How To Get Kids To Sleep In Their Own Beds {Humor}

Our kids are now older and they are accustomed to sleeping in their own beds.

It is normally not an issue and they retire without much fuss on most nights.  If they do fuss, at nearly 4 and 5 and a half, it usually stems from wanting to complete something like a book, a puzzle or to make sure all of our son’s glow-in-the dark Green Lantern rings are accounted for and visible from his pillow.

But, one weekend night, our son was a little weepy and he clung to my neck holding his favorite blanket and said, “I don’t wanna go to bed.  It’s too dark in there.  I wanna sleep with you, momma.”

And, because my husband and I planned to retire soon ourselves, we figured it wouldn’t hurt anything.  It isn’t uncommon for us to go to sleep with four feet in the bed and to wake up with eight on the mattress, so we’d just have a cozy family bed on this weekend night.

It was thundering and raining outside.  If there were any night to do it, it was THIS blustery, wet night.

For some background on this particular story, it is important to note that when the kids were young, we were co-sleepers using an attached crib-like item that enabled me to quickly respond to our baby.  It was a real life-saver as a working-nursing mom.

As the kids became older (and it doesn’t happen to all co-sleeping parents and it may happen sooner than it did for us for other parents), the co-sleeping arrangements ceased to work for all parties involved.

As the radial impact and momentum of  flailing, formerly diminutive but constantly growing limbs increased, co-sleeping for us ensured peaceful, restful sleep for only half of the King-sized bed’s occupants.  Those of us with the greatest body mass spent most nights clinging to the precipices of the deceptively small  foam-cushion top.

For voluntary co-sleepers, joyous and fulfilling as it is in many ways, this is also the reality of many nights from the very funny How To Be A Dad website!  

And this is what my side of the bed looked like until we started to gently nudge our children toward their own beds a couple of years ago.

So, with this knowledge, one might appreciate why this particular  night was special.

My husband and I knew that we would soon each be half-draped down the sides of our beds with our heads resting somewhere between those end tables and our mattress within hours of our kids achieving their characteristic REM-induced spider-sprawl in the center of our bed.

That would be okay because this was going to be a Whole-Family-Under-The-Covers-Thunderstorm-Night.  My husband and I reasoned our son was clearly scared of the dark, the flickering outside lights and the loud sounds.

As the kids settled under the quilts, I went downstairs to get some water.

I got a hankering, out of the blue, for a very odd thing by most standards.

Have you ever heard of Kim-Chi?

It is a Korean side-dish, a sort of pickled cabbage- only it is not pickled in vinegar or salt as much as it is eternally preserved in fiery red chili peppers and garlic.

It is a polarizing condiment, loved by those who grew up with it and became desensitized to the stank-ness of it and loathed by those whose fears of the smell and wilted appearance cannot be overcome.

Growing up and even now, kim-chi warrants its own refrigerator, often in the garage to ensure that the garlicky-peppery-fermented-y smell does not assault any senses or unsuspecting air particles in the home.

For some reason, kim-chi just sounded GOOD right before bedtime.  So, I grabbed a fork and slopped a few cabbage leaves out of the jar.  I grabbed the water and walked upstairs.

I laid down in bed.  My little son’s face was near my own.  I bantered with my husband about some things we had to do tomorrow, some deadlines we had to meet, yadda yadda yadda.

And all of a sudden, my son’s head popped up out of the covers and he said,

“Um.  I think I’m gonna sleep in my own bed.”

Surprised, I said, “Really?”

The storm had heightened and had become louder.  There was more flashing behind the closed blinds.

And he nodded to me.

“I thought you were afraid of the dark and the storm sounds, Son?”

“Um, No.  I wanna sleep in my own bed,” he said as he grabbed his pillow.

I realized at this point that I had been talking next to his face with that nuclear kim-chi breath!

So, I said, “Son, is it because mama smells like Kim-Chi?”

And he nodded in agreement.

“But, what if mama faces away from you and goes to sleep?

He considered my  co-sleeping offer for a moment and then said,


We found his favorite blanket under the covers and he stomped off in his Batman Sleeper disappearing into the hallway where we guessed he retired to his own bed just before the power outage.

His fears of the dark and the thunder were instantly gone.

He no longer needed Us: his Kim-Chi-Smelly-Mom or his Hysterically Laughing Dad.

So, Parents, I pass this gem to you.

Those of you who struggle to find answers to your child’s fears of the dark, the flashing lightening, the boogey-man, or any other afear-edness that leads him or her into your bed to the detriment of quality sleep, please feel free to try this method.

Keep a jar of Kim-Chi in your fridge for emergencies.

I bet it’ll work every time.

The spare fridge is optional but highly recommended.






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23 Responses to How To Get Kids To Sleep In Their Own Beds {Humor}

  1. Goodness!!! Trish you made me laugh so hard!!!! I made fresh kimchi last week, soooo delicious but it is quite impossible to get rid of the super garlicky smell even after brushing and rinsing with Listerine. I am going to squirrel away your tip for when it’s time for Erynn to leave the family bed. I think I’m going to also use this for when she starts to even think about dating!!!

    • Bella- haha! Thank you so much- I am so impressed you make your own kimchi- I am half-Korean and I still have never done that. You must teach me. 🙂 Thanks, again for your comment- made my day. 🙂

    • Joanne- You are one of the enlightened masses, for sure. I would love to read your book about Korea…has it been published? Or is this the one you still seek a publisher for? Thank you, again, Joanne-

  2. I LOVE kimchi, although I usually only eat it when we go out to Korean BBQ for dinner. I will keep this in mind. 🙂

    Also, loved the baby sleeping positions. I’m not a good co-sleeper (even with my husband most of the time) and my kids were both in their own cot in their own room from the first day they were home from hospital. But both kids went through a period at about 18 months where they wake up in the middle of the night and just want to be cuddled back to sleep. It lasted about three months with my eldest, and I’m currently going through it with my youngest. Most of the time, our bed looks like ‘H is for Hell’ by about 3 in the morning.

    • Jo- Thank you for your comment all the way from Australia! 🙂 The kimchi is a good weapon for awkward social situations and dealing with co-workers you don’t like, too. 🙂 I now remember a friend in high school telling me she used to eat it before volleyball games to keep the opponent backed up off the net. 🙂 That is potent if it worked! 🙂

    • Kate- It was so unexpected! But, I do love your Real Life Wednesday link-ups….finally a link-up for my blogging niche….. haha! Thank you!

  3. Love Korean BBQ and Kimchi! (I had a roommate in college who ate it daily!) Too funny! Ten stars! My son lasted all of three months in our bed (and he was a newborn!).

    • Lisa- haha! Mine lasted nearly 3 years….but who is counting??? haha! You must be one cool room mate to have tolerated that! haha! Now that I think of it….my poor college roommate! 🙂

  4. Oh, Trish, I had tears – literally rivers of tears streaming down my face. First the “Baby Sleep Positions” and to top it off…Kim Chee. Can’t tell you how many nights it doubled as “birth control”! But who could resist it with ochazuke?

    • Nami- haha! I have to admit that I have never eaten Kimchi with anything called ochazuke….but that word is so cool that I must now. 🙂 You have now given the world another use for kim-ch. I had not considered birth control…but it is much more efffecting than the weight-affecting aternativess out there. 🙂

  5. This made me laugh so hard:). Anyway, I heard a rumor that you might have a post for the Cinderella Around the World project??? Please email it to me and I’ll add it on!!! 🙂

  6. This is Frances coming from the KBN FB Group. Wow! I was laughing so hard, I couldn’t help but think of your son LOLOLOL He preferred the dark thundering night to your smelly breath! Too funny! I don’t think the Kim Chi method will work, cause the Kim Chi doesn’t sound appetizing at all to me! 🙂 I will figure something out for my son’s fear, or just wait for him to outgrow it. Thanks for the laugh!

    • Frances- maybe you could just eat heads of raw garlic??? Onions? Hmmmm….what else is revolting in large quantities? 🙂 I do hope your son’s fear lessen soon so you guys can get some rest, too. That is not just hard on the kids, but it is also hard on parents. Thank you for reading, my KBN friend!

    • Frances- haha! Well, do you have any family foods full of garlic or onions or peppers? That should do the trick!!!! 🙂

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