I’ve always been a casual co-sleeper, meaning I have no real stance on co-sleeping or not co-sleeping. My family mantra has been — and probably always will be — that sleep is king. So in my mind, whatever ensures that we are all getting the maximum amount of sleep possible to ensure that the next day will minimize whiny, over-tired children and a whiny, overtired mother is a good thing, indeed.
I’ve kicked a husband or toddler out a few times, as well as happily snuggled with more than one pint-sized bedmate on other nights. For our family, co-sleeping is a happenstance when it’s necessary more than a definite way of life.
But for the Boyce family from the Wandering The World Below blog, co-sleeping is definitely not an occasional occurrence due to a bad dream or a baby that refuses to sleep in any other position than face-to-boob. For them, co-sleeping is a lifestyle choice that makes sense.
The only problem?
They have six kids. With five of the children still at home, it’s not a stretch to assume that their bed was starting to get a little cramped. That is, until matriarch Elizabeth hacked an Ikea bed to accommodate their entire family.
On her blog, Boyce explains that for their family, right now, co-sleeping just works:
“Our kiddos have always been raised to believe that if something wasn’t working, we found a solution. Sleeping arrangements are an ever evolving thing. I am sure we will reconfigure when it stops working. I am the queen of flexible.”
Also, the family is simply used to being in close quarters which other, often traveling together a lot for Boyce’s work as a portrait photographer, where they bunk up together in an RV they’ve fondly dubbed “Brooks.”
I know what you’re thinking.
But how? And why? And what about … ?
Which is why Boyce helpfully answered a lot of our burning questions about this epic co-sleeping masterpiece on her blog, including pointing out that sex doesn’t have to happen in a bed (you guys, this is far more creative than I will ever be and for that, I am ashamed) and discussing the family’s bedtime “shift” schedule, with younger kids hitting the hay first, followed by the older kids, and then lastly, mom and dad.
Boyce seems to really have thought of it all when it comes to this bed hack, from keeping the unit as “one” piece to battery-operated wire lighting for late-night reading. The bed even includes little curtains on the bottom “bunks” for some of the kids to have privacy. “I wanted them to have a ‘space’ where they could decompress” Boyce explained. “It seems to work well!”
Honestly, I’m amazed by this bed and maybe even a little jealous. Think of all the extra space you could have in your house if you didn’t have whole rooms just dedicated to sleeping. I could have a beautiful office! And a massage room! And an exercise room! And a wine bar!
OK, perhaps that’s a little extreme, but you get my point, right? For this family, sharing one big, beautiful, converted Ikea bed works for them.
And that’s all that matters.
Well, and sleep, of course. Sleep always matters.