Woman says co-sleeping with her 10 and 12-year-old kids is ‘totally natural’

A picture of Bernie Watkins with her children, Frankie and Caden. (SWNS)
Bernie Watkins says co-sleeping with her children is 'totally natural'. (SWNS)

A woman who has co-slept with her 10 and 12-year-old children since they were born has called the process “totally natural”.

Bernie Watkins, 49, credits co-sleeping as to why her and her pre-teen son and daughter share a close bond, and says it’s their choice to sleep in her king-sized bed with her.

The single mum, who is originally from Liverpool, but now lives in Grenada, Spain, says co-sleeping is her favourite part of the day as they can all have a chat before falling asleep.

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“We have always been in a bed together – right from when they were newborns and I didn't want to leave them in a different room on their own,” she explains.

“They can stop when they want and have their own rooms but have always preferred to sleep with me.

"We're a very close, cuddly family so it's perfect for us – and getting into bed at night is a lovely part of our day.”

Frankie, Bernie and Caden Watkins share a bed as they co-sleep each night. (SWNS)
Bernie started to co-sleep with her kids when they were born to make breastfeeding easier. (SWNS)

The freelance copywriter adds that, since the family doesn’t often share mealtimes, bedtime gives them a chance to all be together.

“People told me they would grow up to be clingy and dependent if we kept sharing but they're the total opposite,” she says.

Watkins decided to co-sleep with her children as soon as they were born in order to make breastfeeding easier – and says she was “never worried” about warnings that co-sleeping could lead to accidental suffocation of newborns.

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“I am a light sleeper so I always knew where they were in the bed – as soon as they stirred I would wake up,” she explains.

“For me it felt wrong to take a tiny baby and leave them in another room alone. I was always set on co-sleeping from birth.”

Watkins adds that each bedtime the family light candles, play relaxing music, and have discussions – making sure that no topic is off-limits.

Frankie Watkins in her bedroom. (SWNS)
Bernie's daughter Frankie (pictured) has her own room but chooses to sleep in Bernie's bed. (SWNS)

They all share the king-size bed, with Watkins and her daughter Frankie under a double duvet and son Caden under a single duvet because he tends to move more in the night.

Watkins says she can understand criticism because “in England it’s not the norm”. “I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” she adds.

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Watkins credits bed-sharing with maintaining a strong relationship with her children.

“For us it's the most normal thing in the world and none of us want to stop,” she explains.

“I wish other people wouldn't make comments or put barriers up around co-sleeping – people make an automatic judgement. It's the reason we have such a close bond.”

Additional reporting by SWNS.

Watch: UK mum slams co-sleeping criticism of sharing a bed with her family of four