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Some Children Will Continue to Need Our Presence to Fall Asleep Throughout Childhood

And that’s OK.

You may have tried all the tips, tricks, and strategies. Maybe your little one was falling asleep independently until X age and has now been communicating that they need you more than before.

I’m starting this conversation because I don’t see posts and discussions that focus on normalizing being present during our children’s bedtime routine for older kids, and the benefits of sharing that moment with them. For most families, that part of the day may be the only one where children can have our attention to open up about themselves.

The other thing is, why do we believe a sign of parental success is to have our children fall asleep independently in a dark room as early as possible? Our society normalized the opposite of what our DNAs programmed us to do: to protect, be in close proximity, nurture, respond… And yes, the culture around us also normalized not asking for help and pushed us into independence too! Since we were young, we have been told to figure it out on our own, so what do we do now that we NEED support from others? We push through on our own. Sadly, considering that we are social beings.

I hope this post helps you feel good about doing what you are doing if you support your child to sleep.

It can be much easier to help children to feel comfortable in their rooms once they are able to verbalize what they need, that’s a fact! But if they still need your presence as they drift off, remember that this doesn’t mean anything other than what it means: they need your presence to drift off. It’s not a definition of your parental success or a prediction of their future. Children need to be able to depend on their caregivers before they are able to explore age-appropriate independence.

Big hugs,


July 22nd, 2022


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