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The discussion is:
Your 18-month old insists on sleeping in your bed with you. Is this a problem? Is there anything you need to do?

  • I think it's perfectly understandable that a child that age wants to sleep with Mommy and Daddy...after all - Mommy and Daddy get to sleep together in the same bed! Our son saw that my wife and I get to sleep together, and he gets jealous in a way. If they are always learning things by example, then it is only understandable that they think that sleeping together is normal...so the tough part is getting them to understand why Mommy and Daddy's sleeping arrangements are different! We split it up - we "go to sleep" with him(we read together and then lie down - he drifts off) and then the rest of the night is ours. We tell him when he wakes up at night that Mom and Dad are putting each other to sleep, and that he had his turn....surprisingly, that satisfies him 95% of the time!

  • I am the mother of two small children with a husband who works nights so I have found it easier for all of us to sleep in the same bed a lot of the time. Many people make me feel very guilty about it and I admit that there are drawbacks, but I really have seen no ill effects for my children. They are both sweet and loving and I don't think I would sleep well at all with them all the way at the other end of the house. However it is important that parents make time for each other as well for everybody's sake. I have tried every method anyone has ever suggested about crying it out,etc. Let me tell you that my children can out last anyone! I love having my babies near me-after all they grow up so fast!! I am sure there will be plenty of time in the future to get used to an empty bed. Right now I am going to savoir my children's need of mommy and security.

  • My 18 month old daughter slept in our bed until she was 3 months old, after that we started putting her in her own bed. She would wake at 2am and I would put her into bed with us. At 11 months we stopped putting her into bed with us, because she moves a lot in her sleep. Neither my husband nor I were getting enough rest. Her crib has been in our room until a month ago when we moved to a new house. We didn't have any problems moving her to her own room. Personally I feel that a husband and wife should have their private time. A lot of marriages break up after children get born. One should work on your relationship with your partner as well; otherwise it could do as much damage to your children. My daughter had separation anxiety while she was still sharing a bed with us, but has outgrown that even though she sleeps in her own room. Children don't become clingy, because they sleep alone. I have never heard anything so ridiculous.

  • I am the mother of a two year old girl. Although my partner and I are not together anymore, she has slept with us and still sleeps with me. She has her own room to play with her toys. I don't think there is anything wrong with her sleeping in the same bed. When she gets older, she will be sleeping in her own room though. But for now, I like for her to sleep with me. In the past, in our community, families had slept together in the same room. I don't think there's anything wrong with it.

  • If I were a single parent, this wouldn't be a problem, but because my husband and I need our private time together, this would pose to be a problem. I will put her into her cot and if she cried leave her for a few minutes, go back, comfort her and tell her that she has to sleep in her own bed, then put her down again. I will repeat this until she falls asleep and do this night after night until she gets the message.

  • I do have an 18 month old who sleeps with me at least part of each night. He has horrible night terrors and to keep them to a minimum we have let him come into our bed when he has them which is almost overnight. We find that at least we get some sleep that way...otherwise we are all so tired all of the time that it is hard to deal with him during the day.

  • I have had both of me kids in my bed on numerous occasions, I only find it a problem if they insist on sleeping in your bed constantly. Occasionally is not a problem. After all, they do outgrow it at some stage.

  • I would allow the child to sleep in my bed as I feel that if the only way you are going to get sleep is if your child sleeps and the only way the child is going to sleep is in your bed then let it be - as long as you and the child are getting enough sleep then it can't be harmful. I have a two year old daughter who has been sleeping in my bed most of her life and she is brighter and happier than most children her age and I feel that sharing a bed with me has been a benefit and not a setback in our case.

  • I think first you need to start a ritual every night.maybe start off saying it is time to go night night and read one book. Then put him/her down for bed and let him/her cry for about 10 min. go in and check and pat her but and leave. Keep doing this every so often.It works!!!

  • My three year old son has been sleeping in our bed ever since we took down his crib. This has been a bigger issue with people that we encounter than it actually is for us. My husband and I have both agreed on this matter from the beginning and I think that if both parents are OK with it than why not. Our son is a healthy, extremely loving and a sharing person. I think the fact that he has been sleeping with us has contributed to him developing into the child he is today. Right now he has been asking to sleep in his room and in his bed and we have been gradually working our way to this big step. He is ready for it and has made the decision on his own and it is another way to reinforce the fact that he is growing up and making up his own mind. Draw backs - I am sure going to miss him!!

  • Not really a problem. We put our children (aged 4 yr. and 5 1/2 years to bed in their own beds now (slept with us from birth) and if they wake at night they are allowed to come into bed with us. When breastfeeding, nightfeeding is good for maintaining supply and decreasing risk of pregnancy, and feeding in bed is not tiring. I always just dozed back to sleep. As adults, most of us like sharing a bed; it seems to me that children like this also.

  • My 8 months old baby definitely sleeps better when she is sleeping with us. My husband enjoys having her near as well. We put her crib next to our bed. She will fall asleep on our bed, then we will move her to her crib. If she wakes up in the middle of the night, then my husband will carry her into bed with us. She loves it and so do we. There is no problem at all.

  • Yes, its a problem. Children need to be comforted, and returned to their own bed and learn to fall asleep on their own. Start by letting them sleep on the floor next to the bed. Their bed should be close to the floor - mattresses on the floor - and be made a special place.

  • My daughter is 23 months old and she still sleeps with me also. Normally, when I want her to sleep in her crib and not with me, I usually wait until she falls asleep on the couch when we're watching television or whatever, then when she's asleep, I pick her up and put her in her crib and she will stay there, asleep, until she wakes up. I have no other problems with her throughout the night, except every once-in-awhile she wakes up crying for a little bit then she usually falls back to sleep in about 2 minutes.

  • I have an 18-month-old who wakes almost every night between 2 and 4 am. To make things easier on my husband, I take my son to another room and we fall asleep together. Our pediatrician says this is tantamount to bringing him in our bed. So for me, it's not a problem philosophically. We don't have a Family Bed but we're not opposed to it.

  • Buy the biggest bed you can fit in your house and enjoy the experience.

  • When somebody figures it out ,please let me know. I have a four year old who is still in my bed. I CAN"T GET HIM OUT!!I have tried everything!

  • Try to transition your child to their own room as soon as possible. Placing him in his crib/bed and "sleeping" in his room (on floor or separate bed) until he falls asleep might work. A good bedtime routine is beneficial for everyone. Holding and singing happy songs before placing in their bed for night helped us. Teaching a two (or three) year old to sleep in his own room is NOT what I would want to try. They are VERY stubborn.

  • Like everyone else, I only believe that this is a problem if you feel it is. I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old. Both come into my bed. Of course, the fact that my husband works nights makes it a little easier...However, I, like many of the other respondents, find this arrangement conducive to the whole family getting more sleep and having more bonding time. Furthermore, again like many of the respondents, neither of my children every suffered from "separation anxiety". Ironically, it the is children of my friends who have "Ferberized" their babies that seem more clingy and anxious when Mom & Dad are away. The joke in my family it that my in-laws, steadfast baby schedulers, let my four year old sleep in their bed!! They also cherish that extra quiet time. I'm sure once my one year is weaned, she too will join them in their sleepovers. I simply feel that if your child sleeps peacefully all night in a family bed, as mine do, vs. waking and crying when they are in their own beds, which mine also do, how can't the family bed be right? It works for me. My only regret is not buying a king sized bed when we got married!

  • I love waking up with my children. My 15 month old still sleeps with us, and about half the time my 4 year old will get in with us in the middle of the night. I may lose a little sleep, but I have gained beautiful memories of bonding.

  • Not only is it not a problem...it should be normal and not be suggested as abnormal. Our daughter has just this week begun pre-school. She is bright, intelligent, well adjusted, socially and spiritually aware. She has a bed to sleep in but prefers sleeping in the family bed. Her new independence this past week is the beginning of her reaching out and taking new steps. We have not discouraged her from sleeping with us, other than to buy her a bed and set up her own room. She and I are very close and she still nurses occasionally. Just as she began crawling, walking, talking and became potty trained, she will one day decide that she wishes for her complete independence from us. When that happens, we will encourage her. Until then, we are not unhappy with having her in our family bed. Our belief is that she is only a child for now. She will continue to grow up and leave us soon enough. She is confident, self assured and she's never had a pacifier, a bottle nor does she carry a blanket around. We feel very pleased with the job we've done so far. My husband and I often talk about the way parents push their children to sleep alone from the first night of their birth on. It's a concept we just don't understand unless the parents are having children for the sake of having them and not embracing their lives. We cherish our daughter. If we had more children, we'd get a bigger bed.

  • Anything you need to do when your baby wants to sleep with you? Yes!! You put your beds on the floor or get a guard rail up so they don't fall out, and let them sleep there with you for as long as they like. You also should get a twin bed and put it next to yours so they can be moved over if need be, but still be with you. Kids are young for such a short time, and they really need you at this age, especially at night, so let them sleep with you right from day one and let them move out on their own. We have a very small bedroom and my son's bed won't fit side by side, so I have the head of his bed against mine so if he wants to crawl over he can. They grow up so fast, it would be a shame to lose this precious time of shared sleep. You don't know what you are missing out on when you sleep with your child. Bonding is so much nicer, watching them sleep, waking up at the same time, seeing their first smile as they see you. Or nursing them back to sleep so you can get a few more minutes of sleep! My son always smiles when he wakes up and sees me first thing. And on the times when I get up before he does, he just sits on the bed and calls me (I hear him through the monitor) and he knows and trusts me that I will be right there in a few seconds. Then he still gives me that wonderful winning smile. I hate for any mom to miss out, Dads too. If Dad works a lot, it is a great time for them to catch up on bonding too. My husband loves it.

  • We expect our children to become spouses when they grow up. What better way to help them feel content with non-sexual intimate moments in a relationship than to allow them to sleep with parents and other family members as they grow up? They will be more sensitive to the feelings of others and less likely to strike out with violence if parents find ways to meet their companionship needs, especially at night, when they are young.

  • I am the mother of a 2.5 year old girl who will fall asleep in her own bed but as soon as she realizes mommy (or daddy - but less often) is not in the bed with her she comes crying for us. We will most often let her climb into our bed so that we can stop the cycle and get some sleep. I suppose its not so bad except it seems a bit unnatural and it can interfere with my private time with my husband. So even though I love cuddling with her I wish she would just sleep through the night in her own bed. Oh yes, and get up and use the bathroom by herself - that would be blissful.

  • Only in America is this considered "a problem"! My daughter shared our bed from day one until she decided she wanted her own bed, at around four years of age. She still occasionally visited up through 7 years of age. She is a self-assured, independent child who does not doubt the security and acceptance of her parents. She has never been "clingy", and I feel that this has a lot to do with that. She was never left to "cry it out" at night, which I think is incredibly cruel, and can't understand why any parent would let a child associate something so pleasant as bedtime with something so traumatic.

  • We have always allowed our two children to sleep in bed with us. They are 26 months and 7 months old. The reason for this is that we believe parenting is a twenty four hour job, not just something that is done during the day. Research has shown that children who are cared for at night as well as the day receive constant reassurance of support and love. They grow up being able to cope better with stress. Children who are left to sleep in their own rooms have to cope with feelings of fear, abandonment and anger. It was not until this century that children were expected to sleep in their own rooms. It was not until this century that we have had such a high rate of divorce, emotional and mental illnesses, and sleep disturbances. Nature has a way of coming back and trying to compensate for what we did not receive in our childhood.

  • My 18 month old is currently sleeping half the night in our bed with my husband and I. Some of my friends and family think it's a problem but I'm very comfortable with it. We are planning on only having one child so I treasure every moment with my son. At some point in the not to far future he will be in his own bed and I will miss terribly the closeness of snuggling with my son at night. I realize it can be a great inconvenience as far as marital relations but honestly just having a baby causes that no matter where the baby may be sleeping.

  • I think if it works for your family, enjoy it. Your children will grow up soon enough. Our daughter slept in our bed for about 18 months and then she started sleeping on a futon next to our bed. When she wakes up (in the middle of the night) she crawls into bed with us. At first, she would come into bed with us after an hour or two. Now (age 2 1/2), she comes into our bed in the early morning. We love having her in our room and we love cuddling with her for a couple hours during the early morning. It works for us!

  • Of course it's a problem. My son is 27 months old and I still can't get him out of our bed.

  • My 22 month old daughter sleeps with me, and has since she was 3 months old. It is not a problem; I did not intend for it to be this way, though. It started when I had to return to teaching, and needed more sleep. I did not have time to wake up and get her back to sleep 2-3 times a night. I intend to keep this arrangement until she is ready to move on her own. I am confident that she will.

  • As others have responded, it is only a problem if you think it is - in many countries, children spending the first couple of years with Mom and Dad is the norm. There is no detriment to the child. My four year old still climbs in bed with us in the middle of the night all the time. We are not concerned as she has a very healthy and independent personality. She is big enough now, however, that this has become inconvenient, and we just move her back to her own bed after she falls asleep (unless she is having nightmare trouble, there is a bad storm, etc.). Even our 6 year old asks to sleep with us from time to time - so I guess once you start, be prepared to continue!

  • We still have a family bed shared by me, my husband, and my 17-month old son. I love going to sleep cuddling up with him and waking up to see his peacefully sleeping face. It makes it easier for us, too, at night since he still nurses. I love this arrangement and will not change a thing, despite disagreements from other family members.

  • I think it's hard to tell if toddlers at this age crave love or try to be the boss. My daughter who's 18 months old insists on falling asleep in my bed, but I move her to her crib after she's asleep. And if she wakes up at night, I try to ignore her. She goes back to sleep. It seems to me that she doesn't like her crib, or she feels lonely. I feel guilty if I don't offer her all the love she's asking for....

  • I start her out in her bed and tell her if she stays there for 5 minutes she can come get in my bed. Each week I increase the time by 5 minutes or so. She has responded well. Some nights she comes in our room later in the night but that is getting less frequent. I think by the time she gets married she will be ready sleep alone.

  • Your child sleeping with you is only a problem if you make it one. There are plenty of books out there who can give you advice on what to do. The best advice I'll give out is to relax and enjoy your time together because children grow up so fast.

  • No, it isn't a problem. I think kids are more secure sleeping with parents. I'd let my kid sleep with me as much as he liked and for as long as he likes.

  • I too ran into this problem. My child use to love bed time and would ask us to take her to bed. Then one night everything changed, she hated her bed and was scared of her room for no reason that I could think of. We dealt with this issue for months. Finally I called her pediatrician and they recommended a few things that actually worked. One was having quiet time an hour before bedtime in her room, reading, singing,etc. Didn't work. Tried giving her the talk about why she had to sleep in her own bed like a big girl, didn't work. Finally, we resorted to locking her in her room. We made sure she was safe and couldn't hurt herself and stayed near by until she fell asleep, then unlocked her door. This took only a few nights of doing but worked like a charm. Now, she's back in the swing of sleeping in her own bed with no problems. I know it seems cruel, but it came doctor recommended. You must be consistant with bedtime and develop a routine at night in order to stay on track.

  • I do not think an 18 month old child boy or girl sleeping in parents bed posses a problem- there are many situations when the child is more comfortable in the bed with the parent at the time the only potential problem I see is rolling over on the child... If the child had a seriouse illness we would want them in our bed It does not mean you are spoling your child or giving in it means more love to go around more time with parent or parents it is a wonderful experience denjoy it while you can !!

  • I think that is a bad idea! My sister did that with her newborn, he is 12 now and sleeps on the floor in her room. i have a 1 and 2 yr olds and they will never sleep in our room. No way! That is my wife and my time together.

  • The problem started when you parents gave in and let their child/children sleep in their bed. I have two daughters ages 5 and 2 and they have never slept with us. My husband drives truck so I have the bed to myself and I plan to keep it that way. Some parents say its a way to bond if they sleep with them. I have found many ways to bond with my girls without them in my bed.So what if you lose some sleep trying to keep your child in their OWN bed that is why you bought them their own bed.Just take some time they will kick and scream make you feel like your the worst parent,but your not. Children need to sleep in their own rooms.

  • I don't see it as a problem. As for a solution, we should go back to the beginning. It's probably best not to bring your baby into bed with you if you're not prepared to accept this arrangement for the long run. Sure, there are exceptions to every rule, but children (like adults) are creatures of habit...and of control. You set the stage for a sleep environment that soothes all of baby's senses - the touch of other warm bodies, the rhythmic sounds of his/her parents'/parent's steady breathing, the scent of those s/he depends on for comfort, etc. - then expect this baby/toddler/child to buy into the idea that he or she is better off alone. That would be a hard sell for anybody. I'm probably the worst example of how to make a smooth transition. My older son was a bit over two and already sleeping alone in twin bed in his own room when his brother was born. When the new baby was about six months old, my older son migrated back to my bed. Flash forward two years and find both of them sleeping in a shared room for a while - bunk beds. Flash forward two more years and find both of them sleeping together in my king sized bed and me sleeping in the full sized coverted crib. No matter the sleeping configuration, I'm satisfied that my boys are healthy and happy, flexible, content to be alone or with others, and genuinely enjoy each other's company. Another brick in what I hope is the solid foundation for a life-long friendship.

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