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For Those That Co-Sleep....

What age did you have your child go into their own bed (if ever) and was it easy to get them to sleep on their own? Any tips (babies/kids of any age) on encouraging them to sleep alone eventually?

No drama please. I'm well aware of the pros and cons of co-sleeping. I do not co-sleep myself except on rare occasions when the little man is sick and wants to be held more. This is more or less brought up because of a friend of mine who co-slept with her toddler, wants him to now be independent in his own room and he's having no part of it and reverting back to acting like an infant. I'd like to help her as well as know for myself what has worked for other moms.



Asked by NovemberLove at 5:00 PM on Feb. 21, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 13 (976 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • Could it be said that some kids are just naturally dependent and won't choose to go on their own unless encouraged to do so?

    I would say yes, that some children are naturally more dependent than others, but that just means they may take longer to grasp for their own independence, not that they WON'T take it. As parents, we should encourage our children to be to independent, but not force it upon them before they are ready to take it themselves. That's why I give my son rules to follow and choices to make - this encourages him to think about what's more important to him - how else will he learn to think independently and consider what he values more or less? In time, he will take these lessons into life to be able to decide for himself what he values.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 8:30 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • Besides me enjoying having my own space, this was one of the major drawbacks I've often heard of when co-sleeping, which is why I didn't do it.

    But I've heard of some mothers who had little to no trouble getting their kids into their own beds after co-sleeping...maybe it depends on the child, I don't know.

    Answer by .Peaches. at 5:15 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • I've co-slept with all my kids. I'm not comfortable doing it any other way. I never have a hard time getting them out of my bed when we're ready. I don't generally move them until they are two and have never wanted to. I've never had to really encourage any of them. It kind of just happened. My now 5 year old moved without my saying anything when his brother was born.

    Answer by Pauline3283 at 5:47 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • i did it. still do sometimes. never not one single time have either of my children been harmed by this. having said that, he's used to her being there so for the first night, she's gotta be there a long time. sitting by his bed reading him a long story (i chose harry potter when i did it) until he falls asleep while holding his hand should do. once this gets easier, stop the hand holding but keep reading aloud so he can hear your voice. once this goes easier, tell him, i'm gonna sit here and read to myself until you fall asleep. then he'll get used to you being there until he falls asleep. then you can start leaving earlier and earlier. until you just say "okay buddy bedtime." this worked for my son. it does take time and is annoying when you have other things to do but you know it serves a dual purpose. you get some quiet me time and you don't have to have the cry it out breakdown.

    Answer by princezzmommie at 6:08 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • Well, first thing for any mom to remember is that in order for a child to become independent, the child must initiate the drive for independence. If a toddler is forced to be "independent" before they are ready, then it will not be true independence that they can take with them into adult-hood. Rather, it becomes a form of forced "I'm doing it for your own good" authoritarianism, and not necessarily something the child is ready for. So my recommendation to your friend would be to let her child tell her when HE is ready to sleep on his own rather than requiring the child become independent based on the mother's preference, convenience or misplaced understanding of independence. A toddler still needs a parents comfort and solace - when he is ready for independence, he will let her know. I suggest she trust her child and let him lead her in his quest for independence. With that said...

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 6:11 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • cont...I've co-slept with my son since he was born and some nights he sleeps in his own room. But it's his choice based on whether or not he can follow the rules of sleeping in my room. If your friend's son is old enough to understand and follow the rules that his mother sets up, then he should be able to make the choice of sleeping in his own room or hers. For instance, one requirement for my son is that he let me trim his toenails. For an entire week, he refused to sleep in my room because he knew it would mean that his toe nails would be trimmed. After a week, he decided that it could happen, so he was welcomed back in my room. Other rules to follow include taking baths, settling down when lights are out, etc. If he chooses to not follow the rules, then he chooses to sleep in his own room. Sometimes, he'll just choose to sleep in his own room anyways. He is establishing his independence through his choices.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 6:15 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • Could it be said that some kids are just naturally dependent and won't choose to go on their own unless encouraged to do so? I think there's a fine balance between a child doing something "when they're ready" and needing to listen to and obey their parents. Not all kids have the luxury of choice; does that harm them when they don't? Say they move to a smaller home and have to get a smaller bed and a baby is on the way that will soon be sleeping with them making it unsafe for the nearly 3 year old to be in the bed too? If they let him, I'm sure he'd be in the bed with them until he was 10. I do think there's a time to encourage and practice independence rather than just waiting for it to happen.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 6:43 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • some kids are just naturally dependent and won't choose to go on their own unless encouraged to do so?

    I don't think so. I've never forced any of my kids into things before they were ready. They all have VERY different personalities and they do not lack independence in any area. Their father has tried to force them at times only to make them MORE dependant and he now knows the value of waiting. I have a two year old and am expecting any day now. He's still co-sleeping because no one is ready for him to move so we got creative. I side carred a crib to my bed(it's flush with my mattress and the front isn't there so it's a literal extension) so baby can have a place and sleep with me as well as my toddler. That way we are ALL happy and no fights. He won't be in bed with them forever. They do move, AT times it takes a while. In my personal opinion, it doens't help to push.

    Answer by Pauline3283 at 7:17 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • I never co-slept. Never believed in it. Why? Because I knew it would be hard getting my kids on their own. Someone I know did and her child is 8 and still sleeps in her bed let alone wants to be fed by her mother. My kids are independent and know they are to stay in their own bed unless there is an emergency or they need the bathroom. My kids have slept in the same room as me when they were babies becuase I was afraid of SIDS. But once they turned 1 they both went inside their own room in their brand new beds.

    Answer by mommatime78 at 7:40 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • Lol. I don't co-sleep... I kick... they one sleeps well... ick... but mine slept three feet away in their cribs... I also do not want to share my fluffy bed...
    My mom co-slept with hers, but not as babies, as soon as they were too big for the crib they'd sleep with her. the 8 year old just recently started sleeping in her own bed because mom let her design her own room. it is very pretty with a forest fairy motif... so there you have it... let the lil one pick out his/her own bedding, pictures for walls... wall paint...however far you are willing to go but let them choose (my little brother had flourescent yellow bedroom walls when he was 5 or 6 because of this practice in my mom's house- it painted over nicely and is now a nice pale blue- he's 15) Make the room his own. he will eventually be more comfortable there.

    Answer by LuckyClown at 8:02 PM on Feb. 21, 2009