Why Do We Make Children Sleep Alone

As “the Internet likes to say”: this!


I’ve been meaning to write something about what I think regarding having children sleep in their own rooms. Fortunately I found this excellent article first. It says everything I would have said, and then some. It’s well researched and will hopefully give parents and parents-to-be some good food for thought. Key concepts: emotional stability, effective sleep, nurtured development.

To be clear: I have nothing against parents’ wishes for a good quality rest and need for intimacy. But co-sleeping is not necessarily mutually exclusive with quality of life for adults (as many, including myself, can confirm). Of course, co-sleeping doesn’t always work and in that case, it’s equally important for mom & dad to do what they can to be happy parents because parents who sacrifice too much become even more dangerous for their offspring than parents who isolate their kids in another room.

Just as I was looking for a thumbnail for this article, I stumbled upon this horrible news^. Some parents actually found it suitable to administer hormones (melatonin) to their children to “help” them sleep. Parents do this without there being any long term study on the effects of messing with the neurotransmitters of these young children. Talk about complete ignorance in the age of consumerism. This happens when “religion saves” turns into “the drug store saves” (check my Consumerism as Religion^ article).

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  1. Reply

    Drugs for things easily solved by lifestyle choices are freaking insane. Get some sun and skip the night-time screens and whoa, natural melatonin. Who’d have thought…

    • Reply

      LOL :D. Good acid Frans! :D. I freaked out when I read that thing about melatonin. It may be naturally-occurring, but feeding it on demand is reckless.

  2. Verisoara


    I agree we should not play with hormones especially since studies show that the body may get used to it and slow down its own production. But, newborns are not able to produce enough melatonine until they are 2 months old. Those who are breast fed are lucky because they receive melatonine from mother’s milk while bottle fed babies may receive it or not, depending on the formula they are fed, it if contains tryptophan or not. It is true that sun helps to produce melatonine but babies up to 6 months are not allowed to take more than 10 minutes of sun per day and that is also controversial. So, some newborns may receive melatonine by feeding while others don’t and that may parcially explain why some are sleeping 16 hours per day while others simply won’t (mine for example 🙂

    • Reply

      So nice to read you here :). I feel for you, having a difficult first child is not easy. I know we were very lucky, at least so far. But for better or for worse, this is THE THING with LIFE! It’s RANDOM, or at least so says science. You get easier children and you get harder children! It is no different for animals either. But this is no reason to start feeding children neurotransmitters in my opinion. It is very early in their life and the consequences may be very serious. I think humanity is on a bit of an ego trip having discovered the wonders of science. Now, science seems to overrule instinct at every step. Perhaps this is good and necessary for an evolutionary step to occur. Or perhaps it will lead to something very bad. Who knows? What I think is that feeding melatonin to children should be done after a VERY LONG TEST on extremely strict control groups with plenty of volunteers. And that’s of course super hard because a baby can’t really sign a paper that he or she is willing to undergo this experiment. I guess all we can do is hope for the best.

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