Thank you for sharing your story and wisdom. I shared a family bed with my grandparents. Those nights were the most memorable with warmth and closeness. Our 3-year old still share a bed with us. His cot is sidecarred to our bed but depending on his developmental stages his preference changes. There were times when he preferred to sleep in his cot, there are times such as now when he prefers to sleep snuggled to us. We are perfectly happy with the arrangement and sleep more deeply when he is in our bed. Our son has never taken to any security objects nor does he suck his thumbs, and is more secure than his peers who sleep in their own rooms.
Travelling with him is so handy because sleeping arrangement is so easy. Our 5 year old and 7 year old sleep with us. Our 7 year old has been in our bed since birth. Our 5 year old from about from birth to 8 months and then at age 3 to now. She slept better independly for periods. We have an amazing family bond. They each have their own bedrooms and know that it is their choice whether to sleep in their own beds. It gives me peace and comfort to have them with me. I remember being a small child and my parents yelling at me to stay in my room.
I was terrified. I never want my children to experience that feeling of rejection and horror. I did the same thing! Would sleep in my parents doorway, terrified! Do you think this affected you into adulthood? My daughter has co slept on and off since age of months before that she was in crib in our room my girl is 9 now and still does from time to time, my dd is a very well adjusted confident happy little girl and if I want nights in my bed alone she is more than happy to sleep in her own bed????
Dd has never ever had sleeping issues she sleeps well co sleeping and sleeps well in her own bed???? I have clear memories of fear and loneliness while waiting for sleep alone in my bed at night. Fear, loneliness … and longing to be with my parents. Apparently I begged to sleep in their bed. And one night they granted my wish, and put me to bed in their bed … and left me there alone. When I was much older, my mother would wonder aloud what it might have been that I thought was so special about their bed.
And I would wonder silently how it could possibly be so mysterious to her. Oh, thank you! I seriously was happy to get to college and have a roommate finally — no kidding! All three of my children were or are in bed with me. Right now just my 4 yr old is still in my bed, but the older ones are no longer. Our U. The constant fear mongering caused me to wake up five times a night to check on her breathing for the first three years. I love your statement!
Especially the end part about we as adults prefer to sleep with a partner, but expect our small children to sleep alone! I second it!!! Awe that is sad, I remember having similar experiences though my mom knew it was them I wanted to sleep with. Instead she would come back to my bed with me and stay with me till i fell asleep. I now cosleep with my kids and every now and then I think i should stop but I find I suffer from the seperation just as much as they do!
I have the same memories of feeling very lonely in my bed at night as a child. I also have been very insecure and dependent my entire life.
- Merlin ou le Savoir du monde (IMAGO (EDITIONS) (French Edition).
- Précaution (Le Choix dun mari) (French Edition).
- How To Teach Drums.
- 26 thoughts on “School-Age Children and the Family Bed”.
- Five Benefits to Cosleeping Past Infancy | Natural Parents Network;
- How to stop co-sleeping: An age-by-age guide?
In big cities, the more well-off a family is generally the less true it is, either the children sleep alone in their own rooms or have a hired caregiver tending them. But in general children not sleeping alone is totally normal, and they grow up to be adult who are happy to sleep either alone or sharing a room with other people. Up to 3 years old I shared a bed with my grandparents. Those years, those nights brought me smile and warm tingly feelings. But after I moved to live with my parents I no longer experienced that.
I felt alone and often cried at night. The contrast was jarring. What a wonderful post, Dionna. Thank you for raising awareness on the benefits of cosleeping- especially with older children. So much of this rings true for our family. Refraining from a loving, useful parenting technique because it will eventually have to end makes no sense. Now I have another great resource to refer to. Thanks so much! It brought back memories for me. When I was a teen, one of my younger brothers would crawl in with me in the early mornings when the next baby was born…so sweet!
It is just a natural progression…and they are well-adjusted, secure, independent and kind young women now. We never let our children sleep with us, because of a family member who did and her child was yrs of age when she attemped to get her to sleep in her own room and it was not a pretty sight. The little girl cried and screamed all night long it seemed so as a result of that we didnt do it.
My husband was military and when he was deployed I let me daughter sleep with me here and there and she was 9 and I didnt do it for her I did it for me. I needed her in my bed because we were in a strange new town and didnt know the neighborhood so I just felt better having her with me for safety reasons. And how does a couple be intimate with kids in your bed?
Clearly, bed sharing is not for you. Your perspective on the intimacy aspect is amusing and comes up by many. There is plenty of opportunity for private time for parents! Our oldest shared our bed until my twin pregnancy became too large for all of us to be comfortable, so around 18 months. The twins are 5 now and start the night in their own bed but they know they are welcome to crawl in with us if they wake during the night, or Daddy can go to them. We are now co-sleeping with baby 4, 3 months old.
The three oldest kids share a room their choice! It is so sweet to go check on them before turning in and seeing that they are snuggled together. Thank you so much for this. I thought about transitioning him while I was pregnant, but decided that it would help him into his transition of brotherhood than if he were on his own. Eden — that is wonderful! The families they interviewed were, for the majority, all happier and closer than non-cosleeping families.
Somehow I doubt that a few years of cosleeping is going to tip the scale more than any other marriage problem, but that is definitely my unfounded opinion! They have their own beds, and the older one usually sleeps all night in hers. Her brother just got his own bed a couple of months ago, and he still likes a middle of the night nursing, so he usually crawls in with us in the middle of the night. Both kids know they are welcome in our bed, and we do occasionally just all still sleep together—say, if we all piled into the big bed to watch a movie, or something.
As for the marriage, well, we are planning to build ourselves a new bedframe, and I would like to have a mini-crib sized trundle under it, as a place to stow a sleeping little one for a little while when Daddy and Mommy have other plans for the bed! But the non-stress of happier kids more than makes up for the inconveniences of a crowded bed! If it were up to me the sleeping part of my night would be in a bed by myself. But a baby who might squirm around and start playing with things in the headboard or fall off…it is just completely unappealing.
What about sex between partners when a lot of people do this before sleep at night? Parent bed times v. Okay…so that answers the sleep time question. I assumed that cosleeping babies could not sleep on their own. A friend in child care told me that the kids she cares for that co sleep have a tough time napping alone when in daycare. How do you do put your child to bed before you go to bed without the child rolling around in bed and falling out of bed? Some families use a cosleeper made for this purpose.
We just used pillows when Kieran was still rolling. Once they are bigger, it is less of a concern — my child has never rolled out of the bed, with or without us there. We put a yoga mat on the floor alongside the low bed, put our baby to sleep on the side near the wall, but allowed him to have the possibility of rolling out of bed. We found that when he was awake on the bed, he was very aware of the edge and would not let himself fall. After a few months he did roll out when sleeping alone. He was upset but not really hurt. I mean, it must have been painful, but there were no bruises.
It happened one other time, months later. First of all, thank you for writing this acticle. I was coslept as a child and now cosleep with my children. We have no problems putting them to sleep at their sleep times. What i do is put the extra pillows on the sideof the bed just in case one rolls off. This has not happened but once is 2 years but just in case the protection is there. My husband and I co sleep with our 19 month old son. We typically put him to bed around and have toddler rails on the bed to keep him from rolling off if we get up.
Thanks so much for posting this. I have gotten quite a bit of flack for continuing to co-sleep with my kids. My bed is not big enough for all 5 of them, but they take turns, and we love it. My 3 year old is with me every night, and everyone else even my 13 yr old son gets a turn in the family bed. I love being able to connect with them at night, we talk and often cuddle or hold hands as we drift off to sleep. What could be better, and who does it hurt? Certainly not any of us….
My friend has a 12 year old son who till sleeps with her. Mostly just with her, sometimes between her and her husband. The boy has no confidence, is afraid to stay home alone during the day and still expects his mother to do everything for me. I believe that in this case co-sleeping has thwarted his development. Sadly he has the maturity of a year old. A mom or a child may have developmental issues. Bullying certainly makes it more difficult. If you are concerned, talk with the mom or dad about it. Based on all of the above information, it sounds like cosleeping is not a causational variable but correlational variable.
The Summer season increases Icecream sales and also human to human interaction, leading to more crime. He may have other issues that cause all of those issues and sleeping with his parents is his only way to cope. Praise God that he had parents who will meet his needs and validate him; he is clearly at risk and needs loving human interaction. Sounds to me like this boy has bigger issues my 8 year old has Autism. I fiercely feel that home needs to be a sanctuary where you can relax, be yourself and understood. It seems to me that co-sleeping is an important oasis in a life that is otherwise a struggle.
They are either biological, or environmental in some other way. Something else is going on with him. The bullying could be affecting him. He could have a learning disability. He could be somewhere or on the autism spectrum. His parents or someone else could be abusing him or bullying him psychologically, physically, or sexually. There is something else happening. I was bullied as a child. Perhaps if i did sleep with my parents I would have told them and they could have stopped it or made me feel secure. As it was i stopped being bullied in middle school when i grew 8 inches.
It seems to me that you should support the family who has this child who is having issues. I dont know why in school it is socially acceptable to pick on someone yet if you did the same thing as an adult you could end up in jail. Some kids honestly dont fit in with their peer group.
Majority co-sleep but switch baby to separate room by six months
We still sleep with both of our kids who are 2 and 6. It is a little cozy at times but we are all happy and rested. This is a very lovely post! My son who is 13 months still co-sleeps with us! He has slept with us since he was 4 days old. I had so many people including DRs telling my to not Co-Sleep just because it causes them to be so dependent and they will not learn to sleep on their own. But its still nice. I love how attached he is to us. Thanks for the great post!! Thank you, Danielle, I feel the same way!
How do I get past this issue? I love co sleeping with him, esp when my husband is on trips. But recently, he crosses the boundries by sleeping ON me instead. I am having slight trouble getting my bones moving in the morning because of this. Petrina, I am SO not the person to ask about sleeping on mama — Kieran slept on my chest for. I thought he stopped doing that at ard 2years old.
Thank you sooo much for your article and all the moms that shared. Makes me feel sooo much better!! It is easy to find tons of articles against co-sleeping!! It is such a natural thing. I was feeling bad because my 13yr old girl and 9 year old twin boys still want to all sleep with me. It started when the twins were babies and then my daughter would feel left out so it was so much easier to have them all with me. It helped that I have been a single mom. They open up and trust me. Sometimes we stay up late, laughing and talking. Its reassuring to know its okay!! I did co-sleep with my first two children for a little less than a year.
They happily settled down in their beds after that. My third refused to co-sleep from the beginning clawing and screaming! McKenna as our guest speaker.
School-Age Children and the Family Bed
And they wonder why so many people have marriage problems! Get your kids out of your bed and in their own. You can see our comment policy here , but this is the relevant portion applicable to your comment: We encourage thoughtful, mature debate on everything we post. That does not include profanity, poor spelling and grammar, personal attacks, off-topic comments, hostility disguised by sarcasm, and spam.
My response is simply this: every baby, every family is different. I would have to agree, our relationship and sex life have not been hurt in any way by co sleeping. Novel alert. Connecting with your child on a personal level and being in tune with his emotional needs are just as important. You make sacrifices and adjustments in a relationship with your child the same as you do with your spouse.
It, like marriage is a process that should help you grow as a person and comes with growing pains because, I think, many of us enter marriage and parenthood with lots of selfish ideas about how this is all going to revolve around us and how our spouse or child is here simply to add to this perfect life we have envisioned for ourselves. Conventional parenting methods it is. Attending to his needs may sometimes require a break from conventional parenting methods, which often have no scientific basis. They are often just meant to make parenting as convenient as possible for the adults while relegating children to second class citizens in the household.
None of us are perfect, but whatever problems come in parenting are compounded when we refuse to see our child as an individual and refusing to learn and grow up on the journey of parenthood. Sadly, when problems come in marriages, people blame the poor defenseless child. I do not mean to cause offence by this but thats like why people who choose to feed up their child do so that they sleep ALL night from being very very young, my son wasnt sleeping 12hours but I ddnt suffer in the slightest, I co-slept which therefot meant when he needed fed his milk was right there on tap so to speak.
I will always do what works best for me, breastfeeding, cosleeping. Cause it makes a happy united family.. I also learned because of this post, why my son didnt need to attach himself to a manmade object like dummy or blanket etc.. Marital dysfunction, marriage problems, divorce—all of this is because of the couple, not the children and certainly not co-sleeping.
I have a 9 month old who loves his own bed. He is happy, independent and my husband and I have a great relationship. Good for those that get better sleep but knowing my son is in dreamland and I can have access to my whole bed is a benefit you may not know for the next decade or whatever this article is trying to promote. I would love to have read ur post w all the content…. I will stand by a previous post I made saying God, spouse, child..
I wondered if you could point me in any direction of learning to sleep better. I feel shattered, but dont want to stop co-sleeping. Sorry to use you as agony aunt! Am out of ideas! However, for new parents who ask, I openly tell them our experience and my research on attachment parenting, and then it all seems to make sense for them also.
Yay for family bedrooms! My oldest now 11 was my only bed companion for the first 5 years of her life. My husband was the first to say of course. Love this article! We do have some issues, though. I do sit in a chair and read at times.
He uses a mat in his own bed. Sorry for the long post. Just expressing all this has helped me think of some ways to improve the situation!!! Thanks for the great article. Our son is three and has his own room and twin bed. Some nights he goes to sleep in it and wanders into our room. Most nights he just goes to sleep with us.
At three he is extremely independent, intelligent and charismatic. On the nights when he is in his bed, I worry about him. My husband and I both work full-time, so the nighttime is the best time of day. We talk about the day, read books, make up stories and cuddle. If anything, it makes us more creative about sneaking away!
Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. Thanks for this. I still bed share with my 6 yr old and am in no hurry to stop. I could not imagine not providing comfort for my child when needed. Thank you for writing this article. My 9 yr old son still sleeps with us, he has no interest in having his own room, there is one waiting for him for whenever he is ready.
I am wondering if anyone knows of the legality of co-sharing with an older child in Canada. How stressful. Any information on this would be welcomed. We encourage you to post this question on the API Forum, which is moderated by experienced API Leaders and read by other parents who may have faced similar situations. You will need a login and password in order to post a question; please see the upper right corner of the Forum home page to register.
Our son is 5 and still sleeps with us. He has his own room but even if he starts there he always ends up with us by morning. I agree with the others who have posted.
Five Benefits to Cosleeping Past Infancy
We have no arguments about bedtime and I love knowing he is safe next to us. As far as intimacy between my husband and I, I feel more connected to my him with the life we created between us. I am a divorced mom of two boys. I divorced their dad when they were two months and two years old. I breastfed and worked full time and had always coslept anyway so we continued.
The boys have always had their own rooms and beds and have gone through phases of sleeping alone, or together, or most often with me in my king sized bed. They went through some traumatic and emotional stuff with my ex husband this past year and are now back in my bed every night. They are eight and eleven. I am totally okay with this idea of a family bed. We all pile into the big bed with our dogs and read and talk and fall peacefully asleep. I believe they need the comfort and closeness and feel safe this way. They always have the option of sleeping in their rooms.
They just choose not to. Sometimes when I have been ill or want to stay up late I will ask them to sleep in their room but most nights we are all piled in and snuggled up in one bed. But my boys are happy and healthy and independent kids and we are close for lots of reasons but one is the great conversations we have at bedtime. Thanks for the opportunity to share. Your article was the first I came across when frantically searching on whether or not I am abnormal.
As a divorced mom and one of the reasons for my divorce co-sleeping, then the family bed seems, only, well, natural!! My daughter moved on, to her own room quite naturally as she hit middle school. One of the things mentioned in the article is child welfare. Does child welfare frown upon the families sleeping together?
Great article. I have a 7 year old son who enjoys sleeping near me. We were separated for 6. I wasnt even allowed to speak to him until I gained custody. He has his own bedroom. Hes not afraid of the dark and really doesnt have a problem sleeping in his own room. I think he just wants to know im close. Most nights im awake insomnia so its no big deal to hang out in the boys room until he falls asleep.
Once in a while he wanders into my room and plants himself in my bed. Im a single dad who also lives a celibate life so theres no issue with needing intimate time with a wife. Its odd that my son wont sleep near any other person though. I enjoy the quality time spent when he sleeps in my bed. Quality time because he sleeps while I usually stay awake and study him. He doesnt toss and turn either. I get to watch him peacefully sleep. Its the only time hes not bouncing all over the place. For what reason, exactly? How is a couple with a non-intimate relationship going to help the kids?
How is having two unhealthy, unhappy parents going to be good for the kids? There are legitimate cases of emotional problems or one-off issues that can, IMHO, drive a valid reason for bed sharing. But simply not wanting to set rules in place and stick to them is not a valid reason. My mom once told me that her relationship with my father was her first priority because her and his ability to be a good parent was dependent on having a stable home.
Never once did I not feel important, protected, or attended to. As you might imagine, I chose to have my daughter sleep in her own bed early on. The rules were that she stayed in bed after she went to bed. On rare, rare occurrences of thunder or other fears, she could come into bed with me for a few minute, calm herself, and then was taken back to bed. Come on now. She had her own room but kept insistin to sleep in the same bed. Our intimate time together went downhill and was nil when my doughter was around My doughter was always sleeping between us, usually cuddled next to her father.
This was finally over when she got married at the age of Now finally we have the bed to ourselves. I stumbled across this article due to my sister-in-laws inability to be comfortable with her own parenting decisions.
Co-Sleeping With a Toddler May Affect Mom's Health
Both her and my brother sleep in separate bedrooms now — each with one of their two boys. I thought the idea of a family bed seems a bit chaotic and stressful and the possibility of being sleep deprived for one if not all of my family members has kept us from ever venturing down that road. I have several friends that complain about lack of quality sleep due to not having enough space in their king bed for them and their children.
Yet to each his own. It sounds super sweet and somewhat cozy but our family does this on the couch in our family room.
An extra big sectional is cozy and comfy for hanging out watching tv a few nights a week. This way I know my children are not having their sleep interrupted by either my husband or myself if we get up early. I know my children have plenty of room to stretch out and get the quality sleep they desperately need at this stage in their life.
How to Transition a Toddler from Co-Sleeping
Although we agree with most of attachment parenting we know the foundation of our marriage is the strongest when we put each other first and our kids second. Sleep is meant to be restorative and even in our king bed my husband and I can often need our space if we had kids in there it would be impossible. Props to those parents who feel this keeps their family unit tighter but I honestly have hundreds of other ways keeping our family close and allow me to keep my sanity and especially the welfare of my children of having a good nights sleep, and besides having our privacy at night and our down-time from the children we both sleep in the buff more comfortably and having to wear pajamas or sweats to bed would not be enjoyable for either of us.
Our children learn to be respectful of the only privacy we share away from them which is at nighttime. Hopefully my SIL can become more adjusted to her own lifestyle or maybe get some ideas from a family bed and bring more closeness back to her and my brother. My kids are now 10 almost 11 and They still share. I have no regrets about the years one or both of them was in bed with us, and I consider it an important part of the close relationship we still enjoy.