Pour Your Heart Out: Bed-sharing

Age 5. Half Moon Bay.

After he had spent a week at his grandparent’s house, sleeping in a bedroom by himself, it occurred to me (via familial persuasion) that this would be a good time to transition T into sleeping in his own bed, in his own room.

Despite being upbeat about the idea, T ended up throwing a mini-fit the first night. He would not stay in bed. I felt like I had to put my foot down, so I told him he had two choices: either sleep in his bed, or he can sleep on the floor in my room.

He chose the floor. I moved his mattress in so he’d be more comfortable. He’s now slept on his mattress on the floor in my bedroom two nights in a row.

While the change is nice (that’s two nights of no little foot in my back!), there has been something on my mind. And the only way to get it off my mind is to write it out. So bear with me.

Despite complaining about the downside to sleeping with a child, I really never had a huge problem with bed-sharing. Not really. There’s something sweet about curling up with my boy at the end of the day. Some days it was the only time we really had together. We would read books, sing songs, and the last words we’d speak each night were always “I love you.”

It’s always been other people. Other people tell T he should sleep in his “big boy” bed because he’s a “big boy” now.

Let’s set the record straight. To me, bed-sharing does not equal “baby”. Yes, younger children are more likely to sleep with their parents. But there is a part of me that felt it was almost cruel to call my child a “baby” just because he shared my bed. At his age, to say he’s not a “big boy” because he shared my bed was an insult.

I know we can still read books and sing songs and whisper “I love you” before I leave him in his bed and go into my own.

I know he would make this decision on his own, as he got older. I know he could suffer teasing at school if they found out he shared a bed with his mommy. I know this situation could have affected my future relationship with the Boyfriend. I know everything you’ll tell me. I know we would come to this juncture at some point in the near future anyway.

The final decision really did come from me, since I put my foot down and he’s sleeping on his mattress. Nobody forced me to do anything.

But I can’t help but feel like I was, once again, pressured into a parenting decision.


It’s been a long time. But here I am, pouring my heart out today with Shell of Things I Can’t Say.


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7 comments on “Pour Your Heart Out: Bed-sharing”

  1. Kimberly

    I hate when people force their opinions on how to parent. No one has the right to tell you to do anything.

    • Roxanne

      While I agree, I also wonder if my insecurities are allowing others to do exactly that.

  2. Jim W

    Sometimes other parents’ peer pressure can pressure you into thinking about or deciding to do the “right” thing. But I think you know as well as I do that there are PLENTY of shitty parents out there, and earning their scorn is more a badge of honor than a stain on your OWN parenting record.

  3. Just Me

    I don’t co-sleep since I have a really hard time sleeping. It’s bad enough putting up with my husband’s snoring. But that is what works for me. It doesn’t need to work for anyone else. I hate when people act like their way is the right way for everyone. Look at it this way, there is a parenting book for every style.

  4. Jessica

    It seems people always want to push their choices on other parents. Do what is best for you and T.

  5. Patricia P

    My kids all went through phase of sneaking in to cuddle between my husband and I at night. Like you, it never really bothered me. There’s something so sweet and trusting about a sleeping child curled against you. My husband, on the other hand, found it tough to sleep while getting kicked in the back by little feet. We’re past that stage now, but sometimes my youngest still comes in to cuddle if he wakes up early.

  6. Shell

    You have to do what you feel comfortable with. No one else is living your exact life with your exact family so while others can offer opinions, it’s really all up to you.

    I do prefer my kids not to sleep in my bed because I get a much better night’s sleep if they aren’t there with me!

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