Having your child sleep in the family bed creates a strong parent and child relationship. Co-sleeping advocates support its supposed benefits of giving infants a strong sense of safety, security, and comfort. And of course, the added convenience of not having to get out of bed in the middle of the night for moms who are nursing. But for how long should a child snuggle up with his parents each night?
When Should a Child Move from the Family Bed to His Own Bed?
There is no right or prescribed age for a child to sleep in his own bed. It could be at age 1, or maybe at age 3 – it really all depends on many factors. They key is knowing when both parents and child are ready to make the transition.
There are many reasons why moving your baby from the family bed to his own bed is beneficial. For one, if a new addition to the family is coming along, a newborn baby will make the family bed crowded, and having a tossing and turning toddler can make it unsafe for the little one. A rocking bassinet can safely keep the newborn baby asleep. So, you can read rocking bassinet reviews and choose one according to your baby age otherwise it can cause sleep deprivation by having the nursing mom get up from bed for the midnight feeding.
Another reason could be the parents’ lack of privacy. Intimacy is one of the key factors to a happy and loving marriage, and when this is impeded due to the presence of kids on the bed, then strain in the relationship could happen.
When NOT to Move a Child from the Family Bed
If your child was born prematurely, if he is underweight, recovering from trauma, or has medical issues, then the transition may be put on hold until they are completely treated or healed.
The toddler years are one of the most difficult for a child since this is the stage wherein he learns to take care of himself, where they leave home for the first time in their lives to go to school, and many milestones happening in their lives. When such is the case, it is important that you don’t make too many changes in their day to day activities.
If your child is going to school for the first time, he may benefit from sleeping in the family bed for a few more months.
The Advantages of Transitioning a Child from the Family Bed
If you’re still doubtful about moving your child to his own bed, then the following benefits might just change your mind:
Children Learn to Take Care of Themselves
By allowing your child to sleep in his own bed and room, you are giving him the responsibility of not only taking care of themselves but also their things. When he learns to make up his own bed, gets up from bed when he has to and sleeps on his own, it builds confidence and autonomy and helps to develop an independent child.
Children Learn to Cope with their Emotions
It can be difficult for a child to learn to soothe his emotions when a parent is always beside him to cling on to. Allowing a child to sleep on his own bed and in his own room helps to develop coping strategies, which is highly essential for emotional health.
Improved Marital Intimacy
As mentioned earlier, the parents’ marital intimacy can be affected with a child sleeping in the same bed. It is believed that the marital relationship must be placed first on the parent-child relationship. A happy, satisfying, and healthy mother and father relationship is one of the best things parents can give to their children.
Transitioning from the family bed can be difficult for children who have been co-sleeping but when gradual steps are taken, and by reassuring the child that you are a stone’s throw away, you can help to develop a confident and independent child, while also improving your marital relationship.