It’s no secret that raising children is one of the hardest challenges one can face throughout life. One of its most annoying parts is having sleep deprivation due to your child.
That is why so many people ask if the parent sleeping while child is awake is OK. Below is our truthful answer.
Is Sleeping While Your Child Is Awake Neglect?
Can I sleep when my newborn is awake? It’s not a good idea to sleep when your baby is still awake, but a 10-minute nap will do more harm than good.
So the short answer is that it depends on how good of a job you did making the room child-proof.
There is a huge difference between setting up a safe environment to ensure some napping and straight-up neglect.
If you have made sure that there is nothing potentially threatening to the child’s safe-being, it’s safe to doze off a little bit.
After all, you simply can’t expect parents to constantly work through fatigue and excessive stress levels.
Doing so only ensures that their bodies will burn out at some point and even experience sleep disorder symptoms, and that’s much more dangerous than little naps here and there.
However, you must always remember never to take a deep sleep like a dead tree.
What Age Should A Parent Stop Sleeping With A Child?
There is no scientific-proven age optimal for every child to stop sleeping with their parents. The consensus is that it will differ for each child, as each one is unique in its own way.
Some children grow much faster and can handle sleeping alone as early as six or even five years old. Others can continue being clingy to eight or ten years old.
Meanwhile, some parents might even move their kid to another room when the baby just outgrows the bassinets.
A safe point to start preparing your child for sleeping alone is when they start showing signs of puberty.
Parent Sleeping While Child is Awake: How To Help Parents?
Is it OK to sleep while kids are awake? Yes, and we even have some tricks to help you in such cases!
Couch + Movie
This approach is one of the most popular among parents, especially when they just wake up with a groggy head.
However, few people know that patience is key to its success.
You need to play the waiting game to perfection, which is hard in the early morning due to the kids’ brimming diabolic energy.
We recommend letting them play to their hearts’ content in the morning, as daytime behavior is linked to their bedtime behavior.
For example, you can try taking them to a nearby park so that they can go crazy.
After coming home and finishing lunch, let your child play a little bit more and strike at around 3 PM.
Put their favorite show or movie up (or video games instead) and just sink into your recliner as the child gets absorbed by the TV. For the most part, you can rest for a couple of hours.
Bed + Movie
This solution employs the same principle as the Couch and Movie method. However, it is more restrictive, requiring a smaller house and only one child.
You do pretty much the same steps as the first approach. However, instead of sinking into a recliner, you sneak quickly to your room, plonk on the bed, and doze off.
As you can guess, the biggest strength of this method is the comfort of your own bed.
In the same timeframe, sleeping on a bed will be much more comfortable than sleeping on a recliner.
You do need to check on the kid regularly, though. That is why you can only get at most 15 minutes of sleeping time in small bursts.
Both approaches that were listed require your children to be on the older side.
We recommend the floor nap method for those with young babies, as you can’t afford to leave them alone.
The only requirement is that you have a completely child-proof room, something like a nursery or a playroom.
Place the best toys around this room, and lie on the floor in a face-down position.
There is a high chance that the baby will crawl over your body, sit on your head, pull out your hair, etc., so there will be no hours of bedtime.
Nevertheless, you do get some minutes to shut your eyes.
Some kids have a supernatural ability to sense when their parents want to rest while they are present.
To combat it and improve your irregular sleep schedule, try out this sunglass solution.
Let’s say your baby has turned 14 months old (a safe threshold for playing outdoors).
Start by taking them out for some outdoor activities, preferably to some safely enclosed yard that they prefer. Set up a lawn chair in the best position to observe the kid.
Put your biggest and darkest pair of sunglasses on, lean a little on your back, and rest. Don’t take a deep sleep.
Ensure to give some “Good job!” yell here and there to pretend that you are still awake. This doesn’t turn you into a bad parent for sure!
This approach only works when your child reaches a certain age.
Only when their mind has developed enough can they take the bait, as younger ones simply can’t comprehend what you want to do.
The only thing to do is tell the child that there will be a drawing contest between you and them.
The winner will be awarded either some pocket changes, ice cream, or whatever they showed interest in.
You then reveal the concept of you sleeping soundly on a couch.
In the case of your child drawing too fast, let them know that they have 20 minutes, and they must make use of all the time.
If you can follow through with the reward, you can keep using this method indefinitely for regular bedtime (of course, for other “competitions”, like reading books).
This solution relies on a child’s sense of wonder about new things, probably for school-aged children.
If you have a backyard, set a tent there and say you are checking if it can serve your summer camp.
Most kids will become so thrilled about testing it out that they will pretend to be sleepy so they can use the tent.
Agree with their request and get some peaceful sleep while they pretend to be camping.
You can also rely on this approach while staying indoors, but you need a much smaller tent. This somehow alleviates parents’ lack of sleep.
We have answered your question regarding the headache of a parent sleeping while child is awake.
We have also thrown in some tips and tricks to ensure proper sleep conditions without endangering the child.
If you read through the whole article, you will find that it’s much easier to get some quick rest if you know where to hit the spot.
But it’s best to teach your children proper sleep schedules soon.