I'm man enough to admit that I enjoy a good snuggle. There's really nothing like sleeping in late on a Saturday morning, only to be woken up by your kids jumping in your bed, turning on the TV, and curling up next to you as they watch SpongeBob flip Krabby Patties for the umpteenth time.
Yeah, just hanging in bed, half-sleeping with the kids is great. Sleeping with them through the night, however, not so much. At this point, it's mostly because they'll toss and turn a bit and keep me awake. Or my snoring will wake them, so they'll toss and turn and wake me. And somehow, I always get blamed.
Apparently, though, men who sleep with their kids get a few points docked off their Man Card. I'm not making a statement here, just pointing out a fact. According to a recent study, fathers who sleep right next to their kids have a lower level of testosterone.
It's an interesting study. I'd imagine the evolutionary reason for this is that testosterone is generally associated with aggression, so lowering this amount can only be helpful for the child's safety. But where does it end? If I sleep with my kids in the same bed every single day from birth until their teens, will my testosterone completely vanish? Will I be something between a man and a woman?
This certainly brings into play the hot topic of co-sleeping with your infants/toddlers. Some families just go whole-hog with co-sleeping until the kids are way past the toddler stage. My wife nursed for over two years with our kids, but we only had them in our bed for the first few months if I recall.
I'm not against co-sleeping; it's just something I wouldn't want to do beyond a few months. I know plenty of parents who still get horrific sleep these days because their kids (we're talking third and fourth grade or higher) continue to run into their beds in the middle of the night and sleep with them all night.
If you're going to co-sleep with your kids, I say more power to you. But just be prepared to be doing that until they're ready to borrow the car from you. You'll get no sympathy from me if you start complaining you can't get any sleep because your kids keep you up all night in your mega family bed.
And with this latest study, the longer dads keep co-sleeping with their kids, the more likely they may be to start shopping for dresses. Just saying.
Do you think it's harmful for dads to sleep close to their children?
Image via Sharon Mollerus/Flickr