Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When Life Happens To A Family Bed

When we started co-sleeping, I wasn't so sure about the term "family bed". I thought it sounded a bit twee and nursery rhyme-ish. But I get it now. You know how sleep experts advise us to use our beds only for sleep and sex? Co-sleeping totally blows that out of the window. The bed has become a kind of hub for family life. I don't know why I bother to make it every morning - it's rarely straight for five hours before the first nursing session or nap gets it all messed up again.

The dirt that our family bed sees is in a totally different league to its pre-baby days. This weekend, when I changed our sheets, I calculated that those sheets, which had been on the bed for a fortnight, had been exposed to:

  • Soil. A walk at the park tires Cave Baby out and she usually crashes as soon as we get home. Hence, dirty feet in the bed.

  • Sand. Our local park has a massive sandpit. Cave Baby's favourite hobby is transporting handfuls of sand from the sandpit to the wobbly elephant thingy. As I said before, she usually goes to sleep as soon as we get home. Ergo, we have sand in the bed.

  • Wee. Sometimes her nappy is so soaked in the morning that a fresh pee leaks out the side. The sheets therefore have to absorb a modest amount of wee. Am I going to change the sheets every time this happens? No way. Poo is dirty, wee doesn't count.

  • Biscuit crumbs. I like it when Cave Father brings me a biscuit in the morning. So does my daughter. She is a much messier eater than me, however.

  • Breadcrumbs. Sometimes you're in the middle of a nice sandwich when you get the urge to climb on the bed. Do you know what I mean?

  • Sweat. We have all had a stomach flu type thing. We all had temperatures for a day or so, and we sweated a lot. Our trusty sheets took care of it though.

  • Milk. My breasts don't leak, but my baby sometimes goes to sleep in the middle of a full-blown nursing session so there is sometimes a little milk still leaving my nipples as she unlatches.

  • Saliva. Hey, we all dribble when we're sleeping. If you say you don't, you're lying. At least baby dribble smells a lot sweeter than mine though.

Isn't that a lovely list? Doesn't it make you glad that I shower in the morning? Although this list might seem appalling to childless couples, I suspect that anyone with a baby in their bed will be nodding their heads in recognition. By the way, I am quite clean. I change the sheets every fortnight. But life's too short to wash them every time they see a bit of life. Isn't it?

So what I want to know is, what life does your family bed see?


Heather said...

Yup, all sounds pretty familiar to me!

Dionna @Code Name: Mama said...

HA! Excellent.

Re: leakage - have you ever tried hemp inserts? Kieran is a heavy wetter but hemp does a pretty good job of holding it all in. We often stuff his diapers with a hemp & a microfiber insert. (Of course that all assumes you are not only using cloth, but you are using cloth that can be stuffed ;))

Cave Mother said...

Dionna: I know it's bad, but we are using disposables. You know the story - we said we'd start with them and maybe move on to cloth when we had ourselves in order. But it never happened. Maybe with the next baby!

Melodie said...

This is great. With looking after other kids during the day I often find them hiding in my bed or jumping on it (totally against the rules) so I have little bits of non-family members in my bed too. Ugh.

Lisa C said...

No dirt or sand in ours (shoes and dirty clothing come off when we come in the house) and no food, but everything else is there! It's a wonder it doesn't smell!

Olivia said...

No food or dirt in our family bet, yet, but we'll see what summer and a walking babe bring.

I don't change the sheets every time there is a small diaper leak either, and I gave up on making the bed after she was born.

Mon said...

That is SOOO disgusting.... and it's my bed too! lmao

Although no food bits. Tiny bits of floor dirt cause it sticks to her socks and mine, but otherwise shoes come off at the door.

But no way I'll change after every diaper leak. I sort of guage the smell, if it doesn't reek I ignore it.

It's amazing what standards we had pre-baby. Somehow there's more mess now but less cleaning. lol

Becks said...

No food or outside dirt in our sheets. Good job as there's no room with all the patches of leaked milk and sweat and dribbled saliva from four of us. And of course the wee leaks that the folded towel can't quite contain when I am too lazy to take baby to the toilet again. Weekly sheet changes here, any longer and the yellow patches merge and the original white disappears.

allgrownup said...

You missed out snot! But then Cave Baby isn't cave toddler just yet is she? I feed Missis to sleep at around 7pm, then go downstairs for my tea. She isn't always finished before it's ready, so I often eat my tea in bed!

Amanda said...

The smile just kept getting wider the further I got into reading yoru post. So, so true. Our "roomy" queen bed is now home to two tall adults, one very large three-year-old, a medium-sized bed-hog of a dog, and a fat cat who has got to have some Siamese in his bloodline somewhere.

Odd tip for solving night-time nappy leaking: Attach a sanitary napkin to the inside of the "hips" of the diaper. Catches overflow when the kiddo is sleeping on her side. Worked great for us.

Cave Mother said...

Amanda - what a bizarre nappy tip! But I can see why you're done it. It might just work! The leakage is always out of the front at the side. I think the nappy is so full that the new pee just splashes off it and ricochets out.

Hobo Mama said...

Oh, I'm so glad we're not the only ones! One thing I used to do is put down a nice soft merino wool blanket under the babe and me to absorb errant pee and milk leaks. It kept the sheets drier that way.

But, no, we don't change the sheets for every little thing! I'm always astonished by the rattling of the debris onto the floor when I finally pull the sheets off to wash. Ha ha!