The Reason Why We Make Children Sleep Alone


At 5 Little Monkeys, we're on a mission to help kids everywhere get healthier, more restful sleep. We're proud to work towards this goal by offering one of the best-reviewed children's mattresses on the market, and as parents ourselves, we've seen the difference that the right kids bed can make first hand. Our kids mattress is, as most are, designed for a child to sleep on it alone, as is generally recommended by sleep experts these days. But children sleeping alone hasn't always been the norm – far from it.

Why Do We Make Kids Sleep Alone?

In most modern American households, kids sleep on their own. While some share a room with a sibling or two, many children now have a separate bedroom to call their own that's private from parents or siblings. But this hasn't always been the case. "Co-sleeping" is still practiced in many parts of the world, including both the developing world and developed countries like Japan, and up until the 19th century it was common practice in Europe and America. So why did we make the societal shift towards individual bedrooms and solitary sleep? To understand this, we have to look at how the practice of solitary sleeping originated.

Solitary sleeping first became popular in Europe and North America around the end of the 19th century. But unfortunately, the adoption of the practice had more to do with classism and racism than sleep health. While there were health reports that promoted solitary sleeping as more hygienic than having many people sleep together in the same room, it was also decidedly a sign of wealth and whiteness. The practice of co-sleeping societies came to be thought of as barbaric, with sleep hygiene writers of the era such as William Whitty Hall comparing people who co-sleep to "wolves, hogs and vermin." Owning a large enough home to put children in their own rooms was a sign of wealth and class, and it soon came to be tied up with ideas of being a proper, 'civilized' European.

Try Our Children's Mattress

The origins of solitary sleeping may be unsavory in their nature, but in our modern world, most childhood sleep experts recommend solitary sleeping as a healthier practice than co-sleeping, as solitary sleeping is associated with a lower risk of SIDS than co-sleeping. But every family is different, and what matters is finding what works for you and your child. However, whether your child sleeps alone or with you, they'll need a mattress designed to support their growing body – and that's where we come in. We've created one of the best kids mattresses on the market, and with our 100 Night Rest Test, you can try it 100% risk free. See the difference that healthy sleep can make in your life and try our kids bed today!