9 Ways Co-Sleeping Affects Your Child's Personality

Ad failed to load

There are two main schools of thought when it comes to co-sleeping: "We would never let our kids sleep in our bed" and "We sleep with our kids every night." Whether or not you have a family bed, you have probably wondered about the ways co-sleeping affects your child's personality. Will your children become overly clingy and have a hard time becoming independent if they sleep in your bed?

Well-meaning friends and relatives have long warned new parents to avoid giving into a child who wants to sleep in their bed. In fact, even though my husband and I loved co-sleeping, we often lied about where our children slept out of fear that our friends would judge us, or reprimand us for potentially psychologically damaging our kids. Funny enough, years later we learned that almost all of our friends had also been bed sharing. Today, co-sleeping is much more common and not considered nearly as "crunchy" as it had been in the past. As far as psychologically damaging? That myth is on its way out, as well.

According to an article in Psychology Today by clinical psychologist and sleep disorder specialist Michael J Breus, a 2011 study showed that bed-sharing does not negatively affect cognitive or behavioral development in young children. This is good news if you are a concerned co-sleeper.

Ad failed to load

Here are some more ways co-sleeping may affect your child's personality.

Ad failed to load

1They'll Have Higher Self-Esteem


According to Healthy Child, studies have found that males who co-slept with their parents between birth and age five had higher self-esteem and experienced less guilt.

2They'll Be More Open To Affection


Sleeping with your parents as a child may be the reason you grew up to be a hugger. The same study by Lewis and Janda found that females who co-slept during childhood experienced less discomfort about physical contact and affection as adults.

3They'll Be Better Behaved In School


According to Dr. Sears, children who co-sleep are often better behaved in school. Healthy Child noted that in a study of parents on military bases by J.F. Forbes, co-sleeping children received higher evaluations from their teachers than children who slept alone.

Ad failed to load

4They Become Independent Sooner


Many parents worry that co-sleeping will cause their children to be dependent on their parents longer, however, According to the University of Notre Dame's Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Lab, co-sleeping produces independence and self-sufficiency in a child. Psychology Today wrote that co-sleeping doesn’t stand in the way of your children developing their own, independent, healthy sleep habits.

5They Have Fewer Psychological Problems


Dr. Sears also referred to the Forbes study which found that children who co-sleep also exhibit fewer psychological problems. More specifically, co-sleeping was less frequent for children in the psychiatric sub-population which was studied.

6They Have A More Positive Attitude


Children who sleep in their parents bed fall asleep more quickly and sleep more peacefully according to Dr. Sears. These children wake up better rested and tend to have more positive attitudes than children who sleep fitfully throughout the night.

Ad failed to load

7They Are Happier


The University of Notre Dame also noted an English study by P. Heron which showed that children who never slept in their parents' bed tended to be less happy, they exhibited a greater number of tantrums, and were more fearful than children who consistently co-slept.

8They Have Less Anxiety


Sleeping in their parents' bed can make children feel less worried or frightened. Kids who co-sleep exhibit less long-term sleep anxiety according to Dr. Sears. The Lewis and Janda study also pointed out that boys who co-slept experienced less anxiety than those who slept alone.

9They Feel More Accepted


Kids who co-sleep, according to Healthy Child, feel more accepted by their parents. The children feel as though their parents are in-tune with their needs and this contributes to a positive relationship with the child

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

5 Parenting Habits That Increase Your Chances Of Successfully Potty-Training Your Child

From starting solids to learning to walk, every childhood milestone presents its own unique set of challenges — but this is especially true of potty training. Indeed, the very thought strikes fear into the heart of many a toddler parent, particularly…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Getting Pregnant Might Mean Losing The Plus-Size Body I Love

For the last two years, I haven’t been my body’s biggest champion. I’ve gained 50 pounds. The stress of helping a parent get sober, a house purchase, and a new job got the best of me. But now, at 36, with talks between my husband and I about having a…
By Loren Kleinman

7 Hilarious Differences Between Having A Baby In Your 20s Vs Your 30s

I was 24 when I had my daughter. And even though that pregnancy was neither expected nor pleasant, I was optimistic. Sure, I guess your 20s are "supposed" to be about finding yourself, finishing college, starting your career, and navigating less-than…
By Candace Ganger

Babies "R" Us Was The First Place I Went When I Found Out I Would Be A Mom

For years I struggled to have a baby, and the sight of toys and layettes made my heart hurt. For me, Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us were a complete no-go zone, a reminder of everything I was missing out on. My mom would walk the long way around Target…
By Becky Bracken

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger