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My Daughter Is 3 and I Refuse to Kick Her Out of My Bed...

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August 10, 2011

Yup, my daughter just turned three and she’s still sleeping with me. The truth is, she hasn’t slept in her own crib since she was about 7 months. She got a nasty cold around then, so I let her sleep in the bed with me until she started feeling better. Except when she started feeling better, I never put her back in her crib. And she hasn’t been in the thing ever since.


Now I know lots of doctors recommend kids sleep in their own beds as early as possible. Definitely by age 3. I’ve read tons of articles about healthy boundaries and separation anxiety. As luck would have it, though, my pediatrician isn’t one of those doctors. “When should kids sleep in their own bed?” When they’re good and ready, she has said. I will admit she’s a bit of a hippie, but she has told me that my daughter will express interest in her own bed when she’s ready. And that’s how I’ll know when the co-sleeping has to end. There doesn’t have to be a traumatic exile, my doc says.

And yes, her stance on co-sleeping is music to my ears because I don’t actually think I could kick my little girl out of the bed just yet. I’m a single mom and the truth is I love having her sleep with me. Not only because she sleeps like a log when we’re in the same bed–to sleep at 9, up at 9, straight through the night–but also because I love being that close to her. We read our books together in bed every night, then fall asleep together. I feel like it’s given us a really special bond. I might even be more attached to it than my daughter.

I’m also not buying the healthy boundaries theory. One article I read said children need to know there are certain places in the home that are off-limits to them. The stove, yes that’s off-limits. Mommy’s bed, not so much if you ask me. Maybe it’s because I’m not sharing my bed with a man, but I want my daughter to know that if she needs a good snuggle she is totally welcome to crawl into bed with me. And yes, that offer stands every day if she needs it. The idea of positioning the bed I’m in as a place where my children can’t come freely just doesn’t sit well with me.

A few weeks back, Farah wondered if it was time to start weaning her 2-year-old, but the issue at hand this week is co-sleeping. Is three too old for a child to still sleep in the same bed with mom (and/or dad)? Obviously, I say no, but what’s your opinion? Do you buy the whole healthy boundaries argument? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

 



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