So my coworker Andrea in the North Carolina office tells me this story in response to a rumor I'd heard about the subject:
Andrea: So here's my dog bed story. When we moved Tasha from her crib to a 'big bed' when she was almost 3, she was suddenly afraid to sleep in her room by herself. I'm not sure if it was the absence of bars around her or what....but every single night she kept coming into our room, scared. I'm sure it didn't help things that my husband Tom let them watch an alien movie with him. He's completely clueless about what is visually appropriate for kids.
Tasha was constantly disrupting my sleep, especially after the alien thing. Usually what would happen was she would come into our room and I would get out of bed and pass out on her bed, wake up later, and then go back to our bed. I cannot, and never have been able to sleep with a kid in our bed (my kids kick and flail about all night long). As you can imagine, I was not getting any quality sleep. One night she came into our room and I just told her to lay in the dog bed (it's on the floor next to my side of the bed). I threw a pillow and blanket to her and she was fine--she slept the rest of the night without getting up! I was so relieved, although Ginger (our dog) wasn't thrilled. Just so you know, this dog bed is really big. It's big and round and 3-4' in diameter.
Quite simply, the dog bed became her bed. It was just easier for me to let her sleep there than to be constantly sleep deprived. I periodically tried to move her back to her own bed, but she just wasn't ready and always woke me up in the night. I put a sheet on the dog bed and outfitted it with a blanket and pillow. When her friends came over to play, she would show them the dog bed and told them that is where she slept. I just figured when she was ready, she would go back to her bed. It took her almost 3 years. Last September, our neighbors gave us a queen sized canopy bed for Tasha. Suddenly she was ready to sleep in her own bed! Thank goodness! I think starting kindergarten and wanting to be a big girl might have helped things along a bit. Ginger knew her bed was back the day I removed the sheet and blanket from her bed. She romped around the room in happiness and kept rolling and rolling all around on it. I laughed so hard! :)
I need to tell you, too, that for awhile Max was really upset that Tasha got to sleep in our room, so we had to set a temporary bed on the floor on Tom's side for Max. With the kids, our dog, and 3 cats, our bedroom was the happenin' place at night. Max didn't sleep well at all in our room, so he went back to his bed after a few weeks.
Anyway....I know you don't have kids, but you might understand my motivation if you have heard stories from your sister and her kids. It's the people in this office that don't have kids that look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them stories like this. Bottom line, I don't care! I need my sleep and Tom wouldn't wake up if a truck ran him over during the night, so it's all up to me to keep the peace at night. :)