miraculous journey to where no bunny has gone before.