Mother defends co-sleeping with her 4- and 8-year-olds: ‘Do what works for you’

If you learn that Charlotte and Paul Lewis, an English couple living in Coventry, still sleep with their 4 and 8-year-old children, it will surely surprise you. And probably even more if we add that they claim that everyone sleeps much better that way. However, that is indeed the case, the young mother tells SWNS. For several years, her children, Izzie and Harvey, have slept in the same room as them, in a double bed attached to the parents’. “If I’ve learned anything as a parent, it’s to do what works for you. There’s no wrong way if you get the result you want! It doesn’t matter how you got there. Take the win! We are need to stop comparing. Stop judging, stop belittling, stop pointing out the unnecessary.”she explains.

Sleep problems for the elderly

Sleep problems in the family began in 2014 when Izzie was born. This one, although born only two weeks early, weighed only 1.62 kg. It is very little, and the doctors were very clear: she had to eat and gain weight, otherwise her state of health would deteriorate very quickly. For the first three months, the little girl was therefore fed every two hours, even if this meant that she had to be woken up if necessary. “Right from the start, we were disrupting her sleep. That was the first mistake. Izzie is now a healthy, happy 8-year-old, but she had never slept through the night. We were constantly told when she wants to fast, she wants to sleep, when she’s crawling and moving she wants to sleep, when she’s in nursery she wants to sleep, when she’s at school full time she wants to sleep, etc., but sleep never came”remembers Charlotte.

For years, Charlotte and Paul have tried everything, really everything, to help their daughter sleep. Putting her in her bedroom or another room, changing the sheets, blackout curtains, every imaginable lamp and night light, lavender spray on the pillow, herbal drops, not putting any toys in her room or on the contrary encouraging her to play there so that she becomes familiar with soft music, talks about his fears and decorates the room accordingly… “You say something we tried”, his mother explains. Except nothing worked.

It was in 2018, when her little brother Harvey was born, that parents saw Izzie crawl into her bedroom at night and lie on the floor next to him, holding his hand. This way she already slept a little better. But she kept waking up, waking the baby in the process. “He would fall asleep immediately and then everything would become more difficult again because she was ‘alone’ when he slept. Her biggest problem was when she didn’t want to be alone in her room, she wanted an adult with her her. When her father or I slept on the floor next to her, she slept all night”says Charlotte.

Sleeping together, a solution that works

In August 2020, the family goes on holiday and shares a family hotel room: a double bed for the parents and two single beds for the children. The parents observe a huge change in Izzie: not only is she happy to share her room with her family, but she is happy to go to bed, and above all, she is finally getting full nights! When she returns from their stay, Charlotte decides to try an experiment and puts mattresses on the floor of her room for the children. The test lasts a month and the results are decisive: her daughter, and therefore all the other members of the family, sleep well.

Together with Paul, they therefore decide to add an extra double bed in their bedroom, next to theirs, so that their children can sleep there.. “Bedtime is no longer a struggle but a joy. No more begging for another story because they don’t want you to go. […] They are both safe, and after eight years we can finally close our eyes at night and say, “See you tomorrow morning” instead of, “See you in an hour.” Since we made this change, Izzie finds that some things that used to be difficult for her are much less difficult because she has the comfort and security she needed to sleep well and has more energy during the day .”Charlotte testifies.

Each family has their own needs

Charlotte Lewis explains that the fact that they practice co-sleeping has brought them a lot of criticism. “All the grandparents have been totally supportive of us as they’ve had the kids on certain nights since they were born so they know we’ve really tried everything. But it’s the extended family who don’t know the ins and outs. and outs, who just see the situation and think we’ve failed, or haven’t tried hard enough, or haven’t been persistent enough They commented that it was strange and made it clear that they had a certain opinion about us , but what works for one child doesn’t always work for another, so maybe they didn’t have the same experience as us.”she says.

Saying she wishes she had done this sooner, Charlotte explains “No more broken nights, tears, nightmares and other fears. We’re all together, safe and cuddly, and I couldn’t be happier. […] There is so much magic that so many others miss out on because they struggle to continue with a routine that doesn’t work because it’s “what they’re supposed to do.”. Moreover, when she told this to her friends, some of them confided in her that they did the same, but did not dare to talk about it for fear of being judged: “How terrible is it? All these struggling parents and yet we feel like we can’t talk about how we feel. Why do we feel so harshly judged by others? For us now, so many that we got that result , we want – a good night’s sleep – then we won. We didn’t give up or give up. We won.”

And the intimacy of it all?

Asked by SWNS whether co-sleeping could limit the intimacy between parents, Charlotte replies: “Since this story is about our children, it’s not something I want to talk about publicly. Not at all. It was more complicated when we were up all night, every night, over the course of eight years – we were both exhausted and we also had a tired and unhappy child. We really appreciate that it’s about making new parents or struggling parents aware that co-sleeping is an option and that co-sleeping is an option and that ‘we must protect our children on the road this story is shared’.

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