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I'm fortunate to have two wonderful children who love each other's company. But, lately they've been asking to sleep in the same bed and I'm worried that co-sleeping may actually ruin their bedtime routine and lead to other problems down the road.
Don't get me wrong; I encourage their bond. In fact, I love how they're quick to defend each other at any given moment. But I feel like I need to draw the line when it comes to bed sharing.
A part of me feels weird about this decision because I was raised in a household where it was perfectly normal for my siblings and me to sleep together.
I was born in Jamaica and the four of us slept in the same room. When we moved to the United States, we also shared the same bed. Back then, space was limited and we had no choice. Fast forward years later and now I'm a mom with two kids who's dead set against them doing the same thing my siblings and I did.
Even though the full-size bed is big enough for the two of them, I'm leery about it affecting their independence. Moreover, I wouldn't want them sleeping together to become the norm.
Our son is 2 years old and our daughter is 5. They've always enjoyed snuggling up with one another during story time. However, we were careful not to allow them to fall asleep together because we didn't want him suffocating as a baby.
Now that he's 2, we're not concerned about that happening. But we worry about them having attachment issues if we allow it. We also want to teach them about being self-sufficient and respecting each other's space. Let's face it—kids like to explore. In fact, I've actually caught our son with his hand on his sister's private area.
Granted, he is just a tot and has no idea what he's doing. But at the same time, I wouldn't want to encourage that type of behavior. Moreover, our daughter is at the age in which teaching about personal space is extremely important.
I was speaking to a friend of mine to get her thoughts on the matter, and she said it's no big deal. "They're family. I don't see anything wrong with them napping in the same bed," she insisted. I certainly respect her opinion. But I think it can open up a can of worms we'd regret later, especially after reading about Josh Duggar's molestation claims.
While it's unknown how it happened with the Duggar household, I wouldn't want to potentially place any of my children in a compromising position. I also don't want to send a message to our kids that co-sleeping is OK. If they're allowed to do so in the confines of their own home, who knows, they may do it elsewhere.
Right now it's tough enforcing the no co-sleeping policy. At night, our son makes a beeline for his sister's bed and avoids his crib like the plague. We're hoping that changing his crib to a toddler bed will take away that desire to share. While we continue to encourage their sibling bond, we remind them that big kids don't need to share beds.