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    Eight year old boy sleeping nightly in same bed with mother
    Sf5grabn posted:
    I am certain that an 8 year old boy sleeping in the same bed with his mother is not, shall I say, "normal". The mother is intelligent as is the son and neither have any physical or mental handicaps.
    My questions are:
    1. What are the psychological disadvantages to the boy especially when he has his own room?
    2. What reasons would a mother have for allowing this to continue year after year?
    3. What are the psychological ramifications to the boy and the mother already and what further harm, if any, may this cause if it continues?
    fotogirl525 responded:
    Well I was a single mom and my son slept with me from the time he was born until he was maybe 5 or 6. For me it was a bad habit that I should not have started but he was my little baby and all I had. I hated to put him in another room. I did have another child after him and she slept great in her room but the habit was already started. I bought him a cool fire truck bed and he loved it- to play on! I think it affects them because they become dependant on having the mom there in order to fall asleep. Mom probably continued it because sometimes its easier than saying no and dealing with a knock down drag out fight at bedtime. I don't think it is weird in any form just a bad habit. Eventually he is going to want his own privacy and won't want to sleep with mom. I don't see any long lasting effetcs that it will have honestly. However if mom is married I am sure that puts a major strain on her marriage and maybe even some resentment towards the son from her S.O. Otherwise I don;t really think it is that bad.
    Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Families for centuries all shared the same bed. In many cultures-this still is the practice. Some families still do-attachment parenting/co-sleeping as a way of connecting with their children. Some co-sleep because that is what works for their family, or they spend long hours away from home, or the cultural expectation is co-sleeping-even if it is frowned upon generally by the larger U.S. society.

    If the parents are not alcohol drinkers, obese, smokers, or drug users (legal that may reduce alertness or illegal) or have other (mental health) issues-there is research that says that children who co-sleep through age 10 or so-have better emotional health, happier, less anxious, had higher self-esteem, fewer behavioral problems, and are generally more independent as adults. Now, like any parenting research-you can parse that to bits and decide valid, not valid, semi-valid. In the end, it probably just comes down to "does it work for them?" and "Is there any reason to believe there is something unhealthy going on?"

    So, it isn't for everyone and people who co-sleep generally don't talk about it-but it can be the right choice for a family.
    An_221924 replied to fotogirl525's response:
    I totally agree with this I dont find it weird in the least just a bad habit and bad on her relationship with her s.o. or when she finally meets another man. When my s.o. is out of town my son and daughter usually sleep with me they are 2 and 7 I dont see it as a problem. They dont have a problem with sleeping in their own beds though we look at it like a sleepover because daddys gone so we all three get in bed watch some tv and sleep its kind of nice to have my babies in bed with me.
    Andrew Adesman, MD replied to An_221924's response:
    The diversity of responses reflects in part the diversity of opinions about co-sleeping. As Louise noted, what is aberrant in our culture is the norm in others.

    If I were to speculate, I would guess that this is a single mother who works during the day and who prefers the comfort and maternal intimacy that comes with sleeping with her son. I see this scenario in my own practice. I would find this more troubling if the father was also at home and the mother did not work.

    Also, as many of you know, sometimes we create our own Frankensteins when it comes to bad sleep habits. I suspect that the co-sleeping in this case is a guilty pleasure in a non-Oedipal sense.

    So, tell us -- is there a husband in the house? does mom work?
    121sweetie replied to Louise_WebMD_Staff's response:
    What does being obese have to do with co-sleeping? I think I migh be offended at being lumped in with drug users, alcoholics and mentally impaired persons just because I'm fat.
    tothebeach4 replied to 121sweetie's response:
    I did some research on the dangers of co-sleeping if you're obese and what I found says this:

    "Parent's who roll over during their sleep could inadvertently crush and/or suffocate their child, especially if they are heavy sleepers and/or obese".

    So, I don't think she was trying to group people who may be obese with drug addicts, alcoholics or mentally impaired people... just saying that it is equally risky to co-sleep under these different circumstances.

    Hope that helps.
    Louise_WebMD_Staff replied to 121sweetie's response:
    As to the beach replied-the reason is co-sleeping safety, in particular with regards to newborns and infants. I apologize for bad phrasing.
    Sf5grabn replied to Andrew Adesman, MD's response:
    Thanks Doctor!
    NO, the mother does not work and there is not a father living there. This sleeping arrangement has been going on since the birth of the boy even when there was a father living there. This boy has an older sister (age 12) who, until a year ago, also slept in the same bed with the mother and son. The daughter now sleeps either on a matress on the floor of the mother's room or with her grand mother. Their residence has four (4) furnished bedrooms which allows the mother, grand mother, girl, and boy their own fact the children stay in their rooms until it comes time to go to sleep. Could this possibly be due to the insecurity of the mother, the children, or both? Each child does spend the night away from home with friends fairly often on weekends and have no problems sleeping without mom there. However, when at home, it is sleep with mom!
    Louise_WebMD_Staff replied to Sf5grabn's response:
    Can I ask why you are so interested in this family's sleeping arrangement? Are you the father? A relative? Are you a friend of the children and heard complaints from the children?
    Sf5grabn replied to Louise_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Because I have three grown children who always wanted, had, and treasured their own rooms. Must have worked out okay for them as they all are happy, professional, and quite productive citizens. My interest is that of the S.O. very possibly considering matrimony but not under the current sleeping arrangements. I may be "old school", but I find this arrangement, for lack of a better word, odd.....or at least a sign of extreme insecurity on the part of the mother, children, or both.
    An_221925 replied to Sf5grabn's response:
    I wouldnt say its odd because your not used to it. Its just different to you is all and if you dont suspect any kind of abuse or neglect leave it alone and butt out of their bussiness. What I find odd is that your so concearned about this family. I slept with my mother and father alot of nights and I have no problems sleeping by myself or liveing on my own. The only thing it has done is kept me very close to my family we are Italian so we are very tight nit and loving to each other.
    Louise_WebMD_Staff replied to Sf5grabn's response:
    If you think the mother is extremely insecure and the children are as well, then I think you need to reconsider your reasons for desiring to be part of a family with her. Is it something that you would like to address through family therapy for all of you? Otherwise it doesn't sound like the relationship is off to a great start.

    My five older children preferred sleeping in their own rooms as much as was possible (sometimes siblings shared a room) But, the youngest slept with us for quite some time. I don't think I could have done an extended family bed-though my kids will often come in my room and sit on the bed and talk right before bed. I know that when I was a teen-I more often than not ended up sleeping in my mother's bed (my father worked swing shift off and on) just because that was where we would watch tv together or read our books together. (I, however had NEVER shared a bed with my parents as a younger child)

    On the other hand-I know a lot of families who are perfectly happy sharing a room and a bed despite extremely large homes. I knew a family that had a huge California king bed that they fully childproofed and put rails around when the kids were small and as they grew up-despite the fact that someone had given them a crib and they had a "nursery" and 4 other bedrooms for their family of 4. The kids grew up, went to great colleges and are also quite productive, happy adults. Yes, I thought it odd at the time. No, I don't think it is right for everyone and it can be hard on some families-particularly when blending families, blending cultures, or when you are in a new relationship with someone in that family.
    An_221926 replied to Sf5grabn's response:
    If you are at a point in your relationship where you are considering marriage, then I would think that openly discussing the subject with your SO would be logical. If you do so in a non accusing/ judgmenta lovingl way she will probably be open to the conversation. If you still have concerns after talking to her, then I would share with her how you would feel uncomfortable sharing a bed with her and her son if you were to get married and see if she is willing to work on a mutually acceptable solution. If she is not willing, then you may want to reconsider. Best of luck to you!
    cvega1980 replied to An_221925's response:
    He just stated why it is his business, he is planning on marrying the mother.

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