Children Who Sleep with Their Parents: More Self-Confident as They Grow Up?

Sleeping next to your child provides multiple benefits, so the myth needs to be dispelled. Check this out.
Children Who Sleep with Their Parents: More Self-Confident as They Grow Up?
Elena Sanz

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Written by Editorial Team

Last update: 25 April, 2023

When children come into this world, many parents make sure they sleep with them in the same room during their first stage. They do this in order to make sure they’re OK, and to be able to feed them every time they wake up.

However, as they get older, many families don’t let them sleep in the same bed because there’s a widespread belief that this habit will harm them.

However, researchers have been interested in analyzing this issue and have concluded that this statement isn’t entirely true. The truth is that sleeping next to your children could actually have multiple benefits. In this article, we’ll share some of them with you.

Safety: a positive factor in children who sleep with their parents

Many parents have said that they don’t allow their children to sleep with them because they fear that they won’t learn to be independent. However, James McKenna, the director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, has explained that the most secure children are the ones who sleep with their parents.

During the time in bed they feel protected, and, for that reason, they can get rid of fears and anxiety.

In that way, they’re filled with calm and see life in a more positive way. Because of this, they don’t deny themselves the opportunities to face new challenges on their own and test their abilities.

The same specialist has found that children who are denied this possibility tend to be more fearful. As they feel alone during some key periods, it’s more difficult for them to control their emotions.


Lois Janda and Robert Lewis, two other renowned researchers, also decided to discover the consequences of children sleeping with their parents. In 1988, they surveyed 133 women and 77 men who slept in their parents’ bed during childhood.

During the analysis phase, they found that this habit increases self-esteem. Children feel loved and they value themselves as they really are.

Consequently, it is easier for them to relate to others because they stop thinking that they will be judged. Also, because they believe that they can interact with tranquility and sincerity.

Children sleeping with parents.

The family bond is also strengthened when children sleep with their parents

Studies have shown that co-sleeping allows children to have a better affective relationship with their parents. In the moments before falling asleep, there are many kisses, and much laughter and skin-to-skin contact.

According to this situation, children feel that all their emotional needs are covered. In addition, they can always count on their parents no matter the circumstances.

For parents who have a very complex work schedule, lying down for a moment with their children is an excellent option. That quality time is key to connecting and reminding them how important they are in their lives.

In addition to this, it’s vital for children to open their hearts and tell their innermost thoughts. They feel listened to and surrounded by the best care.

Children sleeping with parents.

You may be interested in: The Most Common Parenting Mistakes

Aspects to consider

Despite each of the advantages mentioned, many specialists say that sleeping with parents in the same bed is only recommended after children are over 6 months old. Adults can become obstructive to the baby’s airway. In view of this, they suggest that the little ones sleep in an individual bed that has safety rails and is free of stuffed animals.

However, it’s essential that this bed is located as close as possible to the parents’ bed. This is how they can react immediately when they hear a strange noise. Likewise, it’s possible to monitor that the child isn’t too close to the edge or and whether they’ve stopped lying on their back.

In addition, it’s essential to keep in mind that, even though co-sleeping brings very positive benefits, each family has the freedom to choose the option that best suits their needs.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Lewis, R. J., & Janda, L. H. (1988). The relationship between adult sexual adjustment and childhood experiences regarding exposure to nudity, sleeping in the parental bed, and parental attitudes toward sexuality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 17(4), 349–362.
  • Revista sanitaria de investigación. Riesgos y beneficios del colecho para el recién nacido. (s.f). Revista sanitaria de investigación; 2021. [citado 08 de septiembre de 2022].

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.