Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bunk beds part deux...reflections a year later

I made the not so very brilliant choice, a little over a year ago, to purchase bunk beds. Yes... I know. What the hell was I thinking?! BOY and GIRL have a small room that they both share, and it seemed like such a great idea at the time. A space saver, and fun for the kids! I dismissed the recommended warnings for "6 years and up."

I soon realized the recommendations are there for a good reason, but not for the obvious physical danger. Our bunk beds adventure was short lived. Luckily there were no trips to the ER, but just as the bunk beds went up...the fears kicked in. The bottom bunk was "too dark and scary." The top bunk was fine, until BOY woke up with nightmares and I had to quickly ascend a small ladder, manipulate myself around the narrow opening, and get to him. And then there was our fear that he would attempt to climb down too quickly during one of his bad nights. Which all told, was just about every night. The bunk beds were up for a total of...mmm, maybe 1 week?

So, the bunk beds became twin beds and have remained so ever since. The room is now extra small, and although both BOY and GIRL are speaking of wanting to reinstate the bunk bed arrangement, I'm just not sure I'm up for it.

Perhaps the biggest drawback is changing the sheets. Whether perched in the air or on the floor...a nightmare. If your beds are against the wall, there is no way to do it other than climbing on top and heading for the back to tuck those bottom sheets under. Ever tried lifting a mattress while you're on top of it? It doesn't work too well.

The great news is that for the last several weeks, BOY has been sleeping through the night! It took almost a year to get through this phase, but it appears that we've made it to the other side. So, now that we're actually getting a decent night's sleep, I'm hesitant to erect the bunk beds once again for fear of launching another sleepless phase. So, for now we'll maintain the status quo...two twin beds, that should be bunks, taking up entirely too much space on the floor in a small room. As for changing the sheets? We haven't done it yet, but I'm thinking...sleeping bags!

This blog post was inspired by Donna at Fortyfide who cross posted her bunk bed adventure on BlogHer.

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  1. A clear sign that it's time for the kids to start changing their own sheets. It's evolution baby.

  2. For a long time, we had two sets of bunk beds for our four boys. Changing sheets? I found it easiest to remove the safety bar on the outside of the top bunk, slide the mattress off, change the sheet while the mattress was propped up on its side on the floor, and then hoist the mattress back up (replacing the safety bar, obviously).

    The real fun was when they had diving contests in the middle of the night.

  3. Been there done that and you're right--there's no easy way.

  4. Perhaps you should give the kids your bed so they can be together and then you and hubby can have twin beds like Ricky and Lucy.

  5. I know the bunkbed fear. It's scary up there!

  6. Hmmm... bunk beds never make me feel 'safe'... its a phobia to me..I'm afraid I'll fall over if I'm on top!

    I made my boys sleep on the mattress on the floor...(I'm too safe sometimes)

  7. Yea, I never understood bunk beds. Maybe the pieces you need got lost?

  8. although MQ has a lovely twin bed (with it's top half that could turn it into a bunk hiding in the attic) she often prefers to sleep on the floor next to it in a sleeping bag!

  9. We debated on bunk beds until we realized that it was one very small step from the top bunk to the ceiling fan. The Queen sleeps in an antique 3/4 bed which is against the wall and is just exactly too wide for me to get that far corner bottom sheet on without climbing on the bed, the very acrobatics to which you refer.

  10. I had all the exact same issues. In fact we never had any monster problems until the bunk bed went up.

  11. If you decide to go with bunk beds again...

    Put 2 or 3 bottom sheets (and mattress pads in between, if necessary) on the top bunk.

    Then you can just rip off one set as needed, and procrastinate putting them all back on for quite some time.

    Either way, good luck!

  12. We've been debating bunkbeds for a while, with the boys lobbying hard in favor. Right now they're in two separate (but small) rooms.

    The idea of regaining an office/guest room is very appealing. The idea of the boys killing themselves or each other in the bunk beds is very unappealing. Changing the sheets on the top bunk is a close second on the unappealing-o-meter.

    Jennifer H, you're a genius.

  13. Stryker has a loft. The loft is Satan's perch. Yes -- sheets! Nightmares! Reading in bed! Ugh.

  14. Ditto the argh factor about changing sheets and/or making the bed on twin beds scooched against the wall. I pulled my daughter's bed away from the wall about a foot so that I didn't have to listen to her excuse anymore.

  15. Oh, and hooray on little guy sleeping through the night!! Ahh..nothing like the appreciation parenting gives us for a good night's sleep! Never to be taken for granted again, huh?

  16. We had bunk beds - even though we had only one child, someone gave us the beds, so we installed them. Good for sleep-overs, we figured.

    Well - once on a play-date, Our Son was descending the ladder, fell and broke his arm, requiring a pin set into his elbow! Yikes!

    There was a brief period where he wanted to sleep on top, instead of on the bottom - brief! You're right about the sheets!

    When he got older, though, the upper bunk became a launching pad for wild boys to leap around the room, and toys to be catapulted around.


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