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Sleep expert on Alicia Silverstone's co-sleeping situation: Break the habit of having your children sleep in your bed

Actress Alicia Silverstone sparked debate after saying she co-sleeps with her 11-year-old son. A local sleep specialist talks about the harm and breaking the habit.

CLEVELAND — How old is too old to let your child sleep in bed with you? Some parents will tell you: The kids never crawl into bed. But then there's actress Alicia Silverstone who unapologetically said during an interview that her 11-year-old son still co-sleeps with her. That caused a big stir.

But is it dangerous? Or hindering development? In this week's Mom Squad, 3News' Maureen Kyle talks to Dr. Carolyn Ievers-Landis with University Hospitals about if it's an indication of separation anxiety and what parents should do about it.

“If you were sleeping because your child is anxious, then you're accommodating for their anxiety. You're not helping them get over that. You're not helping them move on from that,” says Ievers-Landis.

Watch the full podcast below:

“Just like if you know your child is afraid of the water and you never took them to the swimming pool or encourage them to swim, right? If you're always like, ‘Oh they're afraid at night, so I'm just gonna always go sleep.’ Well, then you're not working on behaviors of how to self-soothe how to feel comfortable by yourself in a bed.”

If your child is really having trouble sleeping, ask your pediatrician. Dr. Ievers-Landis says there might be something like severe anxiety or a melatonin issue.  

But overall, she says there's no danger co-sleeping with your child of any age. It's just probably developmentally inappropriate when they reach puberty.

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