Co-sleeping with your toddler has it’s pros and cons. I love being close to my little humans, what I don’t like is waking up in a king sized bed with a small person trying to crawl back inside me. Push them back to the other side of the bed, and low and behold, a few hours later I am awake again to an elbow in my back. Other than this fun description of how some of my nights are, there are some more pros and cons below, read on and see if you can relate!
Pros and Cons to Co-Sleeping with Your Toddler
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Here are some pros to co-sleeping with your toddler:
If you are still breastfeeding your toddler, co-sleeping makes this so much easier. There is no getting out of bed for a crying and hungry tot, you can just roll over (or pick him up if he has a crib in your room). Feed the babe and you both get back to sleep. I did not breastfeed for very long, but I have friends who have and still do and they say co-sleeping is much easier for getting sleep and making feedings easier.
Actual sleep (for you)
You will actually get to sleep (gasp!) Sounds too good to be true right? If you are co-sleeping, your child feels more safe and secure, and will sleep more soundly, which means more sleep for you! There is minimal waking up in the middle of the night and calling for Mom, there is little chance of a child staring you down in the middle of the night while you sleep, until you wake up because you feel like someone is watching you (my stepdaughter used to do this and it freaked me out!)
Child sleeps too
Some kids will startle in their sleep and wake up more easily if they are alone. If your child wakes up in the middle of the night, going back to sleep is much more easy for him if he knows you are close by. I know this to be true for my own child. There have been times she has woken up, sat up, looked at me (creepy!) and then fallen back to sleep. Then there have been times when she was in her own bed that she has woken up, cried out for me and I had to go in and make sure she fell back to sleep, which took a lot longer than the creepy way she has done it in my room. Not to mention, now I am up and out of bed too, so going back to sleep for me is more difficult.
My daughter got so sick one night, vomiting in her sleep (and many more times before we could make it out of the house). She never woke up, just slept through it, but because she was in a crib-like thing next to my bed, I woke up when she vomited. What if I hadn’t? A friend told me that her son stopped breathing, if he was alone, she very well could have lost him!
And now for some cons of co-sleeping with your toddler:
Hubby gets the couch
This kind of stinks. We actually did this with our second, only I was on the couch because the bassinet for our son wouldn’t fit in our room (it’s ok, we have a comfy couch). However, it is not ideal. At least for me, sleeping in the same bed as my spouse made me feel closer to him, and when you have a toddler in between you and a baby in there as well…well feeling close (at least in the middle of the night) is not really an option, and someone always ends up on the couch.
It is a possibility that you are creating a bad habit by co-sleeping. I know many parents who feel it is a bad habit and one that shouldn’t ever be started. Keep in mind though, bad habit or not, your child won’t always be in your bed or room. You can be sure that at some point they are going to want their own space! How many teenagers do you know that co-sleep with their parents?
Co-sleeping really is a personal choice. As you can see there are pros and cons to doing it. Some people just need their space and believe their kids need to be in their own beds. We never co-slept as kids, and we turned out just fine.
Some moms believe it help promote independence, which might sound backwards to you, but think about it. Your child feels safe and secure with you, knowing that he has you to go to, he feels safe to explore his independence. Maybe you don’t agree. What are your thoughts on the pros and cons of co-sleeping with your toddler? Post your comments and experiences below!