Childrearing

My Daughter Is Almost Five And We Still Co-Sleep

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I don’t recall the exact age that I started sleeping with my own mother. However, I must have been fairly young as my earliest memories were in my parent’s king sized bed. At my daughter’s age, I couldn’t even fathom sleeping by myself. I was absolutely terrified. Sleeping next to my mom made me feel comforted and safe. At around nine-years-old, I transitioned to my bed on my own. I was a big girl and became embarrassed of the sleeping arrangement. At first, it was hard. I vividly remember lying in my own bed; alone in my own room. The door was fully open and the hallway lights were on. With my heart racing and sweating, it was a struggle. I don’t even remember if I made it through the whole night, but it was a great attempt. I was on my way to sleeping independently and that was all that mattered. Years later, I asked my mom how she felt about co-sleeping for all those years. She said it was no big deal. We were all great kids and if the toughest thing she had to deal with was sharing her bed, then so be it. My mom’s words really struck with me. I immediately thought of my own daughter; another great kid whose biggest issue was not being able to stay in her room through the night. There had to be a better way for us to get through this.

About one year into our nighttime struggle, I had a talk with my daughter. At that point, she was a very perceptive three years old. I asked her how she felt about going into bed with her mom. We could still read a book beforehand. I would give lots of cuddles and hugs. I also let her know that she would be welcome to stay as long as she wished. She liked the idea and since then we have been pretty happy. She will often ask for a cuddle and a blanket in the middle of the night. We tell stories and laugh a lot. For the most part, it has brought us closer together and has been a nice experience (minus me waking up to feet in my face).

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