You, Me and He What We Gonna Do About This Co-Sleeping?

By Kia Morgan Smith

I've got a confession.

My husband's been having many sleepless nights and I'm to blame. Someone has come in between us and I let it happen over and over again. We have words about it every night. He wants me to end it, but I can't. I won't. I can't help how my heart feels.

I know my husband doesn't deserve to lose sleep over it. He drags himself out of bed every morning, exhausted, weary-eyed and with one eye open, wishing he could turn back the clock, if just for 40 winks, so that he can hit the bricks and make the bread for his family. To him, three's definitely a crowd.

And now, my husband is demanding I let him, my other man, go to his OWN bed.

My little man, the 2-year-old other half of my heart and the little boy who makes me go cuckoo between the slobbery kisses and baby talk goo-goo, can no longer sleep between us or so says his pooped big poppa.

Be clear: My husband is by no means a pushover. The hundreds of kickboxing trophies in our foyer gives proof to any detractor that the soft-spoken, nice-guy-next-door is likeable and lethal. But when it comes to his boo (me) and his boo-boo (mini-me), he just can't gain any ground.

It goes like this: the little guy, JoJo, climbs into our bed at the same time every night. He's usually wound-up as if his internal alarm has sounded and Reveille is blaring in his little brain. He knows the deal so he scopes me out and makes a B-line for my side of the bed. I scoot over to let him in. He sleeps on the outer edge. The risk here is that he might just hit the floor if I forget that he's there. And yeah, baby has gone boom a few times. (Spongebob Band-aids on the night table, check)

I try not to put him in-between my husband and me because if daddy wakes up, it's going down. Jo-Jo will be carried out and put back in his bed. But that makes JoJo no nevermind. All he does is wait till the midnight hour to come back to his mommy's sweet embrace.

When baby boy returns, I once again scoot to the left, and try to keep him on the right so he doesn't disturb his dad. But in the course of the night he agitates me. I get elbows to the eye, kicks to the gut, and stinky little toes on the cusp of my nose.

I then, unconsciously, toss and turn and kick and slap my husband like I'm fighting in the UFC on my Serta.

That boy's gotta go, my husband says. I didn't get any sleep.

For some reason this time when he said it, I knew he really meant it. I started crying like I was having postpartum depression two years after the fact. But, but, I whimpered, I just love him. I feel so bad for him. He doesn't want to sleep by himself.

See, in my mind, my son needs me. Maybe he's scared. He does sleep in a room by himself while my girls all share a room. My husband and I sleep together and so JoJo is the only one who sleeps in a room alone.

And even when I have tried to make him go back to his bed, he never does.

We may get a full-night's sleep without him, only to wake up and find the poor little fella spread eagle in the hallway outside my door. And it breaks my heart to see JoJo lying on the floor without his blankie and his stuffed Crocodile, Lyle, Lyle.

I want to honor my husband and tend to my son like a momma should. So I chose to give up my own comfort just so I can make the little guy comfortable.

I know I'm not alone in this. There are many parents out there who share their beds with their babies. As uncomfortable as it can be, says it’s a growing trend in the United States. Other reports say that co-sharing doesn't make the child any happier. I disagree. My son seems very content sleeping with us. It's daddy who's cranky and incoherent at daybreak.

As he grows, he certainly can't continue to sleep with us. I already know this. I never had this dilemma with any of my other children and always trained my kids from birth to sleep in their own bed. But for whatever reason, my baby boy wants to share my bed. And he's smart enough to know that momma's the easy target and daddy's the enforcer.

In less than six months he'll be three and that will be a time of many transitions. He'll go from being too lazy to pee in the pot, to being potty-trained and I think this will be the perfect time to put the hammer down and demand that he stays in his own domain.

(I know what you're saying good luck with that!)

For me it's going to be a bit of a transition too. I love holding him and snuggling up to him. He's my FIFTH and last baby. That's it. Once gone, I'll never have these moments again.

For now I will try to keep him contained on the right side of the bed so that daddy's not disturbed. I just hope my husband doesn't get up and head to the hallway to get some sleep. But just like JoJo, he'll be back too!

Kia Morgan Smith, author of the delightful children’s book, Goony Goo-Goo and Ga-Ga Too, is a passionate and dedicated educator and former award-winning education reporter from Philadelphia. She has five kids and balances life like nobody’s business all of which she chronicles on her blog,CincoMom. She lives with her husband and their family in Atlanta.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. I’m not nearly as tough on my son as I am on my daughter. A mother’s love for her son is just…different. I can’t explain it. He does something to me. Sounds like you have the same love for you lil guy. Good luck & happy transitioning. My son just turned 5 and he still gets cookies before dinner…sometimes…well most of the time.

    • I agree it is very different Alovelydai! I just wanna kiss and spoil him so much. Yes, I can’t explain it. I already told my husband he’s gotta make sure I don’t turn our boy into a momma’s boy! Thanks for commenting!

  2. Sorry, I can not relate to you at all. I have never wanted to sleep with the baby and I can honestly say I never will. I need my sleep in order to function as a parent and partner and having a little one on the be is just not going to work for me. On another note, mothers with sons please, please, please remember that your little babies will eventually be men. And the fact that some of you are freely admitting to being push overs for your sons makes me worry about what kind of men they will be and how your daughters are interpreting this behavior.

    • Thanks for commenting Lalaagirl! Well the one great thing is my son has a father in the home who is an awesome, awesome man. I love him dearly and will be there to kissy-face, but please understand that I will get out the belt if need be. I’m not going to raise a half-ass man by no means. And the fact he is growing up seeing a great man in the home who loves, respects, supports and leads his family will be the greatest influence of all. My husband was an only son who was raised by both parents. His dad was a tough as nails marine and his mom is as sweet as pie. But when she disciplined, she DISCIPLINED. She gave kisses and kicked-butt. I’m the same way. For now, I’m going to keep kissing that face until it becomes icky to him! LOL… Thanks for commenting.

  3. Oh… So the story is switched in our case. Our last daughter (who was a preemie) is a daddy’s girl and she KNOWS that at 0030 is the morning all daddy is going to do is move over and let her in, where as momma is going to put the smack down and take her back to her big girl bed. We were all for the co-sleeping we did it with our other 2 kiddos, it was perfect for nursing in the middle of the night… But as soon as they were at least 2 we shifted them to their beds and they were all good with it. But my youngest she missed out on all that, I wasn’t able to nurse, she wasn’t even able to sleep with us because she was on a monitor for the first couple months of her life so we figured when she had outgrown that we would co-sleep like we did with the other two… The only problem now is she is going on 4 and still gets up and slips in bed by daddy’s side of the bed… the thing that stinks is he usually puts her in between us and she (because she is a daddy’s girl and KNOWS that mommy doesn’t want her in bed with us) will kick and punch me in her “sleep” so I wake up with a sore back, exhausted like I never went to sleep and ready to toss her out the bed…

    So I said, we are done after tonight and for the next 2 weeks I wanted to eat those words… She would wake up at 0030, 0230, 0330, 0430 and so on crying and screaming and hollaring like someone was beating her… The only problem was mommy was the only one that “heard” her and the one that had to deal with her after only getting to bed around 01:00… because of getting off work late, finishing up homework and other things that never seem to get done during normal hours.
    Not to mention when anyone is ever sick, mommy is the one that is up late. Or the fact that I am a stay-at-home mom and I see her 24/7/365… can’t I get a solid 5-8 hours without her right under me…

    Please don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter… but when you are a part-time employee (at night), a full-time student (going for a Master’s), a part-time volunteer and intern… sleep is the next best thing to sliced bread…

    So I say, once you start… DO NOT GO BACK! Don’t give in even when he is crying at your bedside going mommmmmyyyyy…. (all from experience, LOL!) You can do it, I know you can 🙂

    • WOW Liona! Ok, first of all I was cracking up at the part when you think she was beating you up subconsciously! Very funny. I have to admit I am getting tired of my boy. I am hoping that he grows out of it. And yes, I have realized that I will have to fight with him in the middle of the night when he comes to my side of the bed. I am definitely going to lose sleep over this, I know. I have four other kids and NEVER went through this before. Thanks for the encouragment!

  4. How wonderful that you are so willing to parent during the nighttime hours. As a mother who co-slept and has had just about every other variation of sleep arrangements, I know they ALL present their joys and challenges.

    When a baby is small, you make sacrifices for the one who needs the most care – the child. Now that he is older, it is okay to look at the needs of the entire family and say, this has to work for EVERYONE. You have options, it doesn’t have to be a drastic change. But you have to find a solution that will work for all of you. It doesn’t have to be crying and traumatic. There can be a peaceful transition so everyone can get sleep and not feel alone.

    Here are some resources you might find helpful. (I have no financial affiliation with any of them).:
    1. API’s Principle of Parenting: Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
    There are safety considerations about solitary and co-sleeping. You can read about them here. And some tips to make it work for all. They even have a safe sleep brochure.

    2. Elizabeth Pantley’s books: The No Cry Sleep Solution, The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers and The No Cry Nap Solution. Her books and website:
    are an excellent way to find a solution that fits YOUR family. Is it ok if he comes in when they can see the sun come up (a concept little ones can get)?, could you set up a little pallet or inflatable bed in your room for a while to make the transition to his room easier? These books help you come up with a plan and a gentle transition. No one sized fits all answers here, just what works for you guys.

    and finally,
    3. Dr Jay Gordon’s Changing the Sleep Pattern in the Family Bed:
    You can gently change the patterns going on now in just a few days to make things easier for all. His ideas are very helpful to a lot of parents I work with.

    Talk to your husband at a time when you are not all sleep deprived and in the heat of the moment. Talk to him about these books and concepts and work on a plan TOGETHER that you can both live with. You can do it and after a few longer nights, you all will ALL sleep, well, like babies. 🙂

    P.S. All of mine (3) now sleep in their own beds, all night after a story, prayer, hugs and kisses (mostly from dad). I rarely even have bedtime duty. I put in my time in the early years!

  5. Our son is 20 months and he sleeps with us most of the time. We don’t love it but we aren’t trippin either. Our son doesn’t sleep with us cause he likes us, he just likes our big bed :). There are bigger things in the world to worry about. Cherish the moments…soon they will be grown and you will wish you had cuddled more with your baby. My son is by no means a mama’s boy. Daddy rules this house. The thing I love about Hubby is that he is more concerned about our son’s character and spirituallity then if our son snuggles between us.

      I certainly don’t think having my son sleep with me will equate to him being a momm’s boy. Anyways I am certainly not gonna allow that! And I love the fact you said that it’s about your child’s spirituality and character more than anything!! I totally agree! Thank you for commenting!

  6. I remember when my son used to come in my bed in the middle of the night. And it was every night at the same time too! But after seeing my sister and a few other people whose kids still slept in the bed with them at the age of 7 or 8, I was like, “ummm heck no!” LOL. I love my son being in the bed with me, but I would not want him to STILL be in the bed with me at 8 years old. So I would take him out of my bed and put him back into his bed every night… at the same time. He’s 3 now, and sleeps in happily sleeps in his own bed… until he wakes in the morning before I do (and that’s usually every morning!). He’ll come in my bed and I just move over to make room for him. I pick my battles… LOL. Lord help me if I ever get married.

  7. Hi, have you read I think its called ‘The Sleep Book’ by Dr. Williams Sears? its a good book about co-sleep from newborns to older children there might even be a few alternatives have you tried putting pillows on the floor or something soft so that if he does fall its on something soft? or possibly bring his mattress into your room and put it next to your bed and he could either sleep next to you in your bed or in his mattress and slowly move it towards his room. one other suggestion I remember from the book is to have a space for him to sleep on in your room and explain to him that he can come in and sleep there but that he has to be very quiet and not wake anyone up. I have 2 girls 3yrs and 1 1/2 and co-sleep with both of them and my husband is happy with it I have been thinking about getting my oldest her own bed soon at least so she can just get used to it. So I hope this helps. Good luck!

  8. I remember that I used to sleep in the bed with my mom when I was little, and I just grew out of it. Kids today are drilled to grow up and mature faster than most parents would actually even like them to!! Some children grow out of it because they want to be big boys/girls, and no longer want to be looked at as babies. Try the whole big boys/girls sleep in their own beds, and babies sleep with their parents route?!?!?! That may work, also I understand that this can be a frustrating but I wouldn’t allow my child to know that either myself of my partner feels a bit of it or any annoyance behind this for it can cause a child to feel like one parent likes them and the other does not. Whereas I’m sure that that is not the case children tend to have hurt feelings when they feel that a parent is upset and or angry with them (when I got spankings it wasn’t the belt that hurt it was my feelings LOL!!!) It can be a fine line but one that might more than likely fade on it’s own, hell u may not even need to force him out!!! Good Luck!!!

  9. Oh boy…I am reading this piece and immediately tears are coming to my eyes. I’m such a softy when it comes to my son and I completely feel where you are coming from. My little guy will be 4 in May and he still invades mommy’s bed(don’t judge me!)…*sigh* I feel so bad at the thought of putting him in his own bed in his own room. I know it has to be done soon, for his sake and mine. However, for now I deal with it because that’s his place of peace and solace. If comfort is what he needs at 3, then comfort is what he’ll get at three. I’ll worry about him “manning up” when he’s not a little boy :/

  10. awwww a mother and son’s special bonding… maybe it’s time to incorporate something new in his bedroom that would make him want to stay in his own special room. glow in the dark stickers may be… or revolving planets etc…

  11. My son is almost two and he still sleeps in the bed with me and my husband. My husband doesnt like it one bit but what can he do its either i deal with him or he deal with him . what do you think he will choose ? Oh btw Im still nursing him too.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.