The first time my son slept in the bed with my husband and me, he was five months old. He was beginning to outgrow his bassinet, and I wanted him close to me during the night. I remember staring at him for some time before I was comfortable enough to go to sleep. Is this a good idea? Will I hurt him? I thought these things to myself but ultimately decided that everything would be okay. He cried in the middle of the night as usual, and I nursed him back to sleep. Later, this turned into night nursing, which I often slept through—one bad habit after another.
Fast forward to the present day. My son is two and a half, and he still sleeps with us. His crib has been converted to a toddler bed, but I can count how many times he’s slept in his room. I’ve tried to transition him by getting him ready for bed in his room and putting him down for a nap in there, but he is yet to sleep through the night in his bed. He always wakes up after a few hours and comes into our room. At that point, I am too tired to get out of bed, and I give in. The last time he came into our bed, I slept through him climbing on top of me to make his way to the middle, between my husband and me. When I woke up, I was shocked because I thought he slept through the night since I didn’t feel him. I was slightly disappointed when I turned over to share the news with my husband, and I saw my son snuggling with his dad.
“Again? What are we doing wrong?” I thought to myself.
I’ll be honest with you. I still co-sleep with my son because I am not ready for him to leave my side, and I’m inconsistent with transitioning to his bed. I enjoy having my son close to me. It gives me a sense of protection over him. If he is too warm, I can take the covers off. If he is too cold, I can pull the covers back on. If he wakes up in the middle of the night, I can comfort him sooner without breaking his sleep. I know what you’re thinking… too many excuses! As hard as it may be, parents are required to teach their little ones independence at an early age. It’s important for them to know how to go to sleep on their own, how to feed themselves, and how to use the bathroom, all within the first few years of life. These things prepare them for daycare and school full-time. This will also allow your child to be self-sufficient if you or Dad are not available.
Are you still co-sleeping with your little one? If not, at what age did you stop? And if you never co-slept with your kids, what did bedtime look like for you? What advice would you give to parents struggling with transitioning their kids to their beds? Please feel free to share your story below.