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Do Your Kids Still Sleep with You?

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Single Mom Seeking: Maybe you're a single mom. Maybe your hubby travels a lot. If your kids still sleep with you, this issue can bring up very strong feelings of guilt, worry -- and judgment.

mother and daugther in bed

Enter voice of your own mother: "What?! Your kids STILL sleep with you?!" Still, this situation is different than, say, the pacifier debate or the vaccine controversy. That's because kids sharing your bed is an emotionally charged topic on a gut level.

We're not talking about cosleeping, which is a philosophical choice. And we also know that the whole kids-sleep-in-their-own-bedrooms stance is a very American one. In this country, when big kids do not sleep in their own "big bed" -- but in yours! -- you might even keep it a secret.

Is it because maybe, just maybe, you LIKE sleeping with your kids? Perhaps you have your reason -- "Oh, the kid will grow out of it ... maybe by kindergarten" -- but now, kindergarten graduation is nearly here and your child is still claiming a place in your bed ...?

It's getting to be a definite thing. You say, "My kids come first" -- but frankly, what about your love life? You thought you'd once again have passionate, toe-curling, spontaneous hot sex after the kids slept all night, after they were potty-trained... and now you think it will never happen.

Please tell us: Have you traded your kids for your husband or partner? Nights on the couch used to mean a heated argument ... and then, WOW -- the make-up sex! Now, separate sleeping is routine.

Could this parenting choice ultimately doom your relationship? Do you fear that when your friends warn that husbands or partners who don't "get it" at home will "get it" somewhere else ... might be right?

next: Is My Daughter's Love for Justin Bieber Too Much?
19 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristen May 20, 2010, 6:08 AM

We have a FAMILY bedroom. Our kids beds are in our room, it’s the BEST decision we have ever made. Our kids are 5 and 7. Kids want to be close to their parents but american society makes it strange. Our children are growing up feeling safe and secure and they know that their feelings are important to us. On the sex part of it, oh geesh we have entire house to do it in, anyhow it spices things up:)

Anonymous May 20, 2010, 8:43 AM

thank you kristin!

JD  May 20, 2010, 9:30 AM

My daughter slept with me until she she was 7 regularly and periodically after that until she was 9. Largely because she is/was prone to sleep walking and I slept better knowing she wasn’t wandering the halls of our apartment building.

There came a time when I decided she needed to be in her own room again and so did I.

As for sex though? I live in a TINY apartment. My daughter’s room is directly next to ours. There is no such thing as privacy in my apartment, the walls don’t really afford much of anything at all. This is the way most of the world outside of North America lives - in close quarters. We need to learn to accept that.

Kristin May 20, 2010, 11:59 AM

I agree with Kristen! Our culture frowns on it but I don’t understand why. I work full-time and my time with my son is limited. We enjoy the closeness and extra time together, even if we are asleep. I’ve also found it does keep us “on our toes” regarding our sex life … the rest of the house becomes our playground after the little one is asleep. Keeps it fun, interesting and keeps us creative!

miki May 20, 2010, 1:53 PM

i think it’s fine as long as the kids are still young but there is a limit after my parents got divorced my mother let my little brother sleep him the same bed as her until he was almost 13 and honestly it was creepy yeah i would sometimes sleep in her room when i was sick as a teen but he slept in there every night and to this day he can’t sleep by himself

ok2sleepw/us May 20, 2010, 5:25 PM

My sons were 11 and 13 when I divorced my ex, my boys were never allowed to sleep in our bedroom when they were young and so when my youngest son asked to sleep in my bed I said why not? He slept with me until he was almost 14yrs old and it wasn’t weird or “creepy” as the previous poster claims. I think it was a sense of security for him and when I met my current husband, of course my then almost 14 yr old had no problem sleeping in his own room. And now we have a son together and he is 2 yrs old and has spent most of his nights snuggled up to us in our bed, yeah sex is less but HEY…that’s what Elmo and Sesame Street Shows are for in the mornings. Wink Wink.

marilyn June 17, 2010, 4:43 PM

i guess this is the parent’s way of alleviating guilt by not being home enough, but no young girl needs to cuddle up in an intimate way next to her dad during the night, and no boy needs to accidently put his knee near his mom’s private parts. btw i’ve been in other parts of the world i din’t see famlies sleeping together, and where they did; incest is ‘normal’ amoung those people, like Alaskans. i spent all day with my child so bedtime was a welcome chance for us to have and appreciate our own personal private space.

Rachel June 22, 2010, 3:18 PM

Marilyn, if a parent is going to go down the incest road, it wont be because they shared a bed. it will be because they are sick.

My son is 19 months, and he sleeps in his bed (in our room) at the beginning of the night, and then around midnight he comes into our bed. We have no problem putting him to bed then heading to the couch or shower for some lovins.

eileen July 15, 2010, 12:28 PM

I am a divorced woman. My husband left with someone else years ago and since then my son sleeps with me. My son is 13 and still sleeps with me. No, it’s not ‘creepy’. I love my son and I WILL NOT reject him just because some people think that a mother SHOULD reject her son by not letting him sleep in the same bed with her. Until the time my son wants to sleep in his own bed, he will sleep with me. There’s a saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” It’s the same here.”Perversion is in the eye of the beholder.” I carried my son INSIDE me for nine months. Why would I reject him now? If sex is the first place your mind goes to, then your perception of what is or is not acceptable is twisted. HE’S MY SON, NOT MY LOVER.

Sarah September 28, 2010, 3:03 PM

I am 38, my son is 15 and he still sleeps with me. We live in a one bedroom apt and there isn’t much room. He sleeps in shorts and I sleep in panties and a big tee shirt. We talk in bed every night about things in general. Much of the time my son cuddles up with me and we fall asleep. He is my only child and I know one day he will leave home and I am dreading that day. But at least I will have the memories of our wonderful times together and our many pleasant talks.

Michelle September 29, 2010, 4:18 PM

My brother is 2 yrs younger than I am. Both of us slept with mom until I was about 10. After that my brother and I slept together in the same bed until I moved out when I was 20. It was just a matter of convenience and economics. One positive thing that came from sleeping in the same bed was this; I was not freaked out when I saw my first boyfriend naked because I had seen my brother in only his shorts for years. My first boyfriend was very uncomfortable about being naked with me the first time. It took more than half an hour of persuading to get him naked.

Cassandra October 5, 2010, 3:07 AM

My daughter’s father moved back to his hometown last spring. My daughter (who is two) has always been extremely good when it came time to go to bed each night and she has never had a problem with sleeping in her own full sized bed - she actually preferred it. Well, her father came back to visit over Labor Day Weekend and then again at the end of September for a few days. Since he left she has been clingy, she wakes up in middle of the night just screaming, and she is not eating much at all. Now it is to the point that I either have to lay down with her in her bed to get her to go to sleep, or put her in my bed to begin with and then move her to her bed. However, even if I lay with her or move her she still typically wakes up screaming and then ends back in my bed. In light of the recent changes and inconsistencies I understand her need for security. However, her being allowed to sleep in my bed has opened the door for my five year old son to hop in my bed in middle of the night as well.

Now I’m not worried about the affects this may have on my sex life! I am a single mother and the last thing they need is to be around some other male, let alone finding him in my bed.

However, I am a little worried about the psychology behind it. Is there something I am not doing

Any suggestions, thoughts….

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