Sleeping With Parents

Despite the fact that the child has his own bed, the insistence of the parents on sleeping in the bed is a common problem in many homes. The number of children who sleep with their parents for various reasons or go to their parents’ bed at night is not small.

Before the birth, the baby’s room and bed are prepared with care and enthusiasm, and plans are made for the baby to sleep in his bed. Although the ideal is to put the baby in his/her own crib or bed for a maximum of two months, the baby starts to sleep in his/her parents’ bed for reasons such as separation from the baby, worrying that something will happen to the baby, and tiredness caused by getting out of bed frequently. If there is a separate room for the baby and a bed suitable for the baby in the house, the baby should be put to bed in his own room after he turns 40 or at the end of two months at the most.

The desire to sleep with parents is more common in the preschool period. Studies show that more than half of preschool children sleep with their parents. It is seen that this habit continues during the school period as well.

Since preschool children are not very competent in expressing their feelings verbally, they show this more with their behaviors. One of the most important reasons for insisting on sleeping with parents is fear. The child may not want to go to bed by saying that he is afraid, or he may go to his parents’ bed at night. There are many reasons behind the child’s fear. The most important of these are the fearful dreams. Children begin to have fearful dreams from the age of 3-4. The child thinks that he will be safe when he sleeps with his parents, and he insists on this. Even in homes where there is intense conflict between parents, children may insist on sleeping with their parents because of the fear that they will leave their home and therefore themselves. Divorce or the loss of a parent are also factors that cause children to insist on sleeping with their parents. Apart from these, a child who is used to sleeping in his own bed may want to sleep with them after the trip when he is separated from them due to the travel of his parents.

Although parents complain that their children are lying next to them due to reasons such as the child’s saying that he is afraid, the fact that he is sick at night, especially the longing of working mothers for not seeing their children enough, and the guilt caused by working, they have difficulty in changing this situation.

Parental attitudes are of great importance for the child to acquire the habit of sleeping in his own bed. When parents can be determined and consistent in this regard, children can acquire the habit of sleeping on their own. In order for the child to give up the insistence on sleeping with the parents, first of all the parents, especially the mother, must accept and separate from the child. In our society, the number of parents who do not see this as a problem, but rather enjoy sleeping with their children, is not small. The child who sleeps with his parents becomes an dependent individual and may perceive sleeping separately as his parents’ dislike for him.

             For the child to get into the habit of sleeping in his own bed:

  • First of all, take care to be determined and consistent about your child sleeping in his own bed.

  • Remember that letting him sleep on your side is not a sign of your love.

  • Do not forget that your child’s sleeping next to you is negative for his psychological development and will make him an dependent individual.

  • Listen to the fears of your child who says “I’m afraid”, accept them, show understanding, calm him down, but don’t let him be influenced by his fears and come to you. Avoid watching violent programs before bed.

  • Don’t let him sleep by lying on his side, stroking his hair, or touching you. Sleeping with skin contact makes it difficult for the child to be an independent individual from the mother. Instead, you can give him a toy he likes.

  • If he wakes up at night and comes to you, take him back to bed. Sometimes this can happen several times a night. Do it the same way every time.

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