IT MIGHT not be uncommon for kids to sneak into their parents bed when they've had a particularly bad dream, but they're usually ushered off to their own bedrooms before long.
But for this family sleeping in the same bed is the norm – and they wouldn't have it any other way.
Charlotte Lewis, 33, from Coventry says that her daughter Izzie, eight, has always struggled to sleep on her own and despite trying other sleeping methods, nothing seems to work as well as sharing a bed.
Along with husband Paul, 34, Charlotte decided to give co-sleeping a whirl when she realised how much their daughter loved sharing a bedroom with her them and baby brother Harvey, now four, on holiday.
The couple don't squeeze into a normal double or king sized bed, they've pushed two double beds together in their bedroom to make extra room for their kids.
Despite others judging the family-of-four's sleeping habits, Charlottes says it doesn't bother her since it works so well for them.
Read more on parenting
We’re parenting experts – discipline techniques for toddlers, school kids & teens
I potty trained my son in 4 days – warm water ended up being my best friend
The mum-of-two joked: "There were four in the bed and the little one said absolutely nothing because they all slept happily ever after!
"I wish I'd just listened to what my daughter needed in the first place rather than trying to fit into society and the expectations we automatically put on ourselves.
"If I've learned anything from being a parent, it's do what works for you. There's no wrong way if you get the answer you want!
"However you get there, you've done it – take the win!
Most read in Fabulous
I'm a tattooed mum & my four-year-old son wanted ink like mine, so I let him
I got a tattoo on my neck thinking it’d be unique but it turned out so bad
I spent £43k to look like my idol Pamela Anderson – blokes always say same thing
I work for a school & there’s some names that make me lose respect for parents
"We must stop comparing. Stop judging, stop belittling, and stop stressing the unnecessary.
"Now, there's no more musical beds, no more broken night's sleep, no more tears, no more nightmares and other fears.
"We're all together, safe and snug, and I couldn't be happier.
"I love waking up to my baby's faces. I love the snuggles, I love the giggles we have at night.
"There's so much magic in it that so many are missing out on because they're fighting to keep going with the routine that isn't working because 'that's what we're meant to do'.
"Haters are going to hate but sleepers are going to sleep, so two fingers up to the Judge Judys out there! Do what works for you."
Before they settled on their current sleeping arrangement it would take two to three hours every night to get Izzie to drift off, but she would then wake up every hour, making night-time exhausting for the whole family.
"We tried her in her own room, we tried a bigger bed, we tried black out curtains, we tried a different room – nothing worked," Charlotte says.
The couple tried everything from moving her bed away from the window, having nothing hanging on her door, keeping toys downstairs and even a floor bed to eliminate the possibility of anything spooky lurking underneath.
"We then tried the total opposite to try to encourage her to enjoy being in her room playing during the day so it would be more familiar during the night, It made no difference," the mum says.
"We had all the different lamps and night lights throughout the years, a light on the landing, gentle music playing, every different kind of lavender scented sprays on her bed and teddy, natural herbal drops to encourage sleep. You name it, we'd tried it."
It was only when Harvey was born that the couple discovered she had been moving her bedding into his room and sleep on the floor by his cot, holding his hand.
Since the move into the one bedroom, bed time has been much easier for the family.
Charlotte said: "There's no pleading for extra stories because they don't want you to leave – we just enjoy the stories.
"They're both safe, and secure and after eight years, we can finally close our eyes at night and say, 'see you in the morning' instead of 'see you in an hour'."
It's not all sweet dreams though, Charlotte's extended family have criticised the family's co-sleeping routine.
"There is extended family who don't know the ins and outs who just see the situation as we've failed, or haven't tried hard enough or been consistent enough," she says.
"They have made the odd comment and made it clear they have alternative opinions to us, but what works for one child doesn't always work for another, so perhaps they haven't had the same experience as us."
Read More on The Sun
Where to buy the best school uniform that lasts all year
We live on London’s worst estate with guns, rubbish piled high & giant rats
Despite the comments Charlotte still loves the sleeping arrangement and wishes that they'd started doing it years ago.
And the co-sleeping hasn't affected her and husband Paul's intimacy, "it affected it more when we were up all night every night for eight years – we were both exhausted and also had a tired and unhappy child," she confessed.
Source: Read Full Article