We have a family bed. It is not something we planned or intended, but we love it. Sammie B slept in her own crib until a month or two after her first birthday. She was generally a great sleeper. In July, after her eye surgery, there were many nights I slept in HER room because our pediatrician encouraged us to comfort her in HER space. Then teething happened. And, she was not a happy girl, and the timing coincided with me being slammed at work. So, I brought her into our bed quite a few nights. I LOVED it. She LOVED it, and we all slept well, but B and I (well, okay, he more than I) were determined not to have a "family bed."
People judge the family bed. They either believe in it or they judge. Its like the great vaccine debate or the CIO vs. no CIO debate. . . people think THEIR philosophy is right, and begrudge those on the "other side" instead of just supporting other parents for making decisions that are best for their unique family. But we are guilty of it too -- I remember when B and I first brought Sammie B home from the hospital, some friends of ours who had also recently had a baby confessed to us, sheepishly, that they'd given in and their babe was sleeping in their bed. Later, B and I judged them . . . thank goodness we wouldn't fall prey to that habit we thought! But after the teething, we travelled to see friends in Texas, and Sam slept with us again. We got accustomed to putting her in her crib, where she'd sleep until about 1 am, then she'd wake up and one of us would groggily walk to get her and put her in bed with us, where we'd all sleep peacefully the rest of the night. And then one day, B looked at me, after he'd had a rough day and hit a spot of worrying about our Sammie B, and he said, "I want her to sleep in our bed." And so that's how "our bed" became "her bed."
We spend so much of our days away from Sammie B as two working parents, and we spend so much of our time with her doing "work" (her PT exercises) and worrying. So, at the end of the day, there's something so perfect and wonderful about crawling into bed with her, putting the worry aside, and just exhaling and falling asleep together. Often, as she drifts off to sleep, B and I look at each other over her head, and just smile. So thankful to have this little creature in our bed. And even when I wake up worrying (as I so often do) . . . that worry melts the second SHE pops her cute little head up and smiles at me. We have no idea how long the "family bed" will last in our house, but for now, it feels right . . . for us.