Pros and Cons to Co-Sleeping with Your Toddler

Like all things in parenting, there are definitely pros and cons to co-sleeping with your toddler. Check out our thoughts & tell us what you think!

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!

Related: When Should You Stop Co-sleeping With Your Toddler?

Pros and Cons to Co-Sleeping with Your Toddler

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Here are some pros to co-sleeping with your toddler:

Breastfeeding

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.

Related: Help! My Baby Won’t Fall Asleep For Anyone But Me!

Safety

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.

Bad habit

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!

 

13 thoughts on “Pros and Cons to Co-Sleeping with Your Toddler”

  1. Great piece! Although I’m not a mum yet, I can appreciate this post as I am a pre-school teacher. Will definitely pass on some of this information 🙂 x

  2. Great article! I think if it works for you and your family then do it. I co slept with my son on and off as needed until he was old enough and felt comfortable sleeping alone. He is going fine now and is really independent!

  3. What a great informative piece to help people decide if this is right for them or not. I didn’t make it a habit when my daughter was little but she wouldn’t latch on during breast feeding so I had to pump the feed. This left me very tired for a long time. There was one occasion where I fell asleep laying in bed breast feeding and my husband almost had a heart attack! He swore it was dangerous and that I should never do it but I would have loved to have something like this for him to read pros and cons.

  4. This is a great article with the pros and cons to co-sleeping with a toddler. I personally slept with mine and didn’t really share that publicly. I think being a Mom is the toughest job in the world and we always worry how our decisions will effect our children. My son seems to be quite adjusted at age 10.

  5. Good article! I still sleep with my 2 and 4 year olds! Get lots of critism for it, but the three of us sleep fairly well (sometimes its a little crowded! Especially if the cat is there too!), and they both go back to sleep quite easily knowing I am there with them. Personally, I like it!

  6. Choosing to co sleep or not to co sleep is a hard decision to make as a parent! I know I have had friends who do a combination of both. I think it’s important to figure out what’s best for the family and the children at the time.

  7. At what age of the toddler do you think that it will be really okay not to sleep with him? Most parents I know do not allow their baby to sleep inside the crib alone. They prefer to have the baby sleep on their bed at the center so both father and mother will be able to protect him.

  8. I must admit that this is a new concept to me. I don’t know anybody who co-slept when I was growing up, at least nobody who talked about it publicly. I don’t have children, but I wouldn’t participate in co-sleeping if I did.

  9. I can understand how it can lead to a refusal to sleep on their own but, l only see the benefits because in some cultures, it is the only way families who live in one room homes sleep. It brings everyone closer.

  10. Never having had children I really can’t say which would be better or not–I would think it depends on the child and the parent. No two people alike or react alike.

  11. I can imagine there are tons of serious pros and cons to co-sleeping with your toddler that parents don’t always consider. Thank you for this very informative piece!

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