When Does Co-Sleeping End?

Many mothers ask this question, especially when infant number two or three comes along:  exactly how long should co-sleeping last? when will it end? 

In my experience, age five (possibly by age  four if there is an older sibling in the room as well), is an age where many children at least start in their own beds.  They frequently then will come in when they wake up in the night. 

However, even if children START in their own beds, they need to be parented to sleep.  Most children like you to lay down with them until they fall asleep.  This is the time of the day where your child may be most relaxed and will  really talk about serious things that are on his or her mind.  It is an opportunity not to be missed!!    Most children who are aged eight or so can talk to you, cuddle with you, kiss you good night and then go off to their own room and crawl into bed and fall asleep.  They still might like to sleep with you several nights a week if you are open to that.

I find most children sleep pretty well through the night typically around ages six to seven, unless they are sick.

I personally think one should keep a bed open to children as long as possible.  If they want to be close to you, why deny the opportunity for connecting with them?  Growing up can be scary and wonderful and challenging.  Even a nine-year-old is still pretty  little. Childhood is such a short time and being open to just being there and being available gives children such a comfort.  

Many blessings,

Carrie

PS.  And please don’t forget this back post if you need more:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/03/16/co-sleeping-and-nighttime-parenting/

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7 thoughts on “When Does Co-Sleeping End?

  1. Thank you for posting about this. My 4-year-old son cannot fall asleep without either his father or I laying down with him. At times I have felt that I may have wrongly encouraged this by co-sleeping with him since he was born. It is reassuring to know that other people support this, and that someday he will want to go to sleep on his own!

  2. I now have two family beds, one in one of the girls rooms and one in the master bedroom. We do our bedtime routine in the childrens room and i lay there ’till there asleep, then get up and do whatever until my bed time. I go to sleep in the master and then sleep in either room as the night goes requires ( sometimes they come to me sometimes i go to them). Neither of my girls are all night sleepers regularly. Lyra has slept through the night only a handful of times in her 7.5 years.
    This system developed as my husband kept getting pushed out of bed. It’s flexible and everyone gets what they need. I don’t expect Lyra to stop sleeping with me until she gets married.

    • Sherene,
      That’s great! I also think for some children, for example, if their love language is physical touch, co-sleeping can be a big way in which they connect with a parent. I think many children would gladly sleep with their parents or have that comforting Mommy smell forever and ever! And why not!
      Blessings,
      Carrie
      PS. I always think back to the fact most homes did not have separate rooms until 200 years ago, so I am sure that went a long way toward meeting our needs for the smells and touch of our family in the dark nights. :)

  3. At one point I wantd to wean my son into his own bed than realised I wasnt ready and more important he wasnt! I am now expecting baby 2 and my son will be 2 by the time this one comes and I will be happy to have to whole family together in one bed :) even if I get a lot of looks and comments along the way1

  4. thank you for this post! our son is 4 (just!) and occasionally falls asleep in his bed with me there to nurse/hold him to sleep or in our bed with same. i have felt shame about this, because to EVERYONE i’ve admitted this has had so much judgement about him “never sleeping in his own bed,” “still nursing?!” etc. i’ve seen the best response from him when we (husband and i) are flexible and really allow for his mattress in our room next to our bed, or him in our bed, or one or both of us in his bed, etc. i think to be flexible, for as long as they need (and it does go by so fast!) is so important. it means so much to them to know that you are there for them. during the day, AND during the night.

  5. Thank you thank you for this post! Even the first sentences lifted a huge weight off my heart. We live in a pretty progressive community, but I still feel like one of the only parents still cosleeping with my child (3). Also, quite a few of the Waldorf books I’ve read recently have seemed really strict about this, like tuck them in and see ya! So thanks for some thoughts from the real world. Blessings.

  6. Totally agree with this post. We didn’t start bedsharing until our eldest was three, and now have five of us spread over two queen sized beds (space is important!) The nine year old and the five year old make noises about going into their own beds in their own rooms, but we’re in no hurry. At this stage, it’s more important to us they feel safe and loved 24/7.

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