Parents’ joy in their children can sometimes turn to frustration when those children refuse to
sleep in their own beds.
There’s even a name for the behavior. Experts call it co-sleeping — when children prefer to sleep in their parents’ bed.
Some parents are too embarrassed to admit their children sleep in their beds with them.
While some find nothing wrong with it, the practice has its critics. They say bed sharing can have a negative impact on a child’s growth.
“There really are skills that a child needs to be able to learn from sleeping on their own, to self-sooth, to calm themselves, to clear their head,” John Carosso, a child psychologist, told “Good Morning America.”
In past coverage of the issue of co-sleeping, “GMA” gathered some experts’ tips to help get your children out of your beds and into their own:
Tips to End Co-Sleeping
Have a goldfish or small pet in the room to keep children company.
Have a “mommy” or “daddy” teddy bear to snuggle with.
Spend time with children before bed. This is a good time to read to them. You can even have a “sleep party” with mom and dad in the child’s bed before they go to sleep.
At the start, use special gifts from the “sleep fairy,” like the tooth fairy. If they sleep in their own bed, they get a little morning present.
More Tips From Around the Web
Be tough. According to, after the decision is made, parents need to quit co-sleeping cold turkey. Take midnight visitors back to bed, even if they fight the journey. If there’s crying, tough it out.
When it comes to nightmares, treat their irrational fears like tangible ones, says parenting expert Elizabeth Pantley. “After all, most kids believe that the tooth fairy and Big Bird are real, too,” Pantley says on her Web site,
Click HERE to read Pantley’s answers to common co-sleeping questions. says it’s OK to address the child’s fears. If they’re afraid of the dark, maybe use a nightlight. Monsters under the bed? Give it a check the first few times. “A spray-bottle filled with extra-strength monster-deterrent (a.k.a. water) can also provide late-night comfort,” the website says. says parents shouldn’t forget to praise their children’s success when they do sleep alone.