Do you still co-sleep?


Bedtime with children is sometimes described as a science, it can be a huge fuzz – and sleeping in one big pile is to some people a wild idea. Others embrace it, but believe it can only function with toddlers. But do we really need individual beds, how does reality look from a tiny house with big children?

What is cosleeping anyway? When I met my inspiring friend Dawn 13 years ago, she entered my home, and said: Oh, so you are co-sleeping too? As our huge bed was in sight from the entrance, it made sense, she immediately talked about sleeping arrangements.  

Yet – to me, it made no sense? I did what?

That day, after being a mother for 8 years, I learned, I was co-sleeping. It seemed a bit complicated, somehow political, like … a skill I had? A decision, I had made? A war I had won?

I have written – in Danish – about this several times, and for now, I shall just repeat my main point: I do not co-sleep. In our family, we sleep when we are tired – in one big pile. Or two piles, if necessary. Parents, dogs, children. 

We have done this for many years. My husband had to be convinced, so for some years, there was the idea of the children’s beds and rooms, but we just put full-size adult beds there as we always fell asleep with the kids in the evenings. Who wants to sleep on the floor or in a bed only 140 cm long?

So, we all ended in one room, as filling our 4 rooms apartment with only beds seemed a bit stupid in the long run. Now, we live in a 21 sqm veteran bus and have one huge bed plus a sofa. We still sleep in one pile, when we are home in the bus.

Sometimes we travel in our VW Multivan, and then we sleep in two piles. One up, one down. When we move in with people, we all sleep in the same room, sometimes in two piles.

The children are now 7, 10, and 13 YO.

Are the being “held back” or becoming “dependent” or do we need privacy? Well. We enjoy life, and in the evenings, we all tug in, read books and talk, and when we fall asleep, we are really really tired, have lived our day, filled our souls and hours, and are so ready for the amazing sleep. If we need to develop our personalities or try something new on our own or do something, we want to do in private – it is not when we sleep.

When we sleep together, we take care of each other. We make sure the youngest have their blankets on all night and we can comfort someone with a bad dream. But more importantly, we feel each other, we share the sleep, we hold hands, breathe the same air, touch each other's feet, enjoy it.

We just sleep. Because we are tired. At night. In a bed. Under the stars. Grateful for this life, for the time we spend together, for the prospect of the restoring effect, and the spiritual alignment we get from this simple ritual of sleep.

May the sun shine on you.


Cecilie Conrad

Unschooling and responsibility


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