It’s being called “extreme co-sleeping”. Texan couple Elizabeth and Tom Boyce have five of their kids sharing their bed at night. No, it’s not a squeeze, because they’ve had the bed custom-built to fit seven people.
Actually, it’s genius.
Nine-year-old Izzy and seven-year-old Ben sleep on bunks on a higher level. “Anxious, insomniac” Zach, 11, has a little cave to the side, as does toddler Owen, three. One-year-old Elijah sleeps in the middle with mum and dad.
Why do they do it? One word: "sleep".
"We just needed sleep," photographer Elizabeth Boyce explains on her blog. "Tom is disabled and is often sick or needs care at night. I was up helping him, nursing a baby, putting kids back into their own beds, soothing a toddler woken by other kids... it was a mess!
"Sleep, people. It is really simple."
There are more questions. Boyce answers them.
What if someone is puking? "Really, it doesn't make much difference. In fact, we get way more 'warning' time this way. Before, by the time they made it to us, it was already coming up. Now, we statistically make it to the bathroom with less accidents."
What if the kids on the bunk bed fall off? "They would fall on a mattress or one of us parents. While not ideal, I doubt it would do much damage. If you are HIGHLY concerned, feel free to buy a bed rail off Amazon and ship it to us. I prefer white."
What happens when you have more kids? "We won't. If we do, please contact my husband's urologist, Dr Posch, and leave a scathing review."
Apart from the massive benefit of getting more sleep, the Boyces have found another advantage of sharing a bed with their kids. It frees up two bedrooms to be used for other things. One is now full of clothes. The other is now full of Lego. Yes, just Lego.
A lot of parents unintentionally share a bed with their kids. I often wake up to find the population of my bed has doubled overnight. While I absolutely love snuggling with my kids in the morning, a double bed really wasn't made for four people. I'm sure I'm not the only (slightly achy) parent who looks with envy at all the space the Boyces have.
Apart from all the nosy questions, (yes, they still have sex, not that it's any of your business) Boyce has had a lot of supportive comments posted to her blog.
"You guys have really developed such a precious and creative solution to much of the nighttime BS that is likely now being avoided!"
"Haters gonna hate. Great solution to a real problem many parents face!"
"I FREAKING LOVE THIS!!! Kudos to your for connecting with your kiddos, creating a safe haven for your family, and doing what works for YOU guys!"
Would you like to have a bed like this one?
TAP THE IMAGE to see more of the Boyce's amazing family bed.