Do you co-sleep with your children?

Single mom Felicia Dewar on why sharing a bed with her kids works for her family

By Felicia Dewar
Do you co-sleep with your children?

Photo by iStock

Sleep. We all need it. Most of us love it (except my 10-year-old), but very few of us get enough of it. When I had my first son, I barely left his side. For the first five and a half months, I don't know that I ever did! This included bedtime. Yep, I'm a co-sleeper. I've been a co-sleeper for 10 years now and can probably count the number of weeks I've slept alone on one hand. When you are not in a relationship, it becomes really easy to sleep with your children. I hated the trek down the hallway at two in the morning, at three in the morning and again at four. I hated the yelling for mom and I remember being really worried once my eldest started sleepwalking. There were times I would wake up to the sound of my son thrashing around in his closet, unable to find his way out in his stupor. (Turns out he was looking for the bathroom ...)

Co-sleeping seems to be one of those "hot topics" lately and I have yet to understand why. Okay, let me rephrase: Once your child is past the "scare of suffocation stage", I don't understand the issue with co-sleeping. I know for a fact that my children feel much safer, more secure and happier when they sleep with mom. And, in all honesty, so do I. There's just something about sleeping with a warm body that makes one feel like all is right in the world. It doesn't matter that the protector in this instance will still be me. The fact is that sleeping with my children ensures my fight response will wake up much quicker than it would if I was alone!

I am sure that I will hear proponents that will argue for my children to sleep alone in a dark room just so they can learn to be independent. Well, I send them off to school each day without my presence and they seem to be able to function, so I am convinced they will be just fine. I often wonder if these individuals who are against co-sleeping ever shared a room with a sibling? In all honesty, one of
my strongest reasons for continuing to co-sleep is because I remember being little. I remember laying in a big bed in a dark room and I totally remembering begging, yes, begging my older sister to let me sleep with her. When she would let me, I always felt like I had won the jackpot, the opportunity to feel warm, safe and loved. When she said no, I would be devastated and feel so lonely. It is easy as a single parent to co-sleep; however, now that my baby is growing bigger, I could certainly use a king size bed!

This article was originally published on Mar 13, 2012

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