It's surprising to me how often I see parents sleeping with their young children. They know that it's disruptive to their sleep, but can't seem to break the habit. It's much easier for children to fall asleep with you, rather than all the crying and stress of trying to teach your child to sleep separately. You'll see a lot of strong opinions on this issue, but my recommendation is that children (starting as infants) should sleep in separate beds, in separate rooms.
My youngest son, Brennan (who's one year old), has always been a great sleeper, usually sleeping through the night since around 4 months. About two weeks ago, he caught a bad cold with fever to 104. During this episode, he kept waking up, and refused to go to sleep. He would cry for hours and eventually fall asleep only after exhausting himself. He would stop crying if you picked him up, but started crying and jumping up and down as soon as you placed him in back in his crib. In the morning, he would wake up extra early, severely depriving me and my wife of much needed sleep.
One night, I gave in and held him on the rocking chair for the first half of the night, not sleeping at all. I ended up paying the price. The next few nights, he expected to be held all night long. Fortunately, after a few days of Ferberization, he's now back to his routine sleep cycle (keeping our fingers crossed).
I understand a parent's need to comfort their child and to find the easiest way to get some sleep, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do the right thing. I see the same situation with people and their pets.
Did you or do you sleep in the same bed as your young children? If so, how long have/did you do it for and how will/did you stop it? Please enter your experiences in the comments box below.