Why I co-sleep with my preschooler

It started off as a way of making life easier. The post-bathtime snuggles in my bed, the easiest place for me to sit and feed Sophie whilst reading a bedtime story to both my girls. Jessica would often fall asleep and I would then carry her back into her room and put her in her cot. I learned quickly that I had to do this within an hour or so of her falling asleep – much longer and she would wake and it would be a battle to get her to go back to sleep in her own bed.

Why I co-sleep with my preschooler - Little Hearts, Big Love

If Jessica woke in the night, it was often easier just to pick her up and tuck her in with us rather than spend ages trying to get her to go back to sleep. Neither hubby nor I minded having a small snuggly companion and on the whole we generally got more sleep this way. Most of the time though, she slept in her cot.


Then we went away on holiday.   Jessica was quite happy sleeping in a single bed in our room and so on our return, we decided it was time to convert her cot to a toddler bed. She chose her Peppa Pig bedding and whilst she fell asleep in our bed on the first night home, she slept all night in her cot after being carried back to her room. We were pleased that the transition to the bed had gone so well. It turned out to be a one-off though!


For the next few nights, we’d put Jessica in her bed after she had fallen asleep in ours and every night, she made their way into our bed during the night; usually before we had even gone to bed ourselves. Attempting to put her back in her own bed resulted in lots of tears and she strongly resisted any attempts to do bedtime stories in her own room. After trying for a few days to get her to sleep in her own bed, we gave in.


Now I am sure that there are many parents out there reading this who will say that I am soft and I should have persevered, and maybe they are right. But the fact is, Jessica just doesn’t want to sleep on her own. Sophie still sleeps in a cot in our room and Jessica wants to be with us at night too. I don’t think this is unnatural and I’m not entirely sure that humans were really designed to sleep alone. I rarely slept in a room alone as a child and don’t like to sleep alone as an adult, so I can’t really blame my daughter for feeling the same way. At some point, we are planning to move the girls into a bedroom together and perhaps Jessica will feel happier sleeping in her own bed again if she is in the same room with Sophie. If not, this habit will certainly be broken when she has to go into hospital for her next surgery.


For now though, she is happy and we are happy. It works for us as a family and we all sleep better as a result. And it is a beautiful feeling to wake in the night with a little person cuddling close to you. One day I will miss those night-time snuggles, but for now, I’ll just enjoy them.


And then the fun began...
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38 thoughts on “Why I co-sleep with my preschooler

  1. Z regularly gets into out bed in the middle of the night and we automatically just stick him in now. I’m not really sure how long this’ll carry on but for now I think it’s going to be semi regularly!

  2. As long as you do what is right for you then that works. I am a terrible sleeper so a little toddler doesn’t work for us as a family as I don’t sleep. I’ma from believer in doing what works for you. #twinklytuesday

    1. I can see how it wouldn’t work if you’re not a good sleeper – thankfully Jessica isn’t too fidgety so we all tend to sleep quite well.

  3. It’s what is best for you Louise. You sound quite happy at the moment so make the transition when you need to. We have to opposite issue. If my girl wakes in the Night we struggle to get her to fall asleep with us (even if we want it!!) she’s so used to her cot. So we end up being up longer and no cuddles!! Pros and cons xx #thetruthabout

    1. Thanks Sarah – Sophie sounds more similar to your little one, she tends to prefer her cot although thankfully tends to sleep reasonably well at the moment (just a bit of a challenge to get her to go to sleep though!).

  4. I sleep with my pre-schooler for exactly the same reasons you have mentioned. Plus when he used to come running into my room any where between midnight and 5am he would wake his baby sister and then I’d have to resettle them both. My son was three in March and we all get a much better nights sleep this way. Well the rest of the family do. My sons constant fidgeting keeps me awake and drives me insane but at least I don’t have two screaming kids to try and settle in the middle of the night.


    1. Ah the fidgeting does make it difficult to sleep – Jessica used to be quite fidgety too but thankfully is much better these days.

  5. My daughter is exactly the same and won’t sleep on her own. I must admit I do like the cuddles but she is such a fidget that she keeps me awake anyway.

  6. I think its always about what works for you. I like when my toddler cuddles up and sleeps in our bed, my husband doesn’t because he is the one that gets kicked in the face so any co sleeping happens in the toddlers bed!xx

    1. Lol, the kicking in the face is definitely the downside! Jessica used to kick us in the backs fairly frequently but thankfully doesn’t fidget quite so much these days.

  7. I don’t think you’re soft Louise – its definitely a case of doing what’s right for you and your family. This is so similar to Ali’s post on #thetruthabout this week! Thanks for linking X

    1. Thanks Sam – it’s working for us at the moment so will just go with the flow. Lovely to link up again 🙂

  8. It’s so nice to read that you are doing this. I would love to spend the night snuggled up to my four year old as we would both sleep so well, but husband won’t have any of it.

    1. Ah, that’s a shame – it’s not really something you can compromise on very easily though is it?

  9. This is lovely and sounds perfectly natural. My 15-month-old is still in our bed and breastfeeds to sleep, though I would like him to sleep in his cot more I know it won’t last forever. You sound like a lovely mum x

  10. This is the 2nd post I’ve read on co-sleeping today! I have never done it with the twins — we’ve never had any need to. They’re both great sleepers and have been sleeping in their own room since day 1 of being at home! That said, if it suits you — and your family — keep doing it!! As parents, we need to do whatever we can to get through the days (and nights)! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

    1. Thanks Caro – glad your twins are such good sleepers. Always a pleasure to link up to #TwinklyTuesday 🙂

  11. I really think that this is an issue that is best for you to decide, whatever works best for your family! If you are all happy then that’s great!
    Boo sleeps in her own room because she is a very light sleeper, like me and my husband snores like a freight train so he was constantly waking her up. Boo moved from our room to her own room at 5 months, but I went with her, so she had some familiarity in the transition, I stayed in there until she was 7 months and then I moved back into my own room. Boo has slept a lot better, and so that works for us.
    However, if sleeping in her own room didn’t work I would have no issues with getting her back in to our room, sleep is the most important thing!! I totally get what you mean about not sleeping alone though, I don’t like sleeping in a room by myself – so it’s strange that many expected their children to do it from a young age! I guess Boo just prefers the quiet to the company!! hehe

    1. I’m glad that the Boo is sleeping well in her own room – all children are different. Jessica has always settled well with co-sleeping whereas Sophie has often settled better in her cot. Definitely agree that sleep is the most important thing though – would rather carry on the way we are and get the sleep at the moment! 🙂

    1. Lol, yes – definitely agree that everything in parenting starts off as a way of making life easier! I tend to jump in the bath with the girls as it’s easier too!

  12. I count myself as a reluctant co-sleeper turned converted co-sleeper!
    Especially after reading ‘The gentle sleep’ book – in there it outlines how we may just not be designed to sleep on our own (just as you have) but due to our modern lives, working, and ‘parenting experts’ offering advice, it almost forces us to try to get our children to sleep apart from us, to sleep through, to not feed at all at night – all because this is our ‘new normal’ but what about our old normal and how we were designed to be?
    Its great that some kids can sleep on their own early on, but it can be a relentless battle to get some children to sleep on their own and for what benefit? A 13 year old is not going to be sharing his parents bed (hopefully!), so enjoy those snuggles and kicks in the back for now (or until modern life dictates a new sleeping place).

    I’m currently having to reluctantly get my 7 month old to sleep on his own, only because I’m going back to work in a few months and need to be reassured he can sleep on his own (and not worry about him when I’m on nightshifts). But I’d much rather keep him in my bed. A bloody big bed helps too!

    OK essay over now!

    In essence, I think you’ve made a great choice in sharing with your pre-schooler.

    1. Thank you – good luck with getting your 7 month to sleep on his own, can understand the need to do so if you are heading back to work and doing nightshifts. Agree that a big bed helps – we have a king size which makes life a lot easier!

  13. I think you have to dowhats right for you. I co sleep with my toddler when he needs it and we all get more sleep as a result 🙂 Don’t worry about judgey people and enjoy those lovely snuggles 🙂 #PoCoLo

    1. Thank you – those snuggles are lovely and getting more sleep is always good isn’t it! 🙂

  14. Do what works for you. It is worth remembering that we have a cultural requirement that kids sleep in their own room but much of the world doesn’t. #PoCoLo

    1. Thank you Kirsten – that’s a good thing to remember that our sleeping arrangements are pretty much the norm in many parts of the world.

  15. Im not going to tell you off cuz well I am co-sleeping with my son who is going to be 5! I love it. Its the best thing that ever happened to my life. The conversations before we sleep and the talks after we wake up is the moments that I treasure always. #pocolo

    1. Aw how lovely – those early morning snuggles and little conversations are the best aren’t they?

  16. Whilst I didn’t do this, I know that it is not the same for every parent. At the end of the day, you do what is right for you and your children. No one else has the right to judge things like this. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

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