27 answers

What Age Is Too Old to Sleep with Your Mother?

My stepson is 8 1/2 and lives with his mother and 3 older siblings. His mother still lets him sleep in her bed every night. He spends one weekend night almost every week with us and has no problem sleeping in his own bed at our house. He has never even attempted to come into our bed when he spends the night. My husband has asked his ex to have him sleep in his own bed but she continues to let him sleep there. She told my stepson that she looked it up online and found that it was OK for him to still sleep with her. We think he is too old and should be embarrassed. What do you think?

BTW, my husband and his ex-wife have been separated/divorced since he was about a year old so it is not an issue of dealing with the divorce. She used to let him sleep on the linen closet floor, on her floor and now her bed (which I guess is better than the floor). I am actually asking this FOR my husband.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

There is nothing wrong with kids sleeping with a parent. Everytime my husband travels my 11 y/o son asks if he can sleep with me. Sometimes he does. I kick him out if he snores or invades my side of the bed. He still sleeps with his stuffed animal in his own bed. I know a lady who's only son slept with her until he was 14, and she was married, then he stopped on his own. Probably puberty happened. With some kids it happens later than with others.

8 1/2? Yeah, that is too old. I'd say 3-4 is too old. He has to learn to sleep on his own and she's only punishing him. She is the one with the problem and needs to stop that asap.

I disagree with most of these posts. I think he is old enough to sleep on his own. Children his age need to develop a sense of autonomy and break the mother-son symbiosis. It doesn't seem very healthy for an 8 yr old child to be that dependent on his mother.

My niece slept with my sister until she was 4 yrs old. I told my sister that it wasn't healthy. My sister knew it too so she moved my niece into her own twin bed and my niece transitioned with no problem.

However, there is nothing you can do about it, even if you think it's inappropriate because you can't tell his mother what to do with her son. So if I were you I would just leave it alone.

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I have a 14 year old son and on the very rare occasion when my husband is out of town he always tries to see if he can sleep in my bed with me. I say no, just because it's nice to have a night to have the whole bed to myself, but if he wakes up early and crawls in bed with me I have no problem with it. It's actually nice to lay there and talk or watch TV together. I know those days are numbered and I treasure those moments. I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. They're both probably lonely and once she starts seeing someone I'm sure she'll put an end to it. Trust me, there will be bigger battles down the road...let this one go.

2 moms found this helpful

You don't describe any physical or emotional issues that are the result of your stepson sleeping with his mother and it sounds like both of them are fine with the arrangement. He will grow out of it eventually.

1 mom found this helpful

Well, I am not sure that it is all that "wierd". My son is 8 1/2 & a very loving little boy. I am married, but on occassion both of our children want us to sleep with them or for them to sleep in the same bed. We have a boy & a girl & don't see any problem with this. I am sure that mom & son went through a great deal when dad moved out so I am sure it is just a comfort thing and at some point he will grow out of it, but I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. In fact, if you make a big deal out of it, you may just force the co-sleeping longer in order for him to defy you. Seems that kids just do the opposite of what you want sometimes when you voice your opinion too often.
Also, if something were going on that is not appropriate, wouldn't the older siblings notice.

1 mom found this helpful

When my kids were younger they wanted to sleep in my bed when my husband was gone. I think that she is probably lonely and probably doesn't want to be alone at night. You could ask him it bothers h,im or not. If not, I'm sure its okay.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear S.,

This is a tricky one. Children of divorce have many conflicting feelings to deal with as do the parents and stepparents. I think if I were you I would stay out of it. There are so many bigger issues you have to deal with in sharing parenting. Trying to control what the mom does is probably not a good place to go and will be met with resistance.

I think if he continues to have a bed by himself at your house he may just naturally request that eventually. He is probably seeking extra comfort and security with his mom. It is actually pretty common for parents to sleep with their kids after they are divorced. For the good or the bad it is just part of coping with the pain of divorce.

Good luck. Just keep loving him and encouraging his independence at your house. He will evntually chose his own room I think.

Good luck. A.

1 mom found this helpful

Our 9 year old son and 12 year old daughter would sleep with us if we let them, and we do a few times a year. Yet they sleep in their beds perfectly fine and there's no fighting or whining about it; it's just that they would love it if they could sleep with me and my husband. As for being embarrassed, I'm waiting for our 9 year old to show any signs of modesty. He's perfectly comfortable walking around nude, not something we encourage but we also don't make a big deal about it. Unless there's a sign of some other problem, this behavior seems perfectly normal for a close parent-child relationahip. Be happy that your stepson feels comfortable to have that closeness with his mom.

1 mom found this helpful

"We think he is too old and should be embarrassed."

This is the line of your post that is worrisome. Please, if you take anything away from all of the response, do not make your step-son feel embarrassed, ashamed, etc. Being close with his mother is a good thing, and if you shame him for this, it may cause a problem that was never there before.

My fiance thinks it is weird that my son, 4 years old, is constantly wanting my attention and affection. I think men are different about those kinds of things, and I am sure my fiance would agree with your hubbie. But, unless there is something inappropriate going on, I truly believe you have nothing to worry about.

My mother was a single mom. I slept with her until 10 yrs old, most times sleeping in her bed and occasionally in my own. Again, unless the step-son is acting strangely, siblings notice something strange, etc., then I am sure it is fine. I do think it is healthy for the boy to sleep in his own bed to encourage confidence and independence, but since he seems to have no problem sleeping in his own bed at your house, he seems to be doing just fine.

I really wouldn't worry about it too much until he gets closer to puberty. 8 yrs of age is still pretty young. Just make sure the boy is healthy physically and psychologically. Keep up your good parenting and best wishes to your family.

1 mom found this helpful

In many cultures children and parents co-sleep. My nephew and niece in Sweden still co-sleep with their parents, this is completely normal in Sweden... it's more odd there if your child sleeps in his OWN bed. Even in the hospitals, if your child stays overnight, you are allowed to sleep in the hospital bed with your child. I think this is a sign of a very healthy relationship and would feel comfortable with it until the child hits puberty.

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