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Effect on intimacy with your partner if child is in your bed till 3 years of age

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  • Effect on intimacy with your partner if child is in your bed till 3 years of age

    Hi All,

    Firstly, thank you to all previous posters and responders..its a great source of info!

    We have a 10 month baby who has slept in our bed or in his cot next to our bed since birth. This is fine for now and is working well however I am reading often of people having their kids in their bed till they are 3,4 or 5 years of age. Often these people sound very proud that they are so nurturing however I can´t help but wonder about these people and how passionate a relationship they have with their partner. Surely having a baby in your bed for 5 years has to have some kind of effect on the intimacy between the parents.

    To me on one hand it does sound great being so close to the kids but to sacrifice intimacy with your partner for so long to me seems like heading towards becoming a parent who lives just for their children and doesnt have a full life balance containing passion, outside interests and stimulations. And obviously utlimately a parent with a full life balance and a tender, intimate relationship with their partner is a better role model for a child than to be around than a parent who sacrifices all for their child.

    I know often people say that you just have to become creative.. but its not really about being able to make love, I´m really refering to being able to share intimate, warm hours together falling asleep in each others arms, waking up together, chatting about things other than children occasionally. The alternative seems to be scheduling time together which lacks spontaneity.

    Life and parenting is all about compromises, so I guess really there is no perfect solution to this, just different compromises to make. If you disagree, I´d love to hear how you manage to do it all!!

    Thanks in advance for any responses

    Last edited by jase; 01-23-2010, 04:24 AM.

  • #2
    you have some valid concerns. your words are often echoed by parents who have either never tried the family bed or who are just getting started. you're right that parenting requires balance in every area and API wholly supports that. attachment parenting isn't child-focused, it's family-focused. so, not just in this example, but in every area, the goal is to try to meet the needs of the entire family. this is a method which constantly requires re-examination, not a one-size-fits-all approach.

    i can only speak from my experience, but having children in our bed has only increased our intimacy. there are MANY opportunities for dh and i to work on our relationship, albeit very different than pre-kids if anything, now our consciousness has been raised to a deliberate, concerted effort to maintain health. this may not be "spontaneous", but i'm not so sure spontaneity is all that valuable. in my mind, spontaneity means:"i just suddenly thought of you and the timing isn't an inconvenience, so let's get together" whereas a planned event requires effort, intentionality, more of "i really want to be with you and are therefore going to take steps to make that happen, regardless of what i may need to cancel or rearrange"

    i think it's also important to keep in mind that even if children stay in the bed until 4, 5, or more, it's a relatively short time in a child's life. if we spend all of our time wishing we were sleeping alone, we will one day wake up and realize that our kids are grown and we will be longing for the delicious smell of their skin and the peaceful sounds of their breathing right next to us (or even the occassional flail of a fist right on the nose ).


    • #3
      Good reply Paxmama

      I know often people say that you just have to become creative.. but its not really about being able to make love, I´m really refering to being able to share intimate, warm hours together falling asleep in each others arms, waking up together, chatting about things other than children occasionally.
      ANYtime the children are asleep is time to share intimate hours together. EVEN in families that NEVER co-sleep can have some issues like you refer too. Young children get up early, come into your room, interupt your converstations etc. The disturbances you mention can and do happen just by being a parent. I really think that is important to remember.

      It is a new stage to a couple, having children. We do have to restructure our lives accordingly and for many people AP and/or co-sleeping does fit well into our new lives. Co-sleeping has helped us retain our togetherness because of the relaxing, gentle nightime enviorment it created in our house. Less stuggle and distress at night leads to a less stressed Mommy and Daddy.

      We have a 5 year old and a 2 year old now. They both started out sleeping next to Mommy or in a bedside sleeper. Next was a series of musical beds, sometimes starting out in his own room, ending in ours, Daddy laying with him to resettle him etc... Currently my husband puts them both to sleep at the same time and depending on the night the youngest ends up in bed with us at some point. We have many hours of alone time!
      Now we are a few months away from our third being born and a couple weeks away from moving to a new house so we expect some adjustment time. We try to remain flexible and avaliable.

      Jase, you are still 'in the thick of it' with a very young child. Try to remain flexible with your expectations. Maybe you will part-time co-sleep like us at a certain point or maybe she will just sleep better with you near. How can you find a way to satisfy both needs? You might like it too, who knows. I KNOW I need my sleeping space, especially when pregnant so I have made an effort to guide my boys into their own sleep spaces at least part of the night. Some people don't mind it and/or have kids that don't kick while they sleep but there is no way you can know that for sure untill you have a 2,3 or 4 year old. Maybe you have a king side bed so there will be room. Maybe your easily transtion into her own space at 2 or 3 years...or maybe not! You can figure it out.


      • #4
        I hear your concerns, I'm trained as a marriage counselor, and before kids I would have been very concerned about the same things, and was very concerned when we had a little baby at home who would not allow me to put her down for more than 5min.

        But now that she is 14mo. things have just found there grove. It took us a few months to figure out how to make one on one time, and we would steal a few minutes here and there when she would fall asleep in her car seat and stay asleep after being transferred to the house. Now she decided to start her transition to her own bed starting out in her own bed at night and usually joining us around 1:30am.

        For us I know that we still fall asleep in each others arms, there may be another warm body snuggled up next to me but I'm snuggled with my husband and it is amazing to get that sense that we created this family and it brings us so close. We take full advantage of her sleeping hours without us. We snuggle and watch tv together, and we have our 10min. check in (talking about whatever we want, except work, kids, finances, and day to day schedules) with no interruptions that usually lasts an hour or more. I don't know that we really schedule anything but we take advantage of all those small moments we get. They are that much more precious we just soak them in, and make the most of them.

        I think we have found so many new ways of being intimate and really feeling close to one another as a couple, and they aren't the same as pre-kids but they are amazing for what they are today. I recommend to get creative, there are so many new ways to get close to your husband that are so different then the way it was before baby.