Home motherhood/family/parenting What American Parents Need to Do Differently (The Research Is In)

What American Parents Need to Do Differently (The Research Is In)

by Kelly Crawford

Yes, a resounding “yes!” But I’m just a country Mom. What do I know? That’s why this article was so much fun; it confirmed what I already believe and have found proof in living. But now that a “qualified” person finally said it, (you know, someone who did the research–the only thing that makes it real and believable to the masses), I can feel even more confident about our parenting choices.

You’re gonna love it too.

The author, Christine Gross-Loh, writes:

“The parent I used to be and the parent I am now both have the same goal: to raise self-reliant, self-assured, successful children. But 12 years of parenting, over five years of living on and off in Japan, two years of research, investigative trips to Europe and Asia and dozens of interviews with psychologists, child development experts, sociologists, educators, administrators and parents in Japan, Korea, China, Finland, Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Brazil and elsewhere have taught me that though parents around the world have the same goals, American parents like me (despite our very best intentions) have gotten it all backwards.”

(While I may not agree with every aspect of the article, I certainly agreed with the bulk of it.)

Her findings, the short version:

  • We need to let 3-year-olds climb trees and 5-year-olds use knives.

“Ellen Hansen Sandseter, a Norwegian researcher at Queen Maud University in Norway, has found in her research that the relaxed approach to risk-taking and safety actually keeps our children safer by honing their judgment about what they’re capable of.”

  • Children can go hungry from time-to-time. (Meaning, you don’t have to rush to give children snacks every time he asks; it could hinder their healthy meal-eating habits. And you certainly don’t need to allow your children a special menu different from what is offered to the whole family.)

“[Korean] children are taught that food is best enjoyed as a shared experience. All children eat the same things that adults do, just like they do in most countries in the world with robust food cultures. (Ever wonder why ethnic restaurants don’t have kids’ menus?). The result? Korean children are incredible eaters. They sit down to tables filled with vegetables of all sorts, broiled fish, meats, spicy pickled cabbage and healthy grains and soups at every meal.” (Korea has the lowest rates of obesity.)

  • Instead of keeping children satisfied, we need to fuel their feelings of frustration.

(I didn’t care for the term “fuel their frustration.” I think the point is not to give a child everything he wants to keep him happy–as if this were rocket science.)

“Studies show that children who exhibit self-control and the ability to delay gratification enjoy greater future success.” (Imagine!) “Anecdotally, we know that children who don’t think they’re the center of the universe are a pleasure to be around.”

  • Children should spend less time in school. (My personal favorite.)

“The Finnish model of education includes a late start to academics (children do not begin any formal academics until they are 7 years old), frequent breaks for outdoor time, shorter school hours and more variety of classes than in the US.” (Finnish students frequently rate the highest, academically, in the world.)

  • Thou shalt spoil thy baby.

According to research, Japanese children, who co-sleep with their parents, become more independent later in life. (This is probably one I don’t necessarily disagree with, but personally haven’t implemented simply because I enjoy MY sleep in my bed with my husband ;-). In the early nursing months, baby does sleep some with me and I don’t sleep well at all.)

  • Children need to feel obligated.

“In America, as our kids become adolescents, we believe it’s time to start letting them go and giving them their freedom. We want to help them be out in the world more and we don’t want to burden them with family responsibilities. In China, parents do the opposite: the older children get, the more parents remind them of their obligations.

Eva Pomerantz of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign has found through multiple studies that in China, the cultural ideal of not letting adolescents go but of reminding them of their responsibility to the family and the expectation that their hard work in school is one way to pay back a little for all they have received, helps their motivation and their achievement.

Even more surprising: She’s found that the same holds for Western students here in the US: adolescents who feel responsible to their families tend to do better in school.”

Read all of “Have Americans Got it All Backwards?”


The last point was especially good, and the one MOST OFTEN ridiculed in our culture. So many parents have the crazy idea that it’s good for their children to be released of any familial obligation, and that it’s nearly abuse to require them to do their part in the responsibilities of the family. We give them their vehicles, gadgets, college money, let them roam free, and create entitlement monsters. And we’re surprised when their own family falls apart?

Hope this dose of good, common sense will take root and help us raise healthier, smarter, more stable adults for the next generation.

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Cindy May 13, 2013 - 6:21 am

I like that last one, especially. Oh, the HOWLS of outrage I get when I suggest that duty is a two way street in a family. The thinking seems to be that, since a child never asked to be born, it is expected for me to make their miserable existence as smooth as possible, without ever expecting an ounce of return on the investment. Parents are more like vending machines than family members in this broken society.

Word Warrior May 13, 2013 - 8:36 am

Cindy–It is insane. “Those poor kids that have to do something”…what kind of parents are we? But then the same people turn around and chafe us for not “preparing them for the real world.” *sigh*

Jennifer Flanders May 13, 2013 - 6:39 am

Hi, Kelly.

I found you through “The Truth about Big Families” article on Circle of Moms. We have a big family, too. I am really enjoying looking around your blog!

Word Warrior May 13, 2013 - 8:36 am

Glad to have you, Jennifer!

nancyt May 13, 2013 - 9:17 am

I believe we do have it backwards. We are not helping our children. We are hindering them. I have parents, even my very own pastor tell me i am over protecting my child since I homeschool. (actually they are more protective in their rules tham I am) LOL!!! But we believe in being responsible at home, we Beleive that children need to have more responsibility to the family as they get older. I don’t want to raise an entitlement child. That attitude makes me very angry when I see it over and over. I want a well rounded Godly child who pitches in and knows she has a responsibility.

MammaB May 13, 2013 - 10:33 am

Our culture is very backwards, and Americans believe we are the only ones that have it all figured out. How do you get less sleep with co-sleeping? I finally decided to co-sleep with my 3rd and it’s the most sleep I’ve ever got with babies. No more up and down with the breastfeeding, and it definitely doesn’t hinder our bedtime activities 😉 My husband and I are kicking ourselves for not doing it before. of course we didn’t know about safely co-sleeping bc our country is so ignorant and easily manipulated by crib companies and formula companies. SIDS was originally called cot death until the crib companies complained. We are so easily fooled when it comes to marketing, we ignore our instincts. We also decided to practice baby led weaning instead of the pureed baby foods. After I read about BLW I couldn’t understand why we even bother with the pureed baby foods until someone pointed out the money being made from jarred baby foods and now those make your own baby food puree machines etc. My daughter eats everything we eat, right off my plate.
There’s a show called “Chopped” on Food Network and most of the non-caucasian contestants talk about their parents and how the prize money will help their parents. They have a a responsibility to their parents when they are adults. I saw this in Home health care too. The non-Caucasian people were always the ones to have the whole entire family involved in their parents care. 2nd and 3rd cousins would come over with food and visit with their elders. The house was never empty.

Word Warrior May 13, 2013 - 12:13 pm

We stopped the baby food thing a long time ago too and now studies have revealed how loaded with contaminants and pesticides they are. We just start feeding bananas and then mashing up whatever we’re eating.

The sleeping thing–I think I’m just afraid and so I sleep on more “alert” when the baby is in bed. But usually, during the first 6 months or so, they end up staying in bed once I get them up to nurse, so we kinda do co-sleep for a little while 😉

Kari Collins April 14, 2017 - 2:19 pm

I agree with keeping the baby in bed. We co-slept with all 5 of our kids and it was wonderful. Just be sure to never take sinus medication that can cause sleepiness if you co-sleep! My husband woke me one night because the baby was crying with my pillow on his head and I was out of it. That was scary, but that taught me to never take any meds that cause drowsiness and to be careful with my pillow (singular) and lighter blankets. Just a cautionary note, but I would not have changed a thing.

Keri May 13, 2013 - 10:59 am

What about the one that when the kids turn 18, you boot them out the door. What other cultures do this? What a great way for young people to keep learning and loving in the family God has put them in!

Word Warrior May 13, 2013 - 12:14 pm

I agree and this is another one of those “gasp” inducers, the thought that a young adult would actually still live with his/her parents. And financially, it’s a no-brainer.

Gretchen May 13, 2013 - 11:43 am

I am a teacher and wholeheartedly agreed with this article. It has pushed down into school where everyone gets a sticker, trophy, you name it so no one feels “upset” We are told to lower our standards for behavior, academics and expectations so that we are left with everyone being told they are good at everything. Please parents, whether you homeschool, unschoolm or public school, enjoy your children, give them chores, and allow them to fail sometimes.

Word Warrior May 13, 2013 - 12:13 pm

Good advice, Gretchen!

Kelly L May 13, 2013 - 12:30 pm

Normally the Huffington Post makes me cringe, but this is a great article (albeit already known among some of us).

The entitlement thing IS out of control and ridiculous: My dad teaches AP Physics. The students told him they’d come in for a practice test on his BD, Saturday (real one is today). NOT ONE KID SHOWED UP! He was there at 8AM. I fully blame the entitlement “parenting.” They are entitled to have everyone do whatever they want/need, but they are not beholden to respect or think of others. That is only on example out of the hundreds we all see.

People always thought I was nut when my daughter was chopping with a big knife at 5 years old. Turns out I was just developing appropriate risk taking. 😉

Laura May 13, 2013 - 12:42 pm

my two oldest boys (7 and 9)have both gotten knicks on their hands from either using a knife and getting a tiny cut or from the peeler or grater or something! Guess what? THey didn’t die! We put a bandaid on it and moved on!

Keri May 13, 2013 - 12:43 pm

We were at a homeschool field trip(the park)and I heard one of the mom’s screaming”He’s got a knife-He’s got a knife”! We all went running and I see MY SON standing there next to her with his little boy pocket knife. He had been carving something from a piece of wood from the tree some of them were playing with.He was probably about 12 and it was a little pocket knife. She about gave me a heart attack with her lecture and so I told my son later to please leave his pocket knife at home next time. It was all kind of silly as he was around no one while he was carving. I thought it was kind of funny later. Just had to share a funny story. I know accident’s can happen and all but sometimes I think we go way overboard.

6 arrows May 13, 2013 - 2:57 pm

Good article you linked, with lots of great points (in the author’s commentary and in yours, Kelly).

I think that we in our culture have become such creatures of habit, just doing things it seems everyone else is doing, without thinking much about why we do or don’t do things a certain way. I want to comment especially about the co-sleeping thing.

To me, sleeping with one’s baby is a natural extension of the mother/child bond that began in the womb. The child within its mother’s body can hear her heartbeat and is enveloped in the warmth of her body. As the pre-born child grows, especially toward the end of pregnancy when the baby takes up almost the whole uterine space, I like to think of that child receiving a continual gentle hug from his/her mama.

That’s why I think it’s rather sad that in this country, the general trend is that after the children are born we are so quick to cast them off to separate sleeping arrangements. Why do we not stop to think of the nurturing environment from which they came, and desire to keep that bond of physical closeness with our babies night and day, through baby-wearing (or lots of being held by loving family members) and through co-sleeping, to gradually transition them into this new world, instead of holing them up in their cribs and car seats and what-have-you, as if to say, “Here, this is your place now; get used to it”? Again, I think it’s habit, and ignorance of other cultures and their practices, that contribute to our tendency to break this special bond much too early, IMO.

I’ll admit that I did not practice this at all with our firstborn (and not with our second-born until she was 13 months old and climbed out of her crib, looking for the human connection she so craved — she always cried waking up alone, and she was one that woke up about four times each night during at least her first year). Co-sleeping from the start, IMO, would have eased so much of the stress our first two children experienced.

Our later-born children, with whom we co-slept for quite a long time, cried much less in the early months than did their oldest two siblings, in whom we had tried to encourage “independence” from us right from the start. And in the case of our special-needs fifth child, I think that calm start to his life outside the womb was a vitally important blessing the Lord used to get us through the difficult years to follow when his unique needs began manifesting around 18 months of age. His peaceful babyhood was, I believe now, the calm before the storm, a calm that the Lord used to help our whole family get through the tumultuous years to follow until the time He began to provide healing from the challenges our son faced.

The other thing I wanted to point out about co-sleeping is that I think if we encourage it more with new moms, that close bond that continues uninterrupted from the womb to postnatal development may encourage moms to continue to be with their babies, nurturing them with the mother’s love that God builds into all of us, and to not desire to put them in someone else’s care so they can hurry and get back to their (career) life. If I had known even one person who practiced co-sleeping when my first child was born, I may not have denied my motherly instincts, forcing him to be independent of me, first with his sleeping arrangements, then with his daycare arrangements.

I highly recommend co-sleeping as a powerful way to keep alive that strong bond we had with our children in their prenatal days. I do wish that I had practiced it with our older children, but I treasure the good experience we had with it when our younger children were born, and I would certainly do it again if blessed with that opportunity. 😉

Thanks for this post, Kelly. I think there are so many important things we can learn about parenting by looking at other cultures and their practices.

Summer May 14, 2013 - 3:26 pm

Hi 6 Arrows, I mean this in the most serious way because I truly don’t know and I’m very curious—How do you have a love life with hubby while co-sleeping for months? I honestly don’t understand how that happens. I would co-sleep a little from like 3 on while nursing and let the baby stay there, but what about 9 or 10pm? This is what always goes thru my head when I hear people talk of co-sleeping. If it’s too personal, I understand. Thanks for anything you can share.

6 arrows May 14, 2013 - 9:20 pm

Hi Summer,

Thank you for the sensitivity with which you asked your question. I don’t consider it too personal, and hope to answer in as serious a way as you posed the question.

When we had a baby in bed with us and wanted some couple time, we would slide the baby a little away from the center of the bed and place a thick bed pillow between the baby and the edge. That would keep baby from rolling out of bed suddenly, and we would be right there to see whether there was any danger with regards to the baby’s position in relation to the pillow. I don’t recall that there ever was, and our babies hardly ever rolled during those times, anyway, and when they did, they generally made some noise before shifting position. So it’s not like we were distracted from our intimacy by having to keep our eyes on the baby the whole time 😉

With at least one or two of our children, we had a crib set up, with one long side pushed against the wall, and the rail on the other long side taken off so that the crib mattress and our mattress were up against each other. We then would scootch the baby over to the crib mattress, not to sleep there all night, as I felt there could be some risk of the baby getting in between the crib and bed mattresses, but only temporarily while hubby and I enjoyed a little time alone in our bed.

The other thing I want to say is that the nursing and co-sleeping years encouraged creativity in our love life, in terms of where and when. 😉 This may not be for everyone, but we felt perfectly comfortable telling our older children to watch our younger children downstairs or outside while hubby and I took time for ourselves at any time of the day we pleased. We were behind locked doors, so a child who happened to come upstairs wouldn’t see us. Of course if one or more did get upstairs, it would be possible that they could hear us, but that didn’t concern us. We think it’s not a bad idea that kids learn that their parents enjoy each other. 🙂

Thanks for your question, Summer. I hope that helps answer it without TMI!

Summer May 15, 2013 - 9:15 am

Thank you, 6 Arrows. That all makes sense. I would imagine, too, that they don’t co-sleep once they’re getting older. It would be easier when they’re a year or younger, but I had a girlfriend that was still co-sleeping when her child was 2 and 3. That I don’t fully comprehend. Anyways, thank you for sharing and helping me to understand a little better.

tereza crump aka mytreasuredcreations May 15, 2013 - 6:35 pm

Chiming in too. 🙂 Last night DH and I were inspired so we began our play in bed, when we heard a knock on the door. It was DD5 wanting to sleep on our bed because she had a bad dream with the snake the neighbor caught earlier in the day. So we had to stop our grown up play. About 30 minutes later, DD3 came in crying too and took another 30 minutes or so to fall asleep. So our play was definitely postponed… but that just builds on the excitement and expectation of our future time together. Now for the explanation on my kids’ visitation… all of my kids have co-slept with us until they are about 2 y.o. and then I move then to the their bedroom with the other children. But they are always welcome into our bed when they are scared or have an issue. Sometimes when they fall back asleep, I get up and put them back into their beds…but last night it was already late and I was tired, so we all slept in our king size bed. The four of us!!! intimacy can still be achieved when your kids co-sleep… one just needs patience and creativity. 🙂

Erica May 15, 2013 - 2:53 pm

I just wanted to chime in…we have co-slept with all the kiddos. It was definitely for a longer period of time with our younger 3 than the older ones though. Generally in the cycle of life by the time your body is prepped for the next baby & you were ready to then have said baby it was time to move the baby sleeping with us to their own bed. Most times we started out with a crib in our room (during the end of pregnancy) and eventually moved that crib into another room (when we felt that particular child was ready for the move). For a few years we have 2-3 kids with us in our room each night.

And personally, for me, the extra challenge in finding ways to continue our “couples” time together actually HELPED our relationship while the kids were young. Sounds odd I’m sure, but when you have 2-3 kids in your room every single night you have to be willing to experiment with when & where you could be intimate. It added a little “spice” if you will in getting creative. I can honestly admit that we had a more active sex life during that time than we do today when our youngest is almost 5! (And we don’t have kids in our room every night now…just the occasional nightmare or illness that causes them to want Mommy for the night.) But I also have no problem having the older ones watch the younger ones for us to find some alone time when we want it.

I guess it’s one of those things that you kind of figure out as you go along! 🙂

Cheryll April 14, 2017 - 8:08 am

Yes, yes, yes!!! I 110% agree eith this statement 🙂

MammaB May 19, 2013 - 6:39 pm

“I think if we encourage it more with new moms, that close bond that continues uninterrupted from the womb to postnatal development may encourage moms to continue to be with their babies, nurturing them with the mother’s love that God builds into all of us, and to not desire to put them in someone else’s care so they can hurry and get back to their (career) life. If I had known even one person who practiced co-sleeping when my first child was born, I may not have denied my motherly instincts, forcing him to be independent of me, first with his sleeping arrangements, then with his daycare arrangements.”

I know this is late but AMEN!!!!!! I was thinking the same thing this week about breastfeeding

Word Warrior May 19, 2013 - 8:32 pm

Mamma B–I was thinking about the breast-feeding phenomenon too after reading about the powerful chemical reaction that takes place in the brain and “attaches” the mother and baby together…a very miraculous and purposeful thing our Creator did on purpose! No wonder it’s easier…breastfeeding is more than just good for baby’s health.

Lisa May 13, 2013 - 4:00 pm

Agree, agree, agree! Loved it! 🙂

Kristen May 13, 2013 - 6:23 pm

I love this article. I especially agree with the part about not protecting your kid so much so they can know what they are capable of. Just look at play grounds now as opposed to 40 years ago (when I was a small child). When I was young you learned how to hold on to a merry-go-round (really tight if the big boys were pushing), now, apparently children are too dumb to figure that out. I admit to being a little overprotective and am working on it. I think part of that comes from being a foster parent for so many years and you are accountable for and must explain every single bump, bruise and scratch on a child. You learn to be paranoid and bubble wrap your kids. However, we’re done with that now and hopefully I can be a little less clingy.

Margo, Thrift at Home May 13, 2013 - 7:10 pm

Amen! I so agree! I like the family obligation part of this article – I never thought about it so pointedly. I hate that my cousins can’t be convinced to come to family gatherings, but my own family of origin is otherwise tight. And it is a beautiful community.

Laura May 13, 2013 - 8:18 pm

While I have never co-slept (beyond falling asleep in the rocking chair after nursing) with our babies, for our bed is too small to do so (and Hubby and I desire our own space), I do agree with the premise that the mothering instinct and the baby’s need for closeness is a strong one. So while we don’t cosleep we DO believe in breastfeeding (not on a schedule–at least for the first 6 months or so), and TONS of holding, cuddling, snuggling for a LONG time. My 9 year old STILL has a time each day where he comes up on my lap and hugs and holds. In fact I find that if I spend an hour in the morning holding each child by turn, we have fewer behavioral issues through the day. And if they were in school, they would miss all that contact. We too have never fed baby food from a jar. It’s too expensive and processed…

Deborah May 13, 2013 - 9:14 pm

I loved these points. About knives and risky endeavors. I have boys who used power tools safely at pretty young ages (Dad supervised. I couldn’t watch : ( We started them with butter knives whittling old candles. Then moved to dull knives that were easily retractable. Sometimes they could just carry the knife in their pocket and only use it when Dad was home. Whittling makes a mess on and around the porch, and oh yes, tracked in the front door. Cost of education!

Hayley Ferguson May 13, 2013 - 10:04 pm

I was told by a nurse in hosp. (we are in Oz…the nurse is Chinese) that if the baby was overlaid family services would take all the children (I didn’t tell her we co-slept with the previous 9). We still do. I was told of a baby who was rolled on in the hospital and died. I believe it was probably in the priv. ward where there are drugs and alcohol on offer to post-partum mothers (one of the biggest maternity hospitals in the state.) My father once said I use my daughter like a slave…go figure?

6 arrows May 13, 2013 - 10:54 pm


You are likely correct that drugs or alcohol were probably involved in that hospital death to which you referred. The article I’m linking to discusses research that shows the real truth about how overlaying deaths are nearly always caused by having a parent in bed who smokes, drinks, or takes drugs, by having too-soft bedding, by formula-feeding the baby (which causes the infant to have difficulty arousing easily, unlike breast-fed babies, who are more alert), and even by falling asleep with a baby in an easy chair or on a couch [read: nursing moms, who naturally get drowsy feeding their infants, but who have been scared into avoiding co-sleeping because of the misinformation that has been fed much of the public].


In the end, we all need to make an informed choice about the matter, but fear tactics like the ones put forth about co-sleeping in general, without regards for specific, research-based data on the true risks, are not only unhelpful, they can be downright dangerous.

Erica May 14, 2013 - 2:53 pm

I can’t tell you how badly I NEEDED to see this. My DH & I had a discussion about teenagers & freedom just last night. I took the stance that we need to give them * more* freedom than we have thus far because they will be lost when they do get that freedom when they hit 18 and can make the choice of what to do, or not do as the case may be. My DH took the exact opposite stance in that he felt like they are a part of the family therefore they are expected to do more WITH the family regardless of what they choose to do when they hit 18 yrs old. I didn’t see the wisdom of his words and in fact will admit to saying to his face that he was dead wrong.

Sounds like I need to keep my mouth shut and listen to my DH’s wisdom and take his thoughtful observations to heart instead of worrying about if we’re doing the right thing. I have spent a little too much time listening to other parents about freedom & responsibility lately and it appears that I am failing to listen to the wisdom that comes from personal experience! I hate it when I’m wrong! But God sure has been finding interesting ways to show me that lately.

Thanks once again Kelly for pointing out the error of my ways!

Summer May 14, 2013 - 3:29 pm

Great article, Kelly! Enjoyed it very much!

tereza crump aka mytreasuredcreations May 14, 2013 - 11:53 pm

so she needed years and lots of research money to figure this out?? Duh!

Heidi P. May 23, 2013 - 1:16 pm

I thought that I would chime in on the co-sleeping from the ‘other’ side. We have 4 children and we have not co-slept with any of them. And you know what? They are the best sleeping kiddos I know! They learned early to fall asleep on their own and slept through the night at 3 months, 5 months, & two of them at 8 months.

I had a different experience than those of you here. Everyone else I knew DID co-sleep and they thought we were crazy for not co-sleeping. But I was more like Kelly. I simply couldn’t sleep with them in my bed. I was paranoid of them falling off or of one of us rolling over on top of them so I was in a constant state of light sleep. Then every little grunt, coo, or whimper would send me jolting awake to check on the baby. It was awful. I was so tired. And most of that was with them in a bassinet beside the bed, not even in the bed as I was too afraid of suffocating them.hee hee

Then my co-sleeping friends wound up with little ones in their bed for YEARS. Most of them were still co-sleeping when the next baby came & sometimes even the third. Then they would be so crowded & exhausted that they would try to put them all in their own beds and it was total chaos. They would have a three or four-year-old, a one-year-old, and a newborn crying all night because everybody wanted to be in bed with mom. And so many times, Mom or Dad would wind up sleeping somewhere else just so they could sleep.

I don’t know, but it just didn’t seem like they were getting that loving, bonding time to me. And it seems harder on the little ones to be thrust into their own bed as a toddler after they have become accustomed to sleeping with mommy.

Then there is the entitlement issue. Doesn’t this seem like your children feel entitled to sleeping in mom & dad’s bed? It seems like a contradiction to let them rule the roost when they are wee babes by constantly packing them around & letting them sleep when & where they please and then when they turn 3 or 4 or whenever, suddenly tell them they aren’t going to get their way anymore. Wouldn’t it be much simpler to teach them from the start?

Believe me, I understand the argument of them being in the womb & thrust into a whole new world. They are so small & helpless. But it is natural. God designed them to be out of the womb at a certain point so it is weird to me that we are constantly concerned with making the “outside” environment like the womb. That’s not to say that I don’t hold my babies as much as possible. =)

Anyway, I just thought I’d throw this out there. We speak about not allowing our children an attitude of entitlement but then we preach about how we need to coddle them more as infants. It seems a contradiction to me.

All of this said, I promise I am not judging co-sleepers! =) I just know first hand the benefits of not co-sleeping. I know what worked for us & our children. I don’t think they feel unloved or cheated in any way from not sleeping with us. So if you hate co-sleeping, don’t be afraid to try something else.

Word Warrior May 23, 2013 - 1:22 pm


You make some good points. I agree. I don’t have a feeling one way or the other or think co-sleeping is a bad thing or anything of that sort. I think for us, we’ve never sensed that our children felt less bonded or loved from NOT co-sleeping, and since it was so hard for me, I didn’t see a point in continuing to try to make it work.

Ponder Woman May 24, 2013 - 12:37 am

Your experience with co-sleeping is pretty much just like mine. I could not for the life of me sleep!

I agree with you when you say that it doesn’t really make sense to wait for a year, or two, or more, to send the kids to their own beds. Although I think it’s great if parents want to co-sleep, I think it’s just as great if they don’t. The babies need to be held and rocked and loved but at some point they need to transition into their own beds. I don’t think it’s wrong if that happens sooner rather than later. For our family it works the very best if it’s right away. Everyone sleeps so, so much better and both of our children have slept through the night (nine to twelve hours straight) by four months as well.


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