The Family Bedroom: An Exploration of Cohabitation

Cosleeping has taught me many things. It turns out children are like adults in that they like company, cuddling and comfort. Children have natural morning routines just like adults: wake up, stretch, walk to the potty, pee and poop, flush, go play or get dressed or find a loved one or friend to greet. (That’s a packed agenda so the video below is 8 minutes, and parts are darker due to the winter sky.) Of course, in my desire to capture these moments for grandparents who live far, far away, I totally forgot to wash her till we got downstairs to get a diaper and clothes. Such is the way. Anyway, she is 13.5 months old. Here is a video of our general Morning Routine:

People talk about the Benefits of Cosleeping:

  • Improves baby’s sleep (and mothers don’t report as much disruption)
  • Helps working moms (keeps up supply and allows for time together missed during working hours)
  • Promotes breastfeeding (babies nurse more)
  • Helps babies thrive (stimulation is development)
  • Reduces the risk of SIDS
  • Regulates breathing and heart rates
  • Regulates temperature
  • Promotes feelings of safety, security and connection

Practiced extensively around the world, cosleeping “works” for most children and families. For my family, cosleeping means exploring structures for cohabitation that build towards successful independence and interdependence. In short, I try to make the spaces my daughter inhabits as “Yes” as possible. This means that the Family Bedroom is accessible to her. All things at her level are for her to explore. All rooms that my daughter inhabits should follow this principle and the Family Bedroom should be no exception. (All of this assumes that the first rules are: Know Your Child and Trust Your Instincts.)

My daughter seems to feel assured in her surroundings. My goal was for her to feel and be able to wake up, get up and do whatever she needed to do when she was ready to do all of that on her own. With this moment (captured on film) I now realize my vision has come to fruition. She climbs safely off the (low) bed, walks to this or that thing (potty included, but sometimes not!), opens doors that are ajar (but not closed doors or the safety gates), and knows where her play room is and how to play in there. Now it’s time for me to get the Family Bedroom in order so she can nook about while we “sleep” a bit longer!


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