The practice of kids sharing the bed
with their parents is common in many countries. Some parents will find it very
comfortable and the most natural and ideal thing to do, while others will find
it not right and are totally against it. For partners who are away from home
during the day working, sharing a bed with their kids during the night allows
them to spend extra time with them. This makes it right for them but others
will still disapprove of this practice.
A Bed With Infants & Toddlers
Bed-sharing with infants and toddlers
is a common practice with many mothers because of the advantages that come with
doing so. The nurturing and closeness that happens during the night helps in
the creation of a stronger relationship between the baby and its parents. The
infant gets to feed during the night and the mother sleeps comfortably beside
great thing about sharing the bed with an infant is that the child hardly wakes
up crying during the night because they are well fed and feeling the cozy
warmth of their mother. This is very unlike when they sleep alone in their crib
where they tend to wake up a lot during the night.
Good About Bed Sharing
Infants who share the bed with their
parents been known to breastfeed for longer periods compared to babies who
sleep alone. This also allows the mother to tend to the baby quickly if they
start coughing or crying or when they
need a diaper change during the night. The mother can also monitor the baby if
he is sick and tend to them accordingly and easily.
It is also widely believed that babies
who bed-share with their parents are more independent, more confident as
children and more outgoing. When they become adults they also tend to have a
higher self-esteem and acquire better stress-management abilities. They also
get more comfortable when it comes to intimacy compared to their adult
counterparts who slept alone when they were kids. It is however, very important
to note that sleeping arrangements when one is a kid, are not the only determinant
of how a person turns out. There is a lot more involving character-shaping than
just bed-sharing. It is also important to note that bed-sharing will not
influence the baby to sleep throughout the night because there are other
factors contributing to that.
The Problems Of Bed-Sharing
It is not all good when it comes to
parents bed-sharing with their kids. There are a few problems that arise. Some
of them are as follows:-
Wriggling, Kicking & Squirming
The parents might not have a quiet and comfortable
night sleep often times thanks to wriggling, kicking and squirming kids in the
bed. Many children toss, turn and they kick and wriggle when snuggled against
the parent. This is never comfortable and many parents, who have experienced
this, when asked, would prefer to sleep on their own.
To Leave The Kid With Someone Else
When kids get used to falling asleep
next to their parents, they often have trouble sleeping in the event that the
parents leave them with a relative or a babysitter. This can leave the kid
distressed a lot and make it difficult for whoever is minding them. The kid
will insist on waiting for his parents to show up in bed so they can sleep and
a case of tantrum throwing following, will not be surprising.
Transition To Their Own Bed
Sometimes kids have bed-shared with
their parents for too long that when it comes to them transferring to their own
bed; the process becomes too drawn-out and difficult. This is of course caused
by the kids’ resistance and their preference to continue sleeping in their
parents’ bed. Bed times become very
unpleasant for both the kids and parents during the transition period and when
they finally overcome their desire to bed-share with their parents, they will
have gone through a lot of emotional turmoil.
Love Life Is Affected
The love life of the parents will
definitely be affected when they share their bed with their kids. With a kid or
kids in bed, it is no doubt impossible to have that earth-shaking lovemaking.
Many parents will be careful not to disturb their sleeping kids or they will
simply find another location where they can let their passions run wild. Some
parents will avoid making love altogether because with the kids in bed, the
urge to do so isn’t there. In some cases both or one parent might resent the
fact that they have to make this sort of compromise, because they are
bed-sharing with their kids. Less love making for married parents might
actually affect their marriage negatively.
Can Be Passed On To Kids
Sometimes the parents could be infected
with dangerous infectious health conditions and sleeping with their children
could pass these conditions to them. This makes bed sharing with children very
There are parents who smoke, take
alcohol, drugs or medication and they bed-share with their kids. Such
arrangements can be dangerous too to the health of the kids especially infants.
There have been cases where smoking parents caused the kids to inhale smoke or
parents slept on their children and suffocated them because they were drunk or
on heavy medication drugs. If parents indulge in any of the above, bed-sharing
with their kids should be avoided.
Have To Go To Bed Even When They Aren’t Sleepy
Children who are used to co-sleeping
with their parents will often times fail to go to sleep without either one of
the parents. This will force the parents to go to bed even when they don’t feel
like sleeping, so that their child can fall asleep. With the current times
where parents even have to bring work home, in most cases they will have to
soothe their child first by lying down with the child before embarking on the
work they brought home.
or Death Of Parent(s) Might Deeply Affect The Child
In the event that there is divorce,
separation or death of one parent, the child could be deeply traumatized and
might not go to sleep for the next couple of days. The remaining parent will
also experience a lot of difficulty when it comes to dealing with the
situation. When this parent has lost his or her partner through divorce,
separation or death and when the child isn’t taking it very well, that actually
makes the situation worse.
When A Parent Remarries
When one parent remarries after
divorce, separation or death, this new partner might not like the idea of
bed-sharing with kids. This could pose a new problem for the kid and the parent
and to the new relationship. The kid will of course be reluctant to leave the
parents’ bed and this could cause conflict within the family. Besides the kid
might also feel uncomfortable bed-sharing with a new member of the family.
Kids Don’t Really Sleep, They Peek
There are times when parents will think
that the kids are asleep when in truth, they aren’t. The parents might indulge
in their intimacy, comfortable that they have privacy when in reality they
don’t. The kids might be watching and this is not a good thing at all. It is always important
to move the kids from toddler age onwards out of the bed because that is the
age when they begin to understand and tell tall tales as soon as they begin to
talk. As a parent, you definitely don’t want the teacher of your child calling
you and reporting how your child regales his classmates with tales of your
Will Never Respect The Marital Bed
In some cultures, the marital bed is
sacred and not even the kids are allowed to sleep in it. Such cultures will
consider it unholy or wrong for kids to sleep where the parents make love. Many
will condemn such practices and recommend that kids sleep in their own bed. Even
individuals from cultures that don’t hold such views strongly, will still feel
that bed-sharing with kids as parents has a wrong-feel to it especially if the
kids are past toddler age.
Many parents who bed-share with their
children will prevent anyone who is not part of the family from finding out that
they do so. They will never publicly admit that they share the bed with their
kids who are past two years for fear of criticism. Naturally, this is not how
it should be hence the fear of criticism.
As seen above, the good about parents
co-sleeping with their children only stops when they reach toddler age. From
there onwards, the problems begin and it is never a good idea. In the end it is
always up to the parents to ensure that their kids sleep in a safe and secured
sleeping environment. Any sleeping arrangement that parents come up with,
should always be decided upon with the interests of the child on the forefront.