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Mar
03

“I didn’t get any sleep last night,” said Bill, another parent at my son’s school, when I dropped off Alex this morning. And Bill did look horrible– scraggly beard, dark circles under his eyes and crazy bed head–almost like he’d gone on a bender. “Maya (6) got up 2 times last night. I ended up sleeping in bed with Cameron (3), and my wife was in bed with Maya. I never know where I’ll end up during the night,” he said as he shuffled off in search of coffee. If this game of musical beds sounds familiar, there’s a reason—co-sleeping, or sleeping in bed with your kids—is on the rise, and has been increasing every year for the last decade or so.

I’ll never forget the woman who warned me against co-sleeping when I was pregnant with my son Alex. My friends and I had gone to get manicures on a “girls’ day out” (about the last manicure I’ve had in 6 years) and were discussing the pros and cons of letting your kids sleep with you. The woman doing my friend Caroline’s nails chimed in without looking up: “We let our kids sleep with us. Now my daughter is nine and we still can’t get her out of our bed.” My ever-practical friend Caroline, who didn’t think co-sleeping was right for her family, agreed: “I can’t tell you how many parents I’ve heard say the same thing.” Their words struck fear into my heart, and my husband Joe and I decided we would never, under any circumstances, let our baby sleep with us. We took the attitude of those old werewolf movies, where the man-who-will-be-a-howling-wolf-in-10-minutes implores, “No matter what you hear behind this door, don’t open it!”

Then we brought our baby home from the hospital. He started crying and Joe said, “It’s so cold. I really think he’s cold.” Alex cried some more. “Yeah, you’re right,” I said. “Maybe we could just snuggle with him a little.” Then, you guessed it: We opened the door and let the little pink werewolf in. Joe brought him into our bed (“Just for one night,” he said, and of course I agreed.) Well, from there we became one of those kinds of families—the kind that lets their kids sleep in bed with them. When I realized where we were headed (the manicurist’s warnings still ringing in my ears) I talked to our pediatrician. I found out that as long as we didn’t smoke, drink alcohol, take drugs and were not obese, the risks of hurting or smothering the baby were almost non-existent. Our doctor (and a host of articles I’ve read on the subject) say it’s perfectly fine to co-sleep, and in fact, families from many cultures around the world do so as a matter of course. Some studies even indicate that the rate of SIDS is lower with families who co-sleep. (If none of those other risk factors I mentioned before are present.) Armed with that information, we decided to give it a try.

And I have to say, and here’s the key, it’s worked out well for our family, for the most part. One thing we did was to put Alex in his own bed first, then when he’d get up in the middle of the night, we’d let him sleep with us. By the time he reached 4, he was usually spending the whole night in bed by himself, only occasionally getting up to jump in bed with us. He still gets up every morning to snuggle with us, and Joe and I both say that it’s one of the best parts of our day.

But I know there are families out there who are not as happy with the arrangement, for various good reasons—who are just hoping that one day, their child will not want to sleep in bed with them. Well, here’s the good news: That day will surely come. I’ve never heard of a teen-ager who wanted to sleep in bed with their parents, for example. In the mean time, there are some methods out there to help parents get their kids to sleep on their own. (I like some of the techniques the Super Nanny uses, and have also heard good things about the Penelope Leach books.)

What it comes down to, I think, is the question: IS this working for your family? If not, there are ways to fix it. (And trust me, I’m not saying it’s easy, but I do believe it’s possible.) As my wise friend Joan– who also happens to be a psychologist–says, “The great thing about parenting is that with kids, you can always go back and start doing something new that’s more effective, and it will work. Nothing is set in stone.” As your kids get older, you can talk to them about what you’ve decided, too—let them know that what you’ve been doing isn’t working any more, and that you’re trying something new as a family.

And my friend Caroline? When she and her husband had their third child, a girl, her husband Jim brought the baby into bed with them for about the first 6 months of their daughter’s life. “She was so little and cute,” said Caroline, helplessly. “And you know, I’m glad we did it.”

Now it’s your turn. What worked in your family? And have you had to change the sleeping situation around before finding a good solution for everyone?


     

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  • Robin Says:

    I didn’t let our daughter sleep with us for an obvious reason that I haven’t seen anyone point out and that is intimacy. She did however snuggle with us in the morning.

  • Steve Says:

    When my wife and I had our first child, she slept so much better when she was in bed with us. Which also meant that we were able to sleep better as well! When our second was born, we both assumed that he would be the same way but he couldn’t sleep if he was in bed with us. By our third, we didn’t know what to think but he seems to be closer to the first.

    We start transitioning them to their own bed slowly. First, we have them sleep next to our bed on a child’s mattress for a few months. Then we move them over to their own room and use a reward system to encourage them to stay in their own beds through the night.

    It has seemed to work well.

  • Scott Says:

    We never allowed any of our children to actually sleep through the night with us but early in our marriage we bought a king sized bed for all those kids that would dive under the covers with us on a late, Saturday morning. Well, for whatever reason that doesn’t really happen but our youngest, the sixth child, comes creeping into our room every night around 1 am. Surprisingly, it doesn’t bother me at all and if it did I would certainly put a stop to it. She is the last in line so…

  • Kevin Says:

    We have four children. Each child is different when it comes to co-sleeping. While I was always vocally opposed to co-sleeping, we almost always ended up with a child in bed with us. I would always head be in the guest room by 1am. (no chauvinism there – I would invite my wife, but she sleeps like the dead).

    Interestingly at some point our first three children each weaned themselves by the time they were 3. Our youngest who just turned three, weaned himself from the breast and the bed when he was just over a year old.

    So now, without really doing anything, except for the odd nightmare or thunderstorm, we have our bed to ourselves.

  • Jill Says:

    I have four children and found it as a means to keep my husband away from me intimately so I let the kids sleep with us all the time. It worked so well, he eventually divorced me…

  • Maria Says:

    Thank you for this great article about co-sleeping. Our baby (9 months) sleeps with us. He never really cared much for being left alone so sleeping with us saves him from trauma. I do not have the heart to make him “cry it out” – he has a real need to have the comfort and security of his parents all day and night and I don’t see anything wrong in fulfilling that need. Since I am breastfeeding, the convenience for me of being able to roll over and feed my baby at the first peep while in a semi-sleep state is unbeatable. Plus I don’t have to lie awake and worry if the baby is okay, I can place my hand on his back or belly and feel him breathing. It is such a wonderful feeling to snuggle up to him like a little teddy bear. I am sure that he feels comforted and loved and that will help to create a sense of security that will last a lifetime. My husband and I still have our own adult cuddle time, although not as much as before I was pregnant. Sometimes my husband will leave our bed and sleep in the spare bed where he can sprawl out under the fan (he likes it considerably colder than I do), but he also likes to crawl back into bed in the morning for his daily does of cuddle time with our little angel. I know that in the blink of an eye my baby will be a little boy and then a teenager and then a young man, so I want to enjoy all the quality time I can.

  • momto4 Says:

    We have 4 kids all of whom have slept with us at times. Our kids seem to go through periods of neediness and the security of our bed helped them. When they were young and had early bedtimes, it was challenging, but I recall both my husband and I feeling that the kids’ overall happiness and security was more important than our convenience. Regarding our need for alone time: we got creative. Benefit of creativity in romance is that both parties need to be straightforward. Now, that the kids are older, we still allow them to sleep on the floor in our room in a sleeping bag. Kids face a lot of challenges and letting them be near us is one tool for helping them understand that they never have to face the world alone. Now, as a couple we are still creative, sometimes we make excuses to “watch TV” or “drink a coffe” in our room after dinner. Then say goodnight later to the kids.

  • Ken Says:

    We have one daughter and have enjoyed having her sleep with us whenever she wants. When dad leaves town she always sleeps with mom all night, which makes them both happy. The rest of the time she goes to sleep in her own bed and is always welcome to pile in with us during the night. Now she is 11 and has not been in our bed for months. But for 10 years the co-sleeping worked out fine and just naturally tapered off.

  • Kimberly Says:

    We have 3 littles in our family and between two beds we all co-sleep. We call it the ‘family bed’(s). My husband was born and raised in South Africa during the years of the late night raids of apartheid. He actually slept tied to his grandmother’s back so she would not have to look for him should a raid occur at her home. For the most part, there is general acceptance for co-sleeping in his culture. I was raised being made to stay in my own room and remember many sleepless nights of actually being too frightened to even use the bathroom in the night. My theory is that even as an adult, I enjoy having someone to snuggle in the night so how could I ever expect my newborn or even my 7 year old to sleep alone? I have breast-fed all three of our littles and having them close does make that easier. After our second child was born, we expanded to two beds (in two rooms). A newborn crying in the night and sleeping in another room with Mama made it easier for Daddy and our first-born to get the sleep that they needed without interruption. While pregnant for our third child, we all co-slept in our king-size bed. When #3 arrived it was back to the futon for Mama and full access to late night cable on those sleepless nights. This has worked for us thus far and our two oldest (7 and 5) will gravitate or stretch out their legs to find the other. It is comforting for them. Our plan is to add a small bed to our room when our oldest is ready to sleep alone and then gradually move her to her own room. At this point the two oldest ask my husband and I if they can live with us forever (along with their spouses and their own children too of course). We know that this will all change soon enough and we are cherishing the time now. We know that this approach does not work for everyone however we prefer it and for now it works great for us!

  • Dawn Says:

    we made a decision to use co-sleeping as a method of attachment (thank you Dr Sears!)and we have never regretted it. Both our boys shared sleep with us until they were each about aged 3 when they happily transitioned to big boy beds…..we had very content, happy sleepers (in spite of one of them being colicky). And the result is that we have very loving, securely attached, compassionate children….they still all pile in in the morning for a snuggle (they are 4 and 9 now) and we love it! They grow so fast. Co-sleeping was another way to squeeze in quality time in this very busy world with the boys while they were little….I highly recommend it!

  • Norman Williamsen Says:

    I’m surprised your editor didn’t mention the Roman Catholic “movement” which promotes co-sleeping, even to adding a “shelf” to your bed, to accomodate more kids. (I’m Lutheran, and I don’t even know the name of the “movement”.. It seemed like a good idea to me, but our kids are long grown and out.)

  • Cindy Says:

    My husband and I every great once in a while allow our kids to sleep in our room in sleeping bags as a treat or if they have a bad dream. We also allow them to cuddle in the morning if the want. If one of us has to go out of town, the kids get a treat and sleep with the other parent. Occasionally I’ll stay with my son until he falls asleep if something was bothering him that night at prayers.

    I have to say that we counsel couples and after counseling for five years, we recommend not allowing your children to sleep with you for two main reasons. One was already written about from another lady claiming she used her kids to keep her husband away from her intimately. I can tell you that more women do that than you think and many end up divorced and don’t know why. When a guy marries, he agrees to be only with his wife and because of that he expects she will be intimate with him. When she bonds intimately with the children and not him, it is not healthy for the marriage or the children.

    Another reason is for a good night sleep for all. Most children are all over the bed. If mom or dad does not get a good night sleep, Mr. or Mrs. Crab shows up the next day.

  • Jeffrey Leiken Says:

    The issue of parenting ultimately is, how much are you willing to give up to be a parent for your child?

    My experience is that many parents currently want to be free to do their own thing and also be great parents.

    It can’t be done. You can’t be both free and liberated and also be a great parent…

    Co-sleeping is the instinctive pattern that is designed into us, that is why people want to hold their children close… Instinct! ONly modern psychology and modern medicine tells us our instincts are wrong. How could they be?

    You don’t see indigenous people with cribs not because they can’t afford it, but because they haven’t been exposed to the mythology of freedom and independence that feeds the mindsets of western parents. Whether it is bottles and formula over breast-feeding, cribs instead of sharing sleep, having nanny’s raise kids instead of making the sacrifice to do it themselves, parents in this country pay a huge price by taking the short cuts, but no one pays a greater price than our kids who are sicker, more mentally and emotionally disturbed, and more detached and indifferent than any other industrialized, economically advanced nation on earth, except for England. (see the 2006 UNICEF report)

    Trust your instincts. Sleep with your children next to you. Pick them up when they cry. Breast-feed them at least two years… Their instincts will tell them when to move on. They will. Our instincts actually work and they work this way for a reason… Touch and breast-feeding is essential for building the immune system – even the AMA has finally endorsed it! Attachment is essential for forming an essential core mentality of being secure that we are fundamentally okay (healthy psychology!).

    Yes parenting this way is exhausting. Yes, we don’t get undisturbed sleep. Yes it would be much easier on us if we did it other ways. But great parenting isn’t about easy. It is about fulfilling a sacred role in the ongoing chain of evolution in a system that is far too complex for our understanding, and one that was here long before us and, if we do it right, will be here long after us.

    It is their life you do it for, and their life they will thank you for later.

  • Annie Says:

    We have two older bio children and five older children. My husband’s best friend is a zoo director. One time he gave us a tour of the zoo and night, and when I saw the little family of monkies all cuddled up together sleeping, somehow it hit a chord for me. I like to think we’ve evolved a lot – but to evolve out of giving one another warmth and comfort at night is crazy. Our older daughter was always fearful at night, and slept in our room in a little bed until she left for college! Our bio-son, complained his room was “hot” and slept on a mat on the floor. Now that they are both out of the house, we are joined by some of our adopted children. In their orphanages they slept in dorms, so they have different feelings about being alone at night. Three of them LOVE their own rooms. Two want to be with us. Frankly we love having them sleep with us – sometimes all four of us in the bed. And – as far as “intimacy” goes – the children are not always home! Sleep is sleep; sex is sex. I have always wondered why in this culture “sleeping together” is a term for sex. They are two different things!

  • Tina Says:

    I have struggled with getting my kids to return to sleeping in their own rooms after my divorce. I think the struggle is bigger for me sometimes. It is alot warmer with them..lol! But I am getting them into a routine of playtime, snack time, tv time then bedtime. They can have tv time with me but when the time is up they must go to their room. I’ve made sure that they both have night lights and are not scared. My youngest (4) is pretty proud of himself for sleeping alone. I have to admit though that letting the boys sleep with us during our marriage definately hurt our intimacy and at that point, I didn’t really seem to care. I am planning to use the sleeping time with mom as a reward though…because I know it will work.

  • Teresa Says:

    I am one of those parents who does not believe in letting kids into the bed full time. I have 2 teenage boys now and my oldest only slept with me for about a year after my divorce. He was 2. When I remarried, it was a struggle to get him to sleep in his own room. He would wake up every night with nightmares, etc. and I would often take him in the bed so we could all sleep and get back to work the next day. It took several years of working with him on a bedtime routine to keep him from coming in our room, though he frequently did come in even as a young teen. I always allowed my boys to crawl in bed with me on Sat. mornings to snuggle and watch TV, but to stay the entire night was in my opinion unnecessary and without boundaries.

    My youngest never had a need to come to our bed. His nighttime routine was established early and to this day (he is 16), he knows when it’s time to go to bed without any prompting and goes right to sleep. Only time he has ever wakened us in the middle of the night was if he was sick and throwing up.

    This has worked well for us and I know of families that have allowed their children to sleep with them are still trying to get their children into their own rooms so they can get a restful nights sleep. I don’t think it’s a good thing to start, then you don’t have the trama of stopping it when you decide you are ready to have your bed back.

  • Georgina Says:

    I used to allow my oldest one to sleep with me and her dad untill she was 3 and then she wanted to sleep out on the couch and then i had to carry her to bed and she would sleep the whole night through.She did this untill after i left her dad and was with someone new and then we got her out of sleeping on the couch it took us a couple of weeks and took me to be strong cause she would cry and i would just try to tell him it was easier to just let her do it and he said no she had to learn that she had a room and that when it was bedtime that it was our alone time.Then along came our youngest one and we had her crib in our room till she was about 1 years old,then she was in her own room,as for either of them sleeping in our bed we didnt agree with that cause thier dad is not comfortable with it because they are both girls,what we did was put a sleeping bag on the floor and we told them that if they got scared and wanted to be in our room they had to sleep there not in our bed,actually i do recall that they would sometimes crawl in beside me and not be near thier dad and that never happened very often only when they were sick.

  • Pam Says:

    Oh yes, I can relate to this story in so many ways. We have three children now 15, 12 and 8. By the time the last came around, he did not even have a crib. So fast forward 8 years, he was coming into our bed every night in the middle of the night. Have you ever slept with someone who ends up horizontally?! Well, if you had a taken a picture above our bed, we would form the perfect “capital H”!! Not for very good ZZZZZZZZZZZ’s!! Solution: what we are trying now is “go to your brother’s room”. One result of this is the youngest has been tired in the morning, because rather than just crawling in, the two boys were chatting a bit. However, after a few weeks, this “talk” appears to have dimenished. At least for now we have a solution that works. I must say that for 7 of the 8 years, it worked for us to have a nightly drop-in “guest”. I would do it again- next life!!

  • Penny Says:

    Our son, Sam, has slept with us since he was 2 he is now 11. Our pediatrician suggested that we put Sam into our daughter’s room because she was having difficulty sleeping in her room. This situation was chaos because they now wanted me (Mom) in the room with they while they slept. Eventually, my daughter kicked my son and I out and we both ended up in Mom’s bed.

    My son is fearful of being alone and will not sleep without me. It has been a tug of war and now Sam sleeps on the floor in a sleeping bag. Our goal is to work through his fears and get him sleeping in his bed by Summer. There are no instant remedies; but for us, co-sleeping has not worked out.

  • Cindy Says:

    Live and let live…Co-sleeping works for some and not others. Depends on the child and the parent. Really benefits some kids, especially when needy. My family is in transition currently, with 2 of us living in one state, and the other two living in another. We will be together again this summer

    My almost 7 year old want to sleep in my bed-her daddy and big brother are not here…why not? A chance to have mommy and daughter time. Not a big deal. So, we talked about it. On school nights, she sleeps in her bed, and on weekend nghts she’s with me. What a happy solution.

    Now…to be honest, many times during the week when I wake up, she’s asleep beside me. Obviously, she woke up during the night and need a bit of connecting. So…what’s wrong with that?

    Parenthood means parenting to match the needs of the child, within reason. A good conversation to set guidelines can do wonders for both kids and parents.

  • Jeff Says:

    We tried the Sears method at first, and were ready to pull our hair out. This new-age method was not worth the pen the author put to paper. We then tried rocking, rolling, swaying…you name it, with some results…oh, until the motion stopped. Then, we happened upon the new version of the Ferber method. It worked within two days, and worked like a charm. Our son is beautiful, kind, confident, and completely well-adjusted, ah, and he sleeps in his own room, in his own crib (though we are switching to a toddler bed soon, the fire engine bed from toys r us got the best reviews, and it seems the safest, as the sides are high enough to prevent rolling out of bed, and the mattress fits snugly. Ferber (the new version, I stress again) was the best things that’s happened to our family sleepwise. With our 2nd, it will be ferber from the start.
    Ps. My best friend and his wife have a two year old, who is still co-sleeping. From the start, one of them has had to go to bed with their daughter to get her to sleep. To date, they still are having the worst of problems and no success in transitioning their daughter to her own bed, which by the way, is directly next to their own. Best to all of you. J

  • Ardella Eagl Says:

    I have three children. With the first, I was a terrified new mother and couldn’t concieve of allowing my daughter into my bed. I was terrified that I would accidentally push her out! So, I agonized through getting up every 3-ish hours to nurse her. Good thing our bedroom was tiny and the bassinet was less than a foot away from me (they didn’t have those bassinets that could ‘attach’ to the master bed at the time).

    With the second, I was forced to be more lenient. We upgraded to a king sized bed from a queen, had a portable guardrail (good thing, too. A couple of times I was awaken by my son’s screams because the guard rail ‘caught’ him), and he was colicy. I don’t remember at what age I switched him, probably around 8 months when I adjusted him to a crib (we had started taking him to a chiropractor and that helped the colic a lot).

    By the time the third came around, I was an old pro and far more comfortable with infants. Also, the baby’s room was under construction, so the youngest co-slept with us until she was 18 months old. She adjusted to her toddler bed without a hitch.

    I would still advocate against co-sleeping, but, to each their own.

  • Clara Says:

    Our granddaughter whom we have custody of has attachment disorder. We tried for years to get her to sleep in her bed. Since we have started to let her sleep in our room, she no longer has the nightmares. She is now able to take only 1/2 of the sleeping pill she has always taken. So for children with RAD, I think it makes them feel more secure.

  • Dana Says:

    Co-sleeping worked out fine for us when our son was a small baby, but as he approached a year old I began to be seriously sleep deprived, which led to a great deal of depression.

    We followed “How to solve your child’s sleep problems” and it worked. It was very hard at first, but now we have an established bedtime routine and plenty of time for snuggles before lights out.

    I cannot be a good mother while being severely sleep deprived. I learned I had to set boundaries, establish a schedule, and get free time periodically. I have a lot to learn about being a mother, but at least I’m not walking around like a crying zombie!

  • Eric Says:

    I will try to say this without sounding too offensive to anyone as everybody has their own opinion, right? My very strong stance is that when a child is a baby or toddler there’s really no harm or foul in letting them sleep with the parents…occasionally, not every night. But, by after age 4 or so??…no way. My son is 11 and hasn’t slept in my bed since about age 3 and, even when he did, it was sporadic. As a married couple about the only “alone time” that can also be just simple, quality, snuggling time with your spouse is after the kids go to bed. You owe it to yourselves as couples to at least reserve that time together…and it’s no place for older kids to be. Children will be just fine sleeping in their own beds as long as parents stick to their guns…how many of you slept with YOUR parents until age 8, 9, 10, 11 or whatever? I know I and NONE of my friends did…and we all turned out to be good, productive, quality individuals without being afraid of the dark. It truly amazes me how often this goes on…and nobody raises eyebrows about it?…or couples still somehow think they spend quality one-on-one time with their spouses?…when?where?…if you “sneak here and there”..wow, a whole 10 minutes with your wife/husband a week. No way folks…you have to allow yourselves “dating time” with your spouse….whether it be intimate, snuggling or just simply laying in bed and talking about “grown up” stuff….the bedroom should be a sanctuary at night time for the two adults with all the li’l kiddies tucked away in their respective bedrooms that you paid to furnish nicely.

  • Joan Says:

    Here here to the post above…I agree completely with that. I have seen first hand the nightmare of co-sleeping in my father’s life. He is remarried and his youngest is the same age as my oldest…12. His wife wanted to sleep with the youngest, probably to use her as a shield against my father…not they are paying the price, she is is STILL in their bed, she is unable to spend the night at a friends house because she is too scared. She won’t even sleep at my home and she is close to all three of my kids. They never take off overnight without her. Basically they are two friends sharing a house with their 12 year old sleeping between them.

    I am in NO WAY implying that there is anything weird going on in my Dad’s bed, but nobody has brought the issue of pedophiles up. There are plenty of men out there who molest their own daughters. Women, you should consider that and not make a habit of co-sleeping with your children.

  • Karen Galer Says:

    My children are now 31, 33 and 35. When they were small, their father was often away for a week at a time. I did everything around the house, there was no distribution of labour. My parents lived in another town and were not fussy on babysitting or helping out. Incidentally, that part has not changed. We all need a good night’s sleep to be able to function well at our jobs. I looked forward to my undisturbed rest at night. Consequently, my children learned at a very early age to sleep in their own beds at night. They appear to have survived the ordeal quite well and have not resorted to alcohol, drugs or crime to subsitute for the lack of bonding they may have missed at having to sleep in their own beds at night! God made babies, kittens and puppies cute for a reason. But…babies, kittens and puppies get bigger and take up a lot of room in a bed. Start them off right, sleeping in their own beds at night!!!

  • Hannah Says:

    I have 2 daughters, and am quite happily married. My oldest is 3 and my youngest is 20 months. I breastfed both my girls, and I found this difficult. They fall asleep eating, then when you move them, they wake up. I know alot of people who let their babies cry it out, never realizing that long periods of very emotional crying (you know what I mean) will cause brain damage in newborns, as well as infants. That doesnt mean kids cant cry. But half an hour? No way. So, I let them stay in bed. I NEVER let them sleep between my husband and I though. I knew I was a light sleeper, but it was not worth risking suffocation. My oldest moved into her own room VERY shortly after the other was born. We let her pick bed with her Grandma and Pap. Then we let her pick a movie at the store. She played in her room alot before we did this by the way. Anyway, we kept her busy one day and had her skip her nap. By bed she was so tired. Anyway we put her movie on and in ten minutes she was asleep. Sometimes we struggled, but only for the first few weeks. She was 22 months old then, and is 3 1/2 now. She loves her room and her bed. I plan on doing the same thing for my youngest. Sure, TV is not great, but for us it worked and we no longer need it to get her to sleep. She only comes to our room if something is wrong. Everyone is different. I would recommend if you like the idea of co sleeping but are afraid for safety, that you buy a cosleeper. They sit level with bed and are strapped to your bed so that you can slide baby from bed to cosleeper easily. Converts to a packnplay as well. Everyone is different. I dont condemn anyone whether they cosleep or not. I felt it would give my kids the best start along with breastfeeding. And I got more sleep if not better sleep.

  • Susan Says:

    We have 6 kids and didn’t let our first two kids sleep with us. By baby number 3, he’d nurse in the bed, and be transferred to his cradle. By 4, 5 and 6, we did a modified approach, but they have always been transferred into their own bed on the occasions that they fell asleep in our bed. If they were extremely sick when young, we used our discretion and let them sleep with us so we could keep an eye on them. Somehow we always knew when to put them back in their bed, and all has been well. Currently our 5th child, a 5 year old will often go to bed in our room, but we transfer her to her bed later, and she if fine with this.

  • Karen Says:

    My children are 15,11 and 4. My husband and I have always enjoyed them in our bed those first few years. Those morning moments are more precious than words describe. When they are sick I can listen to them breathing and tell their temperature without getting up. During bad storms, I even gather them on our floor (we live in tornado alley). My premise is that my husband and I agree. Our 15 yo doesn’t want anythng to do with us at bedtime any more. If it is disruptive in any way, I would discourage it. Your marriage MUST come first.

  • Shyon Says:

    My 7 years old wakes up practically every night to come and sleep in my bed with me. I don’t mind because it’s only myself and him in the bed. How old is too old to keep allowing him to sleep with me?

  • Intimacy Seeker Says:

    My boyfriends’ 6 year old daughter has been coming into his room in the middle of the night to sleep with him as long as I can remember. I didn’t even used to stay the night because I didn’t feel it was psychologically healthy for the daughter. He insists its okay that I stay, but it bugs me that she sleeps in his bed with us. It makes me uncomfortable, wakes me up at night when she comes into his room and bed, and takes away our intimacy. He doesn’t feel there is anything wrong with it and seems to think that one day she will just want to quit sleeping in his bed. I have emphasized my feelings about this and discussed this with him, but he doesn’t really seem to worry about it.

    I was never allowed to sleep in my parents bed and do not recall ever feeling less-loved because of it. It seems foreign to me. It is really putting a damper on our relationship, from my side of it especially. Should I try to discuss this with him more? Any comments?

  • Carole Banks Says:

    Dear Intimacy Seeker:

    It sounds like you have many reservations about this sleeping arrangement. There is nothing wrong with asking your boyfriend if you can talk about it again. Before you ask him to talk, think about why you want to discuss it again. If you simply want to convince him of your point of view, that’s not the best goal for a successful conversation. If you have genuine curiosity about something you don’t know the answer to, that’s a good reason to ask more questions. If you want him to understand your point of view, that’s also a good reason for a discussion. And be sure to allow time during your discussion to hear your boyfriend’s point of view. What you should also prepare yourself for is the possibility that your boyfriend may not give you what you ask for.