Co-Sleeping with a Preschooler
What is your opinion on co-sleeping with a preschooler?
My first job in sleep was working on a SIDS research study. We performed sleep studies on infants and would mimic their standard sleep conditions.
The infants who co-slept would experience awakenings all night, and mom would often be part of the soothing process.
We all have sleep onset associations: the scent, sound, and touch of our sleep environment.
When children co-sleep, the scent, sound, and touch of a parent is part of their brain’s process of soothing to sleep.
When the family chooses to share a family bed they will be part of each other’s chosen associations.
If you don’t want to be present with your child when they sleep then it is best to try to help them establish new sleep onset associations independent of parents.
The best way to accomplish this is to introduce new associations (blanket, scent, white noise) and slowly move the parent out of the sleep environment.
Check out other videos in our Psych in 60 series for more sleep and parenting tips. Have a question for Dr. Kristin Daley or would you like for her to speak to your organization? Let us know in the comment section below!