Sleeping Arrangements

Some friends of ours share their king-sized bed with their two children. They say that families all over the world sleep in the same “family bed” that it’s good for everyone. “Co-Sleeping” as they call it, still seems weird to me. Doesn’t it interfere with mom and dad’s relationship to sleep with the kids in the bed? It also seems pretty unsafe to me. What do you think?

Most pediatricians will probably tell you that your baby should get used to sleeping by him- or herself as soon after birth as possible. The reasoning is that in American culture we emphasize early independence, so babies should adapt quickly to being away from their parents-especially if both parents work and the children are in day care.
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Take Another Little Piece of My Crib Now, Baby

Dear Mr. Dad: We just moved our two- and- a-half-year-old daughter from a crib to a bed. She seemed excited about her new “big girl” bed at the store, but now that it’s set up in her room, she refuses to sleep in it. What’s going on, and what can we do?

A: To a toddler, making the move from crib to bed is a big, big step. Try looking at it from her perspective: she’s spent her whole young life sleeping in that cozy little crib. She liked it and felt comfortable in it. And think of all the memories—learning to pull herself up, climbing out, surveying her realm from her elevated perch. Now, all of a sudden, you’ve replaced a beloved piece of history with that thing. No wonder she’s not happy. (Yes, she may have been thrilled at the store, but she was probably taken in by your excitement. Plus, things often sound a lot better than they actually turn out to be.)
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