Should I stop co-sleeping?Is he too old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 01-19-2003, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a single mother of an almost 4 year old son. He's slept with me since he came home from the hospital (had an emergency procedure done to correct a heart deffect at 1 day old). We still do it 95% of the time (except when he falls asleep in bed, and I on couch, or I am away for the night and grandma is looking after him), and at Daddy's house, he sleeps in a seperate toddler bed. (when daddy sleeps over, we all share a bed). Anyway, my question is-is it time for me to stop? My parents are telling me it's a little disturbing, that I can get into trouble, he's too old, time for me to "cut the cord" etc, : and to tell the truth...I could do without being kicked and elbowed 10 times a night...not to mention the occaisional bed wetting. BUT, I love falling asleep next to him, burying my nose in his hair and taking long breaths, being there when he has a bad dream (which is rare, I believe partly because he must feel safe), and all the other reasons that I started co-sleeping in the beginning. I just love being next to him and don't want to give that up, but I'm thinking it may be for the best If he did get his own toddler bed, it would be at the foot of mine, no more that 1' away. But I'm so not sure....I figured that since I have no AP friends or relatives, etc, that you lovely ladies might be able to lend me some of your advice. PLEASE! Thanks in advance!
Always, Kelly

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#2 of 15 Old 01-19-2003, 03:26 PM
 
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Hi! Personally, I don't think you should stop cosleeping. The negative comments you are getting from your relatives are based in ignorance. They don't understand that cosleeping is beneficial to a child, and that child-led weaning fosters independence and confidence.

You might want to ask him how he feels about sleeping in his own bed when he's at Dad's. Whether he would like a bed of his own or whether he's happier being in bed with you. There's nothing wrong with suggesting to him that he could sleep in his own bed if he wants to. You might even set up a toddler bed for him and see if he uses it. But if he would rather be with you, then I would keep up with the cosleeping. You won't have too much more of this precious time together so make the most of it!!

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#3 of 15 Old 01-19-2003, 03:29 PM
 
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well, my dd is only 15 months, so I'm not sure if I have the "best" perspective...

but I don't think that 4 is too old. I don't think age matters as much as whether you and you ds are ready to change the sleeping arrangements. It sounds like you are both happy with co-sleeping. and that's what matters, not what your parents are telling you!!
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#4 of 15 Old 01-19-2003, 05:34 PM
 
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Well, in my opinion, where he sleeps should be up to him. If he wants his own bed and he sleeps there or if he sleeps with you doesn't matter, as long as he's happy and you're comfortable. My son is 27 months and people used to try and tell me that I needed to make him sleep in his own bed, but he'll go if and when he wants to.

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#5 of 15 Old 01-19-2003, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow...thanks guys....I guess in my heart I knew the answer. Isn't it strange that with all my anxiety and doubt, I completely forgot to think about asking ds! And I think that's a great idea about setting it up and seeing if he takes to it. I love the no-pressure thing. I'm also thinking that it would be okay to let him decide each night if he wants to sleep with Momma or in his own bed. I am letting out one big PHEW! Thank you so much guys. It just gets so hard, not having any in person support besides from my partner-my parents and his are very much against anything AP-breast feeding (especially in public), co-sleeping, home schooling, no vax, you get the idea-although why I'm not sure : On any account...I look foward to hearing any more suggestions.
Always, Kelly

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#6 of 15 Old 01-19-2003, 09:57 PM
 
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Dear CookieMonsterMommy,
While I definitely wouldn't say that your son is too old to be cosleeping, I do think that he's old enough to be moved into his own bed if you are ready for him to move. It sounds like you are kind of ambivalent about moving him into a "big-boy bed"--you love co-sleeping but you would also relish your own space. You might ask him now if he'd be ready to move, and if says no, then see how you feel in the next few weeks/months of co-sleeping. If you find yourself really wishing that he had agreed to move, then you could forego the asking and just tell him after a while, "It's time for you to learn to sleep in your own bed now" and be gentle but firm about it. I really believe that while babies ought to sleep with their parents even if it is an inconvenience, older children don't need to co-sleep unless the parents actually want them to. There may be a few tears but you know your child and you are the only one who would know if those tears were genuine "I still really need to sleep with you" or "I am having a hard time with the transition and I'm not getting my way" tears.
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#7 of 15 Old 01-19-2003, 10:53 PM
 
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Well, it sounds like his dad is OK with it so that shouldn't be a worry.

He sounds like he enjoys sleeping with you but you should have a chat with him occaisionally to see where he is on the topic. Don't make it sould as if you w ould be heartbroken if he moved out of your bed though because then he might fel obligated to stay there. Try to be casual about it.

Would you think he was too old if he was a girl? Would it be "weird" to other if you and your dd were sleeping together. I doubt people would feel as strongly about it.

And finally - never use your inlaws a gage Move right along to people with clue.

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#8 of 15 Old 01-19-2003, 11:24 PM
 
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I agree with everyone here ~ If it works for you, then keep doing it! You can always push a toddler bed next to yours for when you want your own space or an escape from the flying limbs :LOL My kids, 6 & 4, are in my bed *every night* though I *kicked them out* at 4 & 2 inky I really don't mind it, but I wish I had a king size!
This was *the* area of ap that MIL couldn't disagree with us on, DH slept in her bed til he was 10! (She, too, was a single mom) He got moved because he broke his arm and the cast almost gave her a concussion when it flew at her head one night!! In fact, DH was such a proponent of co-sleeping that when DD (then 18 mos old) kicked him in the head after brain surgery, *he* moved to the couch to recover, then rejoined us in bed
Follow *your* heart mommy!
~diana

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#9 of 15 Old 01-20-2003, 12:32 AM
 
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My 4/5 yr old son still sleeps with us about 3 times a week. I love to find him curled up next to me. I certainly don think its not appropriate. My 4 year o,d spends alot of his time trying to keep up with his almost 13 yr old brother. he needs to be the baby sometimes...kwim?

i too breathe deeply into his soft blonde hair!!
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#10 of 15 Old 01-20-2003, 11:19 PM
 
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My son slept with me until he was 4 1/2. He made the decision to move to his room because my 5 month old was making alot of noise, nursing and wiggling at night. But he comes back often to sleep with me, and I am very open. I know MANY families who have their beds on the floor, and the kids and parents play musical beds, sleep together, but in various arrangements as needed.

(mom and dad or mom and baby, dad and son, or dad and daughter...on and on). Co-sleeping is very natural. And of course you couldn't get in trouble for it!

What matters is how you and your son feel. And I love to smell the hair of my kids too while sleeping with them. Sweet treasures of life indeed!

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#11 of 15 Old 01-20-2003, 11:34 PM
 
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If other people think cosleeping is bad, they shouldn't do it

If you and your son like it, you should do it till you don't want to anymore
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#12 of 15 Old 01-21-2003, 01:16 AM
 
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#13 of 15 Old 01-21-2003, 07:08 PM
 
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Well, it does not sound "disturbing" to me at all: I am surprised anyone would find sleeping with a child this age to be wrong. It's a personal choice. I have known people who have coslept for a lot longer than that. My little brother used to crawl in mom's bed at times even when he was 8 or 9 and she wasn't really a "cosleeper" but didn't have a problem with this. Dh's cousin's dd just stopped sleeping with her mom and she is 14.
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#14 of 15 Old 01-21-2003, 10:01 PM
 
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"My parents are telling me it's a little disturbing, that I can get into trouble"

We cosleep with our 4 yo and 9 mo. The only advice I've been told is make sure you sleep clothed--in pjs or a nightgown, and that he's in pjs of some kind. Children's Services has gone after some folks embroiled in custody battles when one parent makes allegations against the other--and one of the issues can be "she/he sleeps naked with the older kid".

Don't let your parents bug you...

Mel
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#15 of 15 Old 01-22-2003, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the support guys....I guess my parents and others find it "strange" because they never co-slept. As far as the clothes goes, I'm not going to lie, ds sweats in his sleep a lot, so his PJ's usually consist of training pants or regular tightie-whities. I usually only wear a T-Shirt, underwear if it's that time of the month, but there are no boobies or butts exposed. lol. It is sad though, that completely healthy, normal bonding can be looked at by some as improper or even sexual. It's even sadder when their attitude rubs off one those who know what's best for themselves.
~~>Kelly

PS-Going out tomorrow to buy a toddler bed, just in case he wants it. Wish me luck...I'm getting all emotional :

Kelly, mama (12yoDS), doula, RN, and writer.
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