CEDAR FALLS – Dr. Abner Gaeshun of the Children’s Research center developed a new study to better understand the rise of only-child households. Initial theories included rising costs of child care and waiting to start a family until later in life. Both had small adverse effects on family size. However, there was one unexpected finding: children who sleep in the same bed with their parents are 86% more likely to be an only child.
One study participant Dinah Koddler said she only wanted to give her two-year-old son Danny the love and affection he deserved. “I remember the first night. It started with a thunderstorm,” she said. “Although he didn’t wake up, I just knew he’d be scared if he did, and we couldn’t bear to let him suffer alone. Now he’s five, but still prefers the safety of our bed.”
Dinah’s husband David went along with the idea for just one night and remembers thinking, what’s the harm of just one night? Three years later, Mr Koddler looks about 50 (he’s only 35) and complains, “I can’t remember the last time the wife and I fell asleep without a kid between us, a dog at our feet and a cat on my head. We don’t even need blankets anymore. With all the bodies in that bed, it’s like an oven in there. I usually wake up in a sweat and have to move to the couch.”
Other participants reported similar sleep problems. The study concluded that couples who practice family bed report a 96% drop in intimacy, a 42% increase in insomnia and a 92% increase in wet mattresses.