A new survey has found that the majority of parents think that it is OK to bed share with their children, and they also think that it should be normalized. When it comes to sleeping, mom usually wants to do whatever she can to make sure that everyone is getting the amount of sleep they should. This means that her children are getting good sleep, and so are their parents. Sleep is vital for the healthy growth and development of children, and it is beneficial to mental health. It ensures that children can go to school and focus and that they can fight off illnesses and grow.
When we hear “bed-sharing,” we tend to think about infants and toddlers, but we assume that as children grow, they will move out of their parents' beds and into their own. This may not be the case. According to Study Finds, a new survey has found that a lot of parents bed-share with their older children.
The survey involved 2,000 parents of children under the age of 10, and it was completed by OnePoll. The survey found that 7 in 10 parents are OK with bed sharing with their older children, and they feel like the stigma that is surrounding it should be stopped and that it needs to be more normalized. The survey also found:
- 78% of parents state that they are aware of the pros and cons of sharing a bed with their child.
- 88% said that they prefer to share a bed with their child because it makes them feel like they are closer to them.
- 62% said that they get more sleep when they share a bed with their child, and sleep-deprived parents know that sleep is necessary.
- 62% stated that they feel it makes their child feel safer
- 52% stated that they do it because they want to deepen the bond they have with their child.
While this may be what parents prefer, it may not be what is developmentally best. Dr. Nicole Pensak is a clinical psychologist, and she stated that there are benefits to safe co-sleeping with infants, but as a child gets older, they should be moving to independent sleep.
Sharing a bed occasionally may not be a concern, but that work should be done to get them sleeping in their own space and learning how to fall asleep without mom or dad there with them.
Other experts in the field state that humans are “contact seekers” just like other mammals, so it makes sense that they would want to sleep in the same space as their offspring.