There seem to be two types of parents: those who let their children come into their bed at night and those who don’t.
I’m not talking about co-sleeping, although that definitely sets the tone of the family. I’m talking about parents who put the kids to bed in their own rooms, only to have them wake up in the middle of the night and crawl into bed with them–and let them.
My bed is a “no kid zone”. The rule in our home is everyone sleeps in their own bed (or crib). The only time we make an exception is if our kids are sick. The main reason is that I cannot sleep with a kid in my bed. When they were babies, I feared I would roll over and crush them or that they would fall off the bed. Now that they are older, the elbows in my face keep me up. The other reason—just as important–is my bed is for my husband and me. It’s the one place of refuge we have in the house. It’s the only place we can establish as a “no-kid zone” and I need that.
But not all parents are like me. My closest friend, a mother of four, is awoken most nights by one of her kids crawling into to her bed. While she complains how tired she is because of it, the truth is, she doesn’t mind. She accepts it as a part of parenting.
There are countless books offering advice on getting kids to sleep in their own beds. Watch almost any Supernanny episode and there will be a battle getting the kids to stay in bed. However, there are also many parents who are fine having a family bed and many who start out co-sleeping right from the start. There is an attaching parenting philosophy that encourages co-sleeping.