The Blog

What I REALLY Think About Co-Sleeping

I came across a great issue of Time Magazine at the grocery store last week, entitled, “The Science of Sleep.”

It has some fantastic articles on subjects ranging from the restorative effects of sleep, to how sleep differs in teenagers, and its effects on creativity and weight-loss.

If you spot it, I highly recommend picking it up. It’s a fascinating read.

One article that really caught my attention had to do with bed sharing and its alarming correlation with SIDS-related deaths.

As most parents already know, bed sharing is a risky way for children to sleep.

The article in Time, “Why Bed-Sharing is a Bad Idea,” referenced a 2012 study in the Journal of Pediatrics, that showed occurrences of SIDS were three times higher in infants who were bed sharing. (This number shot up to 10 times higher with children under three months!)

Beyond the physical dangers, though, I personally feel that bed sharing has a couple other major drawbacks.

• Bed sharing disrupts sleep.

When I was pregnant with our first son, my husband and I read the baby book by Dr. Sears and thought the idea of bed sharing sounded great.

After all, we were so excited to have this new, precious person joining our family! What could be better than snuggling up to him while falling asleep?

This lovely notion lasted exactly one night, as I quickly discovered that my baby son was an extremely loud sleeper.

He grunted and groaned constantly through the course of the night. Additionally, I was so worried that one of us was going to roll over onto him that I barely slept a wink.

Babies move around and make a lot of noise during the night. Chances are, you and your partner probably do too!

As adults, we can get accustomed to the little nighttime disturbances caused by someone else’s sleep activity, but it’s a whole lot tougher for a newborn to ignore someone who’s talking in their sleep, rolling over, and giving out the occasional, accidental nudge.

Having your baby in bed with you may seem like a sweet way to bond, but a few nights of everyone getting an inadequate sleep will just leave the whole family irritable and exhausted.

• Bed sharing interrupts intimacy

Well, OK. Maybe not for everyone, but for many of you, having a baby in your bed just isn’t sexy and it interferes with your love life.

I see how it seems so appealing on the surface. After all, waking up to the sight of your partner cuddling your sleeping baby, what could be better than that?

Although this is a lovely mental image, you’ll notice before too long that… hey! Baby has taken over your spot. That’s supposed to be you over there, cuddled into your partner, and there’s no easy way for the three of you to nestle together in any remotely comfortable (let alone romantic) fashion.

You may see it as not a big issue and that you’ll find other opportunities for those passionate moments when baby’s napping or otherwise occupied, but just prior to falling asleep and first thing in the morning are two very intimate moments for couples.

Chances are, if you don’t find the time for a little passion in those few fleeting moments when your baby typically isn’t demanding your attention, you won’t find time for it during the day, and your connection with your partner will suffer for it.

When do you stop?

It’s unlikely that your two year old is just going to decide the she no longer wants to sleep with you. We’re creatures of habit and we don’t like change. (Especially when it comes to our sleeping environment.)

It’s difficult for a child to understand, after sleeping with her parents since she can remember, why she’s suddenly being asked to leave.

Explanations like, “you’re a big girl now,” don’t make a lot of sense to a child. After all, Mommy and Daddy are sharing a bed, and they’re the biggest people she knows.

Let’s be honest, it’s not easy for the parents either. The first three weeks of separation can be every bit as traumatizing for the grown-ups as they are for the child.

You’ll undoubtedly find yourself waking up in the middle of the night and wandering into your child’s room to check on them, or waking up with a jolt when you realize they’re not in bed with you.

Bed sharing may seem like an appealing option at first, but it leads to a lot of bad habits and complications that just end up costing you, your partner, and your child, a lot of desperately needed rest.

I suggest you give it up by not taking it up in the first place.

Your child will learn better sleep habits, your relationship with your partner will be sturdier, and you’ll all get a much better night’s sleep.

Also, if you’re looking for a complete, step-by-step guide that will help you get your child sleeping 11+ hours a night you can check out The Sleep Sense Program by clicking below.

Learn more here.

Certified Sleep Sense Consultant Tip

“Toddlers are boundary pushers. They are clever to ascertain new tricks to delay bedtime, even after they have established healthy sleep habits. It’s important to remain firm and consistent with bedtime rules to prevent any future setbacks.”

Randi Forschler
​Tiny Onezzz Consulting, LLC​
(515) 635-1786
​Interested in learning more about becoming a Certified Sleep Sense Consultant and earning a great income on a flexible schedule that fits with your family?

About Becoming A Consultant


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The Sleep Sense Philosophy

Cry-it-out? Coddle? Co-sleep? Attachment parenting? Ferberizing?
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Dana’s Sleep Blog

Straight talk about sleep, parenting,
babies, toddlers, relationships… and
just about anything else!
My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

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