Sleeping Arrangements

By: Armin Brott

As hard as it may be to imagine, there exists a rather basic parenting issue that regularly generates even more controversy than circumcision or the disposable-versus-cloth diapers-debate: whether or not to have your child sleep in the same bed as you and your partner.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on where you stand on the issue), there's absolutely no consensus on which views is the “right” one. And just to make sure that there's no real way to decide this issue once and for all, there's very little serious scientific data supporting either position.

Our older daughter slept in a bassinet in our room for a month or so until we moved her into her own room, and the middle one slept in bed with us for six months before being asked to leave. Personally, I kind of liked being able to snuggle up with a warm, smooth baby, but after being kicked in the head, stomach, back, face, and chest every night for six months I was glad to go back to an adults-only sleeping arrangement. My youngest also started off in our bed but moved to her own room after only 6 weeks or so.

Here are some of the most common issues that come up in discussions of the family bed:

Things to Consider About Sharing Your Bed with Your Child:

Things to Consider About Not Sharing Your Bed with Your Child:

A nationally recognized parenting expert, Armin Brott is the author of Father for Life, The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be; The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year, A Dad's Guide to the Toddler Years, Throwaway Dads, and The Single Father: A Dad's Guide to Parenting without a Partner. He has written on parenting and fatherhood for the New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Newsweek and dozens of other periodicals. He also hosts "Positive Parenting", a nationally distributed, weekly talk show, and lives with his family in Oakland, California. Visit Armin at

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