Before I had my children, I never gave much thought into what a families sleeping situation would be like – what my future family’s sleeping situation would be like. The only thing that my perception was based off of was my own childhood…which was that of everyone having their own sleeping space. We didn’t co-sleep. We didn’t bed share. We all had our own space, even when sharing a room was the only option at one point (my brothers shared a room).
When I was pregnant with my first child, my husband and I just did what we thought we were supposed to do. We assumed that we would live the exact same way that we grew up, and how everyone else that we knew, grew up.
We asked for a crib on our baby registry. His parents were the ones who offered to buy us a crib, which I can remember that we were so grateful for them for doing that for us. It truly was a beautiful crib, just the one we wanted.
We got the crib, got it set up, and made it baby-ready.
Well….soon, baby came. Our first baby was tiny (because I had pre-eclampsia, and he was born at 36 weeks) weighing in at a whopping (**drum roll**) 4 lbs 10 oz. He was just so little. Healthy, but little.
When we finally got him home 3 days after he was born, by that time, I already knew that the crib wasn’t going to get used as much as we thought and assumed we would be using it.
Now, we did use it at times – once we got him down to sleep, or sometimes for naps. But…from early on, he slept between us, or next to me in the co-sleeper. He was nearly always with us, sleeping on his little boppy in the same room that we were watching a show, or cooking a meal.
From there, we continued to co-sleep and bedshare. Both of my babies were breastfed, and we nursed throughout the night. So, sleeping with us/next to us always made our lives easier, and better.
Fast forward to recent days and months, our children are 6 and just-turned-4. They have slept with us all along, this entire time. They’ve both never actually had their own bedroom (long term at least) because right now, sleeping all together is what they want, choose, and apparently need.
….and that is okay with me. It’s also okay with my husband. We both feel that the kids are only young once, and it is only during these really young years that the kids are developing a special attachment, which is completely natural and normal (throughout various parts of the world!)
We know that as they get older, they will be ready for their own space, their own area, their own bed, away from anyone else. Thats okay – and when that time comes, we will make sure that they have their own private space, as they desire.
Now, since we have sold most of our belongings, and have rented our house out, we are currently living in an RV and traveling/roadschooling throughout the USA.
The RV changes the sleeping dynamic a litttle bit (okay…no…a lot!) because we no longer have the space or the ability to have a king size and a queen size bed bumped up next to one another. As you could probably imagine, we now have a much smaller, more compact area for sleeping.
We have a double sized bed underneath a twin size top bunk. We also have a queen size ‘sofa bed’ which is comprised of the kitchen cushions, from the booth-style kitchen table in the camper.
For now, while the kids are still pretty little, they both share the top bunk, and they each get half of it (it’s long, so half fits both of them right now). We are currently in the process of letting them choose some things to decorate their ‘rooms’ with, such as little things they can hang on their walls, plus we let them pick out a blanket, and sone stuffed animals, to make their room more comfy and kid-appealing.
The kids start off every night now, in their ‘bed’, and actually stay there most of the night.
Sometime in the middle of the night, our 4 year old daughter (Nora) moves down and sleeps with mommy. Liam (our 6 year old son) comes down to snuggle once he’s awake in the morning.
So, sleeping in such small tight quarters still allows us to co-sleep, even though there’s drastically less room. But it has also encouraged and excited the kids to create and have their own little space. We get to have, and experience the best of both worlds.
This is how it works for us right now! Ask us in a year, things might be different. For now though, this is working for our family, in our small little RV home.
(above) Here the kids are, sitting at our booth-style table, which can be taken down, and set up as a queen size bed.
(above) The kids at the table, again. Don’t mind the mess – my children are just busy making memories.
This post was written for inclusion in the October 2018 collection of the Small Family Homes Blog Community. Read below for more writings on living small from our community of writers. Check back next month for a new topic and posts in the series. And if there is a topic you’d like to see us write about, let us know!