Co-Sleeping: My Secret Addiction

Co-sleeping is like the boyfriend I just cannot break up with. I try to leave him, but after about a month he’s back. I make excuses for him and have stopped telling my friends we’re back together.

Like many moms, co-sleeping is my dirty little secret. Well, unless you’re a fellow co-sleeper.

It began as a way to easily nurse my first son. It made so much sense and let me be there for every whimper. He finally moved into his own room and crib at around 8 months old.

You could set a clock by his naps, and he slept through the night early on. Thus, when I gave birth to my second son just shy of two years later, there was room in my bed for him.

Again, I decided to co-sleep to make nursing easier. Truth be told, nothing has been easier with him. Still all along, baby boy no. 1 was sleeping solo without a hitch — until three days before his second birthday. On Christmas day 2014, he jumped out of his crib, never to return again.

Fast forward to my current setup, which has incidentally been more or less the same since that day: My husband and I in a king-size bed with son no. 2 in the middle and son no. 1 in the toddler bed on the floor beside me. Everyone in this room snores. Everyone, except me.

I was recently approached by a friend curious about my situation, as her 2-year-old had started migrating from her big-girl bed into mommy and daddy’s room each night. As she lowered her voice and said, “So, you mentioned you co-sleep. Tell me how that works,” I felt like I was a drug dealer or the Mom who came up with the idea for serving baby food in pouches. I had “the stuff,” and she was curious about how to get it.

Truth, my husband and I go to bed with the boys by 9 p.m. pretty much every night. I am cool with that because I am an early bird. He, however, is not. We never watch live TV together and our weekend bonding would be nonexistent if we did not have DVR. Date nights do not happen, and we don’t even rely on the grandparents to get these two to sleep. I recently missed a reunion at home with friends, because we decided we just couldn’t leave the boys overnight yet.

I have tried to break everyone of this habit on more than one occasion. The first son was out of our room at age 3 and into a big boy bed. That lasted about four months.

We made the baby cry it out at 8 months for what felt like the longest week of our lives. He slept in the crib, waking up repeatedly each night, for about six months.

I have a lot of reasons (read: excuses) for why this pattern keeps occurring. One, my husband travels for work pretty frequently, but not often enough for the kids to get used to it. Last summer, I gave in after his third night away of what would be a total of seven weeks because no one would go to sleep or sleep in their own bed. It was chaos. I was tired. Enough said.

My pediatrician, who might be one of the nicest, most soft-spoken women in Jacksonville, always reminds me that other cultures have family beds. Yeah, well, many Americans frown upon it. Heck, I frown upon it after having a toddler’s feet stuck in my back for eight hours!

I have come to terms with this, though. On the plus side, I do not have a preschooler rushing into my room screaming with night terrors. He is beside me and very rarely wakes in the middle of the night. I fall asleep most nights with my 4-year-old holding my right hand, and my 2-year-old holding my left thumb. I am very serious, this is almost nightly. These two are probably never going to want to be this close to me ever again.

So, yeah, I co-sleep. Like that boyfriend I just could not break up with, I know it will end eventually.

Are you a secret co-sleeper, too? If so, I am sure we’ll find each other on the playground soon enough!


  1. Ask this Florida mom how great cosleeping is. She killed not one but two of her kids ‘s doing it. But by all means keep doing it because getting g out of bed is so hard.

  2. Well, unlike hateful people, I agree how awesome cosleeping is. When you’re not ignorant you know the truth. Like how most people who roll onto their child don’t nurse, drank alcohol, or took medicine. Or didn’t use the cosleeping bed that keeps infants safe. But by all means, let’s mom shame.

  3. The family bed has been the norm for most of human history. There are ways to ensure that it’s done safely and many studies that report better sleep for parents with preschoolers. Personally, I love snuggling with the youngest. My older kids stopped coming into our room around the age of 5. It’s a short season of parenting which includes meeting their needs at night.

  4. My Mantra was and still is: do, whatever works for you and will do whatever works for me. My child, my way, Different kids have different needs at different ages. Different parents have different preferences and abilities. Doctor recommendations, is just that – recommendations. I will consider it, analyse my situation and will do what I see fits my family the best. You mamas are smart, you know the best what you need and what your kid needs. All the people that tell you what is normal, just listen to them, nod and smile, and do whatever works for you. 🙂 My daughter slept with us on and off up in till 5 yo, (She would still love to sleep in our bed, but we it is enough for us). My son after stopped nursing, always preferred to sleep on his own bed. Enjoy youparenting, ladies and gentlemen. 🙂


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