Thursday, August 19, 2010

Should Your Child Sleep In Your Bed?

Text taken from:
(2003) Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems (Ferber, Dr.Richard) Dorling Kindersley. Pg 38

Should Your Child Sleep In Your Bed?

Studies have shown that the movements and arousals of one person during the night stimulate others in the same bed to have more frequent wakings and sleep-state changes, so they do not sleep as well. But there are even better reasons for your child to sleep in his own bed.

Sleeping alone is an important part of his learning to be able to separate from you without anxiety and to see himself as an independent individual. In addition, sleeping in your bed can make your child feel confused and anxious rather than relaxed and reassured.

Even a young toddler may find this repeated experience overly stimulating. If you allow him to crawl in between you and your partner, in a sense separating the both of you, he may feel too powerful and become worried.

He wants the reassurance of knowing you are in control, and that you will do what is best for him regardless of his demands. If you show you cannot do this, and let him act out his impulses, he may become frightened. 

Most children have no serious continuing problems sleeping alone. If your child is 'too afraid' to do so, and you deal with his fear by letting him into your bed, you are not really solving the problem.
There must be a reason why he is so fearful.

If you find that you actually prefer to have your child in your bed, you should examine your own feelings very carefully.

Finally, if your child always sleeps with you, you may have gr eat difficulty leaving him with a babysitter. This could affect your own social life and you may find that you begin to harbour angry feelings towards your child.

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