October 24, 2013 in Features

Annie’s Mailbox: Co-sleeping is up to parents, child

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar
 

Dear Annie: What is your opinion on co-sleeping? My husband, his daughter and I all sleep in the same bed at night, and neither my husband nor I minds a bit.

My husband loves it, saying he knows where both of his beautiful ladies are at night and he doesn’t have to worry. When we want to make love, we wait until his daughter is not in the bed, or we go into the spare bedroom. What do you think? – Pennsylvania

Dear Pennsylvania: We think a lot of this is up to the parents and depends on the age of the child. Often, pediatricians do not recommend co-sleeping with an infant because of the slight risk that a parent will roll over onto the child. Some older children who co-sleep have difficulty transitioning to their own bed and will demand to sleep with the parents well past puberty. And some children who are developing sexually can transfer inappropriate feelings to a parent when co-sleeping continues past a certain point. (We will assume that neither parent has inappropriate sexual feelings toward the child, although this is also a concern.)

What counts is that both of the parents and the child are comfortable with this arrangement, both parents are responsible about the child’s development, and the set-up does not interfere with marital intimacy. If you are the stepparent and the biological mother is in the picture, be sure she is in agreement. This is a joint parental decision.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@ comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

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