By Estelle Erasmus
Usually I share the pieces that I’ve published on the blog, but the end of 2015 got away from me. I am particularly proud to have published this piece on The Washington Post On Parenting column at the end of 2015 that talked about why we haven’t let our daughter sleep in our bed. I have gotten some flack for it (don’t read the comments they always say, and I always do), and some of my writer colleagues also took issue with what I wrote. I stand behind my piece, because I researched it, and it is what works for my family. Would love to know your (respectful) thoughts.
My husband is South-African, and culturally where he comes from bed sharing is a popular habit in families. But we did not let my 6-and-a-half-year-old daughter sleep in our bed. Why? Because we have seen relatives and friends go down that slippery slope and once you go there, there is no coming back.
I’ll admit when she was a baby she co-slept with us – which is different than bed sharing. We had her sleep next to our bed in her pack and play. Studies show a baby’s physiology is more stable when she is close to her mother. When my daughter was just under a year old, she returned to her crib in her own room for sleeping. She had been taking naps there since she was a newborn, so she was in familiar territory.
But bed sharing as a regular practice was never on the agenda for us as a family. Here are my reasons why I don’t think it’s a good idea (and one time when I did allow it):
Studies Show Sleep Problems: The research shows that kids who sleep with their parents have bad sleep habits. They sleep for shorter amounts of time and wake up more during the time they should be sleeping. Those bad habits can last a lifetime. Disturbed sleep in children is also a predictor of behavior issues. No thank you for my daughter.
Say Bye to Sexy Time: I believe allowing children to sleep in your bed hurts a couple’s relationship. If my hubby and I want to make love after my daughter goes to sleep at night, we can. It allows us to keep our relationship alive! We have recently purchased some toys and fun bits (click here to see what I mean) and we want to be able to use them freely and have fun, just like we did before having children. We love our children immensely but I also love my husband and it’s nice to get a little loving back too. Couples who allow their kids to sleep with them have a harder time carving out intimate time. Resulting in males and females resorting to adult content from the likes of tubev.sex which never fully satisfies the desire for your partner intimate touch.
Read the rest on The Washington Post On Parenting
To see my other pieces on The Washington Post check out:
When I wrote about my daughter being out of control (and what I’ll do to fix it in 2015)
So what are your (respectful) thoughts on children sleeping in your bed?