Do your kids still sleep on your bed?

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

At what age should kids stop sleeping on the same bed as parents?

1-2 years old
3-4 years old
5-6 years old
7-8 years old
After 9 years old
As and when the children decide
Total votes : 209

Do your kids still sleep on your bed?

Postby ChiefKiasu » Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:33 pm

I've always felt that kids should not sleep with parents beyond the age of 2. Unfortunately, my wife does not subscribe to this idea. What about your kids?
Last edited by ChiefKiasu on Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby caroline3sg » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:20 pm

Is sleeping together bonding?

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Postby raysusan » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:17 pm

caroline3sg wrote:Is sleeping together bonding?

i had a hard time trying to make my 6yo girl to sleep in her own room
i am having this problem too

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Postby ChiefKiasu » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:48 pm

caroline3sg wrote:Is sleeping together bonding?

Hard to bond with my daughter either kicking me out of the bed or whacking me in my face or stomach now and then :? But it saves electricity since we can all enjoy the aircon in 1 room :)

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Postby jass » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:48 pm

hi hi

my 6yr old girl had prob too.
but when we moved hse, i made it clear frm the first day,that was her room. it was fine till hubby was softhearted & brought her back.

but after my 2nd child is born, i insist that they sleep in the other rm.

when son is 1+yrs, they ve been sleeping in their rm. it also helps that i told my older girl, the younger bro needs her company.

occassionally she still yearn to sleep on our bed and she will "sinai" by telling us she loves us... blah blah blah. but we nvr get conned. :)

oh! my frd re-decorated kid's rm.. redo everything, bought nice, cute beds, new wallpaper, it worked! the kids moved to their rm! :lol:

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Postby ChiefKiasu » Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:15 am

Here's a good article on the dangers of co-sleeping:

"I love my children. I love to wrap my arms around them, hold them closely and kiss their soft faces as they sleep at night. But I know that as much as I love them and always want to hold them close, sometimes what a child needs most is his own space. It is for this reason that I feel strongly, as a parent and an early childhood educator that the place for children at night is in their own beds.

I have read the many articles supporting the concept of co-sleeping and I am not convinced. Yes, co-sleeping is often the easiest choice. The easiest way to get a child to go to sleep may be to lie down next to him in your bed and fall asleep together. But does the fact that it is the easiest step make it the best one? Here are my reasons for encouraging parents to stand fast on this issue and insist that their children sleep in their own beds.

Co-Sleeping is Bad for Parents

I love my children. But I also love my husband and value our relationship. In my experience, both personally and professionally, I find that happy parents have an easier time raising happy children. The only time that my husband and I have together to relax, talk, discuss our lives and express our love to each other is at night after our children go to sleep. The time we spend alone in our bedroom is essential for us as a couple. Also, this time is important for me, as an individual. I need to know that after a certain time at night, my evening belongs to me.

Of course, as a parent there are always nights where this is not possible. All children have bad nights where they need extra attention. But this does not have to be every night. I strongly believe that parents, who have time to themselves as well as time with their children, make better parents in the long run.

Co-Sleeping Is Bad For Children

So what if what I said above does not apply to you? Maybe you and your husband have jointly decided that time alone is not a priority right now. I certainly respect and admire this decision.I would still encourage you, however, to consider if co-sleeping is the best choice for your child.

Co-Sleeping for Infants May be Dangerous

In a May 1999 study published in Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, researchers found that "In 1995, suffocation was the leading cause of injury death for infants younger than age 1." And "…the greatest increase in infant suffocation deaths since 1980 has been in those "overlain" (parent on top of child) while bed-sharing." The researchers "stress that bed-sharing and the use of adult beds for infants should be discouraged."

A more recent study, published in the same journal on March 2000, also reached similar conclusions. "A crib that conforms to the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the ASTM (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) is a desirable sleeping environment for infants… Bed sharing or co-sleeping may be hazardous under certain conditions."

There are many professionals who disagree with the results of these studies and argue that the potential benefits of co-sleeping outweigh any possible risks. While I agree that the evidence presented in these studies can be argued in either direction, as a parent, when it comes to matters of safety and health, I always choose to err on the side of caution. If there is any possibility, however remote, that co-sleeping can be life threatening - why take the risk?

Co-Sleeping Is Bad for Older Children Too

So what about co-sleeping for older children? Clearly there is no risk of suffocation for two or three-year-olds that can sleep in adult beds.

I would suggest that parents who wish to let older children sleep with them, consider the message that they send to their children. Why do children want to sleep with their parents? Children are saying, "I need you for everything. I need you to get me dressed, to feed me, to take me places and to….sleep." The parent, by saying yes, says to the child, "That's right, you do. You can't do it alone. You will always need me to help you, even during the night. Twenty-four hours a day, I will be there."

As parents, we want to always be there for our children. But in real life we can't be. By giving our children the message that they always need a parent, we set up a cycle that a parent cannot and should not live up to. One of the things we must teach our children is not just how to do things, but how to do things on their own. A young child does need his parents for eating, for clothing, for transportation and all basic needs. The one thing he does not need his parents for is sleeping. By allowing children to sleep on their own from a young age, we teach children something that is essential for growth - you are an individual - there are things you can do without a parent.

Instead, I would encourage parents to do the following. Show your children love with hugs, kisses and warmth throughout the day. Hold them close. Allow them to cuddle up in your arms as you put them to sleep and run into your room in the morning for a good morning hug in your arms (and bed.) But let them know that because you love them, they need to learn to sleep alone.

All Rules Have Exceptions

Now I know that I have come down strongly against co-sleeping and I want to make sure that there is no misunderstanding. Every rule is meant to be broken. If there is a night that your child needs extra attention, then make an exception. Every now and then, for a special treat and encouragement, a turn in Mommy or Daddy's bed is acceptable.

But you cannot make so many exceptions that your child will no longer remember the rule. If every other night is an exception, then you set yourself up for a fight every night. In my home there are two exceptions to this rule:

1. When one of my children is sick. (Sick being defined as actual fever or serious injury.)

2. When my husband is away on a business trip. This allows my children to get extra attention while a parent is absent and does not interfere with my relationship with my husband.

Of course, each parent needs to determine which rules and exceptions belong in their home. These exceptions work for my family. Your family may be different.

I would encourage parents who are considering co-sleeping to think about the issues that I discuss in this article and make an informed choice. Insisting that a child sleep in his own bed is not usually the easiest choice, but in my opinion, it is the best one.

Choose wisely. Don't take the easy way out."

- by Esther Boylan Wolfson
Director, Early Childhood Development Center

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Postby ChiefKiasu » Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:26 am

And here's the counter argument.

"Children should sleep with parents until they're five"
- By Sian Griffiths, The Sunday Times

Margot Sunderland, director of education at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London, says the practice, known as “co-sleeping”, makes children more likely to grow up as calm, healthy adults.

Sunderland, author of 20 books, outlines her advice in The Science of Parenting, to be published later this month.

She is so sure of the findings in the new book, based on 800 scientific studies, that she is calling for health visitors to be issued with fact sheets to educate parents about co-sleeping.

“These studies should be widely disseminated to parents,” said Sunderland. “I am sympathetic to parenting gurus — why should they know the science? Ninety per cent of it is so new they bloody well need to know it now. There is absolutely no study saying it is good to let your child cry.”

She argues that the practice common in Britain of training children to sleep alone from a few weeks old is harmful because any separation from parents increases the flow of stress hormones such as cortisol.

Her findings are based on advances in scientific understanding over the past 20 years of how children’s brains develop, and on studies using scans to analyse how they react in particular circumstances.

For example, a neurological study three years ago showed that a child separated from a parent experienced similar brain activity to one in physical pain.

Sunderland also believes current practice is based on social attitudes that should be abandoned. “There is a taboo in this country about children sleeping with their parents,” she said.

“What I have done in this book is present the science. Studies from around the world show that co-sleeping until the age of five is an investment for the child. They can have separation anxiety up to the age of five and beyond, which can affect them in later life. This is calmed by co-sleeping.”

Symptoms can also be physical. Sunderland quotes one study that found some 70% of women who had not been comforted when they cried as children developed digestive difficulties as adults.

Sunderland’s book puts her at odds with widely read parenting gurus such as Gina Ford, whose advice is followed by thousands.

Ford advocates establishing sleep routines for babies from a very early age in cots “away from the rest of the house” and teaching babies to sleep “without the assistance of adults”.

In her book The Complete Sleep Guide for Contented Babies and Toddlers she writes that parents need time by themselves: “Bed sharing . . . more often than not ends up with parents sleeping in separate rooms” and exhausted mothers, a situation that “puts enormous pressure on the family as a whole”.

Annette Mountford, chief executive of the parenting organisation Family Links, confirmed that the norm for children in Britain was to be encouraged to sleep in cots and beds, often in separate bedrooms, from an early age. “Parents need their space,” she said. “There are definite benefits from encouraging children into their own sleep routine in their own space.”

Sunderland says moving children to their own beds from a few weeks old, even if they cry in the night, has been shown to increase the flow of cortisol.

Studies of children under five have shown that for more than 90%, cortisol rises when they go to nursery. For 75%, it falls whenever they go home.

Professor Jaak Panksepp, a neuroscientist at Washington State University, who has written a foreword to the book, said Sunderland’s arguments were “a coherent story that is consistent with neuroscience. A wise society will take it to heart”.

Sunderland argues that putting children to sleep alone is a peculiarly western phenomenon that may increase the chance of cot death, also known as sudden infant death syndrome (Sids). This may be because the child misses the calming effect on breathing and heart function of lying next to its mother.

“In the UK, 500 children a year die of Sids,” Sunderland writes. “In China, where it [co-sleeping] is taken for granted, Sids is so rare it does not have a name.”

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Postby kaitlynangelica » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:30 am

HI all,

My kid sleeps on her own bed in the afternoon but sleeps with us at night. Personally, I find that she is more secure and sleeps better when with us. Otherwise, if she sleeps on her own bed, she will wake up and migrate to our room anyway.

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Postby BlueBells » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:42 am

How come the polls closed so fast? I didn't even get a chance to vote .. :(

Anyway, my 8 year old has been sleeping on her own since the day she was born. We have a baby sound monitor that lets us hear her when she is awake or trying something funny.

With my 6 year old, she was fine initially, but fell out of her cot when she was younger and she bunk in with us until about 1+ . She just doesn't like the confinement of a baby cot. In the end, we bought her an adult day bed, get a bed guard, a kiddie step stool and she has migrated to her room and never look back since.

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Postby mintcc » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:26 am

My boy started out sleeping on his own from 0-1 and a half....then some where from then to now, he got sick is extremely sticky and sleep with us. Either that, he will creep into our maid's mattress. So between sleeping in our bed and the maid's bed, we decide our bed is better.

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