Children that Sleep in the Same Bed as Their Parents

· February 18, 2019
There are several reasons why children want to sleep in the same bed with their parents. Some do it because they're scared and others do it because they like to cling on their parents.

Many children want to sleep in the same bed with their parents. This is a very common practice in families and doing it has its advantages and disadvantages. Some of the reasons why children do it is because they’re scared of the dark, they fear being left alone or they’re attached to their parents.

As a child, you most likely wanted many things. Some of them were toys, candy and being in the company of mom and dad all day long. There’s nothing strange or weird about that! After all, who is a better person than a parent when it comes to providing children with love and protection?

It’s very common in families to have children who want to sleep in the same bed with their parents. In fact, there are several explanations for this behavior. However, the most significant explanation is biological. Human beings naturally love to have contact with their peers. It doesn’t matter if it’s the day or night.

Allowing children to sleep in the same bed with their parents is a matter that might have several opinions. There are parents who love to sleep with their children. They argue that it helps them establish certain bonds.

Other parents aren’t very prone about allowing their offspring to sleep in the same bed with them. These types of parents believe that sleeping this way will jeopardize everyone’s rest.

For many, it’s problematic for you to sleep with your child. Does your child wake up in the middle of the night? Do they have troubles falling asleep if they’re not in your bed?

If so, don’t let it get on your nerves! In today’s article, you can learn exactly what to do. Here, you can find some information about children who want to sleep in the same bed with their parents.

Why do Children Want to Sleep in the Same Bed as Their Parents?

There are children who want to sleep in the same bed with their parents for many reasons. Logically, these reasons may vary according to the child’s age and personality. It’s also something that is very much influenced by the family dynamic and relationship between the parents and child.

For example, babies between the age of 0 and 2 usually want to sleep with their parents. It’s quite difficult to get babies at that age to sleep alone. Their verbal communication is minimal and it will take some effort to understand why they protest about staying in their own bed.

Also, they tend to be children who feel more attached to their parents. For this reason, many parents agree to sleep with them.

Despite this fact, there are other people who recommend (to a possible extent) that a baby should sleep in their bedroom from the fourth or fifth month of birth. However, this is relative. In cultures that co-sleeping is very common, children sleep with their parents until the age of 6 or 7. For example, Japan is one of these countries.

When it comes to older children, it’s easier to get them to understand that they should sleep in their own bed. Some children are even able to gradually create an attachment with their bedroom.

Let’s take a look at some common reason why children want to sleep with their parents.

Read this article, too: How To Help Your Baby Sleep Better

Fear of the Dark

Being afraid of the dark is one of the most common reasons why children want to sleep in the same bed with their parents. The child is simply afraid of the nighttime or being in the dark. This is why they seek support from their parents inside their bedroom.

In general, children who are afraid of the dark express their fear. Therefore, you’ll be able to find a solution. You can easily notice their problem and you’ll be able to take care of it. Thus, you won’t have the need to guess why your child doesn’t want to sleep in their bedroom or waste your time figuring out another reason for their fear.

You should pay attention to your child’s possible fear of the dark. This fear can be so intense that in some cases the child may suffer from nyctophobia. It may be possible that you aren’t aware of this phobia or believe that this behavior is something normal and temporary for your child.

However, if a deep underlying fear is the cause, it may be helpful to seek some professional help.

Fear of Being Alone

Child affraid of the dark

It’s normal for children to feel fear or to be afraid of something. You must understand this because children are small and defenseless beings. Therefore, the fear of being left alone in their bedroom will make your child want to sleep with you.

However, your job as a parent isn’t only understanding it. You must also help them cope with their fears. That way, your child will begin to stop feeling scared and sleep in their own bed. Also, this will be good for a child’s ability to build their own inner strength.

Check out this article, too: 6 Childhood Emotional Wounds

Attachment to Parents

Everyone knows that children feel a special connection with their parents. They want to spend a lot of time at their side and share all their moments with them. Even though it’s more apparent in some children than others, all children usually tend to be attached to their parents.

This is why when a child feels the absence of their parents, it may make them not want to sleep in their own bed.

Children see adults as a source of protection. This is because they’re at a stage of life when nightmares and weird beliefs start to overwhelm them.

Your mission as a parent is to encourage your child to have their own space. Otherwise, a child’s attachment might become a dependence that goes far beyond falling asleep.

Benefits of Sleeping with Your Children

Mother supporting her son

There is no general rule about the benefits of children sleeping with their parents. In fact, for some people, this practice brings benefits to both the child and parents. Some of the advantages of allowing children to sleep in the same bed with their parents are:

  • The child and parents will be at peace of mind.
  • The possibility of being able to take care of your child’s needs much easier.
  • Monitoring the child’s sleep.
  • It’s easier for a nursing mother to breastfeed her child during the night.
  • A baby’s sleep apnea episode can be corrected.
  • An emotional bond between the parents and child can be established.
  • It can help synchronize the sleeping patterns of the parents and child.

Disadvantages of Sleeping with Children

Allowing children to sleep in the same bed with their parents may be considered as a harmless practice. However, sleeping with your children also has its disadvantages.

Below are some examples:

  • Parents don’t get that much rest.
  • A child-parent dependence may be created.
  • Loss of privacy for the parents.
  • Children are likely to develop sleeping disorders.
  • Parents run the risk of crushing or suffocating their child, this is especially common for babies.
  • It becomes more difficult for children to sleep on their own in the future.

Conclusions

Sleeping with your children is a personal decision every parent has to make. Perhaps you may find it difficult to manage, but it would be a good idea to go over all pluses and minuses of sleeping with your child.

If you’re one of those parents that’s in favor of your child sleeping alone, then there are many tips for you to look at. You can be able to get your child to take on the habit of sleeping in their own bedroom from an early age. Also, you can even let your child sleep with a nightlight on if they’re afraid of the dark.

You can also create routines with your child before going to bed. They can help your child understand that it’s time to go to bed.

However, if you’re one of those parents who loves sleeping in the same with your child, then carry on with it. The upbringing of a child is the responsibility for every parent. Therefore, it’s advisable for you to analyze the entire situation and make sure it’s good for your child.

Levos, J., & Zacchilli, T. L. (2015). Nyctophobia: From Imagined to Realistic Fears of the Dark. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research.

McKenna, J. J., & McDade, T. (2005). Why babies should never sleep alone: A review of the co-sleeping controversy in relation to SIDS, bedsharing and breast feeding. Paediatric Respiratory Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prrv.2005.03.006

Gertner, S., Rivkees, S. A., Ball, H., Blumberg, M. S., Middlemis-Brown, J. E., Johnson, E. D., … Mark, H. (2007). Bed-sharing and co-sleeping. Pediatrics. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00212417

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