I was just reading through the many comments on my earlier blog entry about cosleeping and bed space and am struck with the frequency of people asking about when children are too old to cosleep and issues related to the parents sleeping without pajamas.
As far as I know, there’s no “official cut-off date” for when children shouldn’t cosleep and I have certainly heard of friends who have their children still sporadically sleeping with them in their teens. Me? I think that’s a bit much, but in special situations, like the child experiencing something traumatic, it might be a wonderful gift to let them sleep with you for a few nights until they get their feet back on the ground.
Linda and I have gone back and forth about whether to “help” the children move into their own rooms or, heck, at least out of our bed and into another bed in the bedroom, and at what age that’s logical. Generally by the age of two we are now encouraging the child to sleep in our room but on their own bed on the floor or in what I called “the sidecar”, a separate mattress at the same height as our own bed.
Truth be told, it took months before they would end up in the same bed they started out in, but we’ve definitely learned patience as attachment parents, so it wasn’t a big deal. At this point, our sleeping arrangements are completely fluid, and last night all the kids decided that they wanted to sleep with us, so the two mattresses on the floor were packed with our three kids (A-, 10, G-, 7 and K-, 3) while Linda and I staked out the big bed. Not sure how it all ended up (I slept later than anyone else) but K- did crawl into bed with me around 6am and curl up in my arms. (and, really, is there anything more wonderful than that as a way to wake up?)
We have tried our best to avoid the usual American angst about nudity so that’s not a big deal in our family, but I am nonetheless uncomfortable sleeping nude if I think any of the kids are going to be climbing into bed. Usually I’ll wear pajama shorts or boxers to bed, but if it’s hot I sometimes just have a pair by the side of the bed and deftly slip into them if/when someone small shows up in bed. Not a big deal.
I know a fair number of people like to sleep in the nude: if you sleep naked and have a cosleeping arrangement with your children, how do you deal with it? Do you think that due to, um, physiological differences, men should be more diligent in having some sort of pajamas or shorts on if the family is cosleeping?
Phew, this just makes me tired… 🙂