Does Your Child Climb in Bed with You?
Today I want to talk to you about the challenge, the very common challenge of having little kiddos that love to climb in bed with you. Now I think the most important thing to understand about this scenario when we’re working with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers is that kids have some real attachment needs from their grown ups, and as inconvenient as it is for us as the grown-ups, those attachment needs do not turn off during the nighttime hours. So a lot of the reason why kids seek us out at night or in the middle of the night is to receive some nurturing and some reassurance from their parents and so that is an important thing to keep in mind and to honor.
Then of course, we all know that any child who is allowed to, will test those boundaries and really milk the system as well. Now, the older that your child gets, the more ability we want them to be able to have in terms of soothing themselves, so as they grow older we want any kiddo to be able to fall asleep by themselves in their own room, and of course they may need some really quieting, soothing rituals to help their little bodies down shift and get sleepier to allow that to happen, but being able to self sooth as the kiddo grows older is an important ability for them to have.
Are You and Your Partner on the Same Page?
Of course the other thing that complicates this picture is that the presence of kids in your bed will often times become an obstacle between having the kind of intimacy with your partner that you may like, and in fact, sometimes when a relationship becomes really tense and there isn’t much intimacy or affection at all as parents, we sometimes over rely on the cuddles and affection we’re getting from our little ones to kind of compensate for the affection that we’re not getting from our partners. So it’s important to try to keep that balance and of course in a happy family, we want there to be affection between everyone in the home.
Whatever you and your partner decide about how and when to address your child getting into your bed, I think it’s really important for both parents to be on the same page. I wish I could tell you that there was a tried-and-true recipe that at this age you have to do this, but then at this age you do that, but you all know by know that parenting is not that simple. Whatever you decide, try to make sure that you and your partner are really on the same page, that you both know what the plan is before you start making changes at home, because of course those first few weeks when you’re implementing a change can lead to some rough and sometimes sleepless nights.
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