Letting your kids sleep in your bedroom isn't as unhealthy as people think.
Brandon Janous turned to TODAY Parenting Team to share how he lets his three children sleep on the floor of his bedroom even though they live in a four-bedroom home. In the now viral post, he explains how this situation developed after the death of his wife, his children's mom.
I used to fight it. I used to tell them that this wasn’t healthy. I’d tell them that they’d get better rest in their own beds. To give it a chance. That their beds are more comfortable than my floor. It never worked. No matter what I said.
But then he remembered how, for a month, he spent each night on the floor next to his wife's bed in the hospital.
People tried to tell me to go home. To get some rest. To give it a chance. That my bed would be more comfortable than the floor. It never worked. No matter what they said.
Janous explains in his post how he simply felt safer on the floor next to his wife in the hospital. He now understands that his children simply feel safer sleeping on the floor next to his bed after their mom died.
Still, a lot of people believe that letting children sleep in their parents' bedroom is unhealthy. The actress Alicia Silverstone recently came under fire for admitting that she shares a bed with her 11-year-old son.
She came clean on "The Ellen Fisher Podcast." Listeners piled on.
"That may be taking the whole co-sleeping thing a bit too far," one listener tweeted.
"How will he learn to be independent? She's not helping him," tweeted another.
The common belief is that co-sleeping with your child at any age is unhealthy. But pediatricians have changed their tone about the issue.
Sure, they still say co-sleeping with an infant is dangerous, as this has been found to increase the risk of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. But pediatricians now believe that co-sleeping with your kids is okay, at least until the child hits puberty.
Elizabeth Matheis, a licensed psychologist in New Jersey, seconds Fisk's claim, telling Insider: "We all come from different backgrounds and the rules, or parenting guidelines, vary greatly — it's what works for you and your family."
Matheis adds that sharing a bed or bedroom with your child can be comforting during trying times, such as after their parents' divorce, or even after the death of a parent, which was Janous's case.
My son suffered from anxiety and slept in my bed until he was 11.
I have written about my own case of letting my son sleep in my bed until he was 11. He was suffering from night terrors due to his autism. He had so much anxiety that he couldn't sleep and would pace the house hysterically at night.
I believe that forcing my son to endure his anxiety at night alone would have been bad parenting. He only calmed down when I let him sleep in my bed. Only then did he feel safe.
My son is now 12 and no longer sleeps in my bed. He does still suffer from anxiety at night but he's old enough to handle it better. He now self-soothes by sleeping in his own bed with a light on in the room and with music playing.
Pediatricians say puberty should be the limit.
Still, pediatricians believe there’s an age limit to co-sleeping with your child. Fisk told Insider: "I wouldn't want a 14-year-old child sleeping in the bed with his or her mother or father."
Matheis agrees, though she does say that if the child is suffering from a great deal of anxiety, a parent can put a separate mattress in their bedroom for the child to sleep on.
So, co-sleeping with a child is okay until they hit puberty, especially in cases of familial upheaval. What do you think? Is it okay for a child to sleep in their parents' bed? If you don't agree, what about if the child has anxiety or there's been a death in the family? Let me know in the comments.