Sleeping With My Kids Makes Me Less of a Man

Say What!? 43

Dad sleeping with babyI'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

behavior, sleep

43 Comments

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Meg LeRoy Schlagenhauf

Oh, come on... Having less of one hormone doesn't make you "less of a man."  While I found the study VERY interesting (we co-sleep), I'd be interested to know whether the lower testosterone is a contributing factor to the co-sleeping or an side effect of it.  Since dads with lower testosterone were shown to be more attentive and caring when responding to their children, it could be that their testosterone was already lower and they agreed to or chose to co-sleep because of their already more nurturing disposition.

Also, a side note--many families co-sleep and have no problem transitioning their children to their own beds at toddler age or older.  Both my older kids co-slept for at least a short amount of time and both sleep in their own beds in their own room with no problem now.  They are 5 and 2 1/2.

jessi... jessicasmom1

I did not co-sleep for fear of rolling over on DD so we had a co sleeper bed attachment she was next to us but in her own sleeper , it worked fine and when time to move her to her own room not a problem easy transition

Mrscj... Mrscjones

My son Co slept til he was 4 after that he actually asked for his own bed. So.... no problem with transition. And I don't a slight drop in testosterone makes you less of a man the same way women with slightly higher testosterone don't make them less of a woman.

MamaD... MamaDee83

Looks to me like this artlcle started off as a potential denfense of fathers who DO cosleep with their babies and how it DOESN'T make them less of a man.... But then it took a turn to be anti-cosleeping. I'm not saying that the blogger is standing on a soap box, screaming for people to cease their naughty cosleeping ways, but the negative tone is there. Which, I guess, is fine - It just seems to me like cosleeping and being less of a man are being stuck together here so that they appear to have a correlation.... Which isn't true. *shrugs* Color me unimpressed, but not surprised.

Miche... Michelephant

The title is a clever play on words that is it. The author is obviously pro cosleeping but simply finds it uncomfortable once the kids get too big. If anything he is anti complaining. And he has a point; if you decide to cosleep until your kids are 9 (which is fine if it works for you) don't excessively complain about your lack of sleep.

godde... goddess99

I'm against co sleeping period.

Jen Morphis

"..the longer dads keep co-sleeping with their kids, the more likely they may be to start shopping for dresses. Just saying."

Absurd.

Ariel Napier

I co-slept with all of my kids til their first bday.  They all transistioned into their beds just fine....even my last one...until I took the the toddler bed down and put her in a big bed.  Now she feels the need to join us at 4 am most of the time.

nonmember avatar Stephanie

Geez people, the article was tongue-in-cheek. You guys really can't seem to take a joke. And I never got an anti co-sleeping vibe from him. Just a "make your bed and lie in it vibe" with which I agree. If you choose to co-sleep, then that's your choice, but don't complain about it after.

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