Co-Sleeping Toddlers – Do You Allow it?

Ever since Max was born, he’s slept by my side. Breastfeeding will do that to a mother. Who wants to get up every two hours during the night to walk into another bedroom? Plus, when Max was first born, we had a one-bedroom apartment in New York City, so his crib was always in our room.

People give me the look when I tell them that I let my son sleep in my bed, but actually, a lot more people co-sleep with their kids than they let on. According to the CDC, 68% of American babies enjoyed co-sleeping at least some of the time. And in many countries outside the United States, it is an unquestionable practice. So when did co-sleeping get a bad name?

Here are five reasons why I still let my son crawl into my bed at night.

1. Shelf life

Everyone always says once you let them into your bed, you’ll never get them out. I think more along the lines of—you only have so many days they can sleep in bed with you. We always say we want to live in the moment, but it’s hard. I find that the downtime I have with my son at the end of the day is when I realize that these days have a time limit.

2. Bonding

co-sleeping toddlers

I am a pretty hands-off parent, and my son is quite the independent adventurer. I like knowing that after a full day of running around, he loves to fall asleep with his mom right there. It’s an unspoken bond between us—we go about our day doing our own thing, but know that our evenings will always be spent together.

3. Family time

Between work, playtime, cooking dinner, traveling on the subways, and somehow keeping a clean path to walk through the apartment, who really has family time? Does anyone even sit down for dinner as a family any more? Heck, we don’t even have a table in our tiny apartment! So I like to think of co-sleeping as our quality time together.

4. He still puts himself to sleep

co-sleeping toddlers

My son still sleeps on his own (and falls immediately asleep) for his naps, and when I put him down at night. Many may think I am spoiling him, and that he doesn’t know how to put himself to sleep, but he has his routine and puts himself to sleep every time. I say it’s time for bed, he follows me to the bedroom, crawls into the bed, we give hugs and kisses goodnight, and I turn off the light and shut the door while he is still wide awake.

5. Waking up in the morning as a family is the best feeling in the world

There is just something to be said about waking up in the morning to a rustling of sheets by tiny feet and arms. Cuddles and big toddler grins in your face will always be a better way to wake up than to cries from a bedroom down the hall.

Do you co-sleep? Are you willing to admit it to the world? Share below why or why not!

*Originally posted on

By | 2017-11-18T12:36:31+00:00 September 23rd, 2014|Girl Talk, Motherhood|8 Comments

About the Author:

Stephanie Barnhart is an award-winning blogger, columnist, and outdoor enthusiast writer featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and other media outlets. She is also the NYC Editor for


  1. Christine Hutchinson September 23, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Co-sleeping definitely isn’t for everyone, but it looks like you have a pretty good system for sleep going on for you and your little guy. I took a different approach. I don’t mind the occasional kid in my bed but find I sleep much better without tiny elbows poking!

    • Stephanie September 24, 2014 at 10:32 am

      haha yeah it’s all about finding what is best for you as a parent – thankfully Max isn’t a wiggle worm in the night!

  2. Deanna September 23, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Yup I co-sleep with my two year old. Great points here. We are in a two bedroom condo and we don’t have a dining area either! That is true that in other countries, cosleeping is totally normal.

    • Stephanie September 24, 2014 at 10:33 am

      thanks Deanna – it’s like dining rooms are becoming extinct!

  3. Mary Legaspi September 23, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I just moved my little guys bed into our bedroom. No more wondering if that big bang is him falling out of the crib in the other room. My mother in law says were damaging him…and the hubby and I asked if he ever slept in bed with her and she says “Yes till he was 12” lol…

    • Stephanie September 24, 2014 at 10:33 am

      haha – the truth comes out!

  4. Jill Flinton November 19, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    My 15 month old is still in bed with us. She hates her crib. I wouldn’t change it for the world! But I still get lots of strange looks and lots of questions why and the worry warts – you will roll over on top of her, etc. But it is the only way we get a good night sleep and each family is different!

  5. Tracy November 21, 2014 at 10:08 am

    My son slept in bed with me until he was almost in 1st grade. He’s in high school now and is the most independent kid out there. You’re definitely not spoiling him. The funny thing is, all of the things you worry about now will be forgotten once he’s older. I remember being panicked because my son was a late walker but in the grand scheme of things it didn’t affect his life one bit. As a matter of fact he’s a successful athlete now. If I could go back and change one thing about the way I parented, I would just worry less and let the things other people said affect me less.

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