By Alyce Collins
THIS COUPLE have had be creative in order to keep their sex life alive so that their daughters could sleep in their MARITAL BED with them every night.
Registered nurse, Ellen Youlden (27) from Melbourne, Australia, chooses to co-sleep with her husband and their two young daughters every night, noting the importance of sleeping together after never sleeping a night without her daughters in the bed since they were born.
Ellen, who herself co-slept with her siblings and parents from a very young age, always knew she wanted to co-sleep with her own children, Sade (2) and Leonora (1) in the future. Ellen was so certain of co-sleeping that the girls don’t yet have their own rooms or beds.
Ellen and her husband, Tai (30), created a large family bed in their bedroom by pushing a queen bed and a king single bed together and merging the two bases to stop them from moving apart.
If Sade and Leonora decide they wish to sleep on their own, Ellen and Tai will get them larger beds so that the girls can co-sleep with one another and have Ellen and Tai there to get them off to sleep.
“My siblings and I co-slept with our parents and I always knew I would do the same with my children,” said Ellen.
“My eldest brother and I slept with my parents until my younger brother was born, when my brother was six and I was three, then we had our own beds. But we would still just swap and choose to sleep wherever we liked – whether that be together or back with our parents.
“It’s natural and what has been the norm for many generations before.
“I feel that my daughters feel very safe and nurtured. They are respected and valued, and they can trust that we will always be there when they need us. I think that this is greatly reflected in their confidence, outgoing, social and happy personalities.
“My children have never slept independently. My eldest once went and climbed into bed with my mother when she stayed over, by her own choice.
“But I think we sleep so much better when we co-sleep. I wake up numerous times throughout the night to check on them and make sure their blankets are pulled up and that they’re comfortable.
“Initially, Tai was a bit worried about co-sleeping in case he would roll on top of the girls in his sleep as he’s such a deep sleeper, so we bought a ‘snuggle bed’ which Sade slept in for the first few months until he was comfortable enough to have her in the bigger bed.
“It’s amazing how aware and in tune you become when you have your babies lying next you. Your sleep becomes much lighter.
“I fall asleep listening to their breathing, knowing that they’re safe and happy. Not to mention the ease for breastfeeding. My little one has free range to feed whenever she likes throughout the night and I don’t even need to wake.
“We can all get a great night’s sleep and I can honestly say I wake up refreshed every morning, and I never feel tired or as though I’ve had a broken sleep.
“We have a queen-sized bed butted up to a king single bed. Tai has cleverly built the bases to be joined to the opposite mattress, like a jigsaw puzzle, so that the beds stay together and don’t slip apart.”
Ellen’s parenting style is overwhelmingly inspired by her mother who also believed co-sleeping was a fundamental element in a child’s development.
Although she doesn’t have any plans to move the girls into their own beds or bedrooms any time soon, Ellen does appreciate that in a few years’ time the girls will choose when they are ready to sleep independently.
Ellen also spoke about how choosing to co-sleep with her daughters every night since they were born has meant that her and her husband’s private life has been affected by the lack of space and privacy in the evenings, but they want to cherish the early years of their daughters’ lives while they still can.
“I have lovely images of the girls one day choosing that they are ready to move into their own bed or bedroom,” said Ellen.
“I think when that time comes we will get them a queen-size bed, so they can both sleep together, and that Tai or I can also fit in so we can continue to lay with them until they fall asleep each night.
“I think we’re very confident and comfortable in our parenting choices, so this doesn’t really ever allow for any criticism from others to have a place.
“Co-sleeping has affected mine and Tai’s private life yes, but these years are so precious and fleeting, and we’re aware of that. We want to cherish these years of the girls’ lives while we can.
“We are definitely still intimate and we’re very affectionate towards each other. We kiss and cuddle whenever we can throughout the day as I think it’s important for the girls to see that they’re in a loving and affectionate home.
“To the point of sex, me and Tai sneak out of the room once the girls are asleep and climb back in to cuddle them whenever they stir or to feed.”
You can find out more about Ellen’s parenting and her family’s experiences by visiting her Instagram page, @a_childs_pace.