I recently spoke with 2 parents whose biggest sleep struggle was co-sleeping with their 5-year old. These busy working parents were having a discussion with me about the best way to get their child sleeping all night in his own bed when he was currently sleeping in their bed from bedtime to morning. A parent had to lay down with him and they were tied to him all night. They really wanted to know how to get their kid to sleep without laying down with him.
Dad was happy to recount fond memories of sleeping in his parents bed and how he was happy to continue letting him sleep with them. The look on mom’s face was not so inviting or happy. Both parents worked full time jobs, sometimes working from home, and both were deep into a training plan for an upcoming marathon. Mom was ready to have their bed back to themselves and get a full night of sleep.
While co-sleeping or bedsharing with a child is just one scenario, there are plenty of situations where parents could disagree when it comes to their children. You may disagree on the best way or most comfortable way to sleep train your child or how to handle sleep regressions. Whatever the situation, here are a few tips and considerations to have a meaningful conversation.
Parents should think of how each parent feels about co-sleeping with their child and consider the other parent’s feelings on it. Have an open mind about seeing the situation from your spouse’s perspective. This will make you more receptive to coming to a decision together.
Second, consider also the potential impacts to the family, other children, and everyone’s mental health and wellness. Will co-sleeping with one child mean that another child is always alone or doesn’t get as much time with mom/dad? Without having an open mindset and considering how everyone is impacted, it’s difficult to see why your opinions differ. Parent’s need to consider what is best for everyone, including both mom and dad. Thinking about these things may bring a new perspective that can change a parent's mind.
Third, consider how well everyone is sleeping. Parenting should be a partnership! If everyone who shares the bed is getting plenty of sleep (7-9 hours for adults, 10-12 hours for kids overnight), then ok. Rock on. If one or both parents are complaining about bad sleep, it may be time to reconsider.
Discerning how much weight each impact on the family holds can show you which opinion should prevail in your decision. Talking through the perspectives mentioned above can help parents get on the same page in moving forward with their child’s sleep habits.
Need a third party to help you work through the best decision for your family? Schedule a free call today with us and we’ll help you determine the best way forward.