"Children Should Sleep with Their Parents Until Age 5"

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Kate - posted on 07/13/2009

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I'm not sure that co-sleeping is for us (for the record), but I did find it interesting to read. What I took away from this, personally, was that parents should be available to their children at night and should meet their needs as much as possible, and not let them cry or attempt to sleep train, especially so young. Not all KIDS like to co-sleep, either. So however you choose to meet your kids' needs is up to you but you should meet them and not ignore them!

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Erin - posted on 07/13/2009

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Elements of this article make a lot of sense, but I'd just like to point out that there is a gray area between co-sleeping and letting a baby cry, which this article doesn't seem to acknowledge. I do believe crying (not grizzling, whinging, fussing, but actual CRYING) can be harmful to a baby, and I don't ever make my daughter do it. I don't believe in CIO, but I don't co-sleep either. There is a healthy balance between the two, and my daughter (usually) goes happily to her own cot every night after having my undivided attention all day.

Lydia - posted on 07/13/2009

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Hahaha - My daughter screams bloody murder when I try to put her to sleep with me :) Everyone needs to work with what is right for them. I dont think a study of only 800 is big enough to get a true reading of the general population - and it would be interesting to see how they selected which parents/babies they worked with. If seperation from parents is a risk factoris SIDS then China should definately have a name for it - what about all those children dumped in 'dying rooms'? I think it raises interesting questions but needs better support for its claims

[deleted account]

both my sons co-slept and continue to do so on occasion. I have a five year old son who started sleeping in his own bed when he was two but was often up at night and into my bed to sleep. He now sleeps more frequently in his own bed. Every once in a while he just wants me to cuddle up to him while he falls asleep. My youngest will be 3 tomorrow and has never liked to sleep in his own bed he does for naps but that is because I make him, however at night he sleeps right next me. When he is with mom he sleeps right next to her. He longs for the closeness and I do not mind he's my baby.

[deleted account]

Quoting Kate:

I'm not sure that co-sleeping is for us (for the record), but I did find it interesting to read. What I took away from this, personally, was that parents should be available to their children at night and should meet their needs as much as possible, and not let them cry or attempt to sleep train, especially so young. Not all KIDS like to co-sleep, either. So however you choose to meet your kids' needs is up to you but you should meet them and not ignore them!


Yes!  I got that from the article too and I definitely agree with that general sentiment.

Therese - posted on 07/13/2009

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My daughter was also very clingy and needed us around or in the bed with her for her to go to sleep. I'm so glad she's overcome that now!

For space reasons, we may end up having this next one (due in Oct) in the bed with us for the first couple months. But my bed's not big enough for three for longer than that!

Michelle - posted on 07/13/2009

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If it works for you go for it! For us it's not an option! My hubby is a tosser and I have a hard enough time not getting rolled on while he sleeps! The worst part is that he doesn't know he's doing it and NEVER remembers it in the morning! Our little girl would be a pancake by morning!

Stina - posted on 07/13/2009

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One thing I hae learned about reading any literature on how to raise kids... is to take everything in, mull it about and then spit out what doesn't work for you or your family. If we believed and clung to everything as truth, we would be a society of higghly neurotic parents. So kids in the parents bed till 5? Not for our family. We'd have 3 kids in our bed right now if we did that! Or maybe we would only have one child because of the lack of privacy for Mom and Dad.

We do cosleep with our infant... but she also sleeps in a little pack'nplay next to our bed. At 2 months old, she is the most amazing sleeper- I can actually put her down in her bed awake and content with the music playing. Stroke her hair a bit, kiss her and say goodnight... and most nights, she goes to sleep on her own. I think this is mostly due to her being a very easy going content child. There are still nights when she is up late with me working out gas or just simply awake and hungry.

She'll be too big for her bassinett soon and We'll move her to her siblings room. I'll have to get up and go to her room at night to nurse her... and depending on my level of tiredness, I may cuddle up with her on the foot of one of the twin beds. Or even bring her back to bed with me. But the goal will be to ultimately let her go back to her own bed after nursings and eventually, I know she'll stop nursing through the night because she already only needs a 3:00 am feeding most nights.

My 2 1/2 year old sometimes does get up and wants to crawl in bed with us in the middle of the night. We let her... and when my husband gets up he puts her back to bed. Every morning, when she wakes up, she gets breakfast and then wants to cuddle with me. Before the baby was born, she had gotten into the habit of sleeping with us just about every night. She'd start in her room and end up in ours. So we started telling her she needed to wait till morning to cuddle with us. She sometimes went back to her own bed without a fuss... other times, she would curl up with her blankets on our bedroom floor and sleep there. Now, we only have our morning cuddles and occasional night visits. Every once in a great while our nearly 5 year old boy also wants to cuddle with me in the morning.

Cosleeping past the early days of infancy is not for or family. Once the baby can reasonably sleep most of the night without wakeing to nurse, we like to transition them to a seperate room. But for other families, a family bed till the kids are 5 might work for them.

Heather - posted on 07/13/2009

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Our oldest slept with us until she was six years old. We didn't know any better. When she started teething, I was so tired from all the mid-night wake up calls that I gave in and brought her to bed with us. It was the only way I could get her to sleep through the night. When she turned two, we tried to get her into her own room following the "cry it out" advice that our doctor gave us. That was the worst 2 months of my life, me faithfully following the directions to the letter while my child screamed for HOURS on end, and it did not work. I gave up for quite awhile, even though I truly hated having her in bed with us. It wasn't because she was in bed with us that I hated it. It was because it became increasingly clear to me that sleeping with us had become such a crutch for her, an easy way for her to get attention. To this day, at age 10, she is still a little overly clingy, more so than I would expect of someone her age. I truly belive the "crying it out" method has left a lasting shadow on my daughter. She became very afraid of rejection. We tried moving her bed into our room. She would just sneak into our bed after we fell asleep. Our final recourse, at age 6, was for me to move into her room with her until she felt comfortable enough to sleep on her own. It took over a year for her to be able to fall alseep without me in the room. She had to re-learn how to get attention in a positive way and I had to learn to be extremely liberal with daytime cuddles and mommy time. On the other hand, my boys have never slept in bed with us, though they slept in a bassinet for the first couple months in our room. Both my boys had very easy transitions into their own rooms and "big boy" beds, and more importantly, they don't have the hang-ups my daughter has. They have grown up to be independant, well-adjusted little guys.

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Interesting article. I think if you hold them and nurse them all day long they don't need to sleep with you at night. If you are gone all day long and they're in daycare, this is probably one way to try to make up that deficit in parental contact. I had my children in their own bed but right next to my bed until they were about 6 months old. I think that is better because they are there right by you, they know you are there constantly, but they are still learning to sleep by themselves. I think it detrimental to the marriage relationship to have kids hanging around past the time when they are old enough to pay attention or be curious. My bed is for me and my husband and we deserve that place of privacy without our children whether we are "doing anything" or not. Since the children always slept in their own bed, the only transition when they were older was to move to another room. I think it's much less traumatic to make one change (new room) than to make, essentially 3 changes (new room, new bed, sleeping w/o someone touching them) all at the same time. I do 100% agree with the writer's opinion on "crying it out". I am totally against that.

Abigail - posted on 07/13/2009

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If it works for you roll with it. I personally need alone time with my husband. Our daughter does sleep in our room still but she sleeps in her own bed. She'll come up with me in the morning when he leaves for work but aside from that, she sleeps alone.

Erinn - posted on 07/13/2009

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Interesting, but like everything else it works for some and not for others. I was always actually way too scared I would roll on my baby or smother them as they were less than 5lbs when they came home with me. Or I was afraid my husband would! Plus, when I was on maternity leave I didn't want to keep waking my husband up when he had to go to work. We took turns getting up once I went back to work, but when I was home I was nursing. We have let our children sleep with us many times, but I sleep better having them in their own beds. I also have to get up early for work and don't want to wake them and if they are in my bed they would be up immediately. I don't think there is anything wrong with co-sleeping but I was ultimately too afraid to do it and just kept a bassinet beside my bed.

Lisa - posted on 07/13/2009

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We lived in a very small house when my son was born and all we could fit in our only bedroom was our bed a dresser and the bassinet, so our son slept with us pretty much from the time we brought him home until after we moved to a new house when he was two. It was tough to get him to sleep alone after but it was all we could do at the time and he seems no worse off because of it lol.

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