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Image / Parenthood

Yes, I co-sleep with my 11-year-old. What’s the big deal?


By Amanda Cassidy
08th Oct 2023
Yes, I co-sleep with my 11-year-old. What’s the big deal?

Every child's needs are different, but is co-sleeping such a big deal? Amanda Cassidy investigates.

I feel the lean of his soft bones next to mine and pull him even closer. His warm skin pressed next to mine, I do what I always do; imagine the day when these moments will end. I imagine how I’ll tell him how we slept next to one another all those hazy blue mornings and how I held him, his coarse hair next to my lips and almost cried at the thought of losing this closeness.

He’s just ten, on the cusp of adolescence, but he creeps into my bed some mornings, for comfort, for body heat, for safety. His eleven-year-old sister often joins our duvet den too, citing bad dreams or the need for a snuggle. My cat-like seven-year-old never stirs and always remains in her bed, her teddies perhaps offering the solace her brother and sister seek from me.

Space

“I can’t imagine anything worse” a friend of mine laughs. “I value my space too much”. But when you become a parent, for a few years at least, your space isn’t your own. The children (mine anyway) remain a type of phantom limb – in your face, pulling at your earrings (as toddlers), climbing on laps, nose to nose. They don’t respect personal space because you are their den. You are their safe space. And while there are certainly appropriate times that adults need to be with adults only, I would find it hard to deny those bed-tousled heads the comfort of a snuggle, especially when I know the time will soon come when they’ll shrug me off.

And I’m not alone.

Backlash

Sometimes bigger kids still need that physical closeness

“She’s slept with me every day since she was born,” Kourtney Kardashian admitted about her ten-year-old daughter Penelope. “And pretty much still does, unless she has a friend sleep over.”

The celebrity received backlash after she revealed in a podcast interview with Amanda Hirsche that she and her middle child, daughter Penelope Disick, has been co-sleeping with her mother for over a decade.

Christina Ricci and Alicia Silverstone have also been criticised about their co-sleeping arrangements with their sons, pointing out that sometimes bigger kids still need that physical closeness.

Natural

Silverstone has in the past described her thoughts on co-sleeping as “following nature.” In 2014, Silverstone wrote a book called “The Kind Mama,” where she said that placing a child in a crib is “tantamount to child neglect.”

She also bathes with her son, which is a whole other article!

But whether or not it is every night or the odd chilly dawn moment, I’m sure every parent has the best interests of their child at heart.

For now, I’ll enjoy scooping my children’s bodies close to mine, curled together just like they once were curled inside of me. It brings me joy to know they are safe beside me. For now, I’ll keep holding them close.