To co-sleep or not to co-sleep – does it really matter?

Lots of you may know that my daughter has been co-sleeping with me since she was a few months old.

She’s now eight years and four months.

Earlier this year she slept in her own bed for about three weeks. It was literally life-changing for me.

When she slept with me, I’d read her about 4 stories and then we’d chat, massage etc. before she fell asleep. I wasn’t allowed to leave the room until she was asleep. She was so scared of being on her own. I didn’t have a problem staying with her at all, I enjoyed that time we spent together (however, i did notice how much more time I had to myself).

My daughter is co-sleeping again, but i want to tell you about our discussion during that time she spent in her own bed.

My daughter was the one who decided she was ready for her own bed, there was no pressure from me (there never has been). I’ve always encouraged, but never forced.

After a couple of nights sleeping in her own bed she asked me if I was proud of her. I said I was.

I also said I was proud of her when she slept in my bed too. She looked confused.

I explained that I was proud because she did what made her feel safe and happy. I told her I was proud because she went against the ‘norm’; she got teased by other children and unnecessary pressure from some adults, eye rolling, tutting and statements such as, ‘you’re a big girl, you should be in your own bed’.

Should? Who decides what we should and shouldn’t do as a family. If everybody is happy and safe it isn’t a problem.

I told my daughter I was proud of her because she stood up for herself too, she was never ashamed and continued to put her own feelings first, even though they have often been belittled.

It’s important children know that all families are different, that all parents choose different ways to do things. As long as our children are safe, happy and loved, there is no wrong or right way.


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