The real challenge of cosleeping: bed space!

One of the basic tenets of attachment parenting is that babies sleep in the same bed as the Mom (and, hopefully, the Dad). This is a great thing and we’re definite enthusiasts of this facet of attachment parenting, but there’s a challenge involved…


Having managed to get the two older children into their own rooms (well, having had the patience to wait until they were ready to go into their own rooms) we now have another baby who is sharing the bed with us, and it dawned on me last night that the real challenge of this attachment parenting cosleeping (or “family bed” if you prefer that term) thing isn’t the danger of rolling over on the little squirt, it’s finding enough room!
There we are on a king-size bed, seems like it should be huge, but the little four-month-old baby, K-, somehow has already mastered the technique of sleeping completely spreadeagle, causing us to perch precariously on either edge of the bed, hoping we’ll have enough space to rest, relax and sleep.
It’s crazy. But it’s also really fun, I have to admit, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. And K- is better than A- was: when she was in bed with us, she’d always end up oriented parallel to the pillows (e.g., taking up the maximum possible space on the bed). I did not like being kicked in the head, I must admit, so I was glad when she migrated into her own bed.
Solutions? Well, one possible solution is a “cosleeper”, but we don’t really have space for that. I did build what we called our “sidecar”, a narrow bed that slipped right next to our main mattress, at the same height, but our new bedroom lacks sufficient space. So we’re still scheming…

58 comments on “The real challenge of cosleeping: bed space!

  1. A cosleeper is usually a crib that has one side that opens up: you move it right up to the edge of your bed and (hopefully) the two mattresses are the same height. There are also some that are platform extensions where their support bars slip under the mattress of the big bed, sort of like a clip on serving table 🙂

  2. I live in China, and have noticed the mothers here often sleep with the child (which is not a commonly held practice in the West), and in the countryside with minority groups, the child is often brought in the same room with the parents to sleep…until they “understand” the other events of the parents room.
    My basic comment/question is this: father-mother-child all sleeping together does sound like it provides a closer relationship with the child, but what benefit over the child sleeping alone does it really have. Is it only preference?

  3. It’s more than just preference, it’s part of the process of knitting a family together. I think it’s easiest to think about this by contrasting it: why would you want to push your child away into their own room and own space so quickly? Surely the desire to have independent children cannot begin at birth?

  4. My 20 month-old son co-sleeps with his mum but unfortunately I was driven from the bed a few months ago. I found it too difficult to endure a restless night and then deal with work the next morning. I feel it is a pity that we are not all in the bed together but we are on the verge of moving him into some sort of sidecar arrangement.
    SO I now take him for a couple of hours when he wakes at 6.30 or so and let his Mum sleep for a bit undisturbed. He does well out of it although I’m starting to think it is time for Mum & Dad to reclaim the bed!

  5. Ah, I hope your wife realizes how good she has it with your sacrifice! When our baby is too restless I too will vacate the bed so that they have more space. 🙂
    In terms of reclaimnig the bed, 20 months is old enough that you should be able to shift him into a sidecar (or even a side mattress on the floor by the bed) without too much fuss. Hopefully.
    Good luck! Come back in a few weeks and report in so we can find out what kind of progress you’ve had. And stay patient. It works out, it really does.

  6. Many of my counseling clients have solved this problem by the simple method of selling their bed and covering the bedroom floor with futons or mattresses. This gives everyone more room, and has been very helpful for large families, and families disturbed by a restless sleeper (though I also have other solutions for that particular problem). And removing the bed is an elegant solution for families worried about a baby rolling off a bed!
    Most families in the world sleep on the floor. Crowding in a family bed is pretty much limited to the Western world.

  7. This is my first time to your web site. I have comments as well as NEEDING Help. My one and only son will be turning 6 Dec 1. He has been sleeping with us (myself and husband) since he climbed out of his crib—-his crib was always right next to our bed. My husband has been opposed to this arrangement and I have had to stand up for “my feelings” on this almost on a daily basis. To me I was following my instincts—no books etc. Now we are divorcing–my soon to ex-husband is using this in his counter-petition for divorce that I “force” our son to sleep with me. My lawyer even has raised eyebrows. Can you help me with as much supporting information you have. It seems as everyone is against me on this issue. Sleeping with my son was what “felt right” to me and I wanted it to be fun but the oppostion is great. HELP

  8. Lisa, it sounds like you have a complex and difficult situation. As a general comment, one of the most important facets of successful parenting is to create an integrated parenting strategy where both parents work as a team and agree on the big issues of sleeping, discipline, etc.
    In terms of your specific situation, I would suggest that you try and find yourself legal representation. Good luck to you!

  9. Thank you for your response. I was hoping for positive information about cosleeping that I can use. I do have legal representation but I must convince him also that this sleeping arrangement is okay. What resources can you recommend. Thanks Please email if that is easier.

  10. Well, you can certainly pop over to Amazon.com and search for co-sleeping or “family bed” and find various books on the subject (and books that mention it too). Not sure that’s what you want. You might also check out the American Academy of Pediatrics or some other formal organizations to see what they have to say on the subject (though I suspect it won’t be anything that’ll bolster your case).
    Good luck.

  11. Hi- Our 11 year old daughter (with ADHD & Generalized Anxiety Disorder) has co-slept with us since birth. She has a dreadful time waking up in the morning and I have fibromyalgia, which is exacerbated by sleep problems. I don’t want to kick her out because of her anxiety disorder, but could co-sleeping be adding to her her problem of not waking up? She also has primary enueresis (related to ADHD) that gets better the older she gets. Any ideas on this for me? Thanks, Beverly Anderson

  12. Hi Beverly. Thanks for your posting, and I really feel for you and your challenges. I can’t imagine that cosleeping has anything to do with what’s going on, but I asked a friend who is very knowledgeable about ADHD and related, and here’s what she said:
    Cosleeping is not what’s causing those issues. How could it? How many hours of sleep does the child get? How late does she go to bed? Does she have ADD hyperactive type?
    If the child’s on ADHD meds and/or anxiety meds, I would look there first. ADHD stimulant meds cause a come down effect when they’ve worn off and are likely interfering. Without knowing a lot more, it’s hard to tell.
    You’re welcome to invite her to visit my Web site for more information — and to contact me if she’d like — at http://www.sensoryintegrationhelp.com/

  13. You have a king size bed?? We have our 4 month old in a full! Now that’s a tight squeeze.
    The suggestion of getting rid of the bed alltogether is starting to sound like a good idea! 😀
    PS: I really like your site! It’s great to read about such avid AP supporters!

  14. I couldn’t resist jumping in…We have a 3-year-old and a 5-month old in a full. We did finally push a little daybed up alongside the bed, so whoever ends up on the edge can just roll off onto the daybed when things get too tight. We’d love a King (or even Queen) but our house is old and has a very steep staircase that we can’t get anything larger than a full up.
    P.S. I’m really enjoying your site. This is my first visit- I’d never heard of Attachment Parenting before, but we seem to be practising much of what you advocate. Many people frown, but we don’t care- we both feel that the kids will be grown and gone in no time, so we want to enjoy every minute while it lasts.

  15. Oh, yes, and I just found out this morning that I’m pregnant again (not planned, but a happy surprise, anyway). Now I don’t know what we’re going to do- there’s no way we’re going to fit five in our bed. Time to look at other options.

  16. You have a five month old AND you’re pregnant??? Oh my. You do have your hands full!
    Mine will be five months old next week. I am just loving this age!
    Maybe you should get two full mattresses and put them side by side on the floor. That will give you guys the extra room that will be needed for your pregnancy AND once the little one enters the bed.
    A great website you should visit is http://www.mothering.com/. It has some great info to help you through your pregnancy and with your current youngins.
    Congrats on your pregnancy as well. 🙂

  17. Hi! I need some sleep!!! Our 10 month old is having a VERY hard time sleeping these days. My husband has been willfully sleeping in the guest room so that he can function at work during the day with a good night’s sleep. At 8 month’s my son and I moved into his nursery and have been sleeping on his floor together at night. He used to take naps in his crib with ease. He now freaks out if I even carry him too close to the crib. I am still nursing him and plan to until he is 1. He only wakes up once during the night to nurse, but he doesn’t sleep well unless I am in his room. At what age will he be able to sleep without me there? Is it different for every child? I am exhausted and have thought about letting him “cry it out” in his crib, but I know I can’t do that, as I always help him when he is upset-which is not often. He seems to be falling asleep later and later every night. He is a VERY happy baby for not sleeping much. HELP!

  18. My son is 3 (just) and daughter is 20 months. We cosleep. My husband and I take turns. I work two part time jobs (really, contract work), my husband keeps a few clients, and we get by on that income. So, I am not doing the grind most do, but, I still need sleep to be patient and I need time to get my work done. Bedtime seems out of blanace in terms of being TOO TIME CONSUMING. He and I have begun taking turns putting them to bed. They weep for me. They wake more when he has put them down. Often the younger takes 2-3 hours to put down. Her brother often falls asleep despite her, but also often is kept awake by her crying. So, I feel guulty when I abandon them to do work or simply get my time, and I worry about their feeling abandoned, since our primary aim has been to build security. I don’t read much about UNHAPPY cosleepers. It’s as if my daughter would have preferred CIO. We didn;t let her have it. Our presence is a stimulant. We only have one bedroon anyway so it wasn;t a real option. Often i will take her to the sleeping porch where husband or I have let her wander about in the dark until she falls over – 2 to 3 hours. Our evenings are for getting work done and they are not ours.

  19. Cecelia, it’s hard, no question about it, but honestly I know lots of non-cosleeping parents who have equally tough bedtimes, so I don’t think that it’s the family bed / cosleeping that’s what’s going on. A few thoughts: is it possible that they sleep in too late in the mornings? Have naps that are too late in the afternoon? Spin up from play after dinner? Have a room that’s not dark to help foster sleepiness? Have too early a bedtime?
    Good luck!

  20. I’m a breastfeeding, co-sleeping mother of a 23 month old. I’m happy with the choices I’ve made, but I think it’s time to move on. My son sleeps well until i climb in bed and then he immediately needs to nurse. We only have a queen size bed and we have two cats. one of whom loves to sleep near the top. He doesn’t sleep through the night b/c for him, the diner is always open. I’d like to wean him, but I don’t have the heart. He really only nurses for comfort or to sleep. Does any one have any suggestions on how to atleast get him to sleep through the night? The weaning part is going to take longer. They say to avoid places where he’d most likey nurse. If I did that I’d be standing 24/7 and I promise he’d try to climb me like a tree. He’s just not ready. How do people do this before a year?

  21. We had the same problem – we were waking our son up by coming to bed. He now (since July, then age 28 months) sleeps in a z-bed which is reassuringly low and has just enough room for me to kneel between beds. It’s not massively comfortable to nurse in that position (especially when he decides to move to the other side of the pillow) but it works, and he reliably sleeps through our bedtime now.
    Wakes two or three times later on, mind….

  22. HI, I too have the same problem my daughter will be 2 in 2 weeks she’s slept in our bed since birth and is still nursing mainly for comfort or sleep. we bought he a toddler bed and put it next to our bed, but i have to lay in it with her and nurse her to fall asleep and then she wakes up in a couple hours usually and climbs into our bed. I really can’t take her sleeping with us anymore I don’t sleep well and my body always seems to be aching. I’m looking for some info on weaning from breastfeeding and getting her to sleep by herself. if anyone has any suggestions or links i’d appreicatiate it. Thanks

  23. Hi, I just found your website today and I need some advice. My son who is 5 yrs. old has been cosleeping with me since the day he was born (I am a single mom). Now I am pregnant again, and plan on putting the baby with us in the bed, of course I would be between the kids. People keep telling how wrong this is, dangerous, etc. I have studio, so I don’t have the luxury of having another room for my older son, and I don’t mind that he cosleeps either. It would make it easy for me to spend more time with my children and to ease breastfeeding at night, since I will be working full time. My question is: is it really that bad for a 5 yr. old to be sleeping with his mom?

  24. Having some frustration with my 21 month old. I believe he’s working on cutting all of his canines at once, and we’re having problems with him being restless at night. He is very willing to lie down in bed, but tosses and turns and kicks his legs, almost as if he’s trying to keep himself awake. It’s almost 1030 now, I gave him a bath at 830 (very sweaty and tired from playing all day) and read some books to him and his brother until time for bed, and he won’t go to sleep.
    My resolution at this point is to sit here on the computer and let him fall asleep behind me, which does work. I just need a way for it to work before waiting an hour and a half!
    Yasmel –
    I don’t have any advice for whether a 5 year old should be sleeping with his mom (I personally don’t have a problem with it, at 5 years) but wanted you to know I am also sleeping between kids. I am SO happy to be doing it, too – I had forced my 21 month old to sleep alone in the playpen for 3 months last year, from just before my second was born until the end of the year. My husband was off from work the week after Christmas so we had all 4 of us in our full bed, and it was so nice to not listen to crying while trying to go to bed, so I chanced sleeping with both babies after my husband went back to work (night shift). It worked out well, so we have been back to cosleeping since the beginning of the year.

  25. Someone mentioned building their own “sidecar” or co-sleeper…how how how? Did you find plans somewhere or just make it up? The commercial ones are so BIG and expensive. We have no room.

  26. Is there any problem with allowing an 11 yr old son to continue to co-sleep with his single mom until he decides he wants to start sleeping in his own bed??

  27. My husband and I have been co- sleeping with our two and a half year old since we brought her home from the hospital.Occasionally she will sleep in her crib ,but not through the night.
    I’ve learned that she will sleep in her crib more restfully if she didn’t have a nap that day,also she will go to bed much easier and earlier.
    WE hadn’t planned on co-sleeping and at first my husband was completly against it,especially after his family told him it was wrong and dangerous,but feeling those little hands reaching for you and being comforted just knowing you are there,or waking up to little giggles and smiles (even if it’s 2 am)is the most wonderful feeling on earth.
    This is my first visit to your site.It is nice to know that there are more people like us all over the world.And with another little one on the way,Iwill be visiting alot for support.
    Thankyou

  28. > We’d love a King (or even Queen) but our house
    > is old and has a very steep staircase that we
    > can’t get anything larger than a full up.
    We have a house like that and a queen bed and when we moved in, to get the box spring up, my husband and dad dismantled it and reassembled it upstairs.
    Our baby is 9 months old and its pretty crowded in the bed with all three of us. But my husband works 3rd shift and we are usually sleeping at different times.
    The baby has never gone to or stayed asleep longer than an hour or 2 in her crib so my husband gave in with letting her sleep in the bed. He’s worried she will sleep in our bed for years and years since he said his niece did with his brother and sister-in-law, but I have a plan to gently get her in her own bed. I pushed the crib against the bed to make a rail but not long after she could stand up she tried to climb over it, so I took the rail off and left the crib against the bed. Now I can slide her over there after she falls asleep and I am trying to gradually ease her into sleeping in what is now a toddler bed. (It’s hard to resist cuddling with her though!) I think when she’s a little older (1 to 1 and a half) it will be more interesting to her because I will lower the mattress all the way and move it a little away from the bed, then I can show her how she can climb into the “big girl bedâ€? by herself.
    I hope that around that time she can sleep in her toddler bed and my husband can finally move to 1st shift.

  29. Hello, I found this site because I am desparate. I need to feel validated. My boyfriend still lets his 11 year old daughter sleep with him almost every night. I just don’t think I can handle that. I feel that it is coddling her. She is old enough to be able to sleep in her own bed. I don’t like the idea of a “family” bed. To me a bed is a personal space where a husband and wife connect after a long day. He doesn’t share this view. I even read somewhere one mother said that if a person wants to have the bed to themselves they should get a cat instead of have a child-as if wanting to have their own space is selfish. I don’t understand this mentality. It is the major source of contention in our relationship. I know she is not my biological daughter but I honestly don’t think that would make a difference. I know that even if I have children I will want them out of the bed by the time they’re weaned, if not earlier. How is this healthy for an eleven year old? I don’t get it. Any feedback would be appreciated…thanks so much.

  30. Well, non-parent, I have to say that even the most zealous attachment parenting cosleeper fanatic would probably say that it was time for an 11yo girl to climb out of the shared bed and move into her own room. Our 9yo and 6yo are already long since out of our bed and bedroom, and our 2yo sleeps in a separate bed in the master bedroom, so we have much of the space to ourselves now.
    Different people have different guidelines and ideas, but my belief is that it’s really the very early years where it’s so important, much more than when they’re older.

  31. My son is nearing 13 months, and we are still co-sleeping. We started out in a queen-size bed with just us, the baby, and the dog. After adding two stubborn, clingy cats to our family, we upgraded to a king size bed and bought our dog a bed of her own. Enter dog #2 who refuses to sleep anywhere but our bed. I’m just wondering… do you know of anyone that makes an Emperor Sized Bed or perhaps even a God Sized Bed? 😉

  32. Doug,
    Yes, it is wrong for allowing an 11 yr old son to continue to co-sleep with his single mom. I experienced this with my single mom. It took me years to get beyond it. This was part of my mom’s absorbing me into her own emotional needs to the ignoring of my own.
    Therefore I ended up as a mama’s boy who did not have a normal adolesence and was not ready to marry even in my late 20ties. When she did re-marry as I entered the 6th grade, I still felt too close to her.
    Also, this contributed to my weak boundaries which made it hard to be anything but too trusting which often led to much pain. When I did marry, I married an older woman as if I was looking for another mother.
    Jim

  33. Sarah,
    I’m not comfortable with a 2nd grade boy sleeping with his mom twice a week. Is she a single parent? If so, there are possibly even more reasons to be uncomfortable. At the most, I think he should not be sharing the bed with mum at all by the time he’s 8.
    My own experience as shared above, probably colors my response.
    Also, I’d like to know why he’s sleeping with his mom twice a week? Whose need is this meeting and what needs are they?
    Jim

  34. I have three children. The oldest a daughter is about to be 9 and then the boys are 7 and 4 1/2. I am now 20 weeks pregnant. We coslept with our children until they were two. My daughter accually was 18 months. I also nursed them them that long. I found that if you inform the child of what is going to happen( a two year old understands) then the tranfer to their own bed is much easier. I made a plan WITH MY CHILDREN as to how we were going to get them their own bed and how we would help feel more comfortable. Making it clear that they will be sleeping in their own bed but letting them have input on how they will feel more comfortable made the transitions in our home smoothe. Chilren do not handle suprise well. They also can tell you are trying to change something. Inform them before the change before you make it and they seem to be more inviting to the change. I will again nurse and sleep with this new baby for up to two years. I enjoyed having them close to us at night. I never new how my husband felt about it until I became pregnant with this baby. I am happy to report that he feels it gives a child a better scence of family and security.I must admit that sometimes we all watch movies in our room and will fall asleep and wake up with all five of us tangled in our queen size bed.

  35. My sister cosleeps with her two children. Now I think that’s alright I guess to a certain age. But now I found out that the husband sleeps NUDE. The one child is 3 and the other is turning 2. Now I don’t know much, but is a man sleeping nude with his children legal?

  36. As a general response to a number of queries here, I would say that the overall family comfort level with cosleeping should determine when kids move into their own beds and, ultimately, own rooms. Is it a problem when a second grader sleeps with mom occasionally? I don’t think so. Would it be a problem if they were both naked? Yeah, in my book that’s pushing it a bit. The parent can easily have a pair of shorts on at night, for example.
    A 3yo and 2yo sleeping with Dad who is naked? Again, I personally don’t see that as any sort of problem, but it’s also easy for Dad to grab a pair of boxers and wear them to bed. As the kids get older, I think there’s a point at which it’s not appropriate for the adult to be nude, but I think it’s impossible to pin down an exact age at which things change.

  37. What a great website! This is my first visit and I am hopeful that you will be a great help to my family. My son has slept in my bed for his entire 2 1/2 year life. His sister (10 months old) wants in. Our Ca. King is just too small. We put a twin beside our bed and have been trying to get our son to sleep in it by telling him that our bed is for babies and his bed is for big boys. He is not buying it and the jealousy is intensifying. Some nights we are up 3-4 times with him and then consequently with my daughter. It is causing a lot of tension in our marriage. My husband has a demanding job and needs his sleep. I stay home and need my rest to be happy mommy. I want to be in the same bed as my husband. How to I handle the transition for my son to his twin bed and my daughter to our bed and still have a happy family and sleep. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!

  38. This is great! My 1yr old sleeps with me and his dad sleeps in the master bed. Needless to say, this has had its impact on our love life – we haven’t had opportunity in a long time. Both of us feel fairly strongly that we don’t want to make love in the same room as the baby. Can anyone give me advice?

  39. Hi all,
    We had not planned on cosleeping, but our 8 week old seems to like it – in fact it is the only way we can get him down for the night now.
    My question…is it too late to start co-sleeping? Will it confuse him? We will want him to sleep in his own bed ASAP, but for now it is the only way any of us get any sleep.
    Any thoughts?

  40. Hana, our baby sleeps with us, but we keep a small mattress in the baby’s room for naps, etc. Eventually, she will move into her own room. In the meantime, it is a good place to put her while sleeping so that we have some private time.
    Confused, no, it is not too late. Hopefully you already found this out. Dr. Sears (www.askdrsears.com) has lots of good cosleeping (sleepsharing) info.
    Now my question: the baby sleeps with us, but goes to bed before we do. We usually put her down and then try to watch a movie or something, but she always wakes us up and interrupts the movie. She sleeps through the night once we’re in bed with her. Anyone else encounter this?

  41. I’d like to co-sleep with my baby who will be born in March. It would be me, the father, the baby and our two cats. We’re in a full right now but obviously need something bigger/ I’d like to get a queen because it’s cheaper than a king BUT the dad is 6’4″
    What do you all think? King or queen??
    HELP

  42. Hi everyone,
    My husband and I have been happily sharing our bed with our 16mo since she was a few weeks old. Now that I have become pregnant again, we’re facing the prospect of kicking her out for safety reasons. The idea makes us both rather sad, especially because we both fear this will only cause her to be jealous of the new baby.
    Our bed sits on a platform that is very low to the ground and juts out a good 4-5 inches horizontally past the mattress (no box spring). I can’t seem to find any sort of sidekick that might work with this type of bed. Any suggestions?

  43. Rereading my post I think I should clarify: we are trying to come up with safe alternatives to removing the toddler to her own room prematurely. One idea was a sidekick for the infant, but our bed appears to be an obstacle. Any ideas welcome.
    Thanks everyone.

  44. I’m glad to read on this site about more people cosleeping with older children.
    I never intended to cosleep with my kids. However, when my son was born, he would not sleep far from me. He ended up having alot of breathing problems, which meant he couldn’t sleep laying flat. Every once in a while I could get him to sleep in his carseat or swing (which, along with cosleeping, is also not technically recomended by the APA – but when laying in his crib suffocates him, what can you do?) but mostly his sleep position was on top of my belly.
    I thought he would eventually transition out. After all, when I’d been raising my step-daughter (Unfortunately, the kids’ father and I divorced when my son was only 8 months old), we’d managed to get her into her own bed MOST of the time when she was 2. My son had his own crib, but he rarely slept in it, even after we cleared up most of his breathing difficulties. In fact, what really happened was that my step-daughter moved back into the bed, and he didn’t want to be left out. My ex had started to work nights, and it was just easier for me to have the kids in bed with me than in the other room.
    Then my ex left me, and my step-daughter also moved away, and it was just me and my son. He was nearing a year by then, and I began to plan set up the bedroom for him. He got a great set of bunk beds, and I decided to transition him out of the “crib” after his first birthday.
    Well, the house we live in is really old and drafty. There is a heater, but on REALLY cold nights, it simply isn’t enough. I started putting my son to bed with me to keep him warm instead of just when he wanted comforting. When spring came, and it was warm enough for him to move into his own bedroom – he didn’t want to go.
    He’s five now. He has his own room, and this past spring I worked really hard on training him to sleep there (by means of a reward chart for entire nights spent in the big-boy bed.) However, he still WANTS to co-sleep and I frequently will let him a couple of times a week (or if he has a nightmare). Many people make me feel guilty about this, and I was glad to hear I wasn’t the only person.
    I am also still a single mother, and I worry about people thinking “bad” things. I’m not sexually attracted to my son. While sometimes it’s nice to sleep with him – it’s not exactly the highlight of my life. In fact, often if it’s one of his nights to cosleep, I’ll get up and sleep on the couch after he’s asleep because he just squirms and kicks too much for my little double bed.
    My question is, if he’s the one driving the co-sleeping, is there an age when I need to really say enough is enough and not let him in anymore at all? I don’t really think it’ll be an issue. I mean, I’ve never heard of a boy wanting to sleep with mom after he’s started puberty – but I also don’t want to damage my son. I never ask him to sleep with me, and as I said, he has his own room and bed. (Actually, since he has bunk beds, he has his own room and TWO beds). Still, we do have a very close bond, and he seems to need so much the occasional comfort of having me there when he drifts off. What’s the right answer?

  45. I would just like to respond to the questions about being made to feel wrong about sleeping with your child. Next time someone says something against co-sleeping explain to them that we are one of the only cultures in the world that dosen’t co-sleep with our children. And then ask them if they have ever seen an animal in nature, put their baby by a tree and go over and sleep by a bush? Animals have enough maternal instinct to know that it is right. You’re a mother (or a father),keep that baby close! And by the way, a five year old is still a baby.

  46. Hi…I have a five year old that very rarely sleeps in his bed…I have tried the reward chart leaving up to 3 night lights on I can sit on the stairs and he will fall asleep but he always ends up in my bed regardless..it doesn’t really bother me but I don’t want to damage him and I don’t want him to be attached to his mommy for forever I want him to be able to be independent. My husband works 3rd shift so it’s usually just me that sleeps in the bed anyway it’s just soo much easier to let him fall asleep in there then to sit on the stairs for an hour or argue with him till ten or eleven at night. Advice…help…PLEASE!

  47. Danielle: I also have a 5 year old girl that has been co-sleeping with me most of her life. We just spoke to her last night about sleeping in her own room since she is out of school for spring break. I will probably have to sleep with her 1 or 2 of the nights just to get her started. Problem is, when my husband works late or travels out of town for business, she’ll be back in bed with me. I feel most comfortable with her in bed with me when he is not home. Although she is an independent, thriving child, she does not do well when visiting her cousins for overnight visits (without us). This is the main reason for us moving her to her own bed. Hopefully she will get used to sleeping without us and will be able to visit without climbing into bed with an adult!!
    Good luck to you!

  48. Lindsay: Get the king and position it where there is space for a single in case you have another. 🙂
    Amy: When the baby came, we bought a single bed (a lot of measuring height of the mattress and legs were done) to match the same height as our queen. Hubby sleeps on that, toddler sleeps next to him and me, and baby sleeps in the cot with the side bar removed so it flushes against me.
    That is 3 beds side by side together.
    So we have:
    Dad (single bed) | Toddler | Mom | Baby (in cot)
    Get a single which has no bedframe but those things that just sit under a mattress (don’t know what they are called but they sell them at Ikea which is where we bought it).
    Good luck with the new baby! 😀

  49. Hi!
    Your site is wonderful! We have a 2.5 year old who we have co-slept with since birth. He was originally in an arms reach co-sleeper and when he out grew it he came into our bed. We all LOVE it. We are expecting another baby in the next few weeks and I’m really nervous about sleeping away from my son for the first time. He loves sleeping with his Daddy too but when he wakes in the night he wants me. I’m afraid he is really going to panic when he wakes up and I am not there. We’ve considered going ahead and having me sleep in another bed so he can get used to the change before I’m in the hospital but I hate to give up sleeping with him for a few weeks and I think waking up and not finding me there is going to be traumatic for him whenever we do it – hospital or now. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions?
    Thanks so much!

  50. Hi there! I have a two questions that I can’t seem to find the answer to, perhaps you can help. We have a 5 month old who has slept with us since birth, since the day she was born actually Yay for homebirth! 🙂 Anyway…. my first question has to do with how to get her to lay down by herself for naps but most importantly for bed time. She takes roughly three naps a day, two of which are in the Moby wrap and one I lay down with her so I can get some rest and so she can eat while she sleeps. The naps don’t bother us as much as the going to bed part does. She gets tired and is ready for bed around 7pm but we hold her and occupy her until 8, then we all (my husband and I and her) go down and get ready for bed and she and I are usually in bed by 8:30 or 9. If we put her down by herself, before us… she wakes up in about 15 minutes… same with the naps. My husband and I would really like just even an hour or so to ourselves but with her not going to sleep or rather staying asleep without us, it seems almost impossible. Any ideas? How do you guys put your baby to sleep for naps and bedtime when you cosleep?
    My second question is she is 5 months old and we’re still swaddling her for bed. She sleeps fabulously at night! 11 hours without waking up, though she does eat a lot in her sleep. If I dont’ swaddle her her arms and legs wake her right up! But I’m a little concerned about her being swaddled for that long. I don’t swaddle her for naps only bed time. Do any of you guys swaddle and if so, is it ok for me to keep swaddling her until she’s ready to stop? I’ve tried leaving her legs out and just swaddling her arms, but even that causes her to be REALLY restless and wake up. I”m fine with still doing it if it’s ok….
    Fellow cosleepers help!!!!
    Thanks!

  51. My boys are 12 and 6. The 6 year old still sleeps in my bed. The 12 year old does occasionally as well.
    We are the parents, we know what is right for these kids. Our society is so against co-sleeping, but it is because we have sexualized everything. That is sick. My kids feel safe in my bed. They sleep better. It is not about some sick sex thing.
    My older son has some special needs and finds it helpful when we lay together.
    For the girlfriend worried about your boyfriend co-sleeping with his older daughter, as girls get older they so desperatly need to know they are loved, who better to show that than dad. I think thats sounds so healthy. The change of her parents not being together is enough, asking her to stop that is unfair.
    When my son was a baby I would nurse him to sleep, then get up and have some me time, before going to bed.
    Even now my 6 year old falls asleep on his own in my bed. Then I go to bed when I am ready.
    C-sleep to your heart’s content!!!

  52. I am really looking for advice on this subject and stumbled upon your blog. I am in a relationship with a man who has 3 daughters, ages 16, 14 and 12 with 50/50 split with the mother. The 12 year old has her own bed at her mothers sharing a room with her 14 yo sister. He is in a 3 bedroom house and the 2 older girls have claimed “their own rooms”. He allows the 12 year old to share his bed and has resisted any attempt to have the girls share a room at his house. This isn’t a nudity factor but a co-sleeping issue. The 12 year old is obviously puberty and has obvious breast development. What really bothers me is that she makes comments that she has to sleep with her dad because she gets to scared otherwise and has to “use him as an big squishy pillow and wrap my arms around him all night”. I personally am disturbed by her comments and he just laughs and says that it is just his relationship with her. I went along with it for a while trying to justify that it was a new divorce situation but after a 1.5 years she is still co-sleeping regularly with him and even when there is an opportunity for her to sleep in another room he will not request that she do it. I get that kids need need to feel comforted by their father especially in a divorce situation but this seems over the top to me……
    feed back please…….

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