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September 23, 2011 05:10 PM

Children Who Prefer The Family Bed


If you have a child who likes to sleep in your bed, you're not alone. But not everyone agrees with whether it's a good or bad thing.


Psychologist Kate Eshleman says there are lots of reasons kids ditch their beds for mom and dad's.

They might be afraid of the dark, don't want to go to sleep, or want to watch TV with their parents.

Eshleman says there's nothing wrong with the family bed, as long as everyone is on board. If the sleeping arrangements are causing you to lose sleep, then you might consider sending the child back to his or her bed.

Eshleman says the first step is developing a nighttime routine. But if that doesn't work, try a reward system.

“And if it's hard for the child to do what we usually work on is some sort of positive reinforcement system,” Eshleman said. “So that if the child stays in his bed overnight he earns a sticker. And after so many stickers they get a prize.”

Eshleman says it's also important to make sure the child's sleep environment is comfortable. You could put on a night light or soothing music to calm them down.
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