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It's None of Your Damn Business Why I Still Co-Sleep With My Toddler

Photograph by Twenty20

It's an actual wonder to me that there are so many people who care who I sleep with. Now before you get all judgy, I’m talking about co-sleeping with my toddler.

Oh wait, you might still be judging me.

Yes, these judging machines exist, so beware fellow mamas, because they take on many forms. It could be your friend, co-worker, mother-in law or even the lady at Babies 'R Us (yes, I’m serious). My favorite warning came in the form of a well-meaning, but increasingly annoying family member. I still remember the words: “You won’t have a sex life with your spouse, and if you allow this she won’t ever want to have her own bed."

A) I’m pretty sure she will eventually want her own bed (eye roll), and B) Why do you even care?!

As a new mom, I had no idea how to respond to all the unsolicited advice like this I received. I knew that co-sleeping was right for my family, but I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and I didn’t want to seem like a know-it-all. Now, after years of trying to explain that co-sleeping was—and still is—the best option for my family and dodging comments about how co-sleeping is unsafe, I've had enough. It's really none of your business that I allow my child to share my bed.

If anything, the comments and advice-giving have become more frequent and much more hostile.

Not that I need to explain it to anyone, but my daughter was born a month early and weighed only three pounds. When we were finally able to take her home at a whopping four pounds, she had some some physical challenges. So there was no way I was going sleep with her far away in a crib or bassinet. My husband and I decided to co-sleep with her as a part of our attachment parenting, and all of us have been better for it.

Now my daughter is a toddler, and I would love to say that people's perspectives have changed and that I no longer face hostility about continuing to co-sleep, but that's simply not true. If anything, the comments and advice-giving have become more frequent and much more hostile. I've heard people even go as far as to suggest that co-sleeping with a toddler is inappropriate and that it will cause her to become too dependent on me. Is that seriously even a thing?!

The fact of the matter is only I know the best way to protect and care for my child, so if one more person asks me why I still co-sleep with my toddler, I'll respond with what I should've been saying all along: it’s none of your damn business.

Because it really isn’t.

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