Co-Sleeping Toddlers Won't Turn Out to Be Clingy


family bedWoo-hoo! Let me tell you, it's not every day a child-rearing study comes out that says something I did with my kids was actually okay, as opposed to the single most horrible parenting move ever. So I'm pretty pumped to hear that, according to recent research, sharing your bed with a toddler won't screw them up for life. Phew!

That's a huge relief, because although I did my dutiful best to convince both of my kids that staying in their big kid beds all night long was the most fun anybody could ever have, I always woke up to somebody's little feet in my face or arm slung across my chest. And was this groggy, sleep-deprived mom going to haul that child back to his or her private sleeping quarters at 3 a.m.?

The answer is NO. No, I was not going to make a big fuss that would ultimately result in less shut-eye for all parties involved. This was because whatever developmental issues the sleep police warned me would pop up later in my child's life, letting my kid stay in my bed was much less immediately harmful to her (and him) than having an even-more-exhausted-than-usual mommy.

At the time, I justified this theory by thinking about how "family beds" were no doubt the norm for countless cultures throughout history. Did Native American babies go straight from the papoose to their own twin-sized bed? Of course not. What about the Inuit? In those below-freezing temperatures, you'd have to sleep huddled together for the sake of body heat. Didn't Viking families all sleep around a big fire pit? Bet those kids didn't end up with behavioral problems. (Bear in mind, I was very tired when I was having these thoughts. Just in case my logic seems a little disjointed.)

Anyway. My kids ended up in my bed more often than not. Guess what? Pretty soon they're going to be at that age where kids would rather die of shame than let their mom hug them in public. So I'm really not feeling too regretful about those nights spent snuggling with a 2-year-old. Especially now that it's officially acceptable.

Do you let your toddler sleep in your bed?


Image via Ed Wolstenholme/Flickr

toddler sleep, in the news


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kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

I was more likely to bring the baby to my bed just to get some sleep... I we have a pretty strict no kids in the bed rule. Its rare we have a kid come to our room anyway but it does happen. My youngest is more of the cuddler and will come In in the morning to cuddle before we start our days.

MKMcGraw MKMcGraw

We have the opposite problem. My toddler wanted me in HER bed. I say wanted because it's not a huge as a problem as it once was. When she's overtired, I can lay down with her and sneak out when she's asleep. I can't have a toddler in my bed because I am such a light sleeper, i'd NEVER sleep!

Carol... Caroline2010

yes! my dd loves to sleep in our bed! most nights she is in her bed tho! but sometimes she comes into our bed it just depends! i miss her sometimes lol!

SicTr... SicTransitGlori

The only way that I can get my one-year-old to nap is if she's in our bed with me. It's nice to all cuddle up and take a nap in the afternoon (although it's not practical for us most days). But when it's bedtime, everyone has to go in their own bed. 

Spike... SpikedMango

Lol, I must be the oddball. ;) I coslept with my mom and was possibly the clingiest kid in the WORLD, haha.

But I like when studies like this prove that you can't make blanket statements about every parent and every child. We're not a bunch of robots, after all. :)

Samal... Samallama

While I don't really see the harm in it (kind of like having a favorite stuffed animal, eventually they just grow out of it), I would never do it myself. I was a nanny for quite a while, and the kids co-slept with their mom so they wanted to with me, too. But I just don't like it, personally. 

Jasmine Mitose

i'm from a co-sleeping family & we all (there are 5) ended up being extremely independent. i bedshare with my 1 year old & wouldn't have it any other way! we sleep great & it makes night nursing easy.

Marjc... Marjchaos

Rarely. They kick, squirm, pull my hair and generally hog the bed. Each thier own. I think clingy is probably an innate personality trait, rather than having to do with sleeping arrangments.

BoosM... BoosMommy12

my 4 year old dd goes to sleep in her bed but in the middle of the night comes to our bed. she has been doing this since she was 1. She is the most independent 4 year old I know and everyone around me feels the same way.

Young... YoungHold

Still cosleeping with my almost 3 year old.  There isn't even a bed in his room yet, though we'll get one in the next 6 months so it's an option for him.

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