Co-sleeping, also known as bed sharing with your child is a parenting practice that has triggered debates and discussions. Some child development experts strongly oppose cosleeping with older children or family bed because they fear it is unsafe, while others take an intermediate position on this policy. Advocates of co-sleeping suggest that it promotes closeness between parent and child.
It requires you make a personal decision on what suits you the most, therefore it is essential you are well informed. You might also want to put your cultural background into consideration because some cultures still regard it as a taboo. Here are some of the pros and cons of older kids sleeping with parents.
- 1 Pros Of Co-Sleeping with Older Children
- 2 Cons Of Co-Sleeping with Older Children
- 3 Conclusion
Pros Of Co-Sleeping with Older Children
It is commonly believed that having a child solo-sleep encourages greater independence, but research proves otherwise. According to University of Notre's Dame's Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Lab, children that co-sleep have their natural need for attention and human contact met consistently.
It helps children develop confidence and independence earlier than other children that do not co sleep because they can almost do away completely with the presence of transitional objects. They also have a sense of security and comfort that nothing bad is going to happen so long as they can feel the touch of their parents or probably just one of them.
- Improves sleep
The child and parents seem to get more sleep and less disturbance when they co-sleep, it relieves you the parent of the stress of having to wake up in the middle of the night to check on your child or worrying about that pitter-patter sound of your child's feet heading towards to your room.
- Promotes parents-child bond
Children that grew up sharing bed with parent develop a stronger bond with their family than solitary sleepers. Sleeping together makes them feel special and more connected to their parents; they experience skin to skin contact as well as share their thoughts, fears and stories with you.
In the long term, the kids are happier and less anxious. Cosleeping with older children encourages closeness, according to Thomas Anders, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, and director of the school’s infant and family sleep laboratory.
Co-sleeping has positive effects on child's self-esteem. They tend to experience fewer intimacy and trust issues. According to the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep lab, a survey found that boys who co-slept throughout childhood had noticeably higher self-esteem. Women who slept as children report being more comfortable with physical contact and affection and have higher self-esteem than women who had not co-slept as children. This is not to say children that do not co-sleep will be found wanting in this aspect.
- Creates opportunity for working parents to connect with their child
Many working parents are too busy during the week, and so they have little or no time to spend with their children. Sharing bed with the children creates an opportunity for the parent to enjoy little time together before bedtime and allows you to stay close to them all through the night.
Cons Of Co-Sleeping with Older Children
The negative effects of older children sleeping with parents include:
- Less sleep
Some parents may have trouble in getting quality sleep due to bed sharing. For example, co-sleeping may prevent parents from changing position in bed for fear of rolling over the child or due to limited space. In addition, you might need to adjust your bedtime schedule to that of your child or risk waking up occasionally because you were kicked on your face. It can be quite challenging and discouraging managing this problem.
- This may strain relationship between parents
Sharing bed with the kids means spending less private time between parents. When the child sleeps between the parents, it removes the opportunity to talk and may affect intimacy between couples. This could gradually harm their marital relationship, especially when the partner is not in full support of this arrangement.
- Difficulty to sleep alone
Parents may find it a bit challenging to move children to sleep alone when they get accustomed to sharing bed them. This may result to sleepless night for both parent and child.
- Used to mask family issues
Many parents use this as a means of concealing serious marital issues. While the child is sleeping between them, they can fake a sense of security in their marriage.
In conclusion, there is no right or wrong way of doing this. Every child is different; therefore, what works for that family may not work for yours. There are innumerable options to choose from, what is required of you is to garner the necessary information about these practices and then weigh the pros against the cons of cosleeping with older children.
This will assist you in making the choice that is tailor-made for you. In addition, it is pertinent for parents to make a joint decision on whatever practices they choose to put into effect. Communication is the key in marital relationship.