• Mon, Feb 4 2013

Co-Sleeping Has Actually Improved My Sex Life, Thanks

co-sleeping and sexI’d venture to say that co-sleeping has actually improved our marriage and intimacy.

People always seem concerned when they find out that our 14-month-old daughter still sleeps in our bed with us. When she was a newborn, the ignorant comments revolved around safety (“won’t you roll over on her?!” What about SIDS?!) But now, I get the sense that people are more concerned about my imagined lack of intimacy with my husband. (Co-sleeping and sex?) Which is dumb, because it’s none of their damn business, plus I don’t go around asking about how frequently they get it on.

Though my family and friends haven’t said much my face, I’ve been on the receiving end of some attacks from readers here on Mommyish. When I wrote about how my husband would sleep on the couch in the newborn weeks so baby and I could have the whole bed, Pashmina64 responded:

 Why would you kick your husband out of his own bed for some pseudoscience crap? My mom didn’t AP and I was the best reader in my class, and my parents didn’t end up divorcing because the mom neglected the dad, like another AP parent I know…

Um, I’m sorry, but that “pseudoscience crap” you speak of? Yeah, it’s how our bodies are hardwired to care for our children. Humans have been bed-sharing with their babies for thousands of years. If we’re going to talk pseudoscience, crib sleeping fits that bill much better.

It’s also pretty presumptuous of this commenter to suggest that a few weeks of sleeping separately would lead us to divorce. We now all sleep and cuddle together in one huge bed, but even if my husband and I slept apart, I wouldn’t worry. My relationship with my husband goes much deeper than our physical connection.

But apparently it’s a pretty common belief that sharing the bed with baby and other aspects of attachment parenting are toxic to the marital relationship.  When devout AP mom Mayim Bialik announced her divorce, commenters blamed AP calling it a “crazy parenting style” and even “child abuse.” While I don’t know the details of Mayim’s family dynamic, it’s stupid to assume that AP practices like co sleeping caused her divorce. I personally know way more divorced non-AP parents than otherwise.

But I’ll admit I was worried about our sex life at one point in time. The vadge trauma that follows birthing is the ultimate anti-Aphrodisiac: I don’t think we even attempted sex for at least six weeks after baby’s birth. And from there we probably only got around to doing it once or twice a month. But this had nothing to do with our sleeping arrangement or attachment parenting. It had much more to do with the shock of our new responsibilities as parents and the stress of waking up at night to tend to baby—stuff that happens to all new parents, regardless of their parenting styles.

But what really bothers me, aside from the myth that co sleeping equals divorce, is that there’s this bizarre American notion that having a child in the “marital bed” is somehow gross or obscene. It’s not like we’re doing the nasty with our baby right next to us, folks. And what kind of Puritan must you be to believe that the bed is the only place where sex should take place?

Since co-sleeping, now we have a good romp on the couch. Or the living room floor. Without getting too graphic (my mother knows how to work the internet, after all) putting baby to sleep in our bed keeps us from slipping into that undersexed slump that’s supposed to arrive when you’re with someone for a long time. We don’t have the option of falling into some humdrum nighttime-missionary position sex routine with baby there. Instead, we use the afternoon, or the morning. We shift around cushions and blankets throughout the house like Tetris blocks.

But the thing to realize is that the bed, first and foremost, is for sleeping. And let’s really stop and think about what it means to sleep with another human being. Married couples, just-started-dating couples, long-term couples, gay, straight and everything in between share their sleep space. Why? Because it’s comforting. It’s reassuring to have someone next to you. And I can’t think of any type of human who needs reassurance and comfort more than an infant.

I often hear, “but if not now, when will she ever leave your bed?”

True, she may be in our bed well into grade school. Or just in our bedroom, on a separate mattress. But I’ve never heard of a teenager who wants to sleep with her parents. Her autonomy will strike when the time is right, and that’s when she’ll get her own room. Until then, she’s happy, we’re happy and our sexing is just fine.

(photo: reporter / Shutterstock)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

    Our son sleeps with us sometimes and sleeps in our room every night in a sleeper. Yet, I’m pregnant again with our second. That happened on our living room couch!

    • StephKay

      Ha! Seconded! Nothing like being a grown woman who can honestly say she got pregnant sneaking around late at night for a couch rendezvous trying not to wake the person in the next room. I consider it a badge of honor :p

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      LOL…exactly! Even if that other person is your kid!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ellen.lacey.1 Ellen Lacey

    Our baby doesn’t sleep i nour bed and after 6 months I am not having crazy sex by any means. You’re 100% correct that just the changes we’re experiencing and of course the sleep deprivation (which might be much less if I wasn’t walking across the apartment at night) have tempered our sex life. It’s a big deal having a new little person to care for and when something has to give eating is not the first on my list but sex is. I have talked to other mothers of young children and the concensus is that sex gets a back seat and then comes back when things settle – no matter where the baby sleeps.

  • msenesac

    My biggest issue lies with the parents who co-sleep but then who complain that they aren’t sleeping well because their child’s foot/hand/whatever was in their face. If you are allowing another person to sleep in your bed, then don’t complain when you can’t sleep well. I’m a light sleeper so I hope it will be rare when my kids ever sleep with us. I also had a co-worker who co-sleeped and admitted that she was maybe a little over-attached to her child. I guess it just depends on the reason for co-sleeping (but, really, it’s none of my business). As to your comment about your sex life after having your child, I was in the same boat. We virtually had none for 6-12 months afterwards because of how busy we were (and, again, we don’t co-sleep).

    • Katia

      Yes / cosleeping would be hell if I was a light sleeper , no matter how large the bed kids are always sticking their feet at you

    • Justme

      It’s like when people complain about how busy their family lives are but aren’t willing to cut down Junior’s seventeen different extracurricular activities.

    • Mimi

      Yeah, it’s like when people who don’t co-sleep complain about having to get up to take care of the baby several times a night.
      If you are making your baby sleep in another bed, then don’t complain when you can’t sleep well! :)

  • alice

    “…there’s this bizarre American notion that having a child in the “marital bed” is somehow gross or obscene.”

    what it comes down to for me, is that me and my partner sleep naked, always. our bed is neither exclusively for sleeping or for sex, but it’s our bonding space. there’s no TV in our room. we never read in bed. and absolutely no eating in bed. we just end our nights there, naked and happy and cuddly. not everyone does this, so i don’t expect everyone to see the value in it that i do. but for me, there’s a high value on our nightly reconnection.

    we plan to use a form of co-sleeping in the first months.

    if i believed there were vast benefits to long-term co-sleeping, then i would do it longer, and sacrifice my special nightly naked sessions with partner. but i don’t.

    still i’m glad to hear that co-sleeping hasn’t made you sacrifice your sex life. and i really don’t care if anyone decides to co-sleep (except if they sleep naked like i do, because yeah i find that creepy)

    • StephKay

      I guess the sleeping naked thing never concerned me all that much in my decision to co-sleep, since we would be getting up at night for the baby at first either way, ya know? I figured if I didn’t want to end up cuddling a baby naked I would pretty much have no choice but to stop sleeping naked or let an upset baby cry while my exhausted, sleep-blinded, naked self stumbled around searching for clothes in the dark multiple times a night.

      What we ended up doing was an awful lot of underwear sleeping during the summer. It’s not like the kid wasn’t glued to my breasts anyways. Plus she’s always slept like a rock, so I never felt like I was missing that (non-sexual) intimacy space. If anything it was actually really special to have that night time cuddle-chat-be a couple time will glancing over at a chubby, bald, snoring, totally amazing extension of us. I guess it just shows how incredibly individual the situation is. You and I have pretty identical sleep routines (no tv, no eating in bed. Just a happy calm neutral space.) and can still see different benefits to different baby sleeping routines. Just like anything involving who you let in your bed, or around your naked body, there is no right or wrong answer. It’s all about personal comfort levels.

    • meg

      Well said. Different things work for different folks.

    • meg

      I think it’s important for married people to have private, adult bonding time – and I’m not using that as a euphemism for sex. I’m right there with you! (Not a parent, but Bed Time is a wonderful time with my S.O., even if we’re not in bunny mode.) Probably a good reason not to long-term co-sleep (if that’s your Adult Space.)

    • Mimi

      Your nudity won’t warp your one-year-old’s mind. Seriously.

  • meg

    “I personally know way more divorced non-AP parents than otherwise.”
    ^ This comment is pseudoscience.

    Attachment parent or don’t, but you’re not allowed to throw “But YOU’RE pseudoscience!” back at someone (a nosy cranky person, but someone nonetheless) if you’re making statements based on your anecdotal observations.

    Just a thought.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that caught that. FTR I don’t care if someone attachment parents or doesn’t; I just found that to be funny in a dour sort of way.

    • JusSayin

      This is the sentence that bothered me the most too. Not to get too nerdy here, but in order to make this argument, there should be percentages: “50% of non-AP parents are divorced compared to 49% of AP parents.” Just saying you know more of one than another doesn’t really prove anything.

    • meg

      Indeed! And back it up with stats that don’t come from the friend group.

      /nerding out

    • Leigha7

      I reacted that way initially, but then I re-read it and I think they were just saying that they take issue with the idea that attachment parenting leads to divorce because they, personally, know less AP parents who are divorced. It’s anecdotal, but not irrelevant. It probably should’ve been phrased differently (or left out), but they aren’t saying that AP parents ARE less likely to get divorced, just that their experience doesn’t match the popular perception.

  • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

    For the record, yes, there are teenagers that refuse to sleep in their room. Be careful what you wish for – the day where your daughter wants to sleep in her own room might or might not happen. I don’t know where you got that we are “programmed” to sleep all in the same place, of course in the history of mankind people have slept in the same bed, but that was mostly to stay warm at night when there was NO HEAT. There are loads of things that we did as humans that we don’t do anymore. That’s like saying that you should breastfeed until a kid is 4 because they do it in Africa, where the water is difficult to come by and children are easily malnourished. And it isn’t ignorance that leads people to ask if you’re going to roll over your child, it actually has happened too many times and has caused many deaths. Look, it happens that my baby has slept with me because I was so exhausted that it was easier for me to have her next to me than to try and get her asleep and then put her in her bed. Sleeping close has its advantages, especially when your child is an infant. You just have to watch out that your child doesn’t NEED to be next to you to be able to fall asleep. That’s when it becomes problematic. That’s when you’re probably going to end up with a 14 year old in your bed.

    • meg

      “That’s like saying that you should breastfeed until a kid is 4 because
      they do it in Africa, where the water is difficult to come by and
      children are easily malnourished.”

      Generalizations:
      - Not all places in Africa are water scarce
      - Not all cultures in Africa (there are several thousand separate ones!) practice extended breast feeding
      - Not everyone in Africa is teetering on the edge of starvation. Most countries have a burgeoning middle class.

      - Also, a malnourished mother will yield a malnourished child, breastfeeding or not. So that’s not really a preventative.

      You’re entitled to your opinions about co-sleeping or not, but please leave the “starving children of Africa” Western-centric cliche out of it. (I say the same thing to women who idealize/practice exotification of the “primal African woman who knows what her child’s body needs.”)

    • ZoesMom

      Wow on the analness, meg, she’s giving examples of excuses given in other articles and comments. If you believe she’s encompassing all of the huge continent of Africa in one sentence, that’s quite dense and sensitive of you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      haha thank you ;)

    • meg

      You’re right. I deeply apologize for being sensitive to racist overgeneralizations.

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      hey guess what meg, i was just using an example stated time and time again as a comparison to this argument. ;) i could have gone on and said, as you so well put it, that in certain areas in africa, blablabla… but that was besides the point of my article. and no, it’s not racist.

    • meg

      “Lots of people said it before me! It’s not racist if it’s popular!”
      ^ Fixed that for you.

      Put you’re right, adding “In certain areas of Africa” as a qualifier takes too much time and effort. Never let the facts/truth stand in the way of saving 0.4 seconds of typing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      um, that’s not what i just said? are you blind or just misunderstanding? I’m not even going to continue trying to explain myself because you’re just being ridiculous at this point.

    • meg

      If I’d said, “Americans (not just USA but Canada, Mexico, etc) shouldn’t co-sleep because all of them weigh 400 lbs so they’ll roll over and suffocate their babies in their fat rolls and besides, their babies would find the assault rifles all Americans keep under their pillows and shoot themselves in the face,” it would be worthy of criticism for being patently inaccurate for the much of the population. But it doesn’t count when it’s people of a different skin tone, or Really Far Away Somewhere Else. My bad, I forgot the Rules O’ The Internet. Thank you for calling me out on that.

    • Sandra

      I think it’s time someone took your internet away. If you weren’t an adult, your parents would consider your behavior unacceptable. I think many of the people here already do.

    • Leigha7

      But she DIDN’T say “everyone in Africa breastfeeds until their kid is 4.” She just said that people do it in Africa (almost verbatim), which does not necessarily imply all of Africa. If everyone in Egypt did it and no one in the entire rest of the continent did, it would STILL be true that people do it in Africa. If one tribe in the middle of the continent did it, and literally no one else, it would still be a true statement.

      Of course, it’s also true that people do it in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia, but it’s not the norm among any group in any of those countries, as far as I know.

      Should she have worded it better? Probably. Was she wrong? Not really.

    • Katia

      we had no problem getting our kids out at 2/3 years. I’ve heard of an only child 8yrs who was still waning to sleep with his parents. But come on, this teenager thing is probably less common than,say , teens cutting themselves
      A non issue

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      Weird example, but whatever. I think it’s an issue for the parents whose teens are still in their beds and they want their bed back ;). My sister in law is struggling intensely with her daughter sleeping in her own room right now. They didn’t co-sleep because of attachment parenting but because they live in France, and they had a two bedroom condo. Their son has always been a light sleeper and their daughter is quite the loudmouth lol. So when she was born, they had her sleeping with them in order to let their son sleep. The problem now is that they have been trying to transition her into her own bedroom. She wanted nothing to do with it when she was still sharing her room with her brother, and now that they have a house, she wants nothing to do with it even more. She sneaks into their room at night in order to sleep in their bed and they’re getting really desperate and have no idea what to do in order to get her to sleep in her room. That’s why I say that it can become an issue. My niece is only 3 right now, but as she gets older, it’ll become more and more difficult to introduce her to her bedroom. Not everyone is the same, some parents have it easier and some have it harder. Some parents don’t mind and some do. My point is that, for those who mind, having an older child that refuses to sleep in their room can get really tiring.

    • Sandra

      Tell your sister in law to put a lock on her bedroom door.

    • Katia

      Well in your own story it’s a 3 year old ….. Unfortunately I think it’s more likely that any teen would do one of the many disturbing things I hear are now common (sexting? Sorry for the weird example) I don’t know if you’ve experienced this but don’t even the most loving patient parents get pushed away when kids are like 10-13? It’s a hormonal thing that most kids do I thought? My nephews 7 and left parents bed around 3-4. He loves his room and his privacy. Sorry that your sis has a difficult situation . Well if she lives in Paris I don’t actually feel sorry as much as jealous ;). Anyways, hope la fille is out of the adult bed ASAP

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      Hi Katia, I have to say that I disagree with you. Co-sleeping involves attachment styles, and attachment styles are the basis of many issues that can develop later on in life. Now before I get further into this, I want to make it clear that I’m not 100% against co-sleeping – I think it depends very much on the situation, the infant we’re dealing with, the context etc. However, I do think that in this cultural context, where autonomy is a very important part of our socialisation process, it’s more important than in other cultures for parents to help their children be able to sooth themselves, to sleep on their own, and to become increasingly independent with age. The issue I have with Amanda’s attitude, is that she hopes that her child will “grow out of” co-sleeping. However, if the child has never learned to fall asleep on their own, it MIGHT become an issue later on. Ok I know this is long-winded but I’m getting somewhere. Let’s say an anxious kid who has co-slept (and been highly attached to one or both parents) for a long time becomes a teenager and has never learned to self-sooth – not only when it comes to sleeping but also in other realms of their life (which can lead to attachment problems), that kid will more likely develop depression, anxiety, and dependance issues (such as the self-harming that you have described). That is, of course, a dramatic outcome – but attachment issues are at the core of the more serious issues you are talking about. But of course, MOST teenagers don’t struggle with this (however most children do not co-sleep with their parents and that is not the only cause of these issues of course). And in most cases, teenagers end up with more “middle range” issues ;)

    • Katia

      I appreciate your respectful and thougtful response. I think you know a lot more about the subject than I do. From my personal experience
      Though, my kids (3,5) can now go to sleep without me in the room (knock on wood) not sure if this is considered self soothing ?
      Also you seem concerned with children’s well-being and you’re really into this topic – I’m curious about your opinion on cry it out ,and /or your ideal sleep training advice
      I hope my coslept kids do not have any emotional issues. I don’t consider us to practice “attachment parenting” my husband is Asian and it’s no big deal to have the baby in bed with us, we didn’t even have a conversation about it…

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      Thanks Katia for the compliment :) What do I think of crying it out? Right now my daughter is 3 months old. I never let her cry it out, because from ages 0mths-6mths is where a child has no concept of manipulating others for their benefit. It’s also an age where children develop their trust for their parents. If you don’t respond to their cries, it’s possible that they will become insecurely attached or ambivalent towards you. We’ll see what happens when my daughter is 6 months. You can usually start telling if the child is really in need of you when they’re crying, or if they just don’t want something. It was hard for me to sleep train my daughter at first – she needed to be held and rocked to sleep, and we had to wait until she was sleeping really deeply in order to put her down. Therefore, when my boyfriend was sleeping nights, there are numerous times where she did end up in the big bed with me because I was exhausted. More and more though, we are putting her in her crib before she’s asleep so she can start falling asleep on her own – right now her crib is next to my bed, and we crank the mobile a few times with some sleep sheep noises in the background… and after about half an hour of that she tends to fall asleep… My hope is that within a month, it’ll become easier! However, I do want to maintain a good bond with her, and so half of the time I rock her to sleep. During the day, she takes her naps (for now) in her swing in the living room, or in my arms – half of the time I have her fall asleep on her own in the swing, half of the time in my arms. Hopefully in a few months when she’s used to her crib, she’ll also take her naps there ;). Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing with fair success. I personally don’t enjoy having her in the bed with us only because I’m terrorized of crushing her – she’s still very small for her age, and even when she’s not in the bed I sometimes have half-awake nightmares where I start looking for her through the pillows and yell at my boyfriend to take her from me (even if she’s safely in her crib)… :S

    • Mimi

      A helpless baby screaming in fear until she stops from exhaustion isn’t learning to “soothe herself”. She is learning that no one cares.

    • Mimi

      Well, that’s hardly a typical cosleeping story. Most cosleeping parents move the kid out as a toddler or preschooler.

    • Mimi

      It would really be the same process, though: calmly and quietly return her to her room. Repeat until she quits. Not really a huge ordeal.

    • Mimi

      What a ridiculous scare tactic.

      I have a 14 year old who slept in my bed as a baby. She doesn’t always want to stop watching stupid Youtube videos and go to bed at a reasonable hour, but sleeping in her room is not a problem!
      Same with my other three kids. I had to bring them back to their beds a few times on the first couple nights in their own rooms (as toddlers), but after that had no problems. I had far less difficulty than my Ferberizing, “sleep-training” friends who left their babies to scream.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

    I have off and on slept in the same room as my mom for 19 years.

    It would have stopped over a decade ago if it weren’t for the fact that she buys the most comfortable beds ever. For some strange reason every time I pick out a bed for myself it’s just not as comfortable.

    • meg

      … so you’re 19 (or older) and still sleep in your mom’s bed? THAT’S kind of weird. Why not just have her pick out the mattress and you buy it, if it’s that big a deal?

    • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

      Eh, I don’t find it weird. My family is of a different culture than most Americans and Canadians. Most non-industrialized nations practice bed-sharing without a hitch.

      It’s actually been a few years since we’ve shared a bed too, we just swap bedrooms.

    • meg

      I mean, it’s not my job to judge your lifestyle decisions, and I can’t speak for all developing nations/cultures … but in the many I’ve studied/visited/lived in, I can’t name one that routinely practices adult parent-sibling co-sleeping. It probably occurs somewhere, but I sincerely doubt it’s a “most” situation.

      Glad you’ve found contentment, but maybe get your parents to help you pick out the mattress for your own room next time?

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      lol how ironic ;) “I don’t judge you but I don’t know of a culture that does what you’re doing even if you say that it’s not uncommon”

    • meg

      Saying “most cultures” without backing it up is bogus, Veronique. I know you REAAAAALLY like to put things in clean little “All people do X no people do Y” boxes, but I’m just stating a fact. You can’t make blanket statements without backing them up.

      I’m not sure why I’m trying to explain this, though, to someone who doubled-down (tripled-down?) on being a racist.

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      It’s interesting, but you’d think that if I really were a “racist”, more people would have agreed with you, and commented on that? Instead, I find that more people are supporting me and downvoting your answers to me. ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      If she’s from that culture, I’m taking her word for it rather than yours.

  • JusSayin

    Despite the snarky title of this article, I was hoping for a polite bit of information about exactly how co-sleeping parents maintain their intimacy. The snark level in this article was excessive, to say the least! A confident person could share a bit of her home life without berating those who think differently or just don’t understand and, granted, can’t find a polite way to ask the question.

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      I agree. It would have actually been interesting to find out what her husband thinks of all three of them sleeping in the same bed all of the time, and what she thinks of letting her daughter be the one to decide when she’s going to want to have her own room ;). It would also have been interesting to know how it had strengthened their marriage (beyond the info about having sex on the couch – that doesn’t say much about their intimacy)

    • meg

      I would say it’s not snarky, it’s blunt. She’s not berating anyone. She’s calling attention to people who are passing extremely negative judgment on *her.* And if she’s not going to comment on her experiences, what’s the point of writing editorials?

    • http://twitter.com/ashleyaustrew Ashley Austrew

      I disagree. The tone she takes is absolutely one that is degrading to anyone who disagrees with her. Blunt would be saying, “This is what works for us, end of story.” This was not blunt. This was written on the defensive, as though all of us reading had already attacked her and she was firing back at us.

  • Katia

    Id like to say that I completely agree with the author and think the quoted commenter is an idiot (well, what he/she said was idiotic) . I cosleep to and really dont like ignorant comments or questions. But I feel like its cheap journalism to quote and attack commenters. Especially as the base/point of your article. Really gross. You guys are doing this more and more. I think it remains professional to debate in the comment section , But there is no good reason to ever post a new article about comments. If comments inspire you you should do some journalistic investigation and find out if what you see in comments is an issue. Don’t use us and embarass us! It’s just not professional

    • meg

      It’s public commentary that’s germane to the conversation. If you’re not interested in having your opinion held out stranger scrutiny, keep it to yourself. The author is referencing things actual people have actually said to her – would it be different if it were a mom in her playgroup? Waitress? Someone on the bus? Someone on television?

  • Justme

    I can honestly say……..I don’t care if you co-sleep and have sex on your roof in full S&M regalia under the light of a full moon. Do what makes all the members of your family content.

  • http://twitter.com/djhubcaps Katie Pews

    Right, so no well-meaning parent has accidentally smothered their baby in bed while co-sleeping. People may be ignorant for commenting for your sex life (or alleged lack thereof) but that doesn’t excuse you for being intellectually dishonest in your defensiveness.

  • catt

    I’m not going to attack the author in my comment.I rather enjoyed this article. when my son was born, he’s now almost 10, cosleeping was like a dirty little secret I had to keep. I was torn up and down by friends for letting my son and then later my daughter sleep in my bed . but I think it was the best choice for us and didn’t hurt anyone. what’s all the fuss about? the only problems I’ve ever had was when I put my kids to sleep and got back up, they would almost be able to sense I was gone. it wasdefinitely not the worst thing in the entire world. A bit annoying but as parents we get used to being inconvenience. it comes with the territory. the only other slight inconvenience is my son not wanting to sleep blood in his room sometimes but what child wants to be left alone all night every night? my now 9 year old son and 8 year old daughter both sleep in their own rooms and if I could go back that 10 years, I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • TheHappyPappy

    “Her autonomy will strike when the time is right, and that’s when she’ll get her own room.”

    See, now this is the difference between REAL AP and sMothering disguised under the banner of AP.

    I read an article written by a doctor who promoted AP, who pointed out that there are a lot of people calling themselves AP followers who really don’t understand the core principle of AP. Namely, that it’s supposed to be developmentally appropriate. Carrying your 6-week-old in a sling is developmentally appropriate. Insisting on carrying your 9-month-old, when she’d rather be on the floor exploring, is not.
    There are a lot of women who have an unhealthy obsession with pregnancy, birth and child-rearing. They often use AP as an excuse to cling to their children and center their identity and sense of self-worth on them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to love your children more than anything. But it’s not good to want to keep them so close to you that they aren’t allowed to branch outward at their own pace. Each person deserves to be permitted to explore the world and thereby define themselves as an individual. Keeping them forever an arm’s length away (preferably less!) and refusing to let them benefit from different caregivers (and different caregiving styles) is not doing them any favors.
    The key words here are “developmentally appropriate,” folks. If you want good advice on childrearing read Early Childhood Education textbooks, not parenting books. The ECE stuff has much better science and evidence behind it.

  • Tati

    I find it sad and funny at the same time that people allow their passions to run so high about all this co-sleeping stuff. I mean, really? Co-sleeping? Where I come from, that’s just called life. A kid doesn’t get his/her own room. No one does. If you get your own bed, you’re pretty lucky. Families share rooms and beds because that’s how things work. I grew up with my parents in a tiny few-feet-squared room, and no one formed weird attachments, and no one talked about it. Then again, no one talked about “co-sleeping”, either. Do people even realize how Western / middle-class this problem is, in the first place? Just wondering.

    • http://twitter.com/ashleyaustrew Ashley Austrew

      THANK YOU. I think the entire notion of getting your panties in a wad over any particular parenting style is a complete waste of time. Talk about first world problems. Then again, sites like this love those fights because exploiting mom drama = page views and $$$. BUT, I guess I can’t complain since I’m here reading it, right?

  • Curious non-parent

    You know what else was happening for thousands of years? Consensual and NON-consensual Non-monogamy. I’m not saying that those in relationships and raising co-sleeping kids are bound to cheat because they aren’t “getting any” (at the drop of a hat-like they used to), but I can see how going from “tent to tent” in a tribe/ancient culture/etc was more prevalent while a Mother was co-sleeping with her infant. We have to accept that we’ve evolved and don’t need to replicate every ancient behavior to be considered good parents. Also, we don’t need to keep our babies right by us so an animal doesn’t make a midnight snack out of it.

    Maybe people would be less inquisitive about whether co-sleeping parents have a sex life if they didn’t plaster their superior parenting ways all over facebook/twitter/instagram?.. besides, I’m sure that question of sex life comes up just as often with those who do not co-sleep.

    Everyone should figure out their own rhythm and stop criticizing everyone else’s.

    I found this book to be helpful -> http://www.yourtango.com/experts/lori-lowe/your-marriage-more-important-your-kids

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  • Lisa1981

    Amen! I have worried so much over co-sleeping with our son. He is 3 but the truth is, it’s what feels natural and right to me. I want to enjoy this time we have with him as a small child who wants to snuggle with us. I believe we will all just know when the time is right to change the sleeping arrangement as we did with using my instinct to know when to stop breast feeding.

  • Mimi

    “It’s not like we’re doing the nasty with our baby right next to us, folks.”

    Lots of people do, though, and there’s nothing wrong with it.