Cosleeping, Age Appropriateness and Nudity

I was just reading through the many comments on my earlier blog entry about cosleeping and bed space and am struck with the frequency of people asking about when children are too old to cosleep and issues related to the parents sleeping without pajamas.
As far as I know, there’s no “official cut-off date” for when children shouldn’t cosleep and I have certainly heard of friends who have their children still sporadically sleeping with them in their teens. Me? I think that’s a bit much, but in special situations, like the child experiencing something traumatic, it might be a wonderful gift to let them sleep with you for a few nights until they get their feet back on the ground.

Linda and I have gone back and forth about whether to “help” the children move into their own rooms or, heck, at least out of our bed and into another bed in the bedroom, and at what age that’s logical. Generally by the age of two we are now encouraging the child to sleep in our room but on their own bed on the floor or in what I called “the sidecar”, a separate mattress at the same height as our own bed.
Truth be told, it took months before they would end up in the same bed they started out in, but we’ve definitely learned patience as attachment parents, so it wasn’t a big deal. At this point, our sleeping arrangements are completely fluid, and last night all the kids decided that they wanted to sleep with us, so the two mattresses on the floor were packed with our three kids (A-, 10, G-, 7 and K-, 3) while Linda and I staked out the big bed. Not sure how it all ended up (I slept later than anyone else) but K- did crawl into bed with me around 6am and curl up in my arms. (and, really, is there anything more wonderful than that as a way to wake up?)
We have tried our best to avoid the usual American angst about nudity so that’s not a big deal in our family, but I am nonetheless uncomfortable sleeping nude if I think any of the kids are going to be climbing into bed. Usually I’ll wear pajama shorts or boxers to bed, but if it’s hot I sometimes just have a pair by the side of the bed and deftly slip into them if/when someone small shows up in bed. Not a big deal.
I know a fair number of people like to sleep in the nude: if you sleep naked and have a cosleeping arrangement with your children, how do you deal with it? Do you think that due to, um, physiological differences, men should be more diligent in having some sort of pajamas or shorts on if the family is cosleeping?
Phew, this just makes me tired… 🙂

82 comments on “Cosleeping, Age Appropriateness and Nudity

  1. I don’t co-bed (at 2, my daughter is way too squirmy, always has been, nobody sleeps), but I think nudity is not a problem if that’s what is comfortable for everyone. She bathes with us often, and she knows that my husband has a penis and she and I have vaginas. I am often nude around my daughter, and while I’m sure one of these days she will ask me to put some clothes on, we are all comfortable being naked around the house. I hope it stays that was as long as possible.

  2. We sleep in the nude. I hate the feeling of PJs or nightgowns bunched up and twisted around me, plus I am nursing my 6-month-old. I do wear a pair of panties to bed and will likely transition to a cami when my almost-4-year-old seems uncomfortable with my nudity – but right now he doesn’t. (In fact, I’m a little surprised he hasn’t asked why he has to wear PJs!) For him, right now, naked bodies are functional – we’re still working on potty training – not pleasurable.
    Dave, do you think you’re more sensitive to wearing boxers because you have girls? I just don’t think about it much because media never report about mothers abusing sons – but there’s an awful lot about fathers abusing daughters. I am sure my husband would wear boxers to bed as well if we had a girl, for that reason.
    I will say that I think one benefit to wearing clothes at night is the reduction of friction between small limbs and sensitive parts like nipples… youch! 😉

  3. We co-sleep and I’m a man.. our girl (1.5) starts in bed with Mommy.. while I put our boy (4.5) to bed in his own bed. I lay next to his bed, tell a story.. answer 2 to 4 questions he has.. then say goodnight and lay there next to the bed.. He drops to sleep in a matter of minutes and I head off to do some adult time.
    My wife takes longer to get our girl to sleep .. sometimes nursing/passifying.. and I usually have to go in and wake her up so she can have her adult time.
    I wear boxers.. but I’ve always done so.. anyway.. our boy shows up at 5 am.. later if he goes into the dining room and eats his breakfast (cereal in a ziplock in a bowl.. he gets a glass of milk we’ve already poured).
    When we all finally get moving for the day.. well.. when they get moving.. they climb all over me (my wife has already left for work).. I guess I like that I have boxers on because it keeps my goods safer from slightly romping kids.. and we don’t have any early-morning suprises from any snakes in our just-never-quite-enough-room bed.
    I think you should do what’s comfortable for you.. If you start thinking that maybe it’s a bit weird.. well.. then it probably is getting weird and you’re picking up on something… so it’s probably time to start wearing something different.
    Oh.. and our boy doesn’t _have_ to wear pajamas.. he, like us, gets to wear what he wants.. we’ll suggest things.. but .. well.. if he gets cold and wakes up.. he learns that not wearing things can lead to being cold… or you’ll need more blankets..

  4. The nude question is something I always wondered about as I started co-sleeping. Our children are all in their own beds now – and I often sleep in the nude and started to feel recently like I should cover up when my 7.5 year old son comes in, in the morning.
    I think it is like Dave C mentioned, you should do what seems right for you. Your children will pick up on any uncomfortableness you might have or not. They will usually take your lead on that.
    My 7.5 started by asking to have some privacy in the bathroom several months ago, so I think that is when I started to cover up in front of him. I do not make a big deal if I am not though and he does not seem bothered by it. I am still present when he baths and he is still comfortable with that. My husband doesn’t think about it either way. Our youngest daughter is 1.5, we’ll see what he does when she gets older.

  5. Hm. I have a 3 year old (boy) who cosleeps full time and both of us parents sleep in the nude whenever we want to. We sometimes bathe together, too (one parent in the tub with the child) and don’t really think a thing of it. My husband might feel differently if we had a girl. I do sleep in underwear, but did so before we had children, as well.
    I also remember crawling into bed with my mom as a teen. Not every night or anything, but if I wasn’t feeling well, or if it was stormy, or if I’d had a particularly bad dream. It wasn’t so much that I needed to sleep with her all the time, but it was nice knowing the door was open if I needed it.

  6. We have a one year old boy and we co-sleep ful time. We have a co-sleeper attached to our bed but until now we have only used it once. For both of us it feels so comfortable to share the bed with our boy that we haven’t started thinking of moving him to his crib. I think we will just wait until he is ready. About the nudity…it is not such an issue in Europe. When is warm we sleep naked and also walk around the house in underwear. Skin contact (skinship) is especially beneficial for small babies and nursing mothers. It relaxes both of them, helps baby to balance her body temperature, increases milk supply and much more. We also bath together and go to nudist beaches. It is quite common in Europe, especiall in Scandinavian countries. We just do what feels comfortable and natural for all of us. But I believe it depends on our liberal upbringing 🙂

  7. Nudity is not much of a problem here in Japan, either. People are not that up-tight about it, because communal bathing is traditional, and still quite common. They even still have a few mixed-sex hot spring baths around in country areas (The missionaries got rid of most of them a century ago.).
    “Hadaka no tsukiai” (hanging out together naked) is an expression used to refer to having a friendship with someone in which you sometimes go to the hot springs together and hang out naked. In other words, there is not much hidden between you. This is seen as important in a society where what you say and what you really think are often different.
    On the other hand, sleeping naked is not really the norm here, although there was a book out a few years back about how healthy it is to sleep nude.
    In our family we usually all bathe together (Japanese baths are kind of square and deep, with a washing area next to the tub, so 2 adults and 3 pre-schoolers fit in.) In bed we all wear our PJs, or at least underwear, which solves the early-morning snake problem. The kids sleep in their own futons (right next to ours – the whole bedroom is one big mattress really) most of the time, and in ours sometimes. By the morning, we all tend to be piled up in the grown-ups bed, expecially during the cold winter.
    As, I said, the nudity thing isn’t such an issue here. However, with 3 pre-schoolers in our bed, I have been wondering about how we are ever going to have another one (if we decide to), if you know what I mean. there is always someone snuggling up BETWEEN us!!

  8. As an “attachment parenting” parent before it was called that, my experience has been that the kids get out of bed when they are ready and are fine given the logic if you need them out sooner. My girls are now 19, 24 and 28. The last one slept in my bed periodically (sometimes for months on end) well into her teens (I was a single parent). The eldest had to adjust because we didn’t have the multiple beds on the floor thing and there was only so much room when the new baby arrived. We did not sleep nude and I guess I would have had a few wonderings about it as they grew older, but it wasn’t an issue for us.
    Great site, by the way.

  9. I guess I’m a little late on this topic, but I figured I post something any way. My aunt and uncle cosleep with their children and frankly, it freaks me out. I think that when children are young and small, there is no harm done. However, the two girls are now 11 and 14 and they both still sleep with mom and dad. I have no idea about nudity, and at this point, I certainly hope there is none. I know most people on this site are fans of cosleeping. Does anyone find the ages here a bit disturbing? Its every single night that the girls fight over who will sleep with mommy and who gets to sleep with daddy. When I was 14 there was no chance that I would sleep in the same bed as my father nor would he have wanted to. I would have slept with my mother only if we were traveling or there was no where else to sleep, but not just for fun.

  10. I am also late to post on this topic, but it’s because I just found this blog!!
    We have 2 amazing children-11 year old daughter and 9 year old son.
    We still co-sleep, although they each have their own rooms for whenever they need their own privacy.
    I do not think there is an age limit on being intimate with your children. I hope to have the same closeness with my kids when they are 50 (should I make it that far). Co-sleeping is just a natural extension of intimacy and protection that parents offer their loved ones.
    I encourage you all to continue your co-sleeping as long as possible. The only thought that makes me shudder is one day being apart from my DD and DS when they go off to their own lives. I’m hoping they’ll co-sleep, too. We’ve joked about having a giant grandparent co-sleep-in (3 generations of spooning) when they have children of their own.
    As far as pajamas are concerned, I know that I try to remember the boxers at bedtime, but sometimes it’s too hot with all the bodies in the bed (king-size, thank goodness) and a little nudity never hurt anyone.
    I am a RSO, though, and we have had slight moments of awkwardness with school officials who obviously subscribe to conservative paranoia. My advice, keep your intimacies intimate, and let others act as they wish.

  11. I ageree a little nudity never hurt anyone. My wife and I have slept nude for almost 20 years now. Our two girls are cuddlers at ages 15 and 11. They do frequently come in the bedroom on Saturday and Sunday mornings, slip under the covers and we all laugh and talk and even sometimes wrestle around. They are never nude by their own choice, but accept us as we are. My wife and I are seen quiet often nude or in various states of dress or undress and it’s considered very normal in our home. The girls have slept with us before and co-bed sharing has never been a problem for either of us.

  12. Me and my husband sometimes sleep nude in the summer and sometimes in the night we might end up with kids in our bed but my boys(6 and 8) know that being nude is not a bad I think it’s not bad to be nude in front of your kids…your relationship between you and your partner is a very special thing an I think sharing those moments togethor is very special my sons sometimes choose to sleep with us sometimes but not every night and besides they are usually up before us at the beach(behind our house) surfing. So it’s not like we never get alone time ….

  13. On May 13, 2007 Christa posted:
    “We sleep in the nude. . . . I do wear a pair of panties to bed and will likely transition to a cami when my almost-4-year-old seems uncomfortable with my nudity – but right now he doesn’t. (In fact, I’m a little surprised he hasn’t asked why he has to wear PJs!)”
    Well, why does he have to wear PJs when the rest of you are sleeping nude?

  14. Me and Hubby Has slept Naked Forever!! Our Son Who is 10-11 next month.Has never slept with us.But Our 1 year old girl does..But we have no issue being in front of our kids naked ..I think it is natural..Of Course My son did ask me last week as I was getting dressed In the Laundry room Dont I think Hes getting a little to old to see me naked..(lol)Of course I told Him Probaly So I also told him That He has always seen me and his dad naked so why stop now it aint like hes gonna forget what we look like course my mom has a different opinion on we have always taken baths with our children ..I did stop when my son was about 9 because I will say it was uncomfortable being in a closed area..But I still Prance thru the House naked..Of course Me and Hubby Discussed this the other night after our son made that comment , So I will try not to ba as naked around him but it is hard to break a habbit. Of course then again my son doesnt seem to have a issue with running around nakes hisself!!lol.. We think he just has a issue with me because I’m pregnant

  15. Oh, I’m so glad to see all these comments! I thought our sleeping arrangement was strange until I saw others do this too. Our son is 4 years old and although my hubby likes to wear briefs (my son too – just like daddy) I only feel comfortable sleeping nude. Our son’s old pediatrician would go nuts if she read this. She told us we should absolutely have him sleep only in his crib. This is also the same dr. that said nursing after 1 year old was “weird”. My kid was 2 years old and fussy after 2 hrs. waiting for his checkup when she came in and saw me nursing him and said that. Anyway, I’m glad to see we’re not that weird. Or maybe she’s the weird one. 🙂

  16. I think it is natural for a mother and father to be nude around their children until a certain age- not exactly sure what age yet though. I agree with the comment someone made about it’s different with a father and daughter in an age where there are rampant reports of sexual abuse, but my husband is uncomfortable being naked around our son, although he said that his mother bathed with him until he was 3. I remember my mother bathing with me, but never my father. My son is no longer a co-sleeper, he is a horrible sleeper and kicks all the time, so none of us were rested in the morning. I frequently went to sleep when he was co-sleeping even though he didn’t breastfeed. I think the skin-skin contact with him helped him sleep then. (he was only a couple days old and started sleeping through the night.) He sleeps in a crib now next to our bed on my side and I love still being so close to him. (He falls asleep holding my hand through the crib railing.) It scares me to have him in another room where anything could happen to him and I might not hear. The doctors also gave me pamplets and articles everytime I took him for a checkup about the dangers of co-sleeping, so I lied and said that he didn’t sleep with us anymore months before he actually moved out of the bed.

  17. well, I love that I have found this site. I have a 10 yo daughter and an 8 yo son and a 2 1/2 mo. old daughter. my older two sleep on one matress and dad, baby and I sleep on another. Honestly, my hubby isn’t thrilled with the idea, but I used to work for a 911 center and have anyways always been a bit paranoid about break-in’s. There was a break-in at my house when i was about 13 and the perp broke into my sister’s room. this house is old and I can’t hear anything in the kids room when we are in our room hence the arrangement. In a new house they will probably be in their own room, and baby with us. The kids like it and they are independent in other areas and so i don’t think the age is a big deal. they feel safe and protected this way and i feel that i’ve done the right thing in being there for them.

  18. I was just wondering if there is a age limit for kids of the opposite sex to be sleeping in the same room together. I have 2 kids one girl one boy. My daughter is 4 and my son will be 2 next month. I was just wondering if it is ok for them to share a room together.

  19. Someone asked on here if anyone had problems with co-sleeping. I’m not a fan of it and think that attachment parents CAN take things way too far. The carrying around in slings until 4 years old (yes, many do) and the nursing until 5 etc. But, this sleeping naked with kids is highly upsetting!
    I’m not going to argue the merits of co-sleeping and usually have a “live and let live” mentality but sleeping naked with kids over, say, 2 or 3 is just plain weird. These parents love to make wild statements like “we’re always naked around our kids and they love it. We wrestle with them naked and it is great.” Just because they say it, doesn’t make it right. I’m no prude but sleeping with children naked is just plain wrong and 99% of the population would agree. The 1% of the attachment parenting gang is just plain flawed!!!!!
    I think it would be awesome if the parents who sleep with kids until they’re tweens and don’t vaccinate (and other weird things they’ve picked up)would be called out for who they are – WEIRDOS!
    Thanks for reading,
    Jennifer Chenault
    East Lansing, MI

  20. Hi. I am just starting out in the blogging arena and found this site and wanted to tell you how much I like it. If you have a chance, I would like to exchange some emails or talk with you about it, so let me know if that would be possible.
    By the way, we were “attachment parents” too, but didn’t call ourselves that at the time.
    Our daughter slept with us over different times of her childhood…we called it “camping out together!”
    We did not use discipline, but rather integrated ideas from attachment theory and the parenting research of john gottman…Raising emotionally intelligent children:the heart of parenting…anybody read this? I believe it is the # 1 book on parenting and attachment parents would love it.
    Thanks for a great site!
    Bill Martin
    Psychotherapist in chicago

  21. I still snuggle on occasions with my 12 year old girl. I am always fully clothed and always lie on top of the covers. I try to limit the time to 5 minutes. Most of the time I am able to but sometimes I fall asleep. My probably soon to be exgirlfriend thinks its disgusting. I think it provides comfort and security, my girls are mostly A students with lots of friends and are very confident. I woulod like some feedback from other dads with girls. Thanks.

  22. Lee, seems to me that it’s not a big deal to be warm and affectionate with your daughter. As long as there’s nothing other than parental affection, seems completely harmless. But your girlfriend and her reaction, well, “disgusting” is a darn strong word. Maybe you should stick with your daughter and find a new girlfriend who understands the benefit of having a loving Dad as a boyfriend?

  23. I’m a separated mother of an 18 mo old. I “partially co-sleep” (i.e. she goes down in her crib, when she wakes up she gets nursed and spends the rest of the night in bed with me). This has always been our way since she was 4 months old when she first went into a crib. (She moved so much and I couldn’t sleep with her and my husband in bed). Since we separated 8 months ago I’ve just continued the pattern as it really works for my daughter and I. My ex-husband has just started having our daughter for the odd night – and while he always did somewhat question the co-sleeping as she got older, he did follow her usual pattern and spent the second half of the night with her in bed…and he LOVED it. I was thrilled – partially b/c he now realizes why I do it, and b/c he also loved it. I think there is a beautiful bond between parent and child that becomes particularly evident in the wee early hours of the morning when life is all about love and innocence. At this point I have zero issues with nudity and still bathe with my daughter a few times a week. She’s just learning about her own body and I encourage her in discovering the differences in physical aspects of males/females (our dog has helped in this too!) and don’t see a need to be ashamed of who we are.
    Lee, from my perspective (as a mother), I think it’s beautiful that you share those moments with your daughter. And I HOPE that my daughter will get that from her father as she ages too. Life is full of moments you’ll never get back if you let them pass you by. If you feel it’s right, trust in your instincts as a father.

  24. Just listen to all of you. Your lives are dictated by a few bad people in the world (I am refering to those who hurt kids) and the media. We as Americans believe they have to make others happy and we as Americans always worry about what others think. What is wrong with our society when a father is ashamed to be nude in front of his daughter because of what someone else might think about it? These problems are only in America and created by Americans.
    I left America years ago. I have lived in Sweden, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Korea, Malaysia, and now China. In none of these countries is this even an issue. In France people swim nude on the beach together. In Sweden all men and boys share the same sauna together and everyone is nude. Some fathers even bring their daughters in with them. The same for the mothers and girls. Ukraine and Russia are open about themselves as well. And China?? Well, everyone in Asia sleeps with their parents most of their lives. Kids take showers with their parents even past puberty. Sex doesn’t matter. Siblings always shower together. Kids sleep with their parents often because there is but one bedroom in the home. Even when there is more, they still sleep with mom and dad or have 2 beds pushed up against each other.
    There is nothing wrong with showing children nudity or for them to see nudity. It is only wrong when we, as adults, make it shameful, discusting, sexual, etc. A father who is not a pedophile should not worry about having on his boxers when his daughter is in bed with him. A mother should not worry about her son seeing her nude. Only in America where everyone tries to please others or keep others from making opinions about us are these things even brought up.
    Live your life how you like and don’t worry about what others think.

  25. I’m concerned about my husband’s behavior with my one and half year old baby girl. He seems to prefer when she is naked, which is how I often find her when I come home from work (he looks after her while I’m gone). That in itself is not a big deal. But several times I have noticed he has an erection while kissing or playing with her. Every once in a while he’ll blurt out something like, “she looks so good”, or something similar. And recently, I caught him masturbating in the bed with her napping next to him (he said it was no different than us having sex next to her- we cosleep).
    Does this seem inappropriate? Am I just being paranoid?

  26. Ah, well, Marla, I would call a professional family counselor and get them into the picture, personally. Sounds like you and your husband might need some help (he’ll never go by himself anyway, I imagine).
    Personally, I think you aren’t just being paranoid, I think that your husband has some issues recognizing that a naked baby is not a sexual being or a plaything and it’d be better to address it before it’s a scary problem.
    Good luck.

  27. Thank you for your advice- the problem is we recently moved to a remote area- no therapists here.
    I was wondering, as a dad with a daughter, did you ever get an erection while playing with and kissing her? Again, this morning in bed, my husband got an erection while we were both kissing her. Is this just something that happens to men? Should I try to talk with him about it?

  28. Molly, this could be innocent but it is certainly a troubling behavior by your husband. I think you should talk with him if it makes you uncomfortable. It’s your daughter too, after all. Good luck!

  29. Molly, the pattern of behavior is disturbing. Any one of those things alone would be understandable. But, I’d be concerned. You aren’t simply paranoid. At the same time, it is possible that it could be nothing. It’s just that the masturbating thing sounds very unusual. I think most men would have gone to another room (I would have).

  30. We have 2 kids a girls 10 boy 7 they sometimes sleep with us and my husband and I both sleep nude,in the summer somtimes so do the kids.We see eachother nude all the time and we just don’t see what the big deal is.Yes both my husband and son wake up with morning wood but so what they go pee and it goes away.

  31. I have a question…..Does anybody know the age limit for having 2 children male and female,sleeping in the same bedroom?i have been trying to get this answered for 2 weeks and no one seems to kno.this would really help out thanks.

  32. Kayla, honestly, I think this is one where you, as the parent, need to decide. It’s going to be different for different families based both on the upbringing of the parents *and* the children themselves. When you begin to feel uncomfortable having a boy and girl sleeping in the same room you should separate ’em, but outside of the US, most families are jammed into a small number of rooms for the duration of childhood, so separate rooms is also a bit of a blessing here.

  33. I need help! My son is 16 months old… really close to being 17 months old. He has been co sleeping with my husband and I since he was born, but now he’s getting to big and he moves alot. I have been trying to teach him to sleep in his bed since he was 9 months old, but it doesn’t work. We even bought him a toddler bed. We’ve tried it out in his room and in ours. I’ve tried setting up night time rituals…the whole warm bath, reading, singing thing…it hasn’t helped. It just makes him want to sleep with us more. My son wakes up several times a night for a sippy cup. ( He’s been broke from his bottle since he turned 1.) I really would like some sleep. I find it hard to sleep with him, plus he wakes up so many times in a night. Please give me some advice. I would really appreciate it.

  34. To Molly, or anyone with a similar problem. I think many people confuse feelings of love with sexual desire. They do link together and can do healthily, but in this case perhaps the balance has tipped too far in one direction and feelings towards the wife are mixed in somehwere?
    When nursing my partner at my breast in a loving manner, I feel my vagina respond and soften. This is not sexual but a physiological response (fondling of the breasts and clitoris can help baby along in labour, etc).
    In this case, I would see a specialist, talking in a group counselling session and possibly one on one for the husbnad. It would be important to be open minded and to truly listen and help the husband work through his entire feelings on sexual desire towards himself, his own sexual history (eg. possible abuse in the past by him), and feelings towards his wife in particular – perhaps they’ve been misplaced and he sees his wife’s beauty in the child somehow.
    I hope this helps – I’m by no means experienced in these things.

  35. to the one with the hubby? He is turned on by your daughter. That is NOT normal and NOT innocent. And him masterbating next to her is sexual abuse. YOu should report him to the police,get help from child services, SOMETHING,but he has broken the law in a bad way and needs help. He has also broken your daughter in severe emotional ways,and you need to protect are an accessory if you let him anywhere near her from then on in. Just as guilty, in the eyes of the law, i would imagine. I know it’s hard to swallow and be aware of, but he is exhibiting severe signs of PEDOPHELIA. if you look at it as an illness, which i believe it IS, maybe that will bode better with your view of him. YOu are sleeping with someone who gets sexually arounsed by your daughter. That is not normal either. SEEK HELP FOR YOUR DAUGHTERS SAKE< I IMPLORE YOU.The more this goes on the more damage will ensue with her and her life and potential will NEVER be on an even playing field.

  36. single father of two sons, ages 11 and 14. I’ve always slept nude and the boys do for the most part. (We’re all clothed when company is over.) I think having just guys around the house probably makes it a little easier overall, but nudity has never been an issue in the house. I just don’t see what the big deal is.

  37. I’m 85 frustrated nudist. Married 64 years. Asked potential wife, u try sleeping nude? No reply. Told no PJ’s gown would be around her neck. Both of us virgins, married in WWII, went So Pacific year and half after few day honeymoon.Never saw my bride nude in a vertical position. Her mother was anti nude and when her husband of 60 years, he was then 88 was looking to geet married again. Raise 3 daughters, middle one was wild as could be, First and last were prudes. We had 2 girls, 1 boy. Nevered allowed to sleep nude. She is now an alzheimer’s victim, I still live in retirement apartment and my 3 are very partial to dad and proud that he is nude day and night enjoying himself. They were NEVER molested by their horney Dad. Just trust him.

  38. I’m 85 frustrated nudist. Married 64 years. Asked potential wife, u try sleeping nude? No reply. Told no PJ’s, gown would be around her neck. Both of us virgins, married in WWII, went So Pacific year and half after few day honeymoon.Never saw my bride nude in a vertical position. Her mother was anti nude and when her husband of 60 years, he was then 88 was looking to geet married again. Raised 3 daughters, middle one was wild as could be, First and last were prudes. We had 2 girls, 1 boy. Nevered allowed to sleep nude. She is now an alzheimer’s victim, I still live in retirement apartment and my 3 are very partial to dad and proud that he is nude day and night enjoying himself. They were NEVER molested by their horney Dad. Just trust him.

  39. I am a divorced father of two girls, age 9 and 8. I have joint custody, every other week. My 9 year old was sick yesterday and after going to bed in her own room, came into my room in the middle of the night. She crawled in my bed and fell asleep. I fell back asleep too. I told my girlfriend about it this morning and she told me it was totally inappropriate and there is no justification for it. Including the fact my daughter was ill. My girls don’t co-sleep with me in general, but I didn’t have any particular concern about her sleeping with me when sick. I appreciate feedback on this. Am I crazy?

  40. Were you both wearing pajamas? If so, I wouldn’t worry about it unless it becomes a habit with your daughter. And yes, I think it’s smart to cut them some slack if they’re sick. I’m guessing your girlfriend doesn’t have kids?

  41. Yes. I had on a t-shirt and big, baggy boxers. She was in pajama pants, t-shirt and sweatshirt. Thanks for the sanity check, Dave, I appreciate it.

  42. Hello. New to the forum, with a question:
    My wife stays at her sister’s apartment once or twice a week. Her sister has two kids, a 7 year old girl and a 9 year old boy. It’s a two bedroom apartment, and her sister stays in one bedroom with her daughter (separate beds), and my wife sleeps with her nephew. She’s been doing this for years, but I’m groing more uncomfortable about it because of his age. I’ve talked with her about it and she gets confrontational if I bring it up. I definately don’t think anything sexual is going on here, but is there an age (for him) that I should tell her sleeping with him is really inappropriate? (BTW, we don’t have kids)

  43. Rob, in my opinion, if they’re both clothed, it’s not that big a deal. Once the boy hits puberty (which nowadays is probably around 11 for most boys) then I would say it’d be inappropriate for them to be sharing a bed. At that point perhaps you can give a nice airbed to your nephew and ask him to sleep on it when your wife’s in the house? Good luck with that one.

  44. Thanks Dave. They’re actually sharing his bed at my sister-in-law’s apartment, so I have no control over it — other than discussing it with my wife. Her brothers shared a bed with her parents until they were about 13, so it’s quite normal to her. But it’s her nephew, not her own son, and it’s starting to seem inappropriate to me. I agree with you though — I’ll just politely voice my opinion, and hopefully she’ll make a change in a few years.

  45. All this co-sleeping on a regular basis, no matter what age is just wrong. It seems the childrens developing issues are secondary to the insecure, controlling, & in some instances sexually weird adults. Young girls do tend to develop crushes on the older men in their famille. You are probably unintentionally teaching them that you can co sleep with anyone safely etc. Kids over 2-3 yrs old always belong in their own bed except in emergencies. The marriage bed is a sacred place where two adults share inimacy of a sexual nature. If kids have their own room make them sleep in there. If you find it difficult or inconvenient to enforce that is YOUR issue seek professional help if you need too. Stop trying to sound cultured by saying such nonsense as “western culture is not comfortable with it”. That is an ignorant statement. Most co sleepers exist in 3rd world countries where there is not enough space. Usually at age 11 these kids are considered grown & go off to work, or are given into marriage. Are you trying to tell us you are not able to afford 2 bedrooms? You are not eccentric or unique… simply you are excusing or glamorizing your lack of parenting skills…. Kids DO NOT belong in bed with adults on a regular basis. Get over your selfishness & put your children in bed where they belong.

  46. Hmm, it’s interesting just how fierce most person’s opinions are about this subject. I co-slept with my son for the first year, then he was in a crib beside my bed until he was 2. Then he transfered into his own room at 2yrs old and while most nights he sleeps on his own, if he’s really upset he’ll ask to sleep with me and I let him, and of course to me it just makes sense to let him sleep with me if he’s sick. I don’t see what the issue is with allowing someone you love to seek the comfort of being close to you. Why should they be forced to be alone if they don’t want it? Doing what is best for your child is in my opinion all that bloody well matters, and because each child is a unique human being what is best for each one is a unique thing as well. I believe it’s quite sad that society believes they know our children better than we do and that they have a right to dictate how we should raise them.

  47. This is not as big a deal as it seems.
    Firstly, I think a man wearing boxers and a woman wearing at least a cami-top teaches co-sleeping children that there are certain standards and while there is nothing wrong with nudity in front of children, ie. in the shower and other places where it is appropriate, etc, there are practical reasons why we adults cover up.
    Men can leak, women menstruate and my wife and I would not want our little ones in bed with us sharing our bodily excretions, pubic hair and whatever else is yuckiness that our sheets like to absorb.
    As for the age to cut out co-sleeping, it is only the pressures of society that seems to dictate this. Frankly, we’ve learned that the child (esp. boys) will tell you when they are ready for their own bed.
    We had our son in a spare bed but in the same room. When our daughter was old enough at 4 years and he was seven, they went off and slept together in their own room. Being together helped them adapt to being out of our bed, which is what they’ve always known as there was never a cot or crib. Children need body contact as their way of giving and receiving comfort. So they had each other and mum and dad got each other back.
    Now nearly eight my son indicated he wants his own bed and space. Cool. My nearly five year old daughter comes back into our room in her own bed next to ours. If the boy feels lonely he can occassionally come in and hop in next to his sister. This will become more rare as he gains independence. In her own time, she will then decide when she is ready to have her own room, probably the one they’re already in, so we just move out.
    My wife and I also re-arranged where in the house we slept. Our house has the master bedroom at one end of the home and the other three rooms at the other end of the house.
    We figured that this was too far away too soon, and so we took one of the rooms next to where our children slept where we could be right there if they ever needed us in the middle of the night, rather than the trauma of waking up crying in the luminous darkness of night-time and risk not hearing them until they became shaky and traumatised.
    So, they just get up and knock at our door which is next to theirs. We immediately awake, say ‘come in’ (this is important as it teaches respect for privacy) then one or both would simply scramble in. 30-seconds later we were all back to blissful sleep.
    We are expecting our third child and will co-sleep that one too. We wouldn’t have it any other way. And covering up in bed is the right thing to do.

  48. People have very strong feelings, obviously, about a great many aspects of raising children and family life. Customs vary a great deal from culture to culture and even from family to family. Therefore, I share our experience as a family not to mandate it as the only way — but so that others who may feel drawn to it know that they are not the only ones!
    My wife and I have three children, now ages 15, 11, and 8. Eldest 2 are girls, youngest is a boy. All of them nursed for years, and slept in our bed for various lengths of time. We didn’t call it ‘attachment parenting’ or anything — it is just what felt appropriate. At some points the whole family was in that bed and it was rather crowded! I grew up in Asia and lots of people share sleeping space — same room or same bed.
    In our family we are very open about nudity — basically adults or kids can be naked any time they choose. If guests are over and they are not comfortable with it we put clothes on. I’ve never worn PJs to bed and can’t possibly sleep all wrapped up in cloth. Our kids sleep naked, too.
    After what seemed like forever our middle child finally decided she could sleep in her own bed. She was nearly 10 years old at the time. She and her younger brother share a room and readily admit that they couldn’t imagine sleeping in a room all by themselves. Our oldest daughter has her own room — but it took her a long time to get used to that idea. She was always moving in the night to sleep in her siblings room!
    It is nice to have the bed back for just me and my wife, but you should see how confident and well adjusted our kids are. Our middle child, especially, is full of gusto and confidence. You may be interested to know that there are plenty of people in the world are shocked that a tiny baby, a toddler, or even an older child will be put into a room all by themselves at night — it seems like complete child abuse.

  49. I am 42 years old and I still get flashbacks of my parents nudity. They made it seem normal but to me it was weird. Many children are uncomfortable but afraid to let their parents know that they are shy or do not want to see them naked. I feel I have a lot of issues because when I was under ten my father sat me on his lap and he got a hard on..I did not know what that meant back them but once I felt one when I became sexuality active I got a gross flashback often questioning whether or not it really happened. Then he used to walk around in his underwear when we were teens. Just weird and my mom always naked. They never made a big deal out of it and try to raise us like it is not big deal but I do think there is a limit and it sounds like many parents on this site feels that because it is no big deal to them it is okay to prance around naked. It is selfish. Maybe my father was a freak but again because he did to do anything directly there was so much confusing in my sexuality. My mother is a church going woman that never drink to my knowledge or did anything wrong. My family was a drinker but comes across as the life of the party and the guy that everyone loves. I do think it is okay for little ones to sleep with their parents even if in the nude when they are young. But when they get older respect their privacy and not force anything on them. Just because you are not a child molester does not mean your child wan to see your private parts or your ass. So I am not against it but use good judgement. Especially when it comes to hard on and things like that…Your children will never forget the horror or your prancing your old winkles stinking asses around even if they never have the guts to tell you. They look up to you. They would never want to hurt your feelings. You should want to be naked with you mates not your children.

  50. I am very concerned for my 10 year old stepdaughter, K. She has a hard time sleeping at our house in her beautiful room by herself because at her mother’s house, she sleeps with her mother in the same bed! To fall asleep my stepdaughter needs the light on and the TV on. I prayed with her, read her stories, talked to her, all in vain because she misses her mommy. Her father says goodnight to her and reads her a story. No progress. Her mother is extremely overprotective of K and uses her for emotional comfort. Kenya’s mother also protects her to such a degree that excuses any of K’s disobedient/inappropriate decisions in order for K not to experience any consequences for her actions. K is fearful of trying new things. K’s mother treats K as a girlfriend not a parent.
    At out house, her father (my husband) and I foster independence, chores/responsibility and a sense of self. Regarding sleep, the first two nights she is over our house, we goes through this sleep anxiety episode where she can’t sleep because she misses her mother. We try to soothe her to no avail. She wants the lights, TV on and a warm body beside her because that’s how her mother puts her to sleep. The mother deliberately chose to live in a one bedroom apartment so she could still sleep with her daughter in the same bed. I fear that this sleeping situation is extremely unhealthy for K. Any advice? I am very concerned.

  51. Hi, I’m new to this site and not a parent (yet). I like a lot of tenets of attachment parenting, and cosleeping seems natural for babies. I’m curious, though, how do you make time and space for sex? I assume you don’t have sex while your child is sleeping right next to you.

  52. We have 2 girls 15 & 13 who have always slept all night in their own beds but have always come in our bed at week end for a cuddle. Both me and my husband sleep nude, the girls wear pj’s when its cold but do sleep nude in the summer.

  53. I’ve read some pretty disturbing posts on this particular blog, but the last one takes the cake and I certainly hope that your post is meant to be an ironic protest of the practice of naked co-sleeping and not an accurate description of how you raise your children. Or perhaps you’re just someone who likes to post provocative responses to see if you can get a rise out of other people. I pray that’s the case.
    Personally, my husband and I sleep with my 4 month old daughter between us. She sleeps cuddled up against my clothed chest. At this age, I see nothing wrong with nudity, but my husband and I are more comfortable sleeping clothed. There’s a fine balance between teaching children that there’s nothing shameful in nudity and giving them grist to grind with their future therapists.

  54. So nice to see all the people that co-sleep with their children. My daughter is 12 and started sleeping with us at 9 months after I read the Baby Book by Sears and The Family Bed and discussing it with my husband. I wasn’t getting any sleep and found when I pulled out the couch bed and laid down on it beside my daughter we would both sleep comfortably for hours. I feel she is safe beside me and it allows me to get a good nights sleep as well. I also started carrying her in a sling at 9 months. What a wonderful experience it has been! She feels so good about who she is. She is so outgoing too. And I feel really close to her. I also homeschool her. I (her mom) sleep in the middle of our now King sized bed 90% of the time. If there is a thunder storm I have her sleep in the middle or if we are in a hotel or someone else’s house. Like one of the people who wrote above, kidnapping is one of my biggest concerns. It happens all the time and not just to infants and toddlers. Teenage girls are taken from their bedrooms too. I couldn’t live with that! I even started locking our bedroom door after a break-in two summers ago. It helps me sleep securely. It helps having a king size bed. I feel co-sleeping has helped my daughter sleep better too. She doesn’t come over at the crack of dawn to wake us up. As far as a time frame for her moving to her own bed, she will let us know. I was 13 or 14 and sleeping with my 3 sisters when I asked my Dad for my own room. He gave me the playroom. I’m sure when she is ready, she will make a similar move. As far as nudity, we have tried really hard not to make a big deal of it. I personally do not feel comfortable sleeping naked. I feel vulnerable. Plus, if there was a fire or a break in, I would want to be prepared. My husband does like to sleep nude. But like I said we do not make nudity a big deal. As far as intercourse, we have a spare bedroom. We throw a flanel blanket over the bed and pillows so we don’t get them dirty.
    For Laninabonita, I too have a step-daughter. She is now 24. She slept with her mom for 10 years of her life. At the time I was very judgemental, skeptical and shocked that her mom would do this. I too, did not let my step-daughter sleep with us. I did try it one night and she kicked me all night. She must have been running in her sleep. She was scared to death to sleep by herself. You are being very kind by doing all you do with her to prepare her for bed. I did not do this for my step-daughter. Of course, at the time, I did not have any children and could not feel the love for her that a mother would have. I tried. To this day she is very co-dependant on others and very insecure about who she is. If I could go back in time, I would make a better effort to have her sleep with us until she was comfortable to move into her own room. I just didn’t understand motherly love. I thought I did, but I didn’t. I knew her since she was 5. When she was 12 we had my daughter. That’s when all the motherly instinks hit me. I told her she was welcome to sleep with us if she wanted to, but by then she no longer had the desire. To this day she uses headphones and the TV to put her to sleep and she still has her blanky. I realize her insecuritys come from divorced parents, not feeling loved, and various other events in her life, but I didn’t help any either by closing the door at bedtime. I am not telling you to have her sleep with you, but I do compliment you for all you do for her before bed time. Some day she will thank you.
    Molly, it has been some time since you wrote, but I wanted to say that if you haven’t spoken to your husband about your concern by now, you may want to. I pray everything works out for the 3 of you.
    Once again, it was so nice to read about other family’s that co-sleep. We have been ridiculed about it from day one. I feel I am doing what my heart is telling me, not what others think I should be doing. And although I feel alone in my decision, I feel it is the right thing to do. I have “A Wonderful Life!”
    Happy Sleeping,

  55. To the stepmom- you said: “The mother deliberately chose to live in a one bedroom apartment so she could still sleep with her daughter in the same bed.” Look, it is not your job to determine or judge her motives for anything. Hell, everyone knows a 1 bedroom apartment is cheaper than a 2 bedroom, maybe that’s the reason. I am sure she does miss her mom. Divorce is tough on kids. My kids miss me when they are with my ex and his borderline wife, but it isn’t because I co-sleep with them (I don’t, only with my 8 month old, even a king size bed wouldn’t be enough room for 2 adults and 4 kids!)Instead of spending so much time trying to make her mother wrong, why not give the kid a break?

  56. My parents slept nude with me. One of my fondest memories is on a cold winter’s morning, cuddling up with Mom.
    I turned out okay.

  57. I have been a co-sleeping single mum since my son was three months old. He is now four & still sleeps in my bed. I am an advocate of AP & I feel very strongly that my son is gaining confidence through our strong attachment. He generally sleeps on “his” side of the bed after a snuggle although after returning from a weekend at his fathers house he wants to sleep virtually on me! This lasts for a night or two & then he’s back to his side.
    His father is hesitant about co-sleeping but does it at his house because I do it & he feels it wouldn’t be fair to make our son sleep alone at his house… for this I am thankful.
    I have thought about making the transition to separate beds but will never do it unless he is comfortable. I beleive that as he gets older he will initiate that move himself.
    They grow up so fast & very soon he won’t want so many kisses & cuddles from his mummy so I am getting it while I can!! There is nothing inappropriate, although I do not tell people because I don’t feel the need to announce/justify my actions or parenting decisions.
    I have friends who have engaged in controlled crying & I can’t bare the thought of the poor children who cry themselves to sleep.
    PLUS… I get a good nights sleep too & have done for years while many of my other friends are up & down to their kids for a variety of reasons.
    I say do as you please & as you feel is right for you & your family.
    Cheers 🙂

  58. What should I do? I have twin boys and my boyfriend won’t allow them to sleep with us, but when his daughter comes to visit us it’s okay for her to sleep in our bed. It’s unfair isn’t it?

  59. I would like to hear from more children that grew up with this experience of co-sleeping and how they feel. I have an almost 9 year old son. It has been just the two of us his entire life and we sleep together every night. Who likes sleeping alone? If grown people have a hard time with it, I can only deduce that young people do also. I have been getting it from all angles lately about getting him into his own bed for “his” own good. Well, I for one feel just fine with it. He is well adjusted, compassionate and guess what… he doesn’t feel ALONE or afraid. That is my primary goal, to reassure him in his fears and one day he will want to be on his own. Just like when I nursed him until he was 18 moths old… HE separated, not me. Just like he eventually got potty trained and used a fork. When they are ready, and they are all different, they will let you know. I HIGHLY doubt he will be next to me when he goes through puberty and needs his space. I am tired of people telling me I am harming him. He can do sleep overs just fine without anxiety, as a matter of fact, he LOVES to spend the night elsewhere. So he is capable, I just don;t think a boy being raised by a single mother will be ruined by being emotionally supported until he can support himself. He cleans his room, treats everyone with respect, is outgoing and very empathetic to others feelings. And I think he IS all these wonderful things because he HAS this support from me. No debate, period! Everyone is different and every family structure is different. Our “American” society seems to be way too demanding on our children, then again I think our society is also very deficient in educating our children to compete in this world. So… I say, give them all the advantages you can to combat all that they lack elsewhere. They will be fine as long as you are always conscience of making sure you are doing what your heart and mind tell you is right.

  60. I’m just not sure which way I go on co-sleeping. I was raised in a family of six kids, and we did not co-sleep, but if, say, I was scared or it was thundering, would not hesitate to crawl into my parents bed (we all had our own bedrooms, and our house was quite large–my room was way far away from my parents). I was the youngest, and being the sixth kid, I’m sure my mom was sick of bathing all of us everyday, so she’d have me shower sometimes with my dad in the morning until I was 3 or 4… Anyway, often I’d like to sit down in the shower in between my dads legs and catch the water running down his legs..of course, I didn’t understand it at the time, but sometimes his penis would grow… I thought it was cool.. One time, however, he ejaculated. Now, I don’t really think my dad was a pedophile, but really, when it finally hit me (not until I was age 25 or so, and I’m in my forties), what happened, I was frankly completely grossed out and it really makes me feel violated. For how great my dad was, I’m thinking, what the heck?… that should NEVER happen in front of a child. What was the pervy thinking?
    So I digress from my thoughts on co-sleeping, nudity, etc. I do think people in the United States are too hung up on these things… One of my best friends from growing up lives in Vermont and has become a total granola… she breast fed her daughters until age 5 or so, and they still all co-sleep. I respect her, but also think it’s a little odd, and I do worry about the children’s clinginess to the parents. They’ve been trying to wean the children from co-sleeping for a couple years now, and they say it’s really hard. Weaning from breast feeding was also an issue. I’m sorry, but it’s a little odd to see a four year old walk up to her mother asking for milk.
    In this day and age, children and people, in general, need to be independent and be able to do and think on thier own. Families are no longer having multi-generations live together–times are changing so fast. Kids need to learn to be independent and to soothe themselves on their own from a very early age. That’s not to say not to be nurturing as a parent… but it’s important for a child to have the confidence in him or herself that he/she can take care of themselves.
    My husband and I kept a bassinet in our room for the very first month, and then moved our son to his own room (literally, five feet away from ours)with a crib. When he was still very young, sometimes my husband or I would sleep on the floor in the room with him, and now if he’s sick, or scared, we’ll sleep in his bed for an hour or so and then move back to our room. Our son also knows that he can come and climb in anytime he wants, though he has really never chosen to. He likes his space. That’s not to say we don’t spend family time in the bed (during the day time) hiding under the sheets, play wrestling, having fun pillow fights. This does give our son the feeling of security and love that he needs.
    I never bathed naked in the tub with our son because of my disgusting experience with my dad, but I would bathe with him wearing a bathing suit when he was very young. My husband would bathe naked, and it was a wonderful experience… open door policy, of course. He’s seen us naked, but we don’t flaunt it and never did. He’s now six and he does like his privacy dressing and going to the bathroom, but we still give him baths.
    I don’t judge. I don’t know what the answers are. I will say to parents… be careful.
    Especially you, Molly. I mean, I was only three or four (probably three), but I still remember my dad ejaculating on me. I told my mom about it soon after it happened, not realizing it was a bad thing (something about how daddy made his penis spit out white stuff), and she never let me shower with him again. I don’t blame her! LOL, I’d probably have divorced him, and I’d certainly never trust him again! Just so inappropriate, if even in innocence. And it’s a really cruddy memory for me.
    I really do try not to judge, but even if I don’t judge, I do have an opinion. Sleeping with the kids in bed, maybe okay up until age one, but I wouldn’t do it after the age of two, for sure. (Doesn’t anyone watch Super Nanny?) Sleeping naked with kids in the bed… not such a good idea… but if you really feel it’s the right thing, hey, they’re your kids… and you have to live with the result. We’re not all living in a one room teepee anymore, ya know? However, sleeping with kids is certainly a better thing to do than spanking your kids. But if your kids get to the point of puberty (especially opposite sex child), then that’s just plain wrong. And good luck trying to wean them then.

  61. My mother divorced my dad when I was three. We went to live with her mother and great aunt. I slept many nights with my mom in her bed unti I was 13 when she remarried. This was a tough change for we were very close. To help with that loss, I started sleeping with my step brother who was a year younger than me. I don’t know if my mom or step-dad ever figured this out since he and I shared the same room. I guess this explains why it took me so long to get married asnd why I’m just now coming to terms with my confused identity.

  62. I was wondering about howlong a child should stay in the co-sleeping arrangement of Dr. Bill and MArtha Sears as we started that with our daughter and she is now 12/13 and she still sleeps with me. (we downsized the bed and my husband sleeps in a single bed becasue our bed gives him back trouble.)
    Reading some of the past posts here, I am not too worried about this. It is just an extension of my protecting my child in a dangerous world.I will wait for her to say, “Hey mom, the bed is too crowded and I want my own space!” If that is when she is 16. . .so be it.

  63. Kay, I have to say from the “been there, done that” perspective, I would be very cautious to assume that 13 years into parenting, your husband is really okay with you sharing a bed with your daughter and him sleeping solo night after night. Indeed, I would say that even with co-sleeping, it’s probably time for your daughter to move into her own bed. If your husband needs a different mattress, the two of you having beds attached still is a reminder that you are indeed married and should be sleeping together too.
    I’m also surprised you’re so complacent with this arrangement and gently suggest that you reflect on who you’re prioritizing in your relationship: is your daughter more important to you than your husband?

  64. My son who is almost 6, comes in my bed around midnight after falling asleep in his own bed. I don’t really mind, I am a single parent. I sleep with clothes on and try to limit my nakedness, although he does come in my room at will and sometimes I am getting dressed. He would love it if I slept naked, he loves to cuddle “boobs” as he says. I am trying to get away from this and tell him no frequently. I know this is not sexual just a comfort, I nursed him until he was 20 months old and my breasts still bring comfort, he says he loves the way I smell and feel and that I am the most cuddly thing in the whole world. I suspect that sometime in the next two years I will encourage him to sleep in his own room all night. But it is just not that big of a deal to me right now.

  65. Our 1 year old has been sleeping in her own crib since about 3 months old. She sleeps thru the night. When she wakes up in the morning, on occasion we have brought her into our bed for awhile but she’s usually more interested in trying to crawl off the bed. She seems perfectly content to fall asleep in her own room. Now I’m not so ignorant that I don’t think things can’t change and I know there will be times she’ll be in our bed. But my in laws have a couple kids 9 & 12 who can’t imagine the thought of sleeping in a room without mommy & daddy every night (and the 12 year old just barely stopped sucking thumb). They are the most scardy-cat kids I have ever met. They play tough, but they are big winey giant babies. I’m thinking that’s not good to be 11 and sleeping with your mom or dad (especially if mom or dad are naked…c’mon people…really now is that necessary? I know you think you are mr. and mrs. enlightened but no it’s not normal it’s not beautiful…it’s nasty and smelly and disturbing to your kids) But Hey…whatever you want to do. To me it just doesn’t sound good for anyone involved in this day or age.

  66. I’m a product of co-sleeping, and a strong opponent to it as an adult. I have found that it’s most damaging psychologically, sexually, and emotionally especially for young girls and women.
    Keeping in mind that my parents both had the best intentions, and are very average middle class people. Neither my mother or father suffers from any sort of psychological issues, and are all around good people.
    Still, with this in mind, my parents practiced “attachment” parenting before realizing that it would someday be a fad. As a shy, sensitive young girl that was very inclined to be a people pleaser growing up, I found it extraordinarily difficult to ask for my own space. They never slept in the nude but I developed, as a result of co-sleeping, the worst attachment and sleeping issues. It became the case that I could ONLY sleep with my parents. In which case, attachment parenting seems very effective.
    I remember at one point being beyond embarrassed when I had a friend stay over and I had to tell her that I sleep with my parents. My parents never thought this was an issue as they never slept in the nude and were otherwise normal sleepers, but it was very damaging and I was too worried about vocalizing it. I think they always assumed I’d say something when I wanted my own space, but I became OVERLY attached to them, and didn’t want to hurt their feelings.
    My mother (never my father) used to co-bathe with me until I was maybe 8 or 9. Nothing out of the ordinary ever occurred, but I will never co-sleep or co-bathe with my own children. Developing as a sexual human (which is inevitable) is certainly influenced by these early experiences in life, often in detrimental ways.
    I grew up with attachment issues, and fears wondering if I had somehow suffered abuse. By not growing up in my own space and developing my own sleeping routines I became a dependent child, with no friends (because I was embarrassed), and was always left feeling very different and confused, and all of this was unnecessary since there were enough bedrooms to go around.
    Please, Please, PLEASE give co-sleeping a second thought. It’s much more important to raise independent, self-sufficient children that aren’t embarrassed to have sleep overs or talk about their bedroom with their friends and teachers at school. Being attached to you isn’t necessarily the best thing for older children. Your child needs to feel confident and secure at school, with friends, and at sleepovers WITHOUT you being there. Attachment parenting shouldn’t be overbearing or detrimental, especially to a sensitive child. If you’re second guessing it, chances are you shouldn’t do it.

  67. Thanks for your input, Susan. I wonder, however, whether your parents might have taken the cosleeping thing a bit too far: all three of my kids, including my 6yo, sleep solo and have no issue with it…

  68. I am a product of co-sleeping, and I’ve never given it a thought until I stumbled upon this blog (googling for attachment parenting, now that my wife is pregnant).
    I used to fall asleep in moms&dads bed until I was at least 9 and wake up in my own, I have vague memories being led there mostly sleepwalking. I fail to see any way this has affected me negatively.
    Most of the time we were all wearing underwear, because it it somewhat cold in my scandinavian country most of the year. Sometimes in the summers we slept nude. I find my parents about as sexy as a pile of stones. My sexual preference is “women my age, with nice tits and ass”.
    I also bathed nude with my older sister up to age 6 or so, can’t say it has affected me in any way or another either. Never saw it as strange, never been a prude.
    So my guess is that most of the people here posting negative things are closet perverts, assuming that others are also the same.
    Maybe – just MAYBE – the prudes here are neurotic just because their parents shaped them thus? Wild thought.

  69. my mom and dad dont live together,i go over to my dads place for a weekend every 3 weeks ,i have my own room dads got a girlfriend who aint as bad as my mom makes out,she is.
    in the monings when i wake up i go to dads room and my dads awake laying ontop weaering just his boxers,and she in her panties,but topless.
    i lay with them in my sleepshirt,and we chat and so on,on the one weekend when i was there,it was so so hot that night that i wore this short tshirt an just my panties,that next morning i went to dad an his g/f room she was laying next my dad in her panties and him in his boxers.
    dad look at me an saw me at the door,he called tome to come in.i went in like i always do after being allowed to,go on the bed,
    my dads g/f had one look at me an said if i liked to take the tshirt off i could if i wanted to,i looked at dad and he said nothing,i asked if she was seriuos what she said,and she was,my dad then said,do what ever u want.
    i lay there on the bed it was hot,and i wished i had my bikini top on underneath,so i took my tshirt off covering my boobs and lay with my back facing was an experince never had befor,dad later got of the bed and went to the bathroom to shower,when he got off the bed he just looked at me laying there topless,an he must of then seen my boobs.iam 15 next week.and i have already been to my dad and have not been shy ever since the last time i went there.

  70. Sarah, if you’re 15, it’s high time you had a bit more modesty around your dad and his girlfriend, in my opinion. I would suggest that some comfortable pajama shorts or running shorts and a t-shirt are the minimum for showing up in their room, and it makes me frankly uncomfortable that she’d be topless around you too. Modesty is a two-way street and you’re not a child any more, you’re a young woman. It’ll also help your dad avoid getting into awkward misunderstandings with your mom or other people (like school officials) who would not be happy to hear that you’re encouraged to go topless in front of him.

  71. Dave Taylor I know you’re trying to be helpful but I feel you don’t understand nudism! America and some other countries think nudity has to do with sex and that’s not true.
    If two teenagers are dating and they’re used to seeing people naked then they aren’t going to be so curious and so excited. They’re less likely to lose control.
    My friend Flower has been a nudist since she was a baby. She’s 17 years old and she hasn’t done more with a boy than French kiss! I’m a 23-year-old nudist and I’m still a virgin! My friend Mindy is a 20-year-old nudist and still a virgin. Most non-nudists have sex by the time they’re 16.
    That doesn’t mean nudists don’t have sex of course. But they aren’t going to lose control and do something they aren’t ready for just because they and their sother got naked!
    I don’t have any children but I sleep naked with some of my closest friends. And I went to nudist events as a teenager.

  72. I  am a single father of two sons (12 & 14). They sleep in their own beds in their own rooms every night but occasionally on some weekends or when we sleep in, one of them or both will crawl into my bed. I dont mind and to be honest I prefer it when they do but I don’t force them to. The twelve yr old loves to crawl up under my arms so that they are wrapped around him and then he falls asleep. I woke up once with him sleeping against my  chest with my arms around him. The fourteen yr old is not as affectionate but still likes it when I put an arm around his shoulders while he sleeps next to me. 
    Earlier last year we had a break in at night and one of the boys was threatened at knife point but I scared of the intruder and called the police. It took him about three weeks of sleeping with me every night to get over that and the other one slept more frequently with me for a week or so. 
    I don’t sleep naked and neither do the boys. I bought them footie pj suits and they love them. They are all fleecy and I usually sleep with just shorts so the fleece feels good on by skin. They only sleep with me on average about once or twice a month.
    I love them both heaps

  73. For those of you who can’t keep your genitals wrapped up with your kids in the bed, why don’t you take a visit to your own parents house and join them in the nude overnight for a few years. See how you like it. (And some of u are sleepng nude w teens) . keep ur genitals to yourself. Won’t be so normal when teen girl starts comparing her bfs junk to her dads

  74. and at some point you really need to think about your kids general wellbeing. Just because sleeping with mom seems natural to them, doesn’t mean its good for them, or that other kids won’t ridicule them relentlessly for being a ‘baby’. When in reality, its the parents fault for not instructing them in the most decent way popssible. I could teach my kid that taking a dump in the living room floor is acceptable – it feels right, and its natural. But at some point parents are responsible for teaching their kids to be proper and independant early on rather than later after a habit is formed that will affect their everyday lives as ‘individuals’

  75. I have serious issues with cosleeping I think. I am married for the 2nd time to a Japanese woman. Cosleeping with kids in Japan is not uncommon. I really hate it though. I have not yet stepped out on my wife, but I have had to forego a normal sex life for years because of my wife’s insistience on this sleep pattern. I have a large enough home. Three bedrooms on the second floor are unoccupied. b We all sleep on the first floor on futons on the floor in a traditional Japanese room. I have a 9 year old and a 2 year old. Some of you might think well at least if you have kids you had some sort of sex life. Truth is, I became azoospermia and although all the equipment works for sex perfectly I can no longer father children. My two girls are adopted. I think I am going insane because I have so much resentment for my children who are basically perfect in every way. They are the best children a parent could ask for. i sometimes wake up with nightmares that I murdered my children. In fact, I am a totally non violent person who doesnt believe in corporal punishment. As a Christian I have prayed a lot about this. How abnormal is it that when I wake up and see my wife and two children there next to me that i want to pick up my 2 year old and throw her across room. Cosleeping has brought me to the brink of suicide and adultry. All I ever wanted was to raise a loving a family now I regret what I got myself into. Some of you advised having sex in other rooms. That makes sense afterall we have plenty of empty beds elsewhere. My wife is just too lazy to make that happen. I really cant stand to look at her anymore out of anger for how she has deprived me of what was natural. I am too poor to have a mistress and I really take my marriage seriously. I have been married 11 years and have never strayed. I dont know what the breaking point is going to be. Divorce? Murder? My own suicide? I have made corrections to lifestyle to accomodate my uncomfortable lifestyle. I work nights 5 days a week from 11pm to 4AM so I dont have to lie in a bed that I really dont feel comfortable in and is no longer mine. I sleep well in the afternoon by myself and its all I can do because I have sleep issues with the whole family there. My lifestyle change has cost me though. I had to leave normal higher paying jobs to adjust and I now work at night for 10 dollars an hour. Not a good match for someone with a masters degree and a former executive. I am 48 now. My wife is 38. I think I am too old to find someone. Sorry for the rant, maybe its therapy for me.

  76. Jennifer: I know I am here 5 years too late, but incase you still follow this: not vaccinating has NOTHING to do with cosleeping. Vaccinations are very, very dangerous, and anyone with rudimentary knowledge knows that they have caused severe injury and death (with infants being the most at risk). The question being debated is whether the benefits outweigh the risks. Some parents say yes. Some say no. I say follow the money trail and research who promotes vaccinations and why. It is absolutely not connected to cosleeping in any way that I know of; vaccination is a hot topic in my circles, with many being against it and many being vehemently “pro,” but I have almost NEVER heard serious mention of cosleeping. They are both related to small children, but that’s it. Thanks.
    To the others: I really feel that allowing your kids to see you naked, once they have any understanding of nudity, is abuse. There are things that SHOULD be weird to us even if they are not. How is being naked together not sexual? What keeps it from being inappropriate? The parents’ pure motives??

  77. After my parents got divorced (I was around 9), I would often sleep in my mom’s room. i started sleeping naked in my room, but still wearing underwear when i slept in hers when i was going on 11. After a bit she told me if I was more comfortable sleeping naked (I was having a restless night) it was ok. After that I pretty much always slept naked whether in my room or hers. The last time I remember doing that I was in high school – sophomore year. She was dating and soon married her second husband. I had as normal a dating/relationship life as anyone – which is to say: confusing, anxious, excited, confusing lol – but I didnt and dont have any “trauma” associated with it – in fact, I think I am more confident and secure as a result. I got married and have kids of my own. Again – all pretty normal. I don’t see the big deal.

    • Glad it worked for you and your family. I suspect most people would look askance at a high-school age boy sleeping in the nude in his mother’s bedroom. Then again, what works for one family doesn’t necessarily work for another…

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