Husband wants child out of their bed

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz  August 10, 2009 06:00 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Question: I have a 6 year old daughter who much prefers to sleep in our bed and if that isn't possible having someone sleep with her in her bed. We are trying to break her of this habit without much luck. So many nights she will wake up and come into our room and hop into bed or if my wife wakes up & they will go back to her bed.

We have let this go on for far too long and is becoming very annoying to me. I don't believe that it will have a positive effect on her later in life.

Do you have any suggestions on how we can convince her to spend her nights in her own bed alone?

Thanks.

From: Jerry, Boston


Hi Jerry,

Here are the choices I see:

1. Make a pallet on the floor of your bedroom and tell your daughter she is welcome to sleep there, but not in your bed, and not to wake you when she does.

2. You and your wife agree on how to structure a process whereby she can comfortably fall back to sleep in her own bed. That means staying with her -- not sleeping with her -- in her bed, rubbing her back, while she gets back to sleep. After that works for a few nights, you sit next to her without rubbing her back. After that works for a few nights, you move your chair away from her bed and say some soothing words to her. After that works for a few nights, you move the chair to the bedroom door and continue to say soothing words (including, "I know you can go back to sleep by yourself."). After that works for a few nights, you are able to call to her from your bed, "You're OK honey, we're right here. You can go back to sleep all by yourself."

As you can see, this is a time-consuming process that takes lots of patience, which is why I said you and your wife need to commit to it. It also works best when the child wants to be able to sleep by herself, which may not be the case yet. This is very common behavior for children this age; it's often about some kind of fear (of the dark; of monsters; of who knows what...) that dissipates over time, for instance as she goes through the next developmental stage and sees this as "babyish" behavior that she to eliminate. But even then, she may need some support and help to make it happen.

One other thought: You say that it's annoying to you. What about to your wife? Does she not mind going back into your daughter's bed? If not, I'm not sure that this is worth the manipulation that I describe above.

Lastly, I"m not sure I agree that this will have a negative effect on her later in life. But if you are unhappy with having her in your bed and your marriage suffers as a result, that surely will have negative repercussions for her life and that alone is good enough reason to find a remedy.

Check out these previous questions on sleep, there might be some answers for you here.

I answer a question from a reader every weekday. If you want help with
some aspect of child-rearing, just write to me here.


This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

28 comments so far...
  1. Through all my reading about childrens' sleep habits, it seems that the "problem" of a young child sleeping with his/her parents is primarily one for the parents, not the child, and it is also culturally based; co-sleeping is common in many places and can be quite positive when the parents are comfortable with the arrangement. For Jerry's situation, I agree with Barbara's comments and suggestions and have this experience to add from a similar situation: my son much preferred sleeping with us, which was not a problem at all for me, but my husband is a very light sleeper and had some trouble with it.
    We got a bigger bed, and I slept in the middle, generally alleviating the disruption. And one day, when he was about 7 years old, he announced that he liked his own bed and wanted to sleep there, and that was more or less it, with occasional early morning forays on long weekend mornings. It was really nice having him there when it suited him, and he naturally grew into his own, which seems the most happy sort of development.

    Posted by Beth August 10, 09 08:18 AM
  1. Barbara's suggestion of a pallet on the floor is a good one. My son liked to sleep in our room occasionally but around the time he turned 4, he started to do it more often and it just wasn't comfortable in the bed for all three. We put a sleeping bag on the floor for him and told him he could come and sleep there as long as he was quiet. That went on for a time -- when I noticed him doing it less and less, I just put the sleeping bag away and that was the end of it.

    I also agree with Barbara that you need to really talk with your wife about your feelings and get a good sense of her feelings about it and how you can compromise so that you are not resentful. Communication is key here.

    Posted by rebecca August 10, 09 09:38 AM
  1. Or you do what my parents did.... Tell them to get out of your bed and make them go back to there own, and ignore them wining. it works pretty darn good. and I still love my Parents and would do anything for them.

    Posted by Nice August 10, 09 09:53 AM
  1. My son also slept in my bed. He doesn't do it anymore seeing as though he is 7 but i surely did not mind. I actually enjoyed waking up to his smiling face.

    I would understand the issue if i was not a single mom but they do eventually grow out of it.

    I feel it was more of a security thing, having him close to me :) It was his decision sleeping on his own and it took me a while to get used to it. go figure!!

    Posted by MyTwoCents10 August 10, 09 10:12 AM
  1. "So many nights she will wake up and come into our room..."

    My parents used to just lock their door. It worked for me.

    Posted by Bee August 10, 09 10:49 AM
  1. Jerry,
    Go to the store or Library today, and pick up "Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Dr. James Ferber. Beth may be right that the problem is yours and not your kid's, but it's still a problem.

    Posted by Dave August 10, 09 10:49 AM
  1. We had the exact same issue. We solved it by having our daughter sleep in a sleeping bag, and each night, over a full month, we moved it (with her agreement) a few inches each night back to her bed. At one point she was actually straddled between our bedroom and the hallway, then the hallway and her bedroom. I know it sounds totally wacky but it worked great!

    Posted by PEAS August 10, 09 11:14 AM
  1. When I woke up in the middle of the night, my parents sent me right back to my room. It only took a few times, but I learned not to do it anymore.
    My husband's youngest brother used to sleep with his parents, and they let it go on for so long that he couldn't sleep anywhere else but with them. This eventually split up the parents, the Mom & Son slept in the master bedroom and the Dad slept in a different room. He's now 13 and STILL sleeps with his Mother, he never got over it, and they never tried to discourage it.
    STOP NOW! You are the parent.
    My parents never let me sleep in their bed, and as others mentioned, I love them and would do anything for them. I'd like to believe I've turned out MUCH better than my brother-in-law will turn out.

    Posted by Cynical2447 August 10, 09 11:18 AM
  1. A child sleeping with her parents past the age of 6 is not going to cause her problems in later life. Different cultures do this as a norm and some Americans do it as well.

    If that's the motivating issue, you don't need to change a thing.

    Truthfully it sounds like the motivating issue is your lack of comfort with it due to how you were raised and what you think is appropriate. And if that's true, then you may very well need to make a change because the underlying tension will harm your family (not the fact that she comes to your bed at night for security and comfort).

    Posted by Steve in W MA August 10, 09 11:21 AM
  1. I think that it's much more likely that continuing this behavior will have ill effects on the marriage than discouraging it will have ill effects on the children. If both parents are not on board with the family bed, it's not good for the family. Children are PART of the family, but so is this Dad, who probably wants his marriage bed with his wife. And what's wrong with that?

    Posted by RH August 10, 09 11:50 AM
  1. oh please, bring her to her room and tell her she needs to sleep there..end of discussion! Sher is obviously very spoiled and knows exactly what she is doing. If she keeps crying and getting up just keep bringing her back. It may take a few restless nights on your part but it will work. Enough is enough! Get a grip - YOU are her parents!

    Posted by GeGe August 10, 09 11:54 AM
  1. Anyone else notice all those against co-sleeping above are not parents themselves?

    Everyone knows how to be the perfect parent, until they are one themselves.


    Posted by mom August 10, 09 11:57 AM
  1. I agree that you really need to talk with mom, so that perhaps you feel less resentful and you can work out a solution together.

    My opinion, but I dont think you need to worry about this doing long term damage. She's enjoyed the comfort, that's all.

    I'll take heat for this...but in this post, a recent one about a "sleep problem", and in others, the parents don't act like parents. Parents create the expectations, set the guardrails, make the rules - and children who have these parents are the lucky ones.

    If you've allowed the child to sleep in your bed, and you don't want her to, that's your doing, not the child's, and you're sending a mixed message. It won't be easy to transition her out but you need to do it. Agree with the suggested approach, though the backrubbing thing (as if moving to her own bed is a bad or sad event, and you need to help her "cope") is a little over the top.

    I have found that creating this dynamic (respectful communication, gentle but firm guidance and direction) NOW, makes a big difference when you are heading into the teen years. The issues at the teen stage are way more complex than bedtime.

    Posted by ava August 10, 09 11:57 AM
  1. First, you have to make sure you and your wife are on the same page and both of you want your bed back for just the two of you. Once that is determined, talk with your pediatrician. He or she may have some insights to help you figure out the best course of action.

    I like the idea of the pallet on the floor. Make it as simple and spartan as possible, to make her own bed more attractive. Start her every night in her own bed and set the rules. If she needs to come into your room, she has to go straight to the pallet and go to sleep there. She will probably try several times to try and climb into bed with you anyway. When she does, take turns carrying her out of bed to the pallet, so she gets the message Mommy and Daddy are united on this and she can't play one against the other. This habit took years to establish; it's not going to change in a few nights. You'll probably be in for a battle of wills. But if you know this is what you want, don't give in and don't let her see that it's getting to you, and she'll eventually learn how to sleep in her own bed.

    Also, a rewards system might work. After the pallet's been established, you can give her a gold star for every night she stays in her own bed. Seven straight gold-star nights could mean a small reward like a package of her favorite stickers. After that, she can get another package of stickers if she goes 10 straight days.

    Posted by MsC August 10, 09 11:58 AM
  1. #12 - I think you're noticing what you want to notice. I AM a parent. I'm not against co-sleeping - as long as BOTH parents want it. I have two sets of parent friends whose marriages have actually ended up in divorce because of these divisive issues. Not just co-sleeping, but all kinds of other things. Parents need to do their job together, not act against one another. When one parent feels this strongly about a major issue, it needs to be worked out so that everyone is at least happier, if not completely satisfied. And of course there are ways to do it!

    We have never allowed our kids to sleep in our bed (except for the occasional vacation or illness-related situations) because it's OUR bed, and we keep the flame alive. If we ever have middle of the night issues, we usually try to solve them by OUR presence in THEIR room, and not the other way around. Bad habits are easier to head off at the pass than they are to break.

    Posted by RH August 10, 09 12:06 PM
  1. Aside from sharks we are the only species that kick our offspring to the proverbial curb. And to add insult to injury we are proud of our ability to force our infants to sleep on their own! Get over it and enjoy this time. I can assure you she will all on her own leave you and your precious bed soon enough.

    Posted by Kids 1st August 10, 09 12:34 PM
  1. I strongly agree with RH. Both parents need to be on board for co-sleeping to work, and co-sleeping just isn't for everyone. I also wonder how often men really love the idea of co-sleeping and how often they just go along with the wife in this arrangement. I have 2 children (both are still in cribs). For awhile we had both of them in a co-sleeper (as a bassinet), and it really killed any "sparK" my husband and I might have had. However, this was just for the first couple of months of their lives, so that wasn't a very romantic period anyway. I can't imagine co-sleeping as a permanent arrangement for us at least.

    Truthfully, permanent co-sleeping seems like just another parenting trend that puts kids ahead of their parents. So often the kids come first to the detriment of the parents' marriage. Not my style... I'm sure there will be trying times when our kids transition to beds, but hopefully we can avoid setting up a family bed situation at our house.

    Posted by JK August 10, 09 01:19 PM
  1. #12: I am a parent too - a 16 month old whom we removed to her own room at 6 weeks old. It was at that point that she - and we - both started sleeping through the night again.

    We had to wake her up for the nighttime feedings, that's how well she slept in her own room.

    Co-sleeping is not for everybody and I am sick to death of advocates such as yourself who truly believe that there is no other way to parent (I've heard advocates admonish others that not co-sleeping is tantamount to abuse because we let our children sleep alone in a cold, cruel world - in their own homes)- and anyone who disagrees with you must obviously not be a parent themselves.

    Give it a rest, lady.

    Posted by phe August 10, 09 01:39 PM
  1. Great post, JK. For whatever reason, it is the norm these days for parents to feel they must subjugate all of their most innocent, healthy needs and preferences for the sake of the children. I think it's beneficial for children to learn at a young age that they do not reside at the center of the universe and that there are limits to what mommy and daddy will do to satisfy their whims. At any rate, I'm very confident that no trauma will come to a child who isn't allowed to share the marital bed.

    Jerry, your discomfort is perfectly valid - don't let anyone make you feel guilty about it. Instead of writing in to blogs, may I suggest you have a frank discussion with your wife? I can only assume that she is a reasonable person and will want to work out some sort of compromise.

    Posted by Rae August 10, 09 01:48 PM
  1. #17, I am totally with you. Sorry folks, but keeping your marital bed to yourself (except in select circumstances is not "pushing our offspring to the curb" - for crying out loud.

    And sleeping safely and securely in one's own bed is pretty basic.

    Wake up, parents who are ambivalent on this issue - once you set the expectatoin that it's ok, you are going to have a real battle on your hands to get the child to suddenly "get" that it's not ok

    over and out on this one

    Posted by ava August 10, 09 02:00 PM
  1. Co-sleeping? LMAO

    Ya it works for some people...

    people who are trying to avoid having sex with their partner, that is.

    Posted by astonishedinMA August 10, 09 02:30 PM
  1. I am sure these parents who are against co-sleeping with their own children probably have a dog, that they don't have a problem with sleeping in the room.

    Posted by acmebun August 10, 09 02:49 PM
  1. #12, how did you come to that conclusion? I don't see any indication that all those who are against co sleeping are not parents. And I also don't see that non parents are any more judgmental about their parenting opinions than parents are, for example, you.

    Posted by non co sleeping parent August 10, 09 02:50 PM
  1. Aside from sharks we are the only species that kick our offspring to the proverbial curb.
    Posted by Kids 1st August 10, 09 12:34 PM
    ****************************************************************************
    I can't comment on the veracity of this statement, but allowing the kids to hang around for years sure crimps any additional procreation or the fun in trying. Besides, if being an animal means forgoing the bond a marriage has to offer, you can keep the zoo.
    Basic door entry knobs (with lock) are under $10.

    Posted by SingleCommuterWithBagel August 10, 09 02:53 PM
  1. #22: Talk about veracity.

    We have a dog and two cats as well as our aforementioned toddler - and NONE of them sleep in the bed with us.

    Kids 1st: Mice eat their young. Males of many predator species kill cubs. Most other animal species that do keep their young close at hand (and it's not just sharks who don't - baby turtles are born orphans; many species of insect breed and die immediately or just after birth; most fish, in fact, are also born orphans) only do so for a short period of time to ensure the child's survival and to teach it the necessary hunting skills it will need for future survival to breeding season.

    Male wolves are kicked out of the pack at maturity. In fact, almost all pack animals have a system that discriminates against one gender (the male) and throws them out of the loving burrow to seek their own way in life or die trying. The audacity!!!

    We're not talking about kicking children to the curb as infants, for Bob's Sake. And THIS is why I can't stand the rabidly pro-co-sleeping sect. Yes, sect. I would never deign to tell another parent that co-sleeping - or not - is right or wrong. But people like you want to erroneously invoke the Laws of Nature to show how eeeeeevil we parents who prefer to have our children sleep in their own space really are.

    Meanwhile, I have a toddler who wants nothing to do with sleeping with her parents and is EAGER to get in to her cold, cruel curb...er...crib at night so that she can watch what's happening outside and play herself to sleep.

    Yes. It's torture for her. It's callous on our part, especially as we sit idly by and smile at her songs, babble and greetings to neighboring kids out her window before she finally drifts off into a night of sleep so horridly uninterrupted by nightmares that she should surely be suffering, all alone in her warm, awful cell of a nursery/room.

    So evil we are.

    Posted by phe August 10, 09 04:13 PM
  1. I think it is up to the parents to decide what works best for them and the child. Both my children slept in cosleepers while nursing....one transitioned to her own bed, the other will co-sleep occasionally, and we do have a hard time to get him to sleep in his own bed, but he does....a few tears, and he is fast asleep. I don't feel the need to kick him out when he seeks comfort, or comes in the middle of the night.....I am sure he will be out by college (give me a break, they all grow out of it). He can't be afraid of us and our bed. AND if some of you people are waiting to fool around at night...and in your own bed, then lets face it your probably not getting that much action to begin with.

    You can set rules AND be a flexible comforting parent. Child raising is not black and white. Sometimes you have to be patient and go with the flow .

    Posted by relax710 August 10, 09 04:40 PM
  1. just watch "Supernanny" if you want to see what your co-sleeping tots' behavior will be like after another year or two of being indulged.

    Posted by lh August 11, 09 03:35 PM
  1. My kids deserve a pleasant, well rested mom. I am an insommniac. I sleep with a sleep mask, earplugs, and a cervical pillow for my neck. I kick the cats out, and I can, after many years and said earplugs, finally deal with having my husband there and still get some sleep (I always had the husband there - I was just awake and reading half the night). There is no way that I could be a sane person with kids in my bed. This does not make me an evil, cold, heartless parent. This makes me a parent with the sense to take care of my needs so that I can take care of theirs. Like they say on the airplane - put you8r own oxygen mask on before assisting others.

    Oh and to forestall teh comments, even with the earplugs, I can still hear coughing and crying kids. Moms are funny that way.

    Posted by BMS August 12, 09 09:49 PM
 
28 comments so far...
  1. Through all my reading about childrens' sleep habits, it seems that the "problem" of a young child sleeping with his/her parents is primarily one for the parents, not the child, and it is also culturally based; co-sleeping is common in many places and can be quite positive when the parents are comfortable with the arrangement. For Jerry's situation, I agree with Barbara's comments and suggestions and have this experience to add from a similar situation: my son much preferred sleeping with us, which was not a problem at all for me, but my husband is a very light sleeper and had some trouble with it.
    We got a bigger bed, and I slept in the middle, generally alleviating the disruption. And one day, when he was about 7 years old, he announced that he liked his own bed and wanted to sleep there, and that was more or less it, with occasional early morning forays on long weekend mornings. It was really nice having him there when it suited him, and he naturally grew into his own, which seems the most happy sort of development.

    Posted by Beth August 10, 09 08:18 AM
  1. Barbara's suggestion of a pallet on the floor is a good one. My son liked to sleep in our room occasionally but around the time he turned 4, he started to do it more often and it just wasn't comfortable in the bed for all three. We put a sleeping bag on the floor for him and told him he could come and sleep there as long as he was quiet. That went on for a time -- when I noticed him doing it less and less, I just put the sleeping bag away and that was the end of it.

    I also agree with Barbara that you need to really talk with your wife about your feelings and get a good sense of her feelings about it and how you can compromise so that you are not resentful. Communication is key here.

    Posted by rebecca August 10, 09 09:38 AM
  1. Or you do what my parents did.... Tell them to get out of your bed and make them go back to there own, and ignore them wining. it works pretty darn good. and I still love my Parents and would do anything for them.

    Posted by Nice August 10, 09 09:53 AM
  1. My son also slept in my bed. He doesn't do it anymore seeing as though he is 7 but i surely did not mind. I actually enjoyed waking up to his smiling face.

    I would understand the issue if i was not a single mom but they do eventually grow out of it.

    I feel it was more of a security thing, having him close to me :) It was his decision sleeping on his own and it took me a while to get used to it. go figure!!

    Posted by MyTwoCents10 August 10, 09 10:12 AM
  1. "So many nights she will wake up and come into our room..."

    My parents used to just lock their door. It worked for me.

    Posted by Bee August 10, 09 10:49 AM
  1. Jerry,
    Go to the store or Library today, and pick up "Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Dr. James Ferber. Beth may be right that the problem is yours and not your kid's, but it's still a problem.

    Posted by Dave August 10, 09 10:49 AM
  1. We had the exact same issue. We solved it by having our daughter sleep in a sleeping bag, and each night, over a full month, we moved it (with her agreement) a few inches each night back to her bed. At one point she was actually straddled between our bedroom and the hallway, then the hallway and her bedroom. I know it sounds totally wacky but it worked great!

    Posted by PEAS August 10, 09 11:14 AM
  1. When I woke up in the middle of the night, my parents sent me right back to my room. It only took a few times, but I learned not to do it anymore.
    My husband's youngest brother used to sleep with his parents, and they let it go on for so long that he couldn't sleep anywhere else but with them. This eventually split up the parents, the Mom & Son slept in the master bedroom and the Dad slept in a different room. He's now 13 and STILL sleeps with his Mother, he never got over it, and they never tried to discourage it.
    STOP NOW! You are the parent.
    My parents never let me sleep in their bed, and as others mentioned, I love them and would do anything for them. I'd like to believe I've turned out MUCH better than my brother-in-law will turn out.

    Posted by Cynical2447 August 10, 09 11:18 AM
  1. A child sleeping with her parents past the age of 6 is not going to cause her problems in later life. Different cultures do this as a norm and some Americans do it as well.

    If that's the motivating issue, you don't need to change a thing.

    Truthfully it sounds like the motivating issue is your lack of comfort with it due to how you were raised and what you think is appropriate. And if that's true, then you may very well need to make a change because the underlying tension will harm your family (not the fact that she comes to your bed at night for security and comfort).

    Posted by Steve in W MA August 10, 09 11:21 AM
  1. I think that it's much more likely that continuing this behavior will have ill effects on the marriage than discouraging it will have ill effects on the children. If both parents are not on board with the family bed, it's not good for the family. Children are PART of the family, but so is this Dad, who probably wants his marriage bed with his wife. And what's wrong with that?

    Posted by RH August 10, 09 11:50 AM
  1. oh please, bring her to her room and tell her she needs to sleep there..end of discussion! Sher is obviously very spoiled and knows exactly what she is doing. If she keeps crying and getting up just keep bringing her back. It may take a few restless nights on your part but it will work. Enough is enough! Get a grip - YOU are her parents!

    Posted by GeGe August 10, 09 11:54 AM
  1. Anyone else notice all those against co-sleeping above are not parents themselves?

    Everyone knows how to be the perfect parent, until they are one themselves.


    Posted by mom August 10, 09 11:57 AM
  1. I agree that you really need to talk with mom, so that perhaps you feel less resentful and you can work out a solution together.

    My opinion, but I dont think you need to worry about this doing long term damage. She's enjoyed the comfort, that's all.

    I'll take heat for this...but in this post, a recent one about a "sleep problem", and in others, the parents don't act like parents. Parents create the expectations, set the guardrails, make the rules - and children who have these parents are the lucky ones.

    If you've allowed the child to sleep in your bed, and you don't want her to, that's your doing, not the child's, and you're sending a mixed message. It won't be easy to transition her out but you need to do it. Agree with the suggested approach, though the backrubbing thing (as if moving to her own bed is a bad or sad event, and you need to help her "cope") is a little over the top.

    I have found that creating this dynamic (respectful communication, gentle but firm guidance and direction) NOW, makes a big difference when you are heading into the teen years. The issues at the teen stage are way more complex than bedtime.

    Posted by ava August 10, 09 11:57 AM
  1. First, you have to make sure you and your wife are on the same page and both of you want your bed back for just the two of you. Once that is determined, talk with your pediatrician. He or she may have some insights to help you figure out the best course of action.

    I like the idea of the pallet on the floor. Make it as simple and spartan as possible, to make her own bed more attractive. Start her every night in her own bed and set the rules. If she needs to come into your room, she has to go straight to the pallet and go to sleep there. She will probably try several times to try and climb into bed with you anyway. When she does, take turns carrying her out of bed to the pallet, so she gets the message Mommy and Daddy are united on this and she can't play one against the other. This habit took years to establish; it's not going to change in a few nights. You'll probably be in for a battle of wills. But if you know this is what you want, don't give in and don't let her see that it's getting to you, and she'll eventually learn how to sleep in her own bed.

    Also, a rewards system might work. After the pallet's been established, you can give her a gold star for every night she stays in her own bed. Seven straight gold-star nights could mean a small reward like a package of her favorite stickers. After that, she can get another package of stickers if she goes 10 straight days.

    Posted by MsC August 10, 09 11:58 AM
  1. #12 - I think you're noticing what you want to notice. I AM a parent. I'm not against co-sleeping - as long as BOTH parents want it. I have two sets of parent friends whose marriages have actually ended up in divorce because of these divisive issues. Not just co-sleeping, but all kinds of other things. Parents need to do their job together, not act against one another. When one parent feels this strongly about a major issue, it needs to be worked out so that everyone is at least happier, if not completely satisfied. And of course there are ways to do it!

    We have never allowed our kids to sleep in our bed (except for the occasional vacation or illness-related situations) because it's OUR bed, and we keep the flame alive. If we ever have middle of the night issues, we usually try to solve them by OUR presence in THEIR room, and not the other way around. Bad habits are easier to head off at the pass than they are to break.

    Posted by RH August 10, 09 12:06 PM
  1. Aside from sharks we are the only species that kick our offspring to the proverbial curb. And to add insult to injury we are proud of our ability to force our infants to sleep on their own! Get over it and enjoy this time. I can assure you she will all on her own leave you and your precious bed soon enough.

    Posted by Kids 1st August 10, 09 12:34 PM
  1. I strongly agree with RH. Both parents need to be on board for co-sleeping to work, and co-sleeping just isn't for everyone. I also wonder how often men really love the idea of co-sleeping and how often they just go along with the wife in this arrangement. I have 2 children (both are still in cribs). For awhile we had both of them in a co-sleeper (as a bassinet), and it really killed any "sparK" my husband and I might have had. However, this was just for the first couple of months of their lives, so that wasn't a very romantic period anyway. I can't imagine co-sleeping as a permanent arrangement for us at least.

    Truthfully, permanent co-sleeping seems like just another parenting trend that puts kids ahead of their parents. So often the kids come first to the detriment of the parents' marriage. Not my style... I'm sure there will be trying times when our kids transition to beds, but hopefully we can avoid setting up a family bed situation at our house.

    Posted by JK August 10, 09 01:19 PM
  1. #12: I am a parent too - a 16 month old whom we removed to her own room at 6 weeks old. It was at that point that she - and we - both started sleeping through the night again.

    We had to wake her up for the nighttime feedings, that's how well she slept in her own room.

    Co-sleeping is not for everybody and I am sick to death of advocates such as yourself who truly believe that there is no other way to parent (I've heard advocates admonish others that not co-sleeping is tantamount to abuse because we let our children sleep alone in a cold, cruel world - in their own homes)- and anyone who disagrees with you must obviously not be a parent themselves.

    Give it a rest, lady.

    Posted by phe August 10, 09 01:39 PM
  1. Great post, JK. For whatever reason, it is the norm these days for parents to feel they must subjugate all of their most innocent, healthy needs and preferences for the sake of the children. I think it's beneficial for children to learn at a young age that they do not reside at the center of the universe and that there are limits to what mommy and daddy will do to satisfy their whims. At any rate, I'm very confident that no trauma will come to a child who isn't allowed to share the marital bed.

    Jerry, your discomfort is perfectly valid - don't let anyone make you feel guilty about it. Instead of writing in to blogs, may I suggest you have a frank discussion with your wife? I can only assume that she is a reasonable person and will want to work out some sort of compromise.

    Posted by Rae August 10, 09 01:48 PM
  1. #17, I am totally with you. Sorry folks, but keeping your marital bed to yourself (except in select circumstances is not "pushing our offspring to the curb" - for crying out loud.

    And sleeping safely and securely in one's own bed is pretty basic.

    Wake up, parents who are ambivalent on this issue - once you set the expectatoin that it's ok, you are going to have a real battle on your hands to get the child to suddenly "get" that it's not ok

    over and out on this one

    Posted by ava August 10, 09 02:00 PM
  1. Co-sleeping? LMAO

    Ya it works for some people...

    people who are trying to avoid having sex with their partner, that is.

    Posted by astonishedinMA August 10, 09 02:30 PM
  1. I am sure these parents who are against co-sleeping with their own children probably have a dog, that they don't have a problem with sleeping in the room.

    Posted by acmebun August 10, 09 02:49 PM
  1. #12, how did you come to that conclusion? I don't see any indication that all those who are against co sleeping are not parents. And I also don't see that non parents are any more judgmental about their parenting opinions than parents are, for example, you.

    Posted by non co sleeping parent August 10, 09 02:50 PM
  1. Aside from sharks we are the only species that kick our offspring to the proverbial curb.
    Posted by Kids 1st August 10, 09 12:34 PM
    ****************************************************************************
    I can't comment on the veracity of this statement, but allowing the kids to hang around for years sure crimps any additional procreation or the fun in trying. Besides, if being an animal means forgoing the bond a marriage has to offer, you can keep the zoo.
    Basic door entry knobs (with lock) are under $10.

    Posted by SingleCommuterWithBagel August 10, 09 02:53 PM
  1. #22: Talk about veracity.

    We have a dog and two cats as well as our aforementioned toddler - and NONE of them sleep in the bed with us.

    Kids 1st: Mice eat their young. Males of many predator species kill cubs. Most other animal species that do keep their young close at hand (and it's not just sharks who don't - baby turtles are born orphans; many species of insect breed and die immediately or just after birth; most fish, in fact, are also born orphans) only do so for a short period of time to ensure the child's survival and to teach it the necessary hunting skills it will need for future survival to breeding season.

    Male wolves are kicked out of the pack at maturity. In fact, almost all pack animals have a system that discriminates against one gender (the male) and throws them out of the loving burrow to seek their own way in life or die trying. The audacity!!!

    We're not talking about kicking children to the curb as infants, for Bob's Sake. And THIS is why I can't stand the rabidly pro-co-sleeping sect. Yes, sect. I would never deign to tell another parent that co-sleeping - or not - is right or wrong. But people like you want to erroneously invoke the Laws of Nature to show how eeeeeevil we parents who prefer to have our children sleep in their own space really are.

    Meanwhile, I have a toddler who wants nothing to do with sleeping with her parents and is EAGER to get in to her cold, cruel curb...er...crib at night so that she can watch what's happening outside and play herself to sleep.

    Yes. It's torture for her. It's callous on our part, especially as we sit idly by and smile at her songs, babble and greetings to neighboring kids out her window before she finally drifts off into a night of sleep so horridly uninterrupted by nightmares that she should surely be suffering, all alone in her warm, awful cell of a nursery/room.

    So evil we are.

    Posted by phe August 10, 09 04:13 PM
  1. I think it is up to the parents to decide what works best for them and the child. Both my children slept in cosleepers while nursing....one transitioned to her own bed, the other will co-sleep occasionally, and we do have a hard time to get him to sleep in his own bed, but he does....a few tears, and he is fast asleep. I don't feel the need to kick him out when he seeks comfort, or comes in the middle of the night.....I am sure he will be out by college (give me a break, they all grow out of it). He can't be afraid of us and our bed. AND if some of you people are waiting to fool around at night...and in your own bed, then lets face it your probably not getting that much action to begin with.

    You can set rules AND be a flexible comforting parent. Child raising is not black and white. Sometimes you have to be patient and go with the flow .

    Posted by relax710 August 10, 09 04:40 PM
  1. just watch "Supernanny" if you want to see what your co-sleeping tots' behavior will be like after another year or two of being indulged.

    Posted by lh August 11, 09 03:35 PM
  1. My kids deserve a pleasant, well rested mom. I am an insommniac. I sleep with a sleep mask, earplugs, and a cervical pillow for my neck. I kick the cats out, and I can, after many years and said earplugs, finally deal with having my husband there and still get some sleep (I always had the husband there - I was just awake and reading half the night). There is no way that I could be a sane person with kids in my bed. This does not make me an evil, cold, heartless parent. This makes me a parent with the sense to take care of my needs so that I can take care of theirs. Like they say on the airplane - put you8r own oxygen mask on before assisting others.

    Oh and to forestall teh comments, even with the earplugs, I can still hear coughing and crying kids. Moms are funny that way.

    Posted by BMS August 12, 09 09:49 PM
add your comment
Required
Required (will not be published)

This blogger might want to review your comment before posting it.

About the author

Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

Submit a question for Barbara's Mailbag


Ask Barbara a question

Barbara answers questions on a wide range of topics, including autism, breastfeeding, bullying, discipline, divorce, kindergarten, potty training, sleep, tantrums, and much, much more.

Send your questions to her at:
meltzbarbara (at) gmail.com.
Please include your name and hometown.
Moms
All parenting discussions
Discussions

High needs/fussy baby

memes98 writes "My 10.5 month old DS has been fussy ever since he was born, but I am getting very frustrated because I thought he would be much better by now...has anyone else been through this?"

More community voices

Corner Kicks

Dirty Old Boston

Mortal Matters

On Deck

TEDx Beacon Street

RSS feed


click here to subscribe to
Child Caring

archives