5 Reasons Not to Let Your Child Sleep With You

Welcome Heather Smith as this week’s guest blogger

It’s the age old debate, whether one should allow Baby to sleep in your bed with you or not. There are always pro’s and con’s to everything. Here are few reasons to rethink before allowing your baby to sleep with you:

Sleep: Having your baby sleep with you could severely interrupt your sleep pattern and needs. Most parents find themselves constantly waking up to check on the child lying next to them. Not only could it affect your sleep but your child’s sleep. Babies complete a sleep cycle every 50-60 minutes and slight movement or noise coming from you could disturb that. It is best for both you and your child’s sleep habits that you sleep separately.

Your relationship: Most new parents don’t realize how much change between you and your partner once you have your first child. Everything changes. A way to keep constant with your partner is to keep the bedroom your private sanctuary. Inviting your child in to your bed will slowly push you and your partner further from each other. Pillow talk and intimacy disappear when you have a child sleeping between you.

Child dependency: Parents want their children to grow up to be independent and self-sufficient; allowing your child sleep with you, makes that difficult for the child to attain. A child gets accustomed to the fact they only way to fall asleep is to be next to Mom and Dad. Your child should be able to fall asleep without any aid. These issues will carry into other parts of your child’s life, school, team sports and friends.

Anxiety: Just like any daily routine your child becomes accustomed to a certain way and when that routine is interrupted they don’t respond well. Sleeping in Mom and Dad’s bed every night will make vacations, visiting grandmother’s and sleepovers miserable for your child and you. Not to mention school naps.

Safety: Not to say it is always unsafe to have your child sleep with you but the chances of something happening to your child increase when they are in bed with you. There have been reports of deaths caused by suffocation and strangulation. Scary but it is a fact. Parents can accidently roll over their child during their sleep, or the child can fall and get stuck between the headboard and mattress. Just be careful and aware of the possible harm that can happen.

Allowing your child to sleep with you is your decision. Now these reasons don’t mean allowing your child to sleep with you on occasion is going to cause long term problems. These are just a few reasons to think about before you let them sleep with you.

Heather Smith

Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to nanny services by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada.

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9 Responses

  1. Sleep: having our baby sleep in bed with us is what helps us all sleep the best. I don’t have to get up, fully wake up to I upstairs to the baby’s room while he sits there waiting for me, waking up more fully himself, and get him back to sleep, then spend who knows how long getting myself back to sleep. With him in bed with us, I roll over, offer my breast and we’re both back to sleep within minutes.
    My relationship: My husband and I are intimate at least once a week, usually twice. And we don’t need our bedroom for that. It’s more fun finding a new, inventive place. And if we aren’t in the mood for that, we have a guest room. We also put our son to bed every night and then spend the rest of the evening with just the 2 of us until I go to bed.
    Child dependency: attachment parenting and co-sleeping actually promote child independence. Allowing your child to reach independence on their own, rather than forcing it, will actually make them more secure and more independent.
    Anxiety: just read above. Same info applies.
    Safety: first of all, crib deaths occur as well. Co-sleeping is a very safe thing when done properly. Place your mattress directly on the floor. Place child next to mother, not between parents. No heavy comforters or blankets. When done correctly, it is just as safe, if not safer than bed sharing.
    There are my 2 cents.

  2. “Most parents find themselves constantly waking up to check on the child lying next to them”
    Your source for this claim is…? It seems to me that if you have to get out of bed to check on your child, you wake up a lot more than if all you have to do is open an eye or even just feel them next to you. Cosleepers get more sleep because everyone is happier.

    “Not only could it affect your sleep but your child’s sleep. Babies complete a sleep cycle every 50-60 minutes and slight movement or noise coming from you could disturb that.”
    Babies spend 9 months inside their mom. They’re used to noise and movement while sleeping. Ever notice how babies tend to fall asleep in the car? Or in a swing? Movement and noise. What they’re not used to is being alone.

    “Your relationship: Most new parents don’t realize how much change between you and your partner once you have your first child. Everything changes. A way to keep constant with your partner is to keep the bedroom your private sanctuary”
    The AAP actually recommends room sharing for at least 6 months, to reduce the risk of SIDS. Even if you’re not bedsharing, you should be room sharing.

    “Inviting your child in to your bed will slowly push you and your partner further from each other. Pillow talk and intimacy disappear when you have a child sleeping between you.”
    Again, your source is? Your imagination?
    Not to mention, safe cosleeping involves the child sleeping next to mom, not in between mom and dad.

    “Child dependency: Parents want their children to grow up to be independent and self-sufficient; allowing your child sleep with you, makes that difficult for the child to attain. A child gets accustomed to the fact they only way to fall asleep is to be next to Mom and Dad. Your child should be able to fall asleep without any aid. These issues will carry into other parts of your child’s life, school, team sports and friends.”
    This is completely flat out false. Studies show that children who are comforted when they need it become more independent and confident as adults. Did you even do any research or just make this stuff up??
    Do you fall asleep without any aid? Most people have things they rely on to sleep, even as adults, be it reading or watching TV before bed, snuggling with their partner, or counting sheep. It’s okay for adults to fall asleep with each other, but a child who actually needs comfort should be denied it? How many adults do you know who actually still sleep with their mom and dad? Considering 65% of parents admit to bed sharing at least part time, it’s impossible that bed sharing creates a child that cannot fall asleep on their own.

    “Anxiety: Just like any daily routine your child becomes accustomed to a certain way and when that routine is interrupted they don’t respond well. Sleeping in Mom and Dad’s bed every night will make vacations, visiting grandmother’s and sleepovers miserable for your child and you. Not to mention school naps.”
    False again. Children are able to tell the difference between different environments. Your argument keeps going from babies to children, and babies should not be having sleepovers and school naps. By the time they are old enough for these, they are less likely to still be bedsharing.

    “Safety: Not to say it is always unsafe to have your child sleep with you but the chances of something happening to your child increase when they are in bed with you.”
    Also false. Bed sharing DECREASES the risk of SIDS.
    ” There have been reports of deaths caused by suffocation and strangulation. Scary but it is a fact. Parents can accidently roll over their child during their sleep, or the child can fall and get stuck between the headboard and mattress. Just be careful and aware of the possible harm that can happen.”
    And there have been many many reports of children dying in cars. Should we never put a child in a car?
    In fact, many many many more children die alone in their crib than get rolled over on or fall between the headboard and mattress. Safe cosleeping means the baby is next to mom only (who is more in tune with baby), and measures are taken to prevent falls (many people put the matress on the floor, others use a mesh toddler bed rail). Safe cosleeping means not bed sharing when anyone has been drinking or taking drugs, and neither parent smokes.

    What is unsafe is a desperate mother who knows her baby won’t fall asleep without her comfort resorting to sleeping in a chair or on the couch, because someone like you told her she’d roll over on her baby if she shares her bed.

    If you don’t want to share your bed don’t. But the author of this article isn’t a mom with experience, she isn’t an expert, she’s a NANNY who is trying to scare people, when the facts just aren’t on her side.
    Trust your instincts and read about how to cosleep safely if you think it’s right for your family.

    Some actual numbers on infant death: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep-problems/sids-latest-research-how-sleeping-your-baby-safe

    • thank you, jessica for responding to this article much better than I could. I felt the author’s points were so inane that I didn’t really know where to begin or how to respond with the correct information. I really hope the author will take the time to better research future article, especially articles she is underqualified to write about.

    • Thanks for the VERY detailed comment Jessica – much appreciated. I had a feeling this post would stir up some emotions…almost (but not quite) as provocative as a post on the values of formula feeding 😉

  3. PS:
    “You know the only people who are always sure about the proper way to raise children? Those who’ve never had any.” ~ Bill Cosby

  4. This post is completely inaccurate. Maybe the author should have done some research.

  5. […] also important that you set a standard early – do not let your kids sleep in your bed, at least not regularly. It might be hard, especially if they are already used to it, but you need […]

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