Should You Allow Your Baby or Young Child to Sleep with You?

newborn sleeping

Ultimately, only you can decide whether or not to have your youngster co-sleep with you

When it comes to parenting, it can be difficult to determine what’s best for your child – especially with regards to those areas on which even the experts can’t agree. Co-sleeping (as it’s often called) with your baby, toddler, or preschooler is definitely one of those controversial topics.  

Co-sleeping can refer to either sharing your bed with your child or sharing your bedroom with him or her. There are primarily two things you must consider, as a parent, when determining the route you want to go: 1) the psychological impact on your child, and 2) the impact on your relationship with your partner (if you have one).

{ MORE: Nighttime Diapering: What You Need to Know }

Remember, if you’re going to allow your child to sleep in your bed, or even just share your bedroom, it’s going to impact your private time and your sex life if you’re married or living with your partner. That’s something that should not be minimized or discounted, because a healthy sex life is vital to a healthy relationship – not to mention your own happiness and well-being. So, be sure to keep that in mind if you’re planning to regularly allow little Joey or Katie to share your bed or bedroom.

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Should You Allow Your Baby or Young Child to Sleep with You?

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24 comments

  1. tmillington2 says:

    There is a chance of suffocation.

  2. tmillington2 says:

    babies need to be in their own beds because of the fact that they need room to move around.

  3. tmillington2 says:

    My son slept with me until he was a 2 years old, then it was a fight to get him to sleep in his own bed. But I strongly recommend for a child to sleep in their own bed. But his crib was in my room, so he just went from that to my bed. Now he has his own bedroom.He is 8 years old, then when I had my daughter she was in my room as well.

  4. jenelle says:

    My daughter slept in bed with me from the time she was born until she was 6 yrs old. When she was first born we only had a one bedroom apt so her crib and bassinet were already in my room as there was no where else for it to be. She was fine napping in them but she just hated sleeping in them at night with me right there so she ended up sleeping with me. I let it go on too long and as she got older it took a long time for me to get her to go to sleep and stay asleep in her own bed, she’s 11 now and wouldn’t dream of sleeping with me lol. I now have a 3 week old son. He’s in my room with and is put to bed in his rock n play sleeper(which is loves). He is able to help himself to falling asleep when we go to bed for the night. When he wakes up to eat, which is normally twice, I usually end up keeping him in bed with me. Once he sleeps through the night consistently he will go in his crib which is not in my room. He always is able to get himself to sleep on his own, it just takes longer when he’s in his bed and not mine, so I’m hoping the adjustment to the crib won’t be too bad lol.

    • jenelle says:

      As you can probably tell I am a single parent so there is no adult relationship to have to consider, though I was married when my daughter was young we found ways around the fact that we shared a bedroom with her.

  5. sabrina says:

    we allowed our son to sleep in the bed with us for the first 3 months for a few reasons . The first being that it took me almost 2 months to recover from the birth. Another being that I was breast feeding and it was just easier that way and I am all about simplifying my life. also, I felt the need to have him close to me so I could easily hear if he needed me, or if something was wrong. we made the transition to his bassinet fairly smoothly which is beside the bed so that is easier to care for him. We still put him in the bed with us when he was early in the morning as we are waking up. He is very good at putting himself back to sleep and very happy to play by himself whether during the day or during his pattern of staying awake from 1am to 3 am. We cherish every moment we have with him and delight with his development which seems to be proceeding very well. Every child and parents needs are different so please do what is best for all of you. We did have some sexual issues in the beginning but we are learning to be creative. There are pro’s and cons to everything in life. Once he is able to sleep through the night he will get his own room.

  6. Becky says:

    The big things are what you and your partner agree you are comfortable with. I put my LO in her bassinet at bedtime, and she puts herself to sleep. When she wakes up to eat, which is only once usually, she stays in our bed. Have done this since day one. Shot days, she stays in our bed all night, which helps us all sleep better 🙂

  7. I didn’t do it with my first baby but them i did it with my son and my personal experience is that i wouldn’t do it ever again b/c he is going to be 3 years old and he does not want to sleep alone.

  8. LIZ says:

    im gonna miss this times when the baby is an adult, 🙂

  9. sami says:

    Yes my 10th month old still sleeps with us and there is nothing better that being by his side and wake up with his smile every morning!!!

  10. mommy nhoj says:

    Baby co-slept until few days before she turned 6 months. It goes well after few days and we introduced to her the comfort of her two little pillows. She’s now going 10 months and sometimes woke up 1-2 times at night. There were only few instances that I took her off the crib to sleep besides us.

  11. LIZ says:

    I Love sleeping with my baby, but during the day shes does naps in her crib

  12. Stephanie F says:

    Our 2 week old son co-sleeps with myself and my fiancée. Where he was born a little early, the extra closeness is soothing for us and him as well. The ability to respond to his hunger cues quickly definitely helps all three of us get a better night’s sleep.

  13. Seity says:

    Co-sleeping can be a great way for everyone to get more sleep.

  14. Allison says:

    I started my daughter out sleeping by herself in a bassinet. She is a month old now and ive let her sleep with me the last couple days. Now it seems like when I go to lay her down she wakes up right away and wont sleep by herself. I though it was still too early for her to have this attachment of sleeping with me…. not sure what to do about it.

    • Mandi says:

      I have a similar issue with my 4-week old daughter. She has been sleeping in her crib during the day since she came home from the hospital, but I usually let her sleep with me/on my chest at night because I’m breastfeeding. Lately, she has not wanted to sleep in her crib… same as yours, as soon as I lay her down, she wakes up within a couple minutes and doesn’t like to sleep by herself. Any suggestions are welcome.

  15. lekisha says:

    well, my daughter usually sleeps by herself she is 9 months old and lately she has been waking up in the middle of the night wanting to get in the bed with us. I put her in the bed with us when I think she’s asleep I’ll put her back in her crib. Well, lately she wakes back up and starts crying and will only sleep if she is in the bed with us. It’s driving me crazy because I don’t get any sleep and I am 4 months pregnant. I tried to let her cry but it doesn’t work and I give in. What to do?

    • Kim Shannon says:

      Hi lekisha! It sounds like you are doing your best, so try not to stress too much. We co-slept with my daughter off and on until she was about a year old … and by then, she slept better in her crib than with us. Sometimes we have to listen to what our child needs and let her set the pace, with her own timing, even if that means we get less sleep. That being said, if it really is a problem for y’all, there are many other sleeping methods you can try to get your child to sleep, on her own, all night long. Check out our sleeping sections for more information on these methods!
      Good luck with this, and with your future addition!

  16. Hayley says:

    my daughter can only sleep with me she hates the crib and the bassinet she just throws a fit and she sleeps soundly through the night i may wake up once to feed her but shes a good sleeper

  17. gfeld says:

    My 2 week old sleeps better with me. I first tried the crib, swing and bassinet. He gives me 5 hours with me and 1 hour in the other places.

  18. joanna says:

    well ive notice a way difference on all of my kiddos… my 1st baby always sleepet with me…n when I tried putting her in the crib to sleep she would always wake up at night crying…my other three kids are way diffrnet they never sleep with me at all the will sleep throw out the night n would not wake up crying..i think that if the kids slepp with u its going to be harder to move them to there own bed while the ones who sleep alone wont like to sleep with u at all

  19. Flo says:

    I believe that it is ok to have a newborn co-sleep with you in the beginning, but you should purchase a close & secure sleeper so that no one can roll over on the baby and also so that the baby has no chance of falling out of the bed, this is especially good when breastfeeding.

    Now when your baby gets bigger and you feel safe placing him/her in the crib (like when he/she is starting to crawl or maybe right before that, I think you should let your baby take naps in the crib to get used to it, then start placing him/her in there at night so that you are weaning your baby out of your bed and if the crib is in your room, then you need to plan to move out of that room or move the crib out by 1 year unless your baby is ready prior to that.

    Make sure you have a baby monitor.

  20. mommy nhoj says:

    Our baby slept with us until 6 months. When she began to crawl, we decided to let her sleep in her crib. But yes, the crib stays in our room. Once in a while, the baby gets to sleep with us especially in a very cold weather when she wanted to be cuddled and feel mommy’s warmth!

  21. daniel says:

    ok,before i read this article,i didn have a clear thought on this bt now i think its bad to sleep with a child after breast feeding if u r single.when married one can sleep with the baby up to 1 months then move to the cot close to the bed for easier night feeding and changing.all kids to move to own room at 1 year

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