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Bed Sharing – The Pros and Cons of Sleeping With Children

Bed sharing, also known as sleep sharing means sharing a bed with a toddler instead of sleeping independently. It is a concept that is being practiced all over the world. But, is sleeping with children a good idea? Here are some pros and cons of sleeping with children you must consider before making the choice.


Offers Security

Bed sharing promotes intimacy among family members. Toddlers thrive on cuddles and they want to feel safe and warm beside their parents. For instance, a toddler with nighttime fears might not be able to sleep well in his own room. As a result, he stays up crying and awakens family members causing them to lose sleep as well. But when a toddler sleeps with his parents, he gets a feeling of comfort knowing that mommy and daddy are beside him making it possible for everyone to get a good night’s sleep.

Needs Are Met

When a toddler sleeps beside his mommy, the mother becomes more attentive of the toddler’s conditions and may be able to respond instantly to the toddler’s cues. You no longer have a difficult time figuring out the reason behind your toddler’s sudden outburst because you are aware of his needs.

More Time Spent Together

Bed sharing is also an excellent way for working parents to squeeze in some bonding time with their toddlers at the end of a long day. According to research, sleeping with toddlers helps parents regain the “closeness” that they missed during the day. The shared time with toddlers while sleeping creates a fostering bond that strengthens parent-child relationship.

Improves Overall Development

Studies show that toddlers who share a bed with their parents grow up more confident, satisfied, have less behavioural issues and are less apprehensive as compared to toddlers who sleep on their own beds.


Lack of Sleep

Some parents complain about not being able to sleep with a wriggling and restless toddler next to them. Your toddler can also get used to sleeping next to you making it hard for him to sleep when you are not around.

Encourages Dependence

While studies reveal that bed sharing is beneficial to a child’s development, other child developmental experts claim that toddlers who sleep with their parents will become very dependent which may cause problems in the long run.

Puts A Toddler’s Health At Risk

If one or both parents drink, smoke or use drugs, there is a big possibility that the toddler’s health will be at risk. Cigarette smoke can seep into pillows, blankets and bed sheets where the toddler will breathe in the chemicals causing inflammation in the lungs. Parents who suffer any contagious health condition (e.g. cough, chickenpox and fungal infections) can also endanger a toddler’s well-being.

Affects The Relationship of The Parents

Bed sharing can also cause intimacy problems between the husband and wife. It can also lead to arguments if the spouse is uncomfortable with the arrangement.

The decision to share the family bed with your toddler is a personal one. This set-up might work for your friends but it may not work for your family. Hence, it is important that you take the needs of all family members into account.

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April 2015
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