If you do a quick google search, you’ll find loads of articles that outline why children should not be allowed to share a bed with their parents. You’ll even find horrific tales of how toddlers sneaking into the master bed will make them severely co-dependent and cause separation anxiety; the kind of issues that will most definitely linger into adulthood.
Here’s the thing: I don’t care.
While there are many reasons not to let your toddler sneak into your bed at night, there are even more reasons that make it great.
Each night I lay my daughter down in her own bed, and she slowly drifts off into dreamland. She sleeps there peacefully for several hours. Then, sometime between 1am and 5am, she wanders into “the big bed.” This doesn’t happen every night. And it doesn’t really seem to be a result of anything in particular. But it happens more nights than not.
I could lead her back to her bed and tuck her in. But instead? I revel in the extra snuggles.
My 3-year-old is growing, ever-changing, and fiercely independent. Each day, she needs me a little less. Right now, she is hell-bent on dressing herself. Some days it’s adorable. Some days it’s frustrating. But at the heart of it? She wants—and needs—to do more things by herself. I realize that part of parenting is raising little humans who will one day grow into bigger humans and eventually not need their parents as much. But it still makes me sad.
There will come a day when her dad and I are not at the center of her little world. She will no longer be interested in cuddling up on the couch for a movie. And there will even come a day when I won’t get to come home from work to her big smile and hear about her latest adventure.
I am acutely aware that this toddlerhood stage is fleeting. This is an especially hard fact to grapple with since I work full-time and spend the majority of my days away from my little girl. Maybe it’s mom-guilt. Maybe I miss being around her. Or maybe I just want to borrow more time and extend the toddler years a little bit.
And so, I look forward to the pitter-pattering of footsteps coming down the hall. The wiggling of her little body in between her dad and me as she settles into a comfy spot. The shallow breathing that falls into a relaxed rhythm. But the part I love the most? Getting to start our day with extra cuddles.
I refuse to be judged or criticized for letting me daughter sleep part of the night in my bed. I refuse to let others dictate what is wrong or right with my parenting style. And I absolutely refuse to let google tell me that because my toddler sneaks into my bed at night she will be sleeping in my bed until she’s a teenager.