You’ve probably heard from someone at some point in your life that having children sleep in the same space as their parents is a bad idea for all involved.
Well, today, we’re going to share 3 of the most popular myths about co-sleeping alongside the many invaluable health + safety benefits (like reducing SIDS, better breastfeeding, etc.) that co-sleeping + bedsharing can bring.
Let’s first distinguish between the two terms co-sleeping + bedsharing:
Co-sleeping means sharing a sleeping room with your family, while bedsharing means sharing a sleeping surface with your family.
We are a bedsharing family + consider this sleeping arrangement one of the most productive parts of our parenthood experience by far.
But had you asked us at the beginning of starting our family if we would ever do something like this, we would have laughed in your face + told you you’re a few beans short of a burrito.
We were the ultimate critics of attachment parenting styles like bedsharing for 3 of the very key reasons (+ turns out, myths) that we’re sharing here with you today.
So, read on to learn some of the key myths that kept us in the critical seat for far too long + how we’ve shifted that perspective to end up in some of the best, well-rested nights of our lives.
Shall we begin?
Myth #1 — You lose the sex in your marriage.
That parents can’t have sex when bedsharing is the most popular myth on the list — especially (it seems) with the husbands of the world.
The question is always: if your children are in bed with you, how are you going to have sex?
Parenthood challenges us to get creative in a lot of ways for our privacy + our sex lives are no exception. However, we’ve found: where there’s a will, there’s a way.
If you’re not having sex after having children, it’s more likely a different primary issue than sharing a room or sleeping surface with your children. Sex can change for a variety of reasons at any time of life, especially postpartum: mental health, physical health, etc. The blame or criticism can often fall to the environment (messy house, no “place” to get busy, etc.) but it’s often not the core reason for a sexless experience.
When you’re motivated to make the magic happen, you might find that sex doesn’t have to happen exclusively in the bedroom (shower, couch, kitchen counter, floor, to name a few!) + it doesn’t have to stop because your children sleep in the same bed as you.
“If anything, bedsharing has encouraged variety in our sex life + made us more adventurous.”
Being open to change + adventure can be such a game-changer to the parent sex experience.
Myth #2 — Your kids turn out weird + clingy.
We couldn’t disagree more with this one as our experience has been the complete opposite.
Actually, we attribute bedsharing + breastfeeding to why our kids are the most independent + confident people.
There’s never been any barrier to their ability to reach us in a time of discomfort or need. Our parenting has never “shut off” at 7 PM after we’ve met all of their needs during the day. That style never made sense to us.
We don’t like being shut out in a room by ourselves. We don’t sleep alone as adults because we don’t want to. Why would our kids want to?
Kensie actually decided at 23-months — just a few weeks before her 2nd birthday — that she wanted a big girl bed. We went to the store, bought the bed, set it up + she slept in it every single night thereafter.
Only upon her little brother being born this past year did she want back in on the snuggle action. She’s since been having some slumber parties with us, but she made that empowered decision + never looked back once she did.
Myth #3 — You’re soft as a parent.
Who says soft is bad? Making empowered decisions that are best for you is nothing to be ashamed about.
Bedsharing + breastfeeding are what we chose + there is no shame in making an empowered decision. Choosing to be gentle doesn’t make us pushover parents.
Kevin was skeptical about bedsharing at first, but he saw how comfortable the arrangement made Courtney + the children + eventually felt comfortable with bedsharing himself.
“Knowing the children are safe with us on the same bed makes us feel the most secure + sleep better.”
What we’ve learned over time + with our tested experience is that staying open-minded to the options has given us so many opportunities that translate so positively into the rest of our lives as individuals.
So now, we’d love to know: what are your initial thoughts about co-sleeping or bedsharing?
As always, we’re cheering you on as you make the healthiest + most authentic decisions for your family. They don’t always have to be mainstream to be meaningful.
Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below or send us a direct message on Instagram @organicfamilyceo!