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QUESTION: Is it inappropriate for a dad to sleep in the same bed as his daughter?
“My daughter is five, almost six, and sleeps with me in the master bedroom. Both the father and I are roommates; he sleeps on her bed in her room as we plan on separating. However, when her father takes naps on weekends, we want our daughter to nap to-in the same bed as him. As I am an early riser in the mornings, he gets up and moves to sleep in the bed with our daughter. I have made multiple attempts that this behavior is not appropriate, and he fights me on it, saying nothing is wrong. I fear this will continue once we separate at the end of our lease as we will live on different sides of the state, more than 5 hours one way from each other. What should I do as I’m worried this will continue in my absence?”
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“My advice is to just let the idea of controlling him go. That’s all this is because it’s not weird, it’s her dad. If you co-sleep with her why can’t he do it?”
“From a psychological point of view from someone who counsels kids your child more than likely can sense what is going on between the two of you. It is very normal for children that young to cling to parents. Just like a special bedtime item they cling to or can’t sleep. Unless your child says something or you see something strange what is taking place is normal behavior. Not to be rude but it sounds more like you are wanting to find something to end their bond and that you can take the child without having to allow the dad to take her. If that is the case it happens a lot, and if you feel like that go and talk to a professional. It is okay to feel angry along with other things and it can manifest in things like this.”
“When I stayed at my dad’s house in the weekends I slept in the same bed as my father until I was 13. These are probably some of the best memories I have with him. We would watch cheers and mash together before falling asleep. I still feel nolstagic towards these shows today.
If you feel it’s appropriate for you to sleep with your child, then it’s appropriate for her to sleep with her father as well.”
“Honestly, this sounds like you are reaching for something because of the separation. Those are his kids too. If you can cuddle in bed with them, so can he. Don’t make your children’s relationship with their father suffer because you’re no longer together. I imagine he sees the signs that he won’t be spending as much time with them once you separate. I’m sure it is on his mind daily and he wants as much time with her as he can before it gets there.”
“It is 100% appropriate for a dad to sleep in the same bed with his child. It’s called co sleeping…. its not just for women and their kids.”
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with a child sleeping in the same bed as their PARENT. My 4 year old son will sometimes came sleep in the bed with me and his dad & sometimes my 1 year old daughter will scream so much when she’s fighting a nap that the only way to calm her is to put her in the bed with us or lay next to her on the couch.”
“Nothing wrong with it, unless there has been something inappropriate you’ve seen – otherwise what’s the difference between you and her sleeping in the same bed and him and her? Family court doesn’t like children cosleeping all together though.”
“Sounds like a dad moving into the bed with her so he knows when she wakes up & not leaving her alone which is understandable. That is the way I see it anyways unless you have an uneasy feeling let that man be a good dad.”
“Is it safe to say that if the tables were turned and you were the one forced to sleep without her, you too would find yourself getting up to sleep with her when the chance arises? Time is precious. He’s being a dad, unless there’s a reason for you to have questions on his character, please don’t put him in that light, it isn’t fair; what so ever.”
“He’s a parent. Let him be a parent. As long as the child is safe. I get the feeling you’re over reacting and possibly hurting their private bonding time which both parents need with the child. Co-sleeping is a bonding experience that helps children feel safe. I wish my kid’s dad was involved enough to snuggle my kids. Count your blessings mama.”
“With this logic, a mother shouldn’t sleep in the same bed as her son. You’re thinking too much into this. My son co-sleeps with us for now, when my daughter is born he will transition to his own bed and my daughter will sleep with us. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Mothers/sons and dads/daughters have been sleeping in the same beds for decades?”
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