How old is too old to sleep with mommy?

Marianne - posted on 12/21/2011 ( 213 moms have responded )

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My son is 6 and still likes to sleep in my bed (I'm a single mom, so there is no one else in the bed). I don't mind him sleeping with me, but some of the comments and looks I get from others when they hear he still sleeps in bed w/ me make me wonder if I'm making the right choice. He can spend the night w/ Grandma and Grandpa just fine, he has no problems going camping w/ Grandpa and the cub scouts, he can play independently and goes to school just fine, so I don't feel it's giving him any seperation anxiety, or dependency issues. And besides, there will come a time soon enough I'm sure when I will be "Mom" not "Mommy" and I won't be the coolest person ever, so I kind of enjoy the extra snuggly time we get, because I know it won't last forever. Just wondering how other real life moms feel on the topic???

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Beth - posted on 12/23/2011

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I'm a single Mum with a three year old girl and she sleeps in with me regularly. I do think its a good idea to make sure that she is fully aware that she has her own room and that she sleeps in it now and again but I'm seriously going to miss my little angels morning smiles when she makes the full transition to her big girls room. Id rather have that special bond time with my child than be worried by what other people think. It has absolutely nothing to do with them...Enjoy it while you can! x

Becky - posted on 12/23/2011

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I, personally, wouldn't worry about it. Like all the other moms on here are saying, he'll decide when the time is right to not sleep in mommy's bed anymore. That being said, general guidelines as per social services (atleast here in Kansas) say when the male child begins to show interest (like mommy is different than me) or begining to be curious about his own gender (why does my friend not sleep in his mommy's bed), that is probably a good time to introduce to him his options about his own bed for privacy issues. This, generally speaking, begins around 2 - 5 yrs of age. If it isn't bothering you or him, that's fine. I got lucky the other way ;) and had a girl so these issues are a bit moot. I used to have a town house and she always has had her bed until I had to move out to a small one bedroom apt...lots of compromises there! She enjoys sleeping in mom's bed simply because we don't have the room to have her in her own bed. The biggest problems that could occur is too much dependenacy and people who think they are helping you by putting their noses into your bussiness and calling child protection services (IMHO) We, as a nation, are just beginning to see family beds where as the rest of the world has been living/sleeping in probably a 900 squ ft room/shack with atleast 2 kids, the parents, and the grandparents...go figure:)

Cassi - posted on 12/23/2011

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Your son sounds like such a blessing and such a little man! This conversation you discribed says to me that he understands perfectly and is choosing to be close to you. I think that we sometimes as parents grow our kids up too fast and lose that precious kid time that slips away so fast. Please enjoy him while he is enjoying you. It makes you a better, more loving person too. We are spiritual beings just as we are physical beings and we need physical closness to co-mingle and familiarize spirits. What a blessing you have there! Congrats!

Shelley - posted on 12/23/2011

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Coming from someone who has spent most of my childrens lives co-sleeping, I completely understand. My youngest is 3 and my oldest boy is 6. My husband and I have had to sacrifice sleeping together, but we have always had the attitude that we would do whatever is right for us when it comes to our kids. Sleeping with the little ones always felt right. When my oldest turned 6 we started to feel that we needed to give him a bit more independance. So we started the process of getting him to bed ny himself and sleeping by himself. He transitioned fine. Still working on my 3 year old. So long story, short. Do whatever feels right for you and your little guy!!

Gisselle - posted on 12/23/2011

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My son sleeps with me too. He is 3 and a half. I'm also a single mother. I also get the looks and comments but I'll never forget what one nurse told me which is exactly what you said. Soon enough, they won't want to be near us so enjoy them now. As long as he is fine, its not an issue. My little man is starting to comment about his own bed and while I love having him there with me, I'm perfectly fine with taking back my bed too lol.

Barbara - posted on 12/23/2011

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Our daughter slept in my bed until she was about 6-ish. She's 11 now and has no problems on her own. Our son is 3 and sleeps in my bed now. My Mom always made me sleep by myself and I still remember crying myself to sleep. Hang in there. He'll grow out of it and you'll still have a close relationship.

Brenda - posted on 12/22/2011

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well i can't really say thats wrong when it's you and your son i can see if he was 8 or 9 , my mom felt that way to and i only have one child and i didn't see no harm in it, he was still my baby and he wasn't mature to feel he sould have been sleeping me. i don't understand so i can't truly give a answer because i will never ever never do anything with my child to me he was still incocent and so i didn't feel that was wrong at all.

Rhonda - posted on 12/22/2011

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As a therapist and as a mom, please hear my words.. Listen to the voice inside you, and allow yourself to be the mom he needs you to be. Let your son teach you how to be the mom he needs you to be, I did. I will guarentee you when he no longer needs to sleep with you, he won't. I promise he will not sleep with you when it is no longer a need. My son slept in our family bed for a very long time, and then shared a bed with me during my divorce, He was well past nine. He is a well balanced, emotionally available and secure young man, who can give himself fully to his girlfriend and can put himself to sleep.Perception is everything. We are very close. Your son, like mine will push you away when he needs too seperate, so like you said enjoy the closeness now! Do not invite others to judge you. Never apologize for an act of love.

Tiffany - posted on 12/22/2011

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I think it's great! I would have both my kids in my bed if they would sleep. They think it's play time so no one gets any sleep when they are in our bed!

Shari - posted on 12/22/2011

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My daughter is four and it is just me and her, and she shares my bed with me. Some nights I get annoyed but I remember that one day, she will want to be far from me. At this age I am still her comfort and one thing she knows won't fade. So I let it happen. I don't care what others think/.say. Every situation is different. Do what feels best for you and your son

Claudia - posted on 12/22/2011

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Enjoy him as long as you can. I have a 13 year old who slept with me until he was 10 now hes mr independent and sweet and normal as can be. we are closer than most sons and moms. We would talk until he fell asleep and he still talks to me about every thing!!!!

Merry - posted on 12/22/2011

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Aww Marianne he sounds like an absolute blessing! Even if he is sleeping in your bed to make you happy, so what! He's benefitting from learning how to be a good giving person.


I'm sure he sleeps in your bed because it simply feels right.
And there's nothing wrong with that :)

Debbie - posted on 12/22/2011

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Dr Sears has raised 7 kids and he wrote a book on the family bed. Kids will move out on their own bed when they are ready. There is nothing wrong with it. ENJOY

Marianne - posted on 12/22/2011

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He does have his own room, and a cool race car bed and cool Thomas the Train bedding that he picked out on his own. But he says "Mommy, my bed is too itchy and your bed just feels so tickly! I like yours better!" and I can't blame the laundry soap since my bedding is washed w/ the same degerent and so are all of our clothes. He is however very eager to please. When I was apprehensive about having to wear glasses, he insisted on getting glasses too so we could wear them together (dollar store fake ones). When I am sick and send him to Grandma's he continually calls to check on me and see if I need him to come home and get me a gatorade from the fridge. I usually give him an option of sleeping in either his bed or mine, and he just chooses mine. So after reading the comments today, I asked him

Mommy: Do you sleep in my bed because you want to make me happy?

William: Well, I think it makes both of us happy. After all Mommy, you know I will always be your baby even though I am a big boy now and even when I am a man.

Mommy: You know even if you slept in your own bed, I would still be happy.

William: So you don't want me to cuddle w/ you anymore??

Then he started crying and I needed to reassure him that what ever he wanted to do was fine with me, but if he started to feel like he would rather have his own space and be in his own bed I would be ok with that too.

Claudia - posted on 12/22/2011

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I have a 6 yr. old, and I am also A single mom and he still sleeps w/ me... I also have a 10 yr. w/ cerebral palsy and I have him next to me too. I love to cuddle w/ my babies, I have them 3 1/2 days out of the week the other 3 days they are w/ dad. I know he'll grow out of it, even my 10yr old, so for now I enjoy all the hugs the fights over why one of them doesnt have one of my arms under their head.... I can care less what others think or say about it.

Gina - posted on 12/22/2011

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As a single mom with a 4 year old son, I'm in the same boat. It's reassuring to hear others feel the same way. Let's keep them close while they are so sweet and loving.

Aprille - posted on 12/22/2011

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I look at it like a cultural type of thing, sorta what that family finds acceptable. In some other countries, sleeping together like that is normal. I think that you're right, that at some point, he'll naturally want to separate by himself. If you're getting looks, I'd just not mention. Just because that type of arrangement doesn't work for their family, doesn't mean it isn't working for yours. I think that being that close to you when he drifts off to sleep, probably provides him with a great deal of comfort and security, especially being you are his only parent. I used to have to lay in bed with my son, who will soon be 6. I would try to then get up after he fell asleep, but there were nights I fell asleep as I was too tired. He no longer seems to need me to lay down while he falls asleep. For him it's just been a natural thing.

Rachel - posted on 12/22/2011

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I also wanted to say that my Sis is a single parent and her 18yr old daughter, still crawls into bed with her! And I wanted to apologize, I read to quickly and went right past the part that you're single, didn't mean any disrespect saying that the choice was between you and your husband, so sorry!

Pamela - posted on 12/22/2011

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In many South Pacific island families they all sleep in the same room together on mats on the floor. I have no idea at what age there is separation, perhaps not until the child leaves home.

In my family we went from crib to regular size bed (no infant beds) sleeping with siblings until we couldn't all comfortably fit in the bed together and another bed was needed.

As you are a single Mom, I suggest you be the judge. Since there are no separation anxiety issues and it seems that you are the one treasuring these moments, then it is best for you to decide. Just be aware of NOT using your son as a crutch due to not having a partner.

Also, what others think of you is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS...it's their thoughts, their attitudes and their judgments and it has to do WITH THEM....NOT YOU, so don't take it personally!!!

You did not mention if your son has his own bed and own room, but if that is the case you may want to consider what it may mean for YOUR dependency on his company in bed and go from there in whatever choice you make.

Betty - posted on 12/22/2011

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I think when he is ready, he will want to go to his own bed. I see nothing wrong with your son sleeping with you at this age. There may come a time that you need him to sleep in his own bed, if you get sick and don't want him to get sick from sleeping next to you. That may be a barometer to let you know how much he actually needs to sleep next to you. I really think you will know, and trust me, I remember when my daughter stopped coming into my bed for comfort during a thunderstorm, it is a real "letting go" process for parents to know that part of childhood is over. God bless you and your lucky son who knows his mama loves him!

Rachel - posted on 12/22/2011

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I love sleeping with my 3 year little girl, she was my little miracle child after losing 9 so I will let her cuddle up in bed with me as long as she wants to, I love it!!!!

Michelle - posted on 12/22/2011

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I am single and have eleven year old twins and occasionally on weekends they will take turns sleeping in my bed, no big deal! I used to sleep with my my mom occasionally too until I graduated from highschool. I still sleep with my mom when I go visit her and I'm 43 years old. I don't see the problem. I think it's a personal choice. My boys don't have and have never had a problem sleeping in their own beds, even when their father and I were married.

Rachel - posted on 12/22/2011

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I'm so happy to see so many encouraging responses!! When my son was born we had a miserable time trying to get him to sleep in his crib, I finally brought him into bed with us and we were actually able to get some sleep LOL. I nursed him until he was 2 and I would get comments from a LOT of people, he also still sleeps in bed with us, not every night, but that's his choice, he's 7. I figure it's between you, your husband and child and if it works for you guys then you have to ignore what everyone else says, honestly it's none of their darn business! :) I don't know how we expect these little people to be in a room all alone, I don't even like sleeping alone. Again, IMHO if it works for you then let it be. :) It sounds to me like you're doing a great job, hang in there!

Tasha - posted on 12/22/2011

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My daughters are 9 and 12 they both sleep with my husband and I when they want. Children need a sense of comfort and if that helps let him sleep with you. When he feels like he should sleep in his own bed he will. I slept with my mom through my teenage years and early 20's off and on just to be close to her.

Kim - posted on 12/22/2011

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Good Luck with that! My 10 year old daughter still wants to sleep with us. Reading these posts made me feel a little better about our dilemna. I guess it is really a personnal choice. I guess she will grow out of the need to in her own time and I wish and hope the same for you and your son.

Mishelle - posted on 12/22/2011

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Mariane I think it's fab as one day we won't have our cuddly babies to cuddle anymore so enjoyyyy while u can

Mishelle - posted on 12/22/2011

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Gezzzzz it's ure kid not a stranger or maybe u r just the selfish this is my bed kinda mum.... Any kid loves a cuddle n they will out grow it

Caran - posted on 12/22/2011

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My youngest three (5, 7, 8) still enjoy sleeping in bed with me and my husband. They will wean themselves when they choose as my older boys did. I would only get concerned if he still wants to once he gets into the tweens. 6 is still totally snuggle/cuddle time and you've got at least another 3 years before he'll totally ignore you :)

Lin - posted on 12/22/2011

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As a single mom, my kids would often fight over whose turn it was to sleep with me! Once all three of my daughters (ages 16,11,6) and I slept all night in a twin sized bed! We all fell asleep with me telling stories! They needed that and so did I! Don't let the perverts in the world make you believe that snuggling is wrong! Clean, healthy snuggling can chase away the blues, loneliness, a nightmare or just re-enforce love!

Emma - posted on 12/22/2011

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I didnt sleep in my own bed all night until I was about 10! There is no stopping your son from climbing into bed with you in the middle of the night anyway as my son does. He will stay in his own bed when he is ready not when everyone thinks he should be ready!

Eva - posted on 12/22/2011

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Our 6 yr old sleeps with me and my husband but some nights mostly on school night's he will sleep in his own bed. We feel whenever he's ready he'll stop but he is my only child so I dont mind either.

Merry - posted on 12/22/2011

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My husband would check on our son in the middle of the night once or twice a night every night! Now that we all share a bed we all get better sleep.
To each their own, but honestly I feel bad for all the babies who have to sleep alone all night! Including for my son who slept alone for a while. Humans are social creatures.
We do not thrive with solitary confinement.
We are wired to enjoy sleep sharing so why fight it!

Payal - posted on 12/22/2011

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Also, this is probably not a good thing to bring up this topic but I am distressed by all these missing toddlers and babies who sleep in their own room. Parents are in the next room and someone came and took the child away (if we are to believe the parents). Hence sleeping with your child in the same bed totally eliminates that probablity.

Cassi - posted on 12/22/2011

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I am surprised to see such mean comments on here. Every person, situation and child is different. What works for one does not work for another necessarily. I should hope that at a time when raising a child is harder than it has ever been financially, spiritually, and emotionally...in this time of broken homes and broken people, we should encourage each other to do the best we can. We are all human and we are all going to make mistakes as parents and human beings, but we need to encourage each other through whatever hard times we are wading through and give our insight in ways that do not convict or demean anyone else. I am sure that those of us that are older with grown children who are expressing our views on these issues, also had issues, made poor decisions, and raised individuals with their own unique flaws.
That being said, I am sure we all will make the best decisions we can in our unique situations, and our children will grow to be who they will be, the beautiful creatures they were designed to be!

Payal - posted on 12/22/2011

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No problem at all. I slept in the same bed as my parents till I was 6 (which is when my sis arrived) and my sister until she was 7. I do not think there is anything wrong with it. Both my sis and me are very independent person and are absolutely normal! :)
My son is 30months and he sleeps in the same bed as us and to be honest when I moved him to his bed for 2 nights I missed him and brought him back!!! However he will be getting his own bed soon just because he is a Kicker!!!

Vicky - posted on 12/22/2011

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I was in the Peace Corps in Thailand. They have these expandable bed frames and they just expand them as more family members are born. Everyone, the entire family, sleeps together.
My son has always wanted to sleep with me when my husband is out of town. He is 11 now and puberty came a little early. So now, he will come and snuggle in the mornings when he wakes up and sometimes at night before he goes to sleep. This has been his decision and it was just a natural evolution that I let him direct.
I think you're fine. This is just a different era with attachment parenting at its helm. The older generations just aren't familiar with it but if their way worked, our generation wouldn't have changed it.

EARLENE - posted on 12/22/2011

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shouldn't have ever started,then you wouldn't be having to ask this question.you need your space and he needs his..him skeeping with you,has never been a good idea.

JAHANNA - posted on 12/22/2011

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my oldest is ten and I have 4 kids and I still enjoy them sleeping with me

Sally - posted on 12/22/2011

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For the majority of all human history and even today in the majority of the world; boys sleep with mom until puberty and girls sleep with mom until marriage. The idea that children should sleep in their own bed in their own room was invented in labs in the US in the 1950's so scientists could study 'how babies sleep' without parents 'interfering' with the research. In the 'science is everything' hysteria of the time, parents were led to believe that if science labs said that was how babies should sleep then they'd better teach their children to sleep that way too.
Unfortunately, if a trend cotinues for two generations, people think "That's the way it's always been." because that's the only thing they've seen. Luckily for your son, you know better.
If anyone looks at you funny because of where he sleeps, people really don't need to know where he sleeps.

Adele - posted on 12/22/2011

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my kids were 6,3 & 3 months when their dad left, they all took it in turns to sleep with me, gradually growing out of it, the older 2 stopped around age 8-9, my youngest is 6, and he is in my bed every night. I think they are looking for reassurrance, and cuddles, and I agree its lovely having extra snuggles. My older 2 now have more confidence, than they ever had, at the end of the day you want happy kids, make the most of the cuddles, they won't last for ever x

Natasha - posted on 12/22/2011

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I am recently seperated and my 6yr old son still sleeps with me. He'll eventually decide he doesn't want to when he's a little older and if you don't have a problem don't make it a problem or listen to anyone else.

Alison - posted on 12/22/2011

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I have a couple of friends who's children still occasionally came into their bed at 16! Neither kids had or have any emotional issues - one being 20 and the other well into his 30's! They were both just happy to have a mum who cared enough to comfort them if they needed it. Don't worry, your son just loves you. As long as you're both getting a good night's sleep what difference does it make where you get that? And your son is secure knowing you're there for him should he need you.

Mary - posted on 12/22/2011

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My son slept with me whenever my husband was out of town. He stopped when he was about 9 or 10. We didn't even talk about it, he just stopped and we both knew it was time. :-)

Catalina - posted on 12/21/2011

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I think it is great he is still sleeping with you!!! He will be extremely well adjusted and happy!!!

Anne - posted on 12/21/2011

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Different world cultures have different routines and preferences. It's very much a personal decision.

Stephanie - posted on 12/21/2011

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My 5 year old sleeps with me. He will have no problem letting me know when he's ready for his bed.

Ashley - posted on 12/21/2011

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I have a 7 year old son & he still sleeps in my bed. I am divorced & it's been that way since. He claims he doesn't want to sleep in his bed. I find it comforting knowing he's there, safe, breathing, etc. He is my only child & when he goes to his fathers he sleeps in his own bed (he re-married, but that's a whole different story, lol.) So, if my guy still wants to sleep w/ "Mommy" like you said, I'll take it while I can because it only happens once!!

Yveathus - posted on 12/21/2011

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He is your son not your man. He needs to be in his own bed. My daughter was 4 when she started sleeping in her own bed. Children need a routine and more sleep than adults require. Set a bedtime and put your son in his bed. It was a huge mistake for me and hard getting her out!

[deleted account]

as long as he is able to sleep without you i wouldn't worry about it. 6 isn't that old, i think I slept in my mom's bed until I was 10 or 11.

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