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I'm Tracy 

I'm the founder, writer and advocate behind the award-winning blog, Raised Good - a guide to natural parenting in the modern world.

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Why I’ll Lie With My Son To Fall Asleep For As Long As He Needs Me To

“Let’s fall asleep”, whispers my four-year-old as he wraps his little arms around my neck. I feel the familiar sensation of the rise and fall of his chest pressing against mine as his body feels heavier and his breaths longer.

Minutes earlier he’d roused from his slumber. His ‘tummy was hungry’ so a midnight snack and a bedside picnic were in order.

As we turn out the light, he nuzzles into me, just like he has thousands of times before. My heart feels full as I’m cocooned with my young soulmate in our now perfectly messy bed.

So often during daylight hours, I find it challenging to stay in the moment, to just be without doing. But, tonight, in these dreamlike hours, all I want is to hit pause and stay here. A moment of gratitude has me delaying sleep as I know these precious moments with my son, who is growing oh-too-fast are numbered.

Surprisingly, quiet black stillness has become a familiar friend.

My fears and expectations about nighttime parenting have been completely shattered as I have found strength and solace in dark silence. As impossibly exhausting as motherhood is I wouldn’t miss a single wakeful moment. Because it is also very simple; he needs me. His need for comfort is valid. No matter what our desensitized culture says, this is normal.

The wakefulness of babyhood and the unpredictability of toddler sleep etched deep and beautiful memories on my soul; borne from the kind of experiences that change a person, reaching into a spiritual abyss that I rarely see.

It was in those dark moments that I strengthened my new maternal muscles, helping me find a resilience I never thought possible. The depth of these experiences have kept me by my son’s side as we’ve shared sleep every single night for the last four years.

Each time he’s fallen asleep I’ve been there; nursing, holding or laying beside him. Yet, everyone told me not to.

They said I needed to be tough or I’d create bad habits.

They said that I was a human pacifier as if pacifiers were invented before mother nature gave women breasts.

They said he’d never learn to self-soothe.

They said my marriage would fail.

They said babies and children need parents during the day but, strangely, not at night.

I confidently called bullshit as a new mother and I call it again now. Because I recognise that these comments come from a place of darkness. Of fear, ignorance, and lack. And I choose light. I choose intuition. I choose science. I choose consciousness.

Because the tenderness of my motherhood doesn’t diminish when the sun goes down.

These quiet sleepy moments where my baby sought comfort and nourishment are now the moments where my child tells me his innermost secrets. These are the moments our trust reaches new depths and he knows, by my actions, that I will strive to meet his needs, no matter how challenging.

But, they were right about one thing – I will be tough.

I’ll be tough so my son can be soft.

I’ll be tough so that he doesn’t go without comfort when he needs it.

I’ll be tough so that my baby doesn’t go without nursing when his belly is empty.

I’ll be tough so that my toddler isn’t forced to fake a maturity beyond his years.

I’ll be tough so that my child doesn’t need to fear monsters under the bed alone.

I’ll be tough so that he has a solid foundation from which to grow into a confident and independent little boy.

I’ll be tough so that my son learns that vulnerability is welcome, that his needs matter and expressing his emotions is safe.

I’ll be tough and continue to listen to my son, to his soft whispers in his sleep, to his breathing and to my own heart speaking.

I’ve learned that night time parenting is about so much more than sleep. We have everything to gain by leaning in, by having the courage to surrender to the unknown and trusting our instincts. It is a rite of passage our modern culture has sadly disregarded but those of us who choose to follow ancient wisdom and our inner voices know the rewards.

I’m not saying that it’s easy, but I choose to accept that discomfort is the price of admission to a meaningful motherhood. So, I will slow dance through my relationship with my son, day and night. I will lay with him to fall asleep for as long as he needs it because I know, that one day without warning he won’t need me to lay with him anymore. He’ll sleep in his own bed and my husband and I won’t believe how fast the nights of shared sleep passed. But, with gratitude, that day isn’t today.

This night is ours.

This night is a gift.

This night I share with my son.

Hi there!

I'm Tracy

Hi there! I’m Tracy - the founder, writer and advocate behind the award-winning blog, Raised Good - a guide to natural parenting in the modern world. Based in Vancouver and originally launched in 2016, I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response and the global community that’s developed. 

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  1. Rose says:

    I had regularly laid down with my son until he fell asleep. He is 8 now and still sometimes wants me too when we don’t spend enough time together during the day. These are the SO precious years, why not enjoy them? Life is too difficult with work schedules and homework…. do what makes you feel good, don’t listen to any of the “you have to’s”.. and guess what, my son learned naturally to self soothe, I am still married, and he is very sensitive, tough, smart and a very happy boy. so it did not harm him at all.. and thanks for your note with pointers for starting a blog, perfect timing… courage!

    • Tracy Gillett says:

      Hi Rose,

      Thank you so much for your honest and heartfelt comment. And couldn’t agree more – this time can add simplicity to our otherwise scheduled days. Love that you brought that up. Thank you! And super exciting about a blog…email me any time if you need to ask any questions. xx

      • C says:

        Loved reading about your relationship with your son, you’re right that there’s a real closeness and affection shared at night. He is incredibly lucky to have you. Having 3 kids of different ages I do think that such harmonious co-sleeping is reserved for an only child! This year I have struggled through nights with breastfeeding a new baby, a 3 and 4 year old all in my bed. The fighting, whingeing, waking each other up and several heel kicks into my eye socket have left me exasperated and frankly unfit to face the demands of the next day. I am acutely aware of my blessings and how lucky they are to have each other, I have always quite liked the idea of a duvet of children around me! However reality prevails and I don’t think that as mothers we should ever pitch ourselves over each other. There is a lot I would love to do with each of my kids if I had more time in the day (or night). I never set out to be less affectionate and less patient and shorter fused(!) but that’s what happens when the 3 of them and their needs get overwhelming. It’s a guilt that I live with every day but I hope that the gift of siblings will pay off for them and overshadow the memory of their frazzled mother losing the plot! Warmest wishes to you and your boy.

  2. Beth says:

    I’m still laying with my almost 5 and almost 7 year olds. And no end in sight! Incidentally, they are the best sleepers I know, most likely because bedtime is cuddly and not scary. I encourage everyone to do this! They will one day not want me to do it, and it will come all too soon.

    • Tracy Gillett says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience Beth and too true – it will come too soon. Enjoy your sleepy snuggles.

  3. LBW says:

    Ahh thank you for writing that and for everything else you have shared. I’m about to join my 2.5 year old twins in bed. Looking forward to snuggling in.

    • Tracy Gillett says:

      My absolute pleasure Lisa and thank you so much for your comment. Enjoy snuggling in xx

  4. Belinda Chalmers says:

    What a powerful piece! Why do we listen to the opinions and criticisms that go against our maternal instinct. This article made my day, thank you!

    • Tracy Gillett says:

      Oh, so happy to hear that! Thank you for letting me know Belinda. And the more of us that don’t listen the louder the quiet whispers of gentle parenting will become. Follow your heart, my friend xx

  5. Beth says:

    This is great! I have a 4 year old and still sleep with him to help him to fall to sleep (and usually longer as he goes to bed late and I am tired too!) . . . I seem to be the only one I know who does this. BUT . . . I am an older mom, we will only have 1 child and I travel for work . . . the ‘tuff love’/cry it out concept isn’t my thing. It is nice to know I am not alone in this and I agree that there will be a time when he doesn’t need me . . . we talk about if he is ready yet and he says no . . . Interestingly enough, I think my husband would like our son to sleep on his own BUT when I travel, he too stays with our son 🙂 so, I agree, there isn’t a ‘right’ or wrong–it is what works for each family!

    • Tracy Gillett says:

      Thank you so much for sharing Beth! We’re the same, one child at the moment and I think it will stay that way. It is so special to have these extra moments sprinkled through parenthood and so lovely hearing your husband snuggles in when you’re away 🙂 Funnily, it was always me who got my son to sleep until he was about 3 1/2 and then all of a sudden wanted it to be both of us, so all three of us lay in the dark and when I feel my son nod off I give my husband a thumbs up in the dark, he slips out and then I wait an extra ten minutes. I feel so grateful to be able to do this.

  6. Yes! I am so grateful to see that I am not alone in sticking to my belief that it is perfectly healthy to lay with my 3 year old each night until she falls asleep. Backstory is that my 11 year old was raised differently than his 3 year old sister. I didn’t know about anything that I know now. I let him cry it out when he was a baby, he slept alone in a room across the house, and his father and I used all kinds of unhelpful parenting tools to get him to sleep alone and through the night. Luckily a chance to heal all that came about after I divorced when my son was 8. He started asking if he could sleep in my room with his baby sister and at first I defaulted into the old story of “No, you are a big boy now and you should be sleeping on your own room” but luckily I saw it as an opportunity to rewrite the story and programming. He slept in my room with his baby sister for close to 2 years and it felt great for everyone. Despite the concern from well meaning family members, I stayed true to myself and my inner knowing that my children need me at night, no matter what their age!

    • Lena says:

      We had a family bed and then moved our kis together into their own room… where they shared a full size bed at ages 4 and 7. And by 6 and 9, they each had their own rooms, but often bedtime reading ended with us falling asleep with the kids in their respective rooms. Our children share their deepest troubles and greatest triumphs when we’re laying there in the dark… just before they sleep.. it’s a beautiful piece of my day and I’m not giving it up until they stop asking.

  7. Max says:

    I read this with my 7 year old breathing a sleepy breath next to me as I share a bed….. And as I get an arm stretch over my face to block my view of said article!
    There is truly nothing better than having snuggle time. They love it, we love it and we will even share the the three of us if we can all fit in!
    People can say what they want but I have a child that sleeps amazingly. A 12 hour child…. Sleeping content and happy next to me or not.
    The times do pass so quickly and there is such a pace to life that to enjoy the hugs and the bond at sleep time is part of parenting a reward.
    I love your blog!

  8. Marina says:

    Just beautiful – thank you for sharing. I can always relate to your thoughtful posts. They are refreshing and reassuring to read. It is indeed one of the most precious times of the day, snuggling with your bub. In those moments of stillness and silence, I often feel deep gratitude for my girl, my husband and all that I have. I relax my mind and body, and connect with my girl on an energetic level, just simply feeling into the space and sending love, as she falls into a deep sleep. Precious moments I will cherish forever.

  9. Alexa says:

    What perfect timing for this article. My son is 20 months old. I have a queen bed in his room where we sleep together. He is a night nurser and last night I felt like I just couldn’t do it anymore. A typical night involves him waking every 1-2 hrs to nurse so I’m 20 months in with an average of 4 broken up hours of sleep a night. Every time I feel like I’m about to break I come across something like your article that helps me reset and remember these actions are because he needs the comfort and closeness and security and one day… as you say, without warning… he will not need any of that and I know I will miss these extra close, tender and gentle moments. I will repeat to myself tonight “this night is a gift”. Thank you.

    • Hollie says:

      I share a similar experience and so have a lot of sympathy for you! My daughter is 12 months old. I’ve been bf and co-sleeping since birth and she has always woken up every 1-2 hours. It is utterly exhausting, especially at the moment when getting her to sleep has become such a battle as she fights going to sleep and finds it hard to calm down. It usually takes up to an hour of breastfeeding and rocking.

      There are so many nights when I start thinking about how to stop co sleeping and breastfeeding because I’m so exhausted. But then I read this blog and it makes me see that it’s worth it and reading your experience also gives me strength.

      I just hope that it gets easier and in the future she’ll fall asleep easier and wake up less. I look forward to a time when falling asleep together is less frustrating and as cosy and calm as many of you describe.

  10. MCP says:

    Thanks for the article. I’m constantly devating on this topic, as night is were my partner and I have our adult time and getting our 6yo to sleep for the past year has been a struggle. We have decided to take turns on being with her in her bed until she falls asleep or is about to fall asleep. I some times count the minutes so I can go and do something else, but in most of the cases I like to be greatfull for this moment with her. This article made me relax about doing this and feeling accompanied. Thanks!

  11. Laura says:

    This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  12. Tanya says:

    Thank you for your beautifully written work. My daughter has been sleeping next to me from the moment she was born and she will be 7 in October. The first 3 years included breastfeeding. It is Bliss. It feels like the most natural thing to do. I am so grateful for this gift. When I am snuggled in between her and my husband I call it my love sandwich and my heart wants to explode with joy in those moments. I know it will all evolve naturally just as everything has been since she was born. Nature shows the way. Yes conscious and connected parenting requires patience, presence and deep introspection when things get tough but it is all so worth it. I believe it is all about the parent-child bond and relationship. I feel so deeply for all the parents who go against their hearts because of fear. May everyone find their comfortable, natural flow and stand strong in it. Peace & Blessings to all.

  13. Carrie says:

    Thank you so much for the article and knowing that I am not the only mom out there that truly loves laying next to their child and soaking it all in when we lay there and cuddle for bed time! I am an older mom and I wish I would have done this with my now 26yo daughter. My son is a very affectionate and caring child. As to where my daughter isn’t as affectionate. Again thank you!

  14. Gaura says:

    This article echos my feelings. Feeling the nighttime sisterhood amongst all those mums who ‘sacrifice’ their sleep to give their child the most secure and loving upbringing possible. I wouldn’t have it any other way than share my nights with my son. He can stay as long as he likes <3

  15. So many adults sleep better when snuggled up to a partner. Why would the littlest humans be any different? I went back to work part-time after my mat leave. On the days now that I work 8 or 9 hours outside of the home, I especially love that we co-sleep with our toddler. I really cherish the snuggly time I have with her as she falls asleep in our bed. It gives us that extra time to connect when I’ve been away the whole day.

  16. Ashley says:

    I have girls who are 12 months apart. They are 7&8 now and bedtime is going much better as I rub each of their backs to help them to relax to go to sleep. I don’t sleep with them and never have except on special occasions. It seemed to always be a fight who could sleep with mom. Any suggestions for moms with kids close in age.

  17. D.O. says:

    The day is so busy. My 2 year old son is so busy! I love love love laying with him until he falls asleep every night. It is so precious to me. I thought I’d stop soon, but I don’t want to. I enjoy it too much and so does he. I love that he feels so safe with me. I love hearing his little breathing. I melt when he puts his little soft hand on my cheek. He loves me but I don’t find him overly or abnormally attached to me. He loves other people and plays independently all day. Thank you for this great read! Glad I’m not alone!

  18. Kimberley says:

    Beautiful article. What a timing for that article for me too. I still lay with my sons who are four and almost two. I am a big and loud defender of co-sleeping. When they wake up at night they come and join me in my bed for the rest of the night. And I have been fighting lately because I just split from their father,( from whom I’m pregnant of baby number three), after finding he was cheating on me. Now with his new nightime job, he still wanted half custody but couldn’t without a adult presence. So he made his mistress turned girlfriend move in with him 14 days after I moved out and he won half custody. Now half of my sons’nights are spent Without mom and Without dad. They are with a woman they have seen 6 times to this day. It breaks my heart to know them with an almost stranger, especially because my boys wake up often for security at night. No stranger can give that. She tells them To drink water and go back To bed…

  19. Jacey says:

    I love this! But I have 2 year old and a newborn, my 2 year old has Co-slept with us since the day he was born the first night we tried to add his baby brother into the mix it did not work. My toddler was so jealous he couldn’t cuddle with me anymore and my newborn is up a lot nursing. Just doesn’t seem fair to put my 2 year old through all of that so his dad is sleeping with him until he falls asleep and then when he wakes in the night. How do you Co-sleeping with multiple children?

  20. Rosalie says:

    I’m staring at my middle child, who is 9 and sleeping in my bed as i type this, so I’ve never had an issue allowing my children in my bed if they need. However, having 3 children very close in age (24 months and 19 months apart), it makes it impossible to simply allow your first and second born to be coddled unconditionally. Teaching them to self soothe is truly out of necessity, because if i’m in the hospital giving birth and neither my husband or I are able to meet my toddlers every nighttime need, now I’ve failed them. And the nights that I have to pace while nursing a colicky infant, again, my toddlers had to learn to live without me. They have to learn patience, and that even in their own family, the world doesn’t revolve around them all of the time. I have 3 beautiful children, now 11, 9, & 7. My 9 & 7 year old still find their way into our bed occasionally and they are welcome, but I have zero guilt that they quickly learned that the traits of selflessness, sharing, and sacrifice when new siblings were born.

    • Maura says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience! I have a 15 month old who is my first child and I have been struggling to know what to do with his sleep. I really want a large family, but I can’t imagine having a newborn when he is still waking up every 1-2 hours and nursing. He can go to sleep by himself, but he will wake up and cry every hour the entire night unless he sleeps next to me.

      I tried a version of cry it out for about two weeks, but he became very anxious and started fighting and screaming at bedtime. Crying it out did not help him sleep better, and I can’t sleep when he’s crying (even when I can’t hear him) so I was getting no sleep. I finally gave up on the idea of having a night of uninterrupted sleep, and now let him come into my bed to sleep with me after the first time he wakes up. It encourages me to know that kids can adapt as new siblings come, and that part time co-sleeping doesn’t cause sleep anxiety.

      My son now goes to sleep by himself without crying. I just put him in his crib and say good night and he lays down and goes to sleep, and I think it’s because he knows I will be there when he wakes up. I hope his ability to self-soothe at the beginning of the night will help him sleep better when more siblings come along. It’s so hard to know what to do as a parent.

  21. Niki says:

    Some of my best and most honest communications with my now 11 year old girl happen on the nights when she asks me to lay down and snuggle next to her on her bed at the end of her day! She lets down her guard, she says what she really thinks and feels, she asks the tough questions and I answer with truth and love while she gently drifts off to sleep. It is a habit we started just like you, back when we were nursing, then at about 3 1/2 years it morphed into books and snuggles until she fell asleep. It changed again around the age of 7 when she decided she wanted to go to friends’ sleepovers and should try falling asleep alone after saying her prayers, and so I’m just going to keep doing what I do for as long as she asks me to, I don’t want to regret missing these precious times later!!

  22. Jennifer says:

    Love ❤️ this article! You are a wonderful writer who has perfectly captured how it feels to fall asleep next to your little one. I love feeling so needed. I also love to be able to support her all the time. It’s such a joy to be able to hold my daughter and breathe in her scent and feel her safe and secure. I wish I could freeze time. She’s almost 4. As a first time mom it was stressful hearing all the critism but your heart knows. Everyone should trust their hearts ????

  23. Traci says:

    I have been laying down with my son the entire time and told everyone “he’s little once and he needs his mommy”. Strange, he’s 11.5 year old and very self assured so I know I haven’t spoiled him! Now, after talking about his day, devotions and prayer he might say “I would like to sleep alone” but not always…I stay until I feel it’s time to go (or when I wake up!) but I don’t regret it and I would do it all over again! Forget what “people” say and do what makes your heart sing!

  24. Allie says:

    What a beautifully written article! I absolutely love this. I have very similar feelings and experiences and love how you expressed yours.

  25. Julia says:

    I want to say huge thank you! Your articles are amazing! I feel more confident as a parent now.I heard so many “they said” before , but I never listen them, just followed my instincts. And it’s only one way for me. Thank you again!

  26. Josephine Delotte says:

    I’m so touched by this article. I breast my fed my son Eric until he was 7. I was mocked and judged by my own family. Now at 16 he’s such a sensitive caring young man. I feel he sympathizes with women much more than those around him in his circles of friends. I’ve had the discussion of laying in bed with him a few times with my husband in the coming years but I’ve held my ground and expressed my need to show our son the same love I had given him in his infancy. When it comes to my choices as a mother, blogs like this truly put my heart at ease. Thank you thank you thank you.


  27. Beth Anne says:

    Oh how I miss those wonderful days and nights. My son is a scientist with a big heart and my daughter is in college and so kind. My daughter nursed until 6 and they both slept in the big bed. My daughter is home on break and she didn’t feel good, she came to my door and said Mom will you lie down with me. I cannot wait to see what a wonderful father my little boy will be… When people tell you enjoy every moment because it goes so fast – so true.

  28. Natasha says:

    This was like reading my life <3
    Lovely article, thank you!

  29. Nick H says:

    Beautifully written and so true….moments like that are so precious. I have my daughter every weekend and I still stay with her until she falls asleep. (She is 5). In fact it’s only her mother ( a trained midwife) who doesn’t believe in this….after all- it’s what all the ‘instruction’ books say!

  30. Cindi B says:

    I shared this article on my FB page so I could read it later and I’m so glad I did. My son recently turned 7 and I was starting to think it’s time to have him fall asleep on his own. But you’re right this time goes way too quickly and I enjoy reading to him and his cuddling up to me just before he falls asleep. Now I don’t stay in bed with him unless he’s sick but he does usually end up getting up on the middle of the night and climbing into bed with me and while some days it’s frustrating bc he’s a flipper it too won’t be long before this is over. He’s my only one and I want to always know if he needs me I’ll be there. When he was first born he wouldn’t sleep at night anywher but on me. I feared all those ideas about suffocating him if he slept with me but then just like now my body knows he’s there and acts accordingly. We spent several nights in the recliner in his room so we both got sleep and yes I can say I’m still happily married to his father even though he climbs into bed with us and when I was sleeping in the other room.

  31. Eva M. says:

    This article brought me to tears. Good tears! This was exactly what I needed to read. I’m a new mother and first time doing everything with my son. So many people including my husband were telling me I was making a mistake, he’s never going to self soothe, you should start bad habits….. My new found instincts tell me something else and I’m so glad I didn’t listen to them. My son is 6 months and I already feel like the days are going so fast. I cannot get enough of him. I enjoyed this article so much. Thank you.

  32. Chelsey says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece.
    Bed sharing has been and continues to be the best way for EVERYONE in our family to get a good night’s sleep.

  33. Cathy says:

    She is 13 and we read together every night. I snuggle in and we fall asleep. She has been there every night and I don’t regret it at all. She shares the most right before she falls asleep. Deep thoughts and fun stuff too. I will always cherish time with my daughter. Judgement has always been placed on us for allowing her this sleep pattern. Snuggle your babies, time is too fast!

  34. Anna says:

    So true! We did that, too (me and my husband).Sometimes I wondered: how much longer?Now he is 16, very tall,very independent,and he doesn’t need me any more to fall asleep (he hasn’t needed me for the last 7 years or so!) and I miss those “together” nights of ours very much!

  35. Aura Ansart says:

    Thank you for sharing this.

    I am about to start giving up breastfeeding at nap times with my 13 month old baby boy.

    I have had that urge to teach him how to fall asleep by himself just because “they are supposed to by now” I am a first time mum and don’t know what to do anymore.

    So many people telling you their experiences and its just so confusing. I know he will fall sleep by himself one day. Just have to keep reminding myself.

    I just feel I want to hold him. I have the blessing to work from home which allows me to just be there for him even to feeding him to sleep.


  36. Connie says:

    100% agree! My kids are 15 and 12 now, and we shared sleep with both. There is no feeling in the world like it.

  37. Emily says:

    So much criticism over sleeping in bed with your child these days, it’s almost impossible to ignore. I understand not sleeping with an infant in your bed due to safety issues, but when your 5 year old just needs the comfort of mom why would you not go? So many say no, let them self soothe and what not but have you as an adult ever needed extra comfort and had your partner say no, soothe yourself? No, your partner comes to your aid, cuddles you and makes you feel safe and secure. Why would you not do that for your child? This article is great. Listen up parents, not every person is an expert on parenting, there is no one right way to do things. Go with your gut, stand up for what you feel you should do and don’t cave to what other people think. Prove them wrong, show them that there is no one person that knows how to handle every situation when raising kids. If you want to cuddle and snuggle your kids until they are ready to sleep alone then do it!

  38. Sonya says:

    This piece perfectly reflects how I feel about laying with my son until he falls asleep. He is now 6. They are magical moments – time for reflection, relaxation and complete love…much more fulfilling than spending that time cleaning the house or watching TV! The choice seems pretty obvious to me!

  39. Lisia says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautifully written piece. I have been struggling, complaining to friends/family some who tell me i need to sleep train, they offer help but i never felt comfortable letting my child cry. My 3 year old was not a good sleepr and now my 9 month old is the same. Since finding raised good i feel so motivated to stop complaining and embrace my time with my children. Its not easy, staying up and then having to go to work the next day but this article and others have motivated me to be more positive. thank you!

  40. Jacina says:

    This is such a lovely read. My children are 6,4 and 1. Both my boys need night time snuggles, and with all the speed and trials parenting brings from day to day, I really need those moments too. They really are such busy little boys!! I am a Social Worker by trade and my training is all about “attachment”, so I dont understand why this should have been any different. My husband struggles with me wanting to smuggle in with my boys until they sleep, but I notice if I don’t, my 4yo relocates to my bed during the night o have cuddles all night! Strangely, he needs my night time cuddles less now unless he is feeling unwell, had a day away from me or is feeling insecure so I give so willingly as he needs them for those special moments. Just to watch them fall asleep looking so peaceful is the most precious moment of each day.
    We can’t buy back time with our children.

  41. Erica says:

    Thank you so very much for posting. It’s beautiful and almost made me cry. I’m reading this as I lay next to my 3 almost 4 year old son listening to him breathe. We’ve been co- sleeping since he was born. I tried at first to have him sleep in something other than my bed but he fell asleep always on top of my chest or in my arms or nursing. I’m a solo parent so it was and still is easiest for us to keep sleeping in the same bed. I know one day he will want to sleep on his own but until then I will gladly sleep with my beautiful boy. Every moment with him is so very very precious. I doubt I will have more children so of course I am going to indulge in my little guy and so grateful I don’t have to share him lol

  42. Anastasia says:

    I too lie down with my 3,5 year old every night until he falls asleep and don’t mind that at all. The problem is however because he falls asleep next to me he ALWAYS wakes up in the middle of the night and needs me to go back to his bed so I end up sleeping with him every night. He never slept through the night because of this.

  43. Cole says:

    Thank you. This was exactly how I feel. My son is 4. I sleep with him every night. He doesn’t need me to fall asleep with him anymore, but I did that too, until he was good without me there. I get criticism coming from many directions, but I will continue to sleep with him, to be there for him until he says “Momma, I’ve got this.”

  44. Katerina says:

    I often fall asleep next to my 2 year old boy or my 4 year old boy… who ever gets to be the second in line for my cuddles. I sing the same song and offer them back rubs. It’s amazing how much we can learn from them during these sweet moments. I usually tell my oldest that I love him & how proud I am of him for certain things, & my little one I let him know I love him over and over. The boys crave my time and attention & it’s a wonderful opportunity to do just that. Thanks for sharing this!

  45. Rebecca wilson says:

    I have a 8 and 6 year old and I lie with them to help them fall asleep they dont get to see me 3 nights a week because I work the grave shift so on my days off is the only time I get to do that.my mother i law tells me that I should not be doing it that they need to sleep by them self’s.this time with them is perishes to me

  46. Cindy says:

    I loved your article, this was like reading my life. I have 5 children they are now, 33,31,28,22 and soon to be 14. They all slept in our bed as the only child that enjoyed a crib was my 31 year old. I tried at young ages to lay with them until they fell asleep, sneaking back to my room. The end result was they always came back to our bed.Currently I still have my 13 year old son in my bed as he is autistic and is terrified of being alone. I have tried so many times to lay with him and sneak out and again he only comes back to our bed where he feels comfort. For now I’m okay with this, my goal is for him to be able to sleep on his own, but I know that this is a big challenge for him. A challenge that I’m prepared to take on at his pace. Thanks again for sharing this beautiful story! ❤

  47. Kiri says:

    I can’t say that I totally agree with this. My parents did this and then let me sleep in their room, usually on the floor, for a really long time. I think it made me feel that I needed them in order to feel safe and relaxed. I didn’t learn to feel safe on my own and in my own room. I still feel that way, to an extent, as an adult. I think, in a way, this practice teaches the child that there is something to be afraid of and fails to allow them to feel at ease in their own company. I know this isn’t intentional, but I believe it can be a byproduct of this practice.

    With my own children, I lay with them for a while each night, but then left them to fall asleep on their own. I was nearby and they could hear the sounds of the tv and talking in the background. The time that I spent with each was invaluable, cuddling and talking one on one. However, I think leaving them to enjoy their own thoughts and company after those few minutes has encouraged them to feel empowered and confident.

  48. Jennifer says:

    Yes. Yes. And. Yes. Thank you for putting this into words!

  49. Bridget says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. At the moment, I am laying next to my (now) sleeping 6 year old son who started Kindergarten recently. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. He deserves to feel safe and secure while his life is forever changing. Again, thanks for the reminder to listen to my instincts.

  50. Cath says:

    Good for you. My youngest son was a wonderfully affectionate little boy and shared my bed until he was 8, then decided he wanted to sleep in his own room. He’s now a successful and fulfilled 25 year old.

  51. Kelly says:

    Totally agree with you 🤗

  52. Carly P says:

    I have toddler twin boys, age 4. I have been sleeping next to them for a year straight since they have both needed me. I pushed back at first, watched and participated in parenting classes for sleep training. I felt awful and a failure in them. Right now I’m laying next to my one son, after I just was lying next to the other until he fell asleep. Your article was timely, validating, and so much of what I needed. Thank you. I trust my intuition and love. In this present moment, to the next.

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