Musical beds is not only a term most parents know, they have acted out and starred in for many years! It is almost like a right of passage when you put your little one to bed and they begin an “encore presentation.” Your children are back before you know it, ready to sleep in your bed. Whether that means they sleep in the middle of you and your partner, or you find yourself camping out on the floor or in a tiny single child’s bed, musical beds are common and drive parents crazy.
Musical Beds Meaning
Musical beds refers to a parent leaving their own bed at a child’s request to sleep in the child’s bed so the child can seek comfort in the parents bed. It happens during times where the child has experienced a nightmare, has fear, can’t sleep or just seeks the comfort and coziness of their parents bed.
Musical beds can happen at any age. From a baby crying to be cuddled with parents through out the night to an older preteen looking for the comfort of their parents, musical beds can last for years.
Why Does Musical Beds Happen?
Some families enjoy the comforts of co sleeping. This is a great way for families to bond and enjoy a family sleep situation. Musical beds is when a child would like to sleep with the parent but there is not room for both parents in the bed with their child. A parent must leave the room to sleep elsewhere.
Some of the challenges parents face is a lack of sleep during the night, sore and achy joints or insomnia. Sleep is so important for everyone and parents need to get as much sleep as they can. When musical beds becomes the norm, it can be hard on both parents. Unfortunately, over time it can also affect the intimacy of both parents. Parents need alone time as well.
The most important thing is your child. There is a reason that your child keeps coming into your bed and you keep leaving. We will explore some of the reasons your child may be visiting every night and why musical beds happen so frequently. Similarly, we can give you tips about keeping comfortable when you are out of bed and how to make it a situation that works for everyone.
Reasons Why Your Child May Want To Sleep In Your Bed
There are many reasons why your child comes into your bed night after night. If you are worried that everyone is not getting enough sleep, check out these top reasons why your child may want to sleep in your bed every night.
They Love Being Around You
Your child is showing an interest in being around you all of the time. They seek great comfort in having you close in a safe and restful situation. They want to come into your room to get that loving, safe calm feeling associated with a good sleep. If you find that you and your partner are not getting a great sleep when your child visits, look up co sleeping options!
SOLUTIONS To Avoid Musical Beds
Setting up a small bed in your room for your child or scheduling sleep overs may be your best bet if you find you cant get enough sleep. For babies, talk to your doctor about co-sleeping. Secondly, be sure you are creating a quiet atmosphere at nighttime. Lastly, be sure to keep a routine. Children thrive during routine and this will help them stay calm and rested.
Stay with them until they get sleepy. Keep a nightlight or a white noise machine if that gives them comfort. Creating a warm, soft and quiet atmosphere will help your child rest.
They Are Stressed With A Recent Change
Some children get nervous and experience severe stress and fear when there is a big change in their lives. There are many stressors that parents must be aware of in a child’s life that may cause them to seek comfort in your bed.
When children experience stress, many of them do not have the capabilities or explaining and sharing what is stressing them. To ease the stresses that they feel, children will often hop into bed with their parents at night. When the brain rests from the stimulation of the day, often times this is when worries creep up for children. The safety of being with their parents in their bed brings them ease during these challenging times.
Stresses can include but are not limited to: moving (this can be a challenge for a child of any age), the death of a loved one (this stresses out even babies as they feel the stress parents may be experiencing), divorce, bullying at school (for school aged children) or an abusive sibling, friend, schoolmate or parent. All stresses should be taken seriously.
SOLUTION: If a child is coming into a parent’s room often due to stress, set up a little bed in your room for older children that if they feel stressed, they can come right in so everyone can continue to get a good sleep. Address stresses with verbal children during the day. Let them talk about, draw or express their feelings in a safe space. For all children, as parents we must address stressors immediately and minimize stress as much as possible. If the stressor is death, divorce or abuse, be sure to bring in professional help as needed for the child.
What a stressful time! Not only is your child stressed but you are stressed. You are packing up and looking for homes and your child is stressed fro the move and wondering what life would be like in the new place. They visit you in your room at night which causes everyone to lose more sleep when sleep is precious.
Be kind with the musical beds. Your child is under a lot of stress. The best a parent can do is to de-escalate the child’s stress about moving. Firstly, parents can allow children to make decisions about their new room. Let them plan to pick a new color of paint, buy a little decoration for their room and talk about the new area and what key landmarks and interesting parks are near it.
Secondly, be kind to yourself. You are under a tremendous amount of stress and on top of it, you are not getting a good sleep. Similarly, your child is nervous about the move and subsequently not getting enough sleep, which often can amplify fears. Do not be concerned if you need to rest. Where you can control it, forgive yourself for going to bed early or feeling tired.
Allow your child to talk about their feelings about the move. If your child is non verbal, keep their room the same until you have to pack. Keeping routine and normality as much as possible is important for children of all ages. Take your child to the park everyday so they can keep physically active during their stressful time. Moving around, keeping healthy and getting fresh air all aid in sleep.
Create a nighttime routine while you are moving. Make sure to read a book before bed, turn off devices, get into comfy pajamas and keep a quiet space. When you combine all of these solutions, you can create a new environment that deescalates stress, and keep as good of mental health as possible for the entire family. Though moving is ranked as a top stressful situation, it is thankfully temporary.
A Death From A Loved One
Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult for your entire family. While you are grieving a loved one as an adult, your children are grieving them as well. Sometimes grief and mourning looks different in children than it does in adults. Sometimes, children will seek the comfort in their parents bed for a few days, weeks or even months. This is one of the ways that they express themselves when they are feeling the loss of a loved one. Climbing into bed with Mom or Dad and/or be a comfort to a child. Overtime, some parents find that they are not getting any sleep. After one too many sleepless nights, being overtired, working, caring for a home and mourning the death of a loved one is too difficult for the family. Here are some ways to get through this tragic experience together as a family.
Here are some solutions to help your child when they are dealing with the death of a loved one.
Set Up A Little Bed in Your Room For Your Child
If one of the challenges of musical beds is constantly being woken up, allow your child to have a small bed beside yours that they can slip into if they are feeling alone. This works for some older children who just want to be closer to their parents. This temporary solution can ease some of the pain from anxiety and save everyone a few extra hours of sleep.
Have Your Family Talk To A Professional
Mental health is an important priority from any family and you have just gone through a tragic experience. Have your child talk to a professional or a grief counsellor either alone or together as a family. This is so important as grief experts can help your child through the grieving process and give families top tips on how to get through it. The goal is to not “get over” someones death but to get through it. The waves of grief can be confusing for a child but with professional help, it can be easier to understand. Lastly, you can be given good tools to help your child and yourself through this sad time.
When two people decide to divorce, it can be extremely stressful for them and their children. Your child is getting used to going to two different houses and having two different moves. The child misses the parent that no longer lives in their home and is sometimes fearful of the new house they live in with the other parent. Coupled with the stress of change, a child may come into bed with their parent at night for comfort.
Not only is your child going through this stress, but the stress is keeping them up at night that they are seeking comfort in your bed. Unfortunately, parents and children can have a terrible sleep with a lot of tossing, turning and waking up. Now both parent and child are tackling this divorce trauma with sleep deprevation. Thankfully, there are many ways to help this process become easier.
Divorce is devestating for an entire family. Though it is the best solution for those involved, it is still very painful and needs time for adjustment. There are many ways to ease your child to eventually sleep in their own bed, though having them sleep with you can be a great comfort.
Schedule A Sleep Over Night
Pick a night (like a weekend day) where you can schedule a sleepover. Make a night of it by scheduling a fun movie, popcorn or going out for an evening walk. Get in your pajamas and get excited. Have your child count down the sleeps to the sleepover. When there is something for them to look forward to, it can put them at ease.
Speak To A Professional
Since divorce is hard on an entire family, your child is under a lot of stress. Keep in mind that children show their stress sometimes differently than parents. On the other hand, they still need the same care that adults need during this difficult time. Children are going to be needing tools to help them get through the divorce. This can be helpful for the entire family to learn what their child’s needs are and how to address them immediately for their own comfort.
They May Be Interested In Co Sleeping
Your child finds the safest places is when you are all sleeping together. This sounds perfect but you are not too sure about co-sleeping. Co-sleeping has a lot of mixed reactions from both families and professionals, but it can work in the right type of setting. Secondly, families can get a great sleep from co-sleeping!
Co-sleeping is not parallel with a bad sleep! Actually, many co-sleeping families have terrific sleeps every single night. There are many solutions to help with the musical beds situation, where everyone can have a wonderful sleep and be comfortable.
Assess The Bedroom
Take a look at the co-sleeping room in question. Do you have a big enough bed for your entire family? If not, can children have little beds that area comfortable around the room? It is good to make sure that the co-sleeping room has a calming and relaxing ambiance, a comfortable bed where everyone can get a great sleep and space to walk around.
Make Sure Everyone Is Comfy
While everyone is co-sleeping, we want to make sure that both parents and child are getting a great sleep. Sleep is integral for both children and parents, so we have to make sure we are getting not only a long sleep but hitting a deep sleep as often as possible. With co sleeping, children can be restless in bed. Parents can have minimal space to get a good sleep. Look at your bed situation, is it possible to buy a bigger bed? For older children, would they want to sleep in bed with you or just be in the same room as you? Do you have blankets that cover everyone and pillows that help give a restful sleep?
Creating a bed space that everyone can spread out and get a good sleep is important to all co sleeping families. Here are some tips you may use to make co sleeping a bit easier:
Invest in a king sized bed
A bigger bed means more people can fit and sleep comfortably. If you have a bigger room and the financial means to accommodate a king sized bed, this will be a great investment.
If you are looking for a more inexpensive option, you can have temporary smaller beds in your room where the children can sleep around the bigger bed that the parents share.
Make Sure To Have Comfy Blankets and Pillows
Ensure the best sleep possible with comfortable blankets and pillows so no one is sleeping out of the cold! Some family members are blanket hogs, so it is always good to have an emergency one!
Musical beds is a game that can cause a lack of sleep. This can cause exhaustion and change your moods and your responses to stressors. Ending musical beds means discovering the reason for your child waking up. It also opens discussions to becoming a co-sleeping family or not. Either way, you have to find the “why” to your child not getting a good sleep.Sleep is so important. To ensure a good sleep for the entire family, examine the underlining challenges or wants from your child. It may be something as simple as they love to sleep near you. It could be something more deeper like anxiety, fear of a move, loss of a loved one or more. Having open dialogue with your children or understanding your non verbal children’s cues to stressors can help you all create a closer bond and get a great sleep!