Co-Sleeping and Sex

Co-sleeping and Sex

I am having one of THOSE dreams. You know the kind…mind blowing sex with the sexiest man on the planet. Barry White is playing in the background and I am about to have the “O” to end all “O’s.” Then I wake up. Ugg. Hot and bothered, I decide to gently wake my husband to see if he is at all interested in a little middle of the night ron-de-vue. I roll over in a dreamy slumber and bump right into my toddler!

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE bed-sharing. I have been doing it since the day my daughter was born. I didn’t give it a second thought really. Who wouldn’t want to snuggle next to their cuddly bundle of joy and wake up to the sweet scent of milk breath? Fast forward 29 months and my sweet toddler is still the wonderful snugglebug she was in the early weeks. I can’t get enough of her cuddles (legs wrapped around mine, hand rubbing my belly for comfort). But mama needs some action and lord knows daddy does too. So how does one “get it on ‘till the break of dawn” when you have a baby in your bed? Especially when those middle of the night dreams inspire a little spontaneous action!

For my husband and I, sex and sexual activity was easier to “do” when my daughter was under 6 months of age. She slept a lot and she slept soundly. Even if she was awake, she wasn’t paying any attention to what mommy and daddy were doing. So it was all systems go with our little angel right there. Well, sort of. I had a hard time concentrating on the task at hand when there was a bundle of love that I could reach over and snuggle. Babies have a way of distracting their mommies just by existing. :) But my point is – sex on the bed with a baby right there is no big deal in those early months. So have at it. And don’t worry about it. Baby isn’t getting and mental issues from it. You can always go do it somewhere else while baby is sleeping if you are concerned about imprinting.

Things changed once my daughter developed more permanent sleep habits and routines. Naps and bedtime were in our bed. She turned into the lightest sleeper on the planet. She turned into the clingiest sleeper on the planet. Seriously – to this day, she has to touch me in order to get into a sound sleep. Yeah – that makes it tough to squeeze in any action with daddy! Sex on our bed or even in our room while my Tiny was sleeping was completely out of the question. Long, involved love making sessions were also out of the question since we never knew “how long we had” until Tiny figured out I wasn’t in bed with her. So, what have we done to keep the passion alive and to keep from going AWOL with sexual frustration?

Sex on the fly. Yep – quickies. When the mood strikes, we have both learned how to make 3 minutes COUNT! To hell with foreplay. Lube up and let the games begin. Hard and fast baby! Do I leave satisfied? Hell no! Does my husband? Yep. And that is what counts at this stage in the game. I don’t have to hear whining for a week after a quickie.

Scheduled sex. Yep – let’s put it on the calendar and have the grandparents babysit Tiny. This way, we can do more than the basic in and out! You know, we might actually get to spend some time on foreplay. Here is the funny thing though. We usually end up in quickie mode because there are a million other things we want to accomplish while Tiny is out of the house for an hour. Go figure.

Sex in other rooms. Duh. If you don’t want to wake the baby or child, then don’t have sex where he or she is sleeping. Go to the kitchen counter, the washer or dryer, the bathroom, a guest room, and obviously, the couch or any floor space available. Sex is not synonymous with the master bedroom.

There doesn’t always need to be penetration. If opportunities for sex are not presenting themselves often enough for either of your tastes, then squeeze in a little extra tonsil hockey, ass grabbing, hair pulling (I KNOW I am not the only one that gets turned on by that), and erogenous zone stroking throughout the week. This might be the little pick-me-up your sex drive needs to make it until the next full on romp in the sack.

Having given you my four little tips, I must admit that our sex life has definitely changed (ok…totally diminished) since Tiny was born but my husband and I both realize that this is temporary and that in the not so distant future, we will have a little more freedom to “have at it” when the mood strikes. Until then, we do what we can to keep the romance alive and keep the endgame in sight. It makes those moments are sexual tension more manageable.

Best of luck to all you bed sharing mamas,


Jennifer, author of Hybrid Rasta Mama, lives in the Sacramento, CA area with her husband and can be found blogging about breastfeeding (especially extended breastfeeding), bed-sharing, co-sleeping, attachment parenting, cloth diapering, green living, babywearing, peaceful parenting, a Waldorf approach to education and parenting, playful parenting, getting children outside, as well as cooking and eating Real/Traditional Foods. A life-long lover of reggae music, Jennifer takes a little of this and a little of that and blends it all together into something that works for her family.


  1. Jill says

    This is good, but now I have two in my room! So just as you finally get back into “nooky mode” along comes the next one! Watch out! LOL

  2. Stacey says

    Is this a joke?!?!? Co-sleeping past 18mos is ridiculous. What happened to having independent children? When do you get the child out the bed? When he/she graduates grammar school? A husband and wife need intimate time ALONE to HAVE SEX! I …realize this sounds extreme, but behavior such as co-sleeping for so long has created a generation of needy, non-self sufficent, dependent, bratty kids! I HIGHLY enjoy having my 17mos AND 4mos old sleep with me occasionally, but me and my DH are not DEAD. We have sex drives that require privacy and SPACE. Why neglect your husband??? I totally believe that there is NEVER an excuse to cheat, but let’s say this husband or any husband in this sexless situation cheated, @ least this time he had a reason! LOL…put ur children in their bed and put out for your hubs, seriously.

  3. says

    Great post! Something that’s always frustrated me, especially after we had three children – I mean, clearly it *is* possible to still be ‘intimate’ (as most people seem to like to call it) and co-sleep, or where did our later children come from? :D

  4. says

    That’s great for you and your husband, Stacey, but you’re wrong to think that prolonged bedsharing is what causes children to be “needy, non-self sufficent, dependent, bratty” – on the contrary, it mostly just produces very secure, independent, happy children who grow up into emotionally well-balanced adults.

    And did you even read the article? The author is trying to say that there’s no reason that bedsharing with your children means you can’t have sex.

    It’s great that you have such an interest in other parents’ sex lives, but I can assure you, on my part, that despite having bedshared for years with various ages of children, my marriage is very happy, stable and full of wonderful, exciting sex!

    I’m wondering why the tone of your response was so angry – I wonder what’s happened in your life to make it such a huge issue for you…?

  5. sarah says

    great post! having been co-sleeping with one child or another for the last 11 years straight, i can sympathize! thankfully, mine have all been heavy sleepers, so it hasn’t really been a problem… but the kitchen counter still works! :D

  6. Suzanne says

    Great post – thank you for sharing. I don’t co-sleep now, but did in the early days because my daughter wouldn’t sleep otherwise and it was easier for me to just turn over and feed her than get up out of a warm bed. I think its interesting that so few people have commented on this post so far, whether this is considered a taboo subject, I don’t know…

    Even if you don’t co-sleep, I think many parents will feel the same way about ‘quickies’ in the event that baba wakes up at any minute. I also appreciate your honest comment regarding your own satisfaction with such quickies, that its not giving you what you want but you recognise this is a temporary situation and you choose to do this out of love for your partner. Totally get the point about scheduled sex too, that it becomes less of a session because you know that there are a tonne of other things that could be done while baba is out the house!

    Regarding Stacey’s post above, whilst I recognise you don’t agree with co-sleeping beyond a particular age, this doesn’t mean you should slate this choice when made by others – perhaps consider your use of caps lock, tone is everything online. Also, it is a very sad situation to be in if a man feels he must cheat due to lack of sex at home; relationships are about more than sex, sex is only one aspect.

  7. says

    Love it! Sometimes my 16-month-old will start out in her own bed, sometimes not. But we’re masters of taking advantage of naptimes, or having fun in the home office or whatever. We’re in agreement about co-sleeping, because we all get more sleep that way, and we just make sure we find some other place and time for sex. I can see how it could cause resentment if there wasn’t agreement and there was no time for intimacy, but I’d like to think that couples actually talk about these things.

  8. Samantha says

    I’m not for or against co-sleeping, but our 28 month old is always put to bed in his own room. I need my space, not just for love making, but it can be emotionally hard to constantly have a little body snuggled up to you. I have never been one for long lasting snuggles – even with my hubby. As soon as they snuggle in you realize your stuck in that position and suddenly every muscle in your body starts to ache and all you think about is rolling over. I don’t know if many people get like that, but I usually do.

    My little one, however, doesn’t always wake up in his own bed in the morning. He tends to wake up and drag himself and his stuffed animals into our bed. My husband and I are completely ok with it. It took me awhile to get used to the third body in our bed, but now I find myself content to find him snuggled between us in the morning.

    I like this arrangement a lot, because I get the best of both worlds. My hubby and I get alone time to satisfy our needs of each other, and I get the opportunity to allow myself to relax and get comfy to fall asleep – and we get the joys of having a little 2yr old slip into our bed and cuddle up for a few hours.

    Some of my most cherished times are seeing my bubby and son sleeping together while I dress in the morning – they have the same cute nose and odd enough, the same sleeping posture. It fills my heart with so much love to see them like that.

    • says

      Aww what a lovely comment :) its great that you’ve found a routine that works for you! I know what you mean about being uncomfortable, I’m the same way. If we couldn’t have a sidecar arrangement, I doubt we would have coslept! Thankfully my little man likes his own space too, and rolls away from me after feeding :)

  9. Meagan says

    I found this article because my 8mo old will not sleep unless she is glued to my side, which has made sex nonexistent. I could probably survive without, but I’m sensitive to hubby and his needs. To people who think like Stacey, I’m glad your baby sleeps in his or her own bed, but some of us don’t have that luxury. I decided I needed sleep too much to fight with her every single night about staying in her crib. I hope someday she will sleep at least part of the night on her own, but for now I am her lovey.

  10. Tiffany says

    I love this post! It made me smile and laugh because we can deff relate. We are firm believes on co sleeping. We have a 8 year old a 4 year old and 9 month old so obviously sex still happens while co sleeping lol. Some people say we are crazy and they are totally against this but my oldest is in the top of her class,independent and vary out going. So people saying co sleeping makes coddled brats that arnt independent, in our our case are wrong. And as for a”reason”to cheat that’s a horrible thing to say cheating is a weak man’s way out. That’s his choice to do so and there’s no one to blame but himself.


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