Five Benefits to Cosleeping Past Infancy

Two of the three members of our family bed, sound asleep.

Cosleeping, also known as “sharing sleep” or having a “family bed,” is a parenting practice that still smacks of taboo in our Western culture. But recent scientific studies are building a much stronger argument for the benefits of sharing sleep with our children.1 Yet even with the scientific support and the changing cultural perception of cosleeping, the subject is typically constrained to parents of infants.

It is still socially taboo to admit that you share sleep with toddlers or older children, but research shows that the taboo is unfounded. Children who cosleep are generally more independent and secure, develop close and lasting bonds to their families, and report more happiness and general life satisfaction than children who sleep alone. There are many reasons that sharing sleep with your children is healthy and beneficial even after they’ve started walking, but below are five of the best reasons.

Five Reasons to Continue Cosleeping Past Infancy

  1. Cosleeping Can Further Both Trust and Independence

    One common argument against cosleeping is that it will create children who are more dependent on parents than children who sleep alone, or that cosleeping children will never learn to sleep alone. “But this is like saying that by putting a baby in diapers, she’ll be in diapers throughout her life, or that by using a stroller or carrying her, she’ll never learn to walk.”2

    As a matter of fact, the opposite is actually true: children who shared sleep with their parents are actually more independent than their solo sleeping peers. Recent research has shown:

    *Solitary sleepers have actually been found to be more dependent on their parents than co-sleepers.

    *Co-sleeping boys ages three and older were shown to have no greater difficulty separating from one or both parents than solitary sleeping boys. (In this study, girls were not observed for this trait.)

    *The majority of family bed graduates consider themselves more independent than their peers.3

    And why shouldn’t cosleepers be more independent?! They learned from infancy that they could trust their caregivers to quickly respond to their needs, no matter what time of day or night it was. “You are not encouraging dependency when you sleep with your baby. You are responding to a need and teaching your child about trust.”4 “Children, given time to learn to trust those around them, and thus learn that their own feelings and needs are legitimate, will develop a true, enduring sense of independence.”5

  2. Melissa of Simple Whimsy and her family snoozing peacefully.

  3. Parents Are the Ultimate Security Blankets

    The image of a child sucking his thumb or carrying around a treasured blanket or teddy is a very familiar one in our culture. Search the internet and you’ll find all kinds of advice columns and articles on how to transition children away from these practices. But research has revealed something very interesting: children who cosleep do not need replacement security figures. Children feel more secure as a result of being close to their caregivers.

    “When a child routinely goes to sleep in the presence of an adult, or with an adult holding her, it’s extremely rare to find thumb sucking or attachment to security objects.” In a study of children ages one to seven years old who all sucked their thumbs, 96% of them “had been left alone to fall asleep as infants. In stark contrast, there were no thumb suckers among a large group of children who had physical contact with an adult while falling asleep.” In a different study of children between three and five years old, researchers found “that solitary sleepers were far more likely to use a security object than co-sleepers. The researchers concluded that children use security objects as substitutes for nighttime human touch.”6

    Our culture emphasizes the desirability of teaching children to self-soothe, and parents are encouraged to introduce security objects to help in this process. But in the dark of the night, why not allow a child to experience the love and comfort of a parent? If we teach our children to rely on things for comfort, what effect will this have on them later in life during times of stress? Shouldn’t we be encouraging them to reach out to people?

  4. Cosleeping Can Have Positive Effects on Self-Esteem and Family Closeness

    As Dr. Sears says, welcoming children into the family bed sends incredible “I care” messages. It says “you are special to us, day and night.”7 A little one welcomed into the family bed receives “countless hours more tender snuggles, and more affection than if she were left alone to sleep. If she wakes up at night, all she has to do is see you or reach out and touch you to feel the world is safe and right.”8

    And parents who fall asleep and/or wake up next to their children know how sweet it can be in those sleepy twilight hours. With everyone relaxed and cuddled up, children feel peaceful and ready to share their thoughts and stories, things that you might never hear during the hustle and bustle of daily life. “[Y]ou can get to know a family bed child on a level you might not otherwise. In the words of 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 encourages family closeness.’” These sentiments have been reinforced by research: the “vast majority” of both family bed graduates and their parents report that they are incredibly close to their families.9

  5.  

  6. Children Who Cosleep May Be Easier to Get Along With and Better Adjusted Than Their Solo Sleeping Peers

    Psychologists in years past theorized that children in family beds were maladjusted, insecure, needy, and that their parents were languishing in bad marriages. Recent research blows the old theories out of the water. Here is a sample of what we’ve learned:

    *Children who never slept in their parents’ beds were harder to control, less happy, had more tantrums, handled stress less well, and were more fearful than routinely co-sleeping children.

    *Co-sleepers showed a feeling of general satisfaction with life.

    *Children who didn’t co-sleep end up getting more professional help with emotional and behavioral problems than co-sleepers.

    *Boys who slept in the family bed had increased self-esteem and less guilt and anxiety. Girls had more comfort with physical contact and affection.

    *Children who had co-slept felt they weren’t as prone to peer pressure as others their age.10

    Psychologists have long agreed “that children who have responsive, sensitive, accessible parents are much more likely to be happier later in life. It should come as no surprise, then, that children whose parents are there for them day and night turn out so well.”11

  7. Everyone Sleeps Better

    As long as cosleeping works for you12 and your child, why change it? If you can get past learning to nurse while sleeping and wild toddler sleeping arrangements,13 continuing to share sleep with your little one may help your whole family sleep better into your child’s preschool years and beyond.

    And when I say that everyone sleeps better, I really mean it. Scientific studies have shown that a family who sleeps together actually enters the different stages of sleep together almost simultaneously. Dr. Jay Gordon shared a beautiful illustration about the science behind this concept in his book, Good Nights: The Happy Parent’s Guide to the Family Bed (and a Peaceful Night’s Sleep!)14:

    Science is finally beginning to discover what babies have known all along: Babies are designed to sleep with their parents. And parents are designed to sleep with their babies.
    At the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, anthropologist James McKenna, Ph.D., watches an intimate dance unfold. It’s a dance in which there’s no leader, no follower, and yet almost seamless choreography.
    A mother and father sleep with their baby between them in a large bed in the laboratory’s comfortable bedroom. It’s similar to the way they sleep at home, only with infrared video cameras monitoring their sleep stages, zooming in on every roll of an eyeball, every twitch of muscle, all night long.
    All is quiet and still, except for the rapidly moving, closed eyes of the baby, mother, and father. They’re all dreaming at the same time. Moments later they enter a stage of light sleep together: The mother stirs, awakens for just a moment, and drifts back to sleep, moving her head a little to the left, her arm to the right. The baby stirs, moves her head to the left, her arm to the right. Then the father follows with the same pattern. McKenna, director of the lab, smiles broadly and nods his head.
    “It’s incredible watching these sequences unfold,” says McKenna, acclaimed as the father of this type of sleep research and the world’s foremost authority on the biological basis of cosleeping. “The synchronization that happens when parents sleep beside their baby is remarkable.”
    Similar experiments in England find the same dance with family bedders. But place the baby in another room, and it’s like putting a wall between a pair of ballroom dancers. Everyone reverts to their own rhythms, their sleep cycles coinciding only by chance.15

Melissa of Simple Whimsy

Need More Reasons to Cosleep?

If you’re on the fence about continuing to share sleep with your little one past infancy, I’d highly suggest reading Dr. Gordon’s Good Nights. It is packed with both research and with testimonials from children who have “graduated” from the family bed. He also offers tips on dealing with criticism from friends and family who do not agree with the practice.

For more resources on cosleeping and nighttime parenting, check out Natural Parents Network’s “Ensure Safe Sleep” resource page. It has links to articles as well as additional book recommendations.

Did you share sleep with your child?

How long did your child stay in the family bed?

  1. For a review of some of these studies, check out Cosleeping at The Natural Child Project, Co-Sleeping Safety at PhD in Parenting (with more links at the end of the article), and Safe Sleeping with Your Baby at Dr. Sears. For more information on the research results discussed in this post, please see the studies cited in the original sources.
  2. Gordon, Good Nights: The Happy Parent’s Guide to the Family Bed (and a Peaceful Night’s Sleep!) at 24
  3. Good Nights at 25-26
  4. Sears, Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep at 35
  5. Good Nights at 24. A note to parents who do not share sleep with their little ones: please do not interpret this post to mean that if you do not cosleep, you are not teaching trust or responding to needs. I recognize the fact that cosleeping simply does not work for many babies.
  6. Good Nights at 19-20 (emphasis added).
  7. Nighttime Parenting at 52
  8. Good Nights at 20-21
  9. Good Nights at 21-22
  10. Good Nights at 23
  11. Good Nights at 23
  12. When I say “you,” I mean you in both the singular and the plural, depending on your parenting situation.
  13. What parent hasn’t woken up to a foot in the back/face/stomach from a sleeping toddler?!
  14. Good Nights at 3-4 (citations omitted, emphasis added).
  15. Good Nights at 3-4

About The Author: Dionna

Code Name: Mama CodeNameMama My NPN Posts

Dionna is co-founder of Natural Parents Network. She blogs about natural parenting and life with a toddler-almost-preschooler at Code Name: Mama. She also co-founded NursingFreedom.org, a site dedicated to normalizing breastfeeding anytime, anywhere.

328 Responses to Five Benefits to Cosleeping Past Infancy

  1. Elizabeth  

    I’m printing this out to pass along to my SO. He’s been saying lately that he’s concerned about our 10 month old co-sleeping, and that he thinks it’s time to transition him. I’m not giving in, but it will be nice to pass this along and show him it’s not just me being overprotective. Thanks! :)

  2. Kenny

    I’m in my late 30’s and recently married a woman with three kids that I love just as much as my own 15 y/o. She has a 2 y/o that has pretty much slept with her since birth. I’m having a hard time dealing with this…Let me say it doesn’t have to do with sex. I just don’t think it’s a good idea, because where I came from most parents didn’t allow it. I don’t want this to cause martial problems between my wife and I, but if I don’t say anything, it will drive me crazy…however, when I do, it blows up into an argument, and I know she is just going to do what she wants to do anyway; and that’s letting him sleep with us, until she’s ready for him not to. I would love to be able to hold my wife for at least a little while before rolling over and going to sleep. Is that selfish? The 10 y/o sleeps with her when I’m not here, and gets a little irritated when she has to sleep in her own bed, because I’m home. What can I do?

    • Dionna  

      It sounds like you’re really hoping to have some more intimate time with your wife, and that’s completely understandable. I think, though, that there may be a way to balance everyone’s needs.
      Moving your stepson to his own room is a big change to make for a 2-year-old who’s been used to sleeping with his mom since birth. Obviously it’s a touchy subject for your wife as well, who is trying to do her best as a mother. It doesn’t sound like she’s forcing her children to want to sleep with her — they just do! It’s perfectly natural for some kids to want to be close to their parents at night and is actually more common than you may think.
      Additionally, as mentioned in the post above, there are some great benefits to cosleeping – so you might want to start by looking inside yourself and reexamining some of the beliefs you have about kids sleeping with their parents. If you can look at the joy it brings your wife and stepson, perhaps you will be able to change your personal views on the subject – that would be a great first step for your family.
      But as a more immediate solution, think about ways your family could compromise. For instance, perhaps the child can be put to bed before the two of you go to bed, and you could take care not to wake him so you can cuddle on one side of the bed together. Or perhaps the child can be put down to sleep in a separate bed but be free to come back into bed with his mom if he wakes up in the night. That way, you might have some cuddling time before that happens. Some kids are excited about getting their own space (either in the same room – think about bringing in a twin bed; or in a separate room).
      If you can talk about your feelings and desires without suggesting that what your wife and stepson have chosen is wrong, your wife might be more willing to talk about possible solutions with you without getting defensive. Know, too, that this will pass. Eventually your stepchildren will grow up and not want to sleep there, so enjoy how attached they are. It’s a testament to your wife’s loving parenting.

    • Ness

      Yeah I understand you’re in a bit of a tough situation there Kenny, but as Dionna said, I would definitely take a look at why you feel the way you feel about bedsharing, past the point of it being because other people didn’t allow it in your time. Is that a good enough reason to put pressure on your wife to stop co-sleeping? Because she’s doing something differently, does that mean it’s wrong?

      In my home, the little one either gets put to sleep in the crib in the beginning and comes into the bed after waking up later, or she sleeps on the far side of the bed and my husband and I get a little snuggle time. Not that we snuggle when we’re actually asleep.

      You’re marriage happens in other places besides the bedroom or the bed. Your marriage is an ongoing process in and outside of the home, in the kitchen, with the family. Don’t be tempted like others to place the blame of any marital problems on the children and where people sleep. After you’ve fully examined and understood why you have issues with the kids sleeping with your wife, if there are still issues then you guys should discuss it in a loving and understanding way – taking care to ensure that everyone’s needs are being considered.

  3. Mrs. Cress

    My mom coslept with my siblings and I (all separately). I remember loving bed time in a sense. I was able to cuddle up to both my parents and feel so secure and safe. On the weekends my dad and I would watch tv in bed, (parents always have a nicer tv than the kids) and we would drift off to sleep, up until I was 13.

    I just had my first child 10/08/11. He refused to sleep longer than a hour in his bassinet. Usually he would wake up 15 minutes after being laid down. One night he fought sleep for hours by crying, fussing, and flailing his little limbs. Eventually my husband said “Put him in bed with us.” He drifted right to sleep. Now, whenever I lay him in bed he’s calm and relaxed. He knows exactly what’s going to happen next.

  4. DD of Mansfield, OH

    I was so happy to find this article. I have received SO MUCH flack about my son still sleeping with me (he is seven). I’m a single Mom, so the issues of intimacy with a partner aren’t there. My son and I love to cuddle and have that quiet time together before falling asleep. I’ve been told by well-meaning friends and family that this will deter his maturity and development. I just didn’t feel that was true but didn’t have anything to back it up, so thank you THANK YOU for this article!

    DD

  5. Bridgette

    I love co-sleeping with my 2 year old. I don’t want to quit all together, but would like to have the option of having him in his own bed at least part of the night. Do you have any suggestions on how to get him to fall asleep in his own bed? I have tried buying him a toddler bed, upgraded to a twin so I could lay with him. I feel like I have tried everything. Even put his bed right by ours to see if that was close enough to have him fall asleep, but he still insists on falling asleep with us. One other obstical is he is litterally obsessed with my hair. He has to have my hair in his hands to fall asleep. Like I said before, its not that I don’t want him with us ever, just would like to try and get him to fall asleep on his own so we can have a little alone time. :) Thanks for any advice! Great article!!

    • Dionna  

      Thanks Bridgette! We’d be happy to post your question on our Facebook page so our community can give you some ideas. If that sounds, good, you can email your question to Kym @ NaturalParentsNetwork .com

  6. Elle

    Monica,
    As stated several times, co sleeping will not work for everyone. But it is FAR from ridiculous. While it may have been a huge mistake for you and your sister to sleep with your parents, you haven’t done so for many years now. Any issues from that are long ago and shouldn’t be causing any problems now.
    In a family relationship, as in EVERY aspect of life, it’s about trying to hit a balance. Yes, if you put your children ahead of your spouse every single time, that’s not good. The same as making your husband the #1 priority over the children, makes cases of mild neglect and feelings of being unloved (ask my sisters children) It creates a host of issues in children and young people. Not to mention those women who are mentally unstable enough to end their children’s lives, all for their “man”. If grown men are feeling “neglected” because little babies and children that cannot fend or raise themselves, need a lot of time and attention, they need to grow up themselves.
    Children are only little once, the childhoods are really so very brief. Even if co sleeping does work for your family, it wont’ last forever. You WILL have the rest of forever to sleep alone with your spouse.

  7. Ashely

    This a a great article! I have one child who will be six in February and still sleeps in bed with my husband and me. We wouldn’t have it any other way and I often find that it is difficult for me to sleep when my son chooses to sleep alone in his bed. I agree that sharing a bed has created a strong bond between the three of us based on trust and love and our son is independent and self confidant as a result.

  8. Stephanie  

    my 5 year old son still sleeps with me! :) I told him it is completely up to him when he wants to sleep in his own room/bed.
    Thank you for this article!

  9. Nadeem

    Dear Dionna and all others

    i am happy to find you, i have 2 son age 2 and 6 years , they both sleep with me in large bed , my wife had bio polio and i feel i need to give them extra warm/love.

    But recently children services give advice to my wife to buy two spread bed and put children in sapreat room, i am totally not happy but my wife is pressurising me to sprat the children room and beds as she receive some information given by outreach and she now believe if children sleep together with me or both sons sleep together in one bed than when they grown up they will have personality problems.

    I am not sure what to do , the outreach ( children services Redbridge London ) very keen to push my wife to push me not to sleep even in one room , my children in night scream and cry and look for me when they don find me near by.
    I am not able to sleep well as well as hole night I just make them claim and back to me room and go again when ever they cry.

    I really appreciate if you guide me or any other your service user, I don’t know what to do how to satisfied my wife and child services co sleep/ shears sleep its not bad for children
    if you can please write some strong UK basis child search reference regarding co sleep/shear sleep thanks

    Best regards

    • Dionna  

      Hello Nadeem, thanks so much for reading. I’m not sure what kind of information your wife received that shows children who cosleep will have personality problems. None of my own research would support that. In response to your question, I believe that it is each individual family’s choice to decide whether cosleeping is right for them; provided they are cosleeping safely.
      I am not personally familiar with UK-based research on cosleeping. My cursory Google search pulled up a few things:
      “the Department of Health advises that bed-sharing should be avoided if one or both parents:

      is a smoker
      have consumed alcohol
      have taken any drugs, prescription or otherwise, that affect perception, cause drowsiness or affect depth of sleep
      is excessively tired to the extent that this might affect being able to respond to the baby

      Co-sleeping should also be avoided if the baby has a fever or any signs of illness.”

      That quote is from NCT.org. You can also check out a PDF on cosleeping from the Department of Health directly (that link takes you to a page where you can download different options of the PDF, here is a direct link to one of the PDFs).

      If you are unable to cosleep safely (or one parent is adamantly against it), perhaps your children can sleep together.
      I hope that your family can find a peaceful solution.

  10. Nordstrom Coupons

    I love this post, thanks. I still co-sleep with my 4 year old twin girls. I have to admit I’ve had some frustrating moments, but they mostly have to do with life with nursing newborn, infant and toddler twins. Ultimately, we all get a good sleep now and we are all happy with the arrangement. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

  11. Perry

    I co-slept with my son till he started sleeping for longer stretches at night. When he started sleeping 5 hours at a time I put him in his own bed. By 12 weeks old, he was sleeping 10-12 hrs straight. I did this not because I read it in a book. It just happened naturally. Interestingly, when he learned how to climb out of his crib and we took out the rail, he would wake up (crying) and climb into our bed. I tried to put him back to his bed but eventually gave up and allowed him to sleep in our bed as long as he starts out sleeping in his own bed.

    Baby #2 came along and I again started out co-sleeping and intended to put her in her crib once she starts sleeping 4-5 hours at night. Unfortunately, I was too zombied out (after the 4hr stretch she wakes up every 2hrs PLUS my son would still wake up crying as he fumbles and stumbles into our bed) so I decided to keep her in bed with us.

    My husband has apnea and is a light sleeper (he even wears ear plugs to sleep) so now I sleep in the other room with our 2 kids for the sake of my husband getting a better night’s sleep (our daughter doesn’t cry, it’s our son who wakes him up as he comes into our room crying). Of course once we find a solution for his light sleeping and apnea we’re going back to all sleeping in the same bed.

    My only concern is, it seems like my daughter wakes up more often at the same age my son started sleeping 12hrs. I know every baby is different but I have a feeling it’s because I co-sleep with her. I am hoping as she gets older she’ll sleep longer cuz I have no plans of breastfeeding past a year old and her teeth are already out (she’s only 4 months and she’s got 3) so giving her milk at night won’t be good for her teeth.

    So, maybe someone can enlighten me. “How long did it take for your child to sleep longer at night (co-sleeping)?” and by “longer at night” I mean seriously not waking up, wanting to be fed or seek the nipple as a pacifier to go back to sleep.

  12. B

    Thanks for this article! My daughter is 6 and she sleeps on the floor in our bedroom. While this isn’t truly co-sleeping, she feels much more safe and secure. She has never had to have any comfort objects (Pacifier, blanket, toy, etc.) and I truly believe it’s because she knows and trusts that her mom and dad are there to comfort her. She is doing great and is one of the most confident and well-behaved kid I’ve ever seen (and that’s not just because she’s mine!) Thanks again!

  13. Cerisa

    I have been trying to get my fiance back on board with co sleeping, we have two children that will be 8 and 6 in july, and I can tell you that ever since he told me that they couldn’t sleep in the bed with us anymore I broke my heart I truly miss our children being in the bed with us, I haven’t had a good nights sleep in almost 7 years, does anyone have any advice on how to convince him that a family bed is the best way to give our children the best in life?? Thanks for the help in advance.

    • Dionna  

      Cerisa I’m not sure I understand what you mean – you had your kids in the family bed until recently when your fiance asked you to move them out? If you did just move them out, I can understand what a tough transition that might be for all of you. How do your kids feel about it? Has your fiance shared with you why he would like your kids in a separate bed? I’d encourage you to talk to everyone about their needs and how they feel about the move. You might find that there is a way to meet everyone’s needs with an arrangement that looks a little different than it has.

  14. Sidney

    Love this article so much that I tweeted it out!

    My husband and I have been co-sleeping since our son was 3mos old. He’s now a little over 4 years. I started co-sleeping with my daughter at Day 2 in the hospital!

    It’s been a positive experience for all!

    Sidney :)

  15. Thea

    I have always wondered about the attachment to the lovey. When we transitioned our son to his own toddler bed (still in our room) he started to hug his bear. When we started to encourage him to sleep there all night, his attachment to the bear got stronger. I saw this as a bad sign (there were also behavioral issues that went along with that, tantrums, etc.. things that people ascribed to just ‘being two’) so we continued co-sleeping, and lo and behold… no more loveys, bears or issues! I wonder why there is not more research out there. All pediatricians should encourage mothers to co-sleep for a healthy development. Now when I see other children thumbsucking or holding a lovey, I know this is because they have formed an insecure attachment.

    • Dionna  

      Good for you for listening to your instincts, I’m glad you figured out something that worked for your family!
      I don’t think all attachments to loveys or thumb-sucking behavior are due to insecure attachments to caregivers, but there is research that shows it can happen. I’m always careful to avoid over-generalizations!

  16. Kayla

    I am a single mom with an eleven month old daughter. Recently I have been putting my daughter in bed with me when she wakes during the night. I have found that if she is in her own bed she will wake up through out the night. But when she is in bed with me we both sleep the night through. My family keeps telling me I need to “break” her of this habit but why make sleeping an unpleasant experience if you don’t have to. I enjoy having my baby in my bed with me to cuddle with and she enjoys it too. Everyone always comments about how she is the happiest baby they have ever seen. It’s also nice to wake up to a smile and a kiss on the cheek from her.

  17. Kami

    We have a family bed with my husband and I, our 3 y/o, and our 5 m/o. Neither of us would change a thing. The Bible even refers to the family bed in Jesus’ day. It’s normal, natural, and nourishing.

    My marriage totally rocks too =P No worries there. We want many more children.

  18. Bella

    Hi im a mom of an almost 3 year old nd he still sleeps in the same bed as me and husband nd i want to how i can get him to sleep on his own bed. thanks

  19. sarah

    I am in a research class in nursing school and decided to look up research on infant and parent co-bedding. They have proved that when infants and parents sleep in the same bed, the risk for SIDS increases. In order to do proper research you must find true research papers that are evidence based, not just articles on a website you agree with. If you search this topic on PubMed, an online resource for medical research, you will find research articles on this. I did not find one recommending co-bedding, but I found a few that said as long as the parents understand the risks, it is their decision to make. The rest of the articles I found recommended not participating in co-bedding. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a policy statement stating that bed sharing increases the risk of SIDS and should be avoided. You can read it on their website: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/128/5/1030.full?sid=023e2baa-8e7e-4a04-be97-c63ec5b1b6a4 (found by going to aap.org and looking through their policy statements).

  20. Jerri

    My 8 year old grandson has been sleeping in my bed since both of his parents died five years ago. He is very afraid to sleep in his own bed. I am taking a lot of criticism about this. People say it is not normal or good for the child. I think my grandson’s sad situation is the main reason for this need to sleep with me. I don’t want to force him into his own bed when he is so frightened of it. Should I feel guilty? Am I wrong to let this continue? I really need an answer!

    • Dionna  

      Hi Jerri, I’m so sorry you lost a child. What a responsive caregiver you are to share sleep with your grandson, I’m sure that was one of the things that helped him work through his grief. Has he seen a grief counselor? I wonder if he would benefit from someone to talk to – even if he saw someone in the past. I know families who share sleep with children who are your grandson’s age (and older), so I do not find it unusual or detrimental. I do wonder, though, if grief counseling would help your grandson in all areas of his life. Wishing you peace and wisdom.

      • Jerri

        Thank you for your prompt response Dionna! My grandson sees a counselor at school. He has come a very long way since he lost his parents at 2 1/2. He does still have separation anxiety if both I and his Grandfather need to go somewhere without him even though he stays with my 42 year old daughter. Maybe you are right and a grief counselor would be beneficial. If the school found out that he sleeps with me, could I get in trouble? Could CPS get involved?

      • Dionna  

        Unfortunately I’m not on expert on CPS regulations, and I’m sure that different states have different guidelines. I cannot imagine that safely sharing sleep is a removable offense – there are families who must share sleep because of house space! I would definitely work on any underlying issues, though, through grief counseling or otherwise. And if cosleeping is not working for you, then you could come up with a gentle plan to help your grandson sleep on his own. Cosleeping needs to work for everyone, and if you have reached a point that it is not working for you, then you need to honor that, too.

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