My daughter is six and guess where she is sleeping now? In her own room. That’s right, babies who cosleep grow up into young children who cosleep but don’t always turn into high school students that still need the comfort provided by sleeping in your room.
When my son began cosleeping I heard many people caution me “He’s going to be in there forever.” I don’t recall any of my friends in college going home after classes to sleep in the family bed, do you? I threw caution to the wind and followed my son’s cues.
Between two and three he moved into his own bed in his own room. I think he moved out because baby sister moved in. We certainly didn’t force him but he made the choice and we followed his lead.
Like my son, my daughter moved into her own room sometime between two and three as well. However, she quickly moved right back in. Did I mind? No, I didn’t mind it one bit. Did I begin to hear more caution “If you let her back in your bed, she’s going to be in there forever”? You bet I heard that. Again, I threw caution to the wind and this time I followed my daughter’s cues.
For a while there both kiddos were in the family bed. I posted about it a couple of years ago – Nighttime Parenting and the Anxious Child. My son eventually moved back into his room and then my daughter moved into a bed in our room.
Well a few weeks back my daughter declared that she was ready for her own room. She’s been in there nearly every night since then. Sure she’ll stop by for a snuggle if she’s had a nightmare but her nighttime anxieties have basically resolved themselves. Do I miss her at night sometimes? You bet I do. Do I like seeing how she’s grown and moved on to a new stage in her development? Absolutely.
If your child has nighttime anxiety you may want to know how we did it. Simple, we followed her cues. I didn’t know if she’d be a 10 year-old child wanting to sleep in our room (which is fine by me) but I did know she wouldn’t be a 20 year-old college student coming home after class to hop in the family bed every night.
So what I’m trying to say, by sharing my story with you, is that it is okay to follow your cosleeping instincts despite what your friends or family may say. Your child will want to move out of the family bed one day, but it is okay to leave that decision to your child.