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The incredible shrinking bed

Until a few years ago, I was sleeping in the same twin bed I’d been sleeping in since age five. 

My sister and I had bunk beds that we broke by jumping together on the top bunk, and our parents got us a new, sturdier set. The new set proved to be incredibly durable. In fact, when we moved to a new house with separate bedrooms, my parents put the two halves of the bed into our different rooms, and we slept on our single bunks for twenty years.
Actually, my sister still sleeps on hers and mine is in the guest room upstairs.
Back to the point. Shortly after I bought my house, I became the proud parent of four cats. Two of said cats were quite large, and all four of them liked to cuddle with me at night. My twin bed was no longer big enough for us, so I bought a magnificent queen-sized bed, outfitted with luxurious 400-thread-count sheets. 
It’s been lovely, and I’ve never thought it was too 
small. Cats, husband, pregnancy, over-sized noodle pregnant belly pillow… We’ve always had just enough space.

Until recently.
It’s very strange, actually. I have plenty of space when I get in bed at night. It’s not until sometime between midnight and one in the morning  that my bed mysteriously gets narrower. When it happens, I get smooshed into the far left corner with my legs hanging over the footboard. 
It’s a strange phenomena, the shrinking. It starts when the teething baby wakes me up, needing to be cuddled. I go to her room to get her, and I think that’s when the shrinkage begins.  I don’t want to sit, awake, in the rocking chair for an hour, so I bring her back to the bedroom with me to cuddle in my bed. 
By the time we make the long walk from her room to mine, the cats have arrived, looking for the whimpering baby. 
All of a sudden, my husband and I (who were sleeping soundly just a few moments ago) are joined by one squirmy toddler, two very large and affectionate cats, and two slightly smaller but equally affectionate cats.  Add a couple of pillows and blankets to the mix, and there’s no space.
Except on the floor next to the bed, and maybe on the couch, but who wants to leave the family bed?
What do you do when your kids cry in the night?
To solve other people’s dilemmas, visit Rocks in My Dryer for Backwards Works for Me Wednesday

© 2008 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

27 thoughts on “The incredible shrinking bed”

  1. We have a queen sized bed, 2 large cats (our 3rd, who is of normal size is smart enough to stay out of the bed all together), along with a 30 pound 17 month old little boy who surprisingly takes up 85% of the bed. So, yeah, we are SO in the same boat, but I’ll tell ya a secret….

    I wouldn’t have it any other way!! 😉

    Jen

  2. We have a queen sized bed, 2 large cats (our 3rd, who is of normal size is smart enough to stay out of the bed all together), along with a 30 pound 17 month old little boy who surprisingly takes up 85% of the bed. So, yeah, we are SO in the same boat, but I’ll tell ya a secret….I wouldn’t have it any other way!! ;-)Jen

  3. Perhaps there’s a way to keep the cats out of the bedroom? Either kick them out of the bed, or keep them from coming in your room in the middle of the night. That should free up some space.

    That would free up enough room for your hubs, you and the child.

    Also, you may need to let the child cry through the teething pain. As long as she’s not in harm’s way when she cries, she can be learning to pacify herself. I know that sounds harsh, and it is terribly hard on a mom to listen to her baby cry because their gums ache, but it may be helpful.

  4. Perhaps there’s a way to keep the cats out of the bedroom? Either kick them out of the bed, or keep them from coming in your room in the middle of the night. That should free up some space. That would free up enough room for your hubs, you and the child.Also, you may need to let the child cry through the teething pain. As long as she’s not in harm’s way when she cries, she can be learning to pacify herself. I know that sounds harsh, and it is terribly hard on a mom to listen to her baby cry because their gums ache, but it may be helpful.

  5. I’m not sure I can help – I have no cats, a king sized bed and an itty bitty sized husband (damn him). So there would be more then enough room for Miss E – that is if she’d consent to join us. She’s not the cuddling kind :(. Tell those kittys to squish over against your husband and make room for the boss. Hopefully this teething time will pass soon.

  6. I’m not sure I can help – I have no cats, a king sized bed and an itty bitty sized husband (damn him). So there would be more then enough room for Miss E – that is if she’d consent to join us. She’s not the cuddling kind :(. Tell those kittys to squish over against your husband and make room for the boss. Hopefully this teething time will pass soon.

  7. I'm with ya! Queen-sized bed, King-sized husband, a cat (who likes my side) and a dog (who likes hubby's side). Lately, about once a week or so, Logan wakes up screaming & won't put himself back to sleep. So he cuddles with us for about half an hour. We must have bought our shrinking beds from the same joke/novelty shop!

  8. I'm with ya! Queen-sized bed, King-sized husband, a cat (who likes my side) and a dog (who likes hubby's side). Lately, about once a week or so, Logan wakes up screaming & won't put himself back to sleep. So he cuddles with us for about half an hour. We must have bought our shrinking beds from the same joke/novelty shop!

  9. Well, I hate to be a killjoy, but as someone with two kids who are taller than she is now, I have a little experience. We chose, after one night, not only to NOT have a family bed, but also to not let our kids even sleep in the same room as us–ever. (That’s not to say that on rare occasions someone hasn’t slept on the floor of our room!) We realized early on that we both need our sleep, and so do the kids, and the “family bed” was not the way to accomplish this. My personal opinion (and I think you’ve asked for it here, right?) is that kids need to know their boundaries, and in my house, my bed (and what happens in it) is strictly off limits. It doesn’t mean I don’t cuddle my kids in other places in the house or show them affection in other ways, but my boundary is my bed. They just aren’t welcome there. My kids are growning up fast (two in high school, one in fifth grade) and they don’t seem to have suffered too much from not being allowed into my bed. They know they are loved, but they also know that Mom and Dad have their space and they have theirs. We don’t ask to sleep in their bed, so why should my kids sleep in mine?

    Good luck!

  10. Well, I hate to be a killjoy, but as someone with two kids who are taller than she is now, I have a little experience. We chose, after one night, not only to NOT have a family bed, but also to not let our kids even sleep in the same room as us–ever. (That’s not to say that on rare occasions someone hasn’t slept on the floor of our room!) We realized early on that we both need our sleep, and so do the kids, and the “family bed” was not the way to accomplish this. My personal opinion (and I think you’ve asked for it here, right?) is that kids need to know their boundaries, and in my house, my bed (and what happens in it) is strictly off limits. It doesn’t mean I don’t cuddle my kids in other places in the house or show them affection in other ways, but my boundary is my bed. They just aren’t welcome there. My kids are growning up fast (two in high school, one in fifth grade) and they don’t seem to have suffered too much from not being allowed into my bed. They know they are loved, but they also know that Mom and Dad have their space and they have theirs. We don’t ask to sleep in their bed, so why should my kids sleep in mine?Good luck!

  11. If I were you, I’d take the baby and go to your bunk bed. That way, you’ll get some sleep and your husband will be well rested for work in the morning.
    I don’t know if you stay home or if you work out of the house but when my boys were very little I never had my husband wake with them at night because he needed his rest to do his best to be the great provider he was and still is.
    That’s my opinion though.
    oh, and when they got older to understand, I did end up putting them back into their beds and explained that my bed was daddys bed and I couldn’t sleep with them because daddy misses me.
    It worked for us.

  12. If I were you, I’d take the baby and go to your bunk bed. That way, you’ll get some sleep and your husband will be well rested for work in the morning. I don’t know if you stay home or if you work out of the house but when my boys were very little I never had my husband wake with them at night because he needed his rest to do his best to be the great provider he was and still is. That’s my opinion though.oh, and when they got older to understand, I did end up putting them back into their beds and explained that my bed was daddys bed and I couldn’t sleep with them because daddy misses me. It worked for us.

  13. Our only difference is that Ladybug starts the night in our bed, and the cat never wants to cuddle. We have used a baby gate in the hallway so that the cat cannot even get to the bedroom door, which she likes to bang on in the middle of the night.

    But we have the same problem – Ladybug takes up a lot of space for being the smallest one in the bed.

    We did buy a toddler bed rail. We thought having LB sleep up against that with me in the middle would help, but it made things worse. So Hubby sleeps up against the bed rail, LB in the middle, me on the other side. It’s working so far.

    My other suggestion is to keep the cats out of the bed. I know that’s hard. We did that when Hubby and I first got married, so I know that they’ll adjust.

    Let us know if you find a good solution!

  14. Our only difference is that Ladybug starts the night in our bed, and the cat never wants to cuddle. We have used a baby gate in the hallway so that the cat cannot even get to the bedroom door, which she likes to bang on in the middle of the night.But we have the same problem – Ladybug takes up a lot of space for being the smallest one in the bed. We did buy a toddler bed rail. We thought having LB sleep up against that with me in the middle would help, but it made things worse. So Hubby sleeps up against the bed rail, LB in the middle, me on the other side. It’s working so far.My other suggestion is to keep the cats out of the bed. I know that’s hard. We did that when Hubby and I first got married, so I know that they’ll adjust.Let us know if you find a good solution!

  15. yep, antonio usually joins us (in our queen) between 4 and 6 in the morning. all snuggled up between us, he’s actually getting to be a bedhog. i told andres we need a king size bed for after his sister is born! fortunately, the dogs stay on the floor. i can’t imagine another 100 pounds of living things in the bed.

  16. yep, antonio usually joins us (in our queen) between 4 and 6 in the morning. all snuggled up between us, he’s actually getting to be a bedhog. i told andres we need a king size bed for after his sister is born! fortunately, the dogs stay on the floor. i can’t imagine another 100 pounds of living things in the bed.

  17. I had to come back and leave another comment on this topic.

    It seems to be counter-intuitive to me to allow my child to cry and not have comfort from the people that she trusts the most. Why would I leave her in her crib to cry if she is in pain?

    I realize teething pain is minimal in terms of other pains she will have in her life. But it is my job to offer her comfort. Even if that means having her in our bed, and if I have to lose sleep.

    She’s worth it!

    (getting off soapbox now)

  18. I had to come back and leave another comment on this topic.It seems to be counter-intuitive to me to allow my child to cry and not have comfort from the people that she trusts the most. Why would I leave her in her crib to cry if she is in pain? I realize teething pain is minimal in terms of other pains she will have in her life. But it is my job to offer her comfort. Even if that means having her in our bed, and if I have to lose sleep. She’s worth it!(getting off soapbox now)

  19. We have a big ol’ pile of us in the bed at night-kitties, sometimes a dog, hubby, me and the kid-and we love it! At first we had a queen sized bed and that was hard, so I’m feeling for you girl! We ended up buying a king sized and now I get to stretch out a little 🙂

  20. We have a big ol’ pile of us in the bed at night-kitties, sometimes a dog, hubby, me and the kid-and we love it! At first we had a queen sized bed and that was hard, so I’m feeling for you girl! We ended up buying a king sized and now I get to stretch out a little 🙂

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