Sleeping With Your Child

The ages-old debate is what works better--sleeping with your child to get her to fall asleep or leaving her by herself. Learn the benefits of each and how to do it.

Many parents feel that it's a good tactic to sleep with their children in order to get them to go to sleep. And this tactic works. But you obviously can't sleep with your child forever. So how do you wean your child away from this sleep pattern, and when is the right time to do so?

You know the routine. You take your child to bed and want to try letting her fall asleep on her own. So you say good night and leave the room. A few minutes later your child is in tears, frightened of the night. This is common. So you go back to your child and lay down with your child until she falls asleep. And you just lay there and wonder when and how you can get your child to sleep on her own.

But the trick is to allow your child to sleep on her own but to know that you are right there if she needs you. Say good night to your child and wander off. But when she calls for you or starts crying, you immediately appear and are right there for her. You spend some time to calm her down and then tell her to say good night again. Then you leave again. She knows that you are right there if she needs you so she feels safe.



A good time to stop sleeping with your child is after her second or third birthday. It's always comforting to spend as much time as possible with their parents to children, so you probably want to cuddle and spend time reading to your children and even fall asleep with them at younger ages.

If your child is upset, don't stay away from her for very long. You want her to rest assured that you're there if she needs you. By staying away, you don't accomplish this. Another temptation by parents is to turn the lights on and letting a child sleep with the lights on in order to feel more secure. This isn't a good idea really because it will disturb her sleep pattern.

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