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Co-sleeping Single Parents

co-sleeping-single-parentsDesire for Closeness and Comfort Outweighs a Sense of Propriety for Some Parents

Should Single parents allow children to sleep with them?  It is the first question striking you while calming down your crying child who insists to share your bed. Most of us planned at some point to have a perfect family, but have we planned to be perfect single parents? Co-sleeping is one issue you have to deal with when you are a single parent co-sleeping; however it is important to highlight that co-sleeping is common among big families in poverty and among very devoted parents believing their child needs close contact.  For a child, separation hinders their security, subsequently yours!  Letting a child share a parent's  bed is controversial and a matter of personal opinion.

Single Parent Co-Sleeping:  Positive vs Negative

For a child, bedtime symbolizes separation from social activities and parents which initiates the feeling of loneliness and fear.  Dr. Marilyn Heins notes that most parents allow young children into their bed at least occasionally.  Of middle class U.S families, 9% report taking a sick or frightened child into their bed.  About 60% of these children go back or are taken back to their own bed within a half hour ,another 31% stay in the big bed until they are a sleep and only 1 % stay the rest of the night.

Why Parents Indulge in Co-Sleeping  (5-10 years of age)

  • Sharing your bed with your child provides a sense of closeness and security for both of you.
  • It is easier to share your bed than to put up with bedtime anger tantrums.

Is infant Co-sleeping (0-5 years of age)

Many researches proved that:

  • Your baby receives reassurance of love and support when sleeping beside you.
  • It is easier to breast feed your baby
  • Babies who felt love and safety through the night became adults with great stress coping abilities

You want to transit your child to his room, but you find it difficult? Below are few tips to help:

  • Play with your child in his own room half an hour before bedtime.  A child who has enjoyed being in his or her room feels comfortable being left alone there.
  • Read a bedtime story.  In 17,000 children studied parents and children reported feeling more secure and relaxed after reading together.
  • Lay beside your child for 10-15 minutes until s/he begins to fall a sleep.
  • Let your child know that you will always be their when needed.
  • Keep the lights on and gradually after few days switch to sleeping lights.
  • Stuffed animals such as a teddy bear can help you!  Many children feel comfortable when taking their favorite toy to bed.

Infants Co-sleeping single parent

While some studies preferred the idea of sharing your bed with your infant, death were attributed to parents rolling over a sleeping baby Infants sleeping arrangements may play a role in reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).Here are some advices :

  • Spaces and gaps in your sleeping area must be filled.
  • Your baby should always sleep on her back.
  • Avoid suffocation by using firm blankets or sleep sacks.
  • Keep a good distance between your baby and the bed edges.
  • Do not share your bed with pets and children together.
  • If you are taking medications, have used alcohol or are exhausted, please keep your baby in his crib for safety's sake.

Many working mothers preferred sleeping with their baby after a long day and find it a great opportunity to reconnect and enjoy intimacy.  It is extremely important to be reminded that we are discussing two different age groups, infants and children.  Each group has different needs and psychological implications for co-sleeping.

When should I worry about my child?

Your child may actually be indicating to you that he or she has a problem with sleeping which needs attention.  Listen and watch for signs that your child is dealing with any of the following:

  • Continuous nightmares
  • Persistent anxiety
  • Repeated anger tantrums
  • Loss of concentration
  • Depression
  • Deterioration in mental performance
  • Fear of loneliness
  • Poor social adjustment
  • Repeated headaches
  • Aggressive behaviors

If your child suffers from some of those signs please seek psychiatric advice and consider sleep behavior management help.  Professional child sleep experts are often called to assist with retraining when children have difficulty adjusting to routine bedtimes in their own rooms.

To many families in the U.S, co-sleeping as a single parent is not considered normal behavior as many believe it affects the child's ability to become independent.   Co-sleeping as a topic, has always been a debated subject among parents.  No one can deny that such experience has positive effects as well as downfalls.  It's all about moderation.  Remember one of the scenes in the movie Cheaper by the Dozen?   All the pets and all the children were on the same bed along with mom and dad?   Well, we can all use little fun before bedtime.