Co-sleeping with Toddlers
Many parents who co-sleep with their infants worry
about keeping them in a family bed too long. You probably have
worries about your child becoming too attached or that a toddler
will affect your marital relationship. Many families continue to
co-sleep with their older children, who grow up to become healthy
and well adjusted. Just as with infants, co-sleeping makes a child
feel safe and loved. The real question should not be whether or not
co-sleeping is a good idea, but rather whether or not it is a good
idea for your family.
The beauty of co-sleeping with a toddler is that there are a lot
more options than with an infant. With babies, the child usually
sleeps in the bed, or in a sleeper attached to the bed. Here are the
options for co-sleeping with toddlers. You’ll probably find one that
works well for your family.
* Occasional co-sleep. This is the arrangement most people have in
their households. The parents and children have their own rooms and
beds, but the children are free to join mom and dad if they have a
bad dream or can’t sleep.
* Family bed. Children sleep in the bed with mom and dad. This can
become a strain on the marriage, but many couples make do by going
to another room after the children fall asleep.
* Musical Beds. In this arrangement, there are several beds in the
house that are not assigned to specific people. The sleeping
arrangement for the night depends on the situation.
* Two beds for mom. This is where there are two beds, one for mom to
sleep with the kids and one for mom to sleep with dad. This way,
children get the benefit of co-sleep, but they know when mom and dad
are to be left alone.
* Sharing a room. Instead of having the child in a family bed, they
have their own bed, futon, or mattress in the same room as mom and
* Sibling bed. This is when brothers and sisters share a bed instead
of with the parents. If you have a younger child who has been
co-sleeping, this is a good way to get them used to sleeping on
You should be wary of having a baby and a toddler
sleeping in the same bed. Since they are mobile, but unaware of
safety hazards; a toddler could unknowingly endanger an infant. If
you do choose to have more than one child in the bed, be sure they
are separated and that the toddler is well aware of the rules. To
stay safe without alienating your toddler, you could consider
bringing a bed or mattress into your room for them to sleep on. This
way they can remain close to you without endangering your other
child. If your toddler has older siblings, you may consider a
sibling bed so the baby can be safe with you.
When choosing sleeping arrangements in your house, be sure to choose
what works best for your family. Everyone around you will probably
have an opinion on your choice; you need to choose what’s best for
your family, not everyone else.
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