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How long do Japanese parents Cosleep?


Cosleeping, the practice of sharing a bed with your child, is common in many cultures around the world. In Japan, cosleeping has been a longstanding tradition, and many parents continue to practice it today. In this article, we will explore how long Japanese parents typically cosleep with their children.

History of Cosleeping in Japan

Cosleeping has been a part of Japanese culture for centuries, and traditionally, it was common for families to sleep together on futons laid out on the floor. Cosleeping was seen as a way to promote closeness and bonding within the family.

Japanese Snack Box

Current Trends in Cosleeping

Today, many Japanese parents continue to cosleep with their children, but there is also a growing trend towards independent sleeping arrangements. Some parents choose to have their children sleep in separate beds or rooms as they get older.

Age of Children who Cosleep

In general, Japanese parents tend to cosleep with their children until they are around school age. However, the specific age at which children transition to their own beds can vary depending on the family and individual circumstances.

Benefits of Cosleeping

There are many potential benefits to cosleeping, including increased bonding between parent and child, improved sleep quality for both parties, and a reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Risks of Cosleeping

Despite its benefits, cosleeping also carries some risks, such as an increased risk of suffocation or accidental injury. Parents who choose to cosleep should take proper safety precautions to minimize these risks.

Cultural Differences in Cosleeping

While cosleeping is common in Japan, it is not necessarily the norm in other cultures. Some Western societies view it as taboo or even dangerous, while others see it as a natural part of parenting.

Factors That Influence Cosleeping Habits

There are many factors that can influence a family’s decision to cosleep or not. These can include cultural background, personal beliefs and values, sleep habits and preferences, and the child’s individual needs and temperament.

Transitioning to Independent Sleep

When it is time for a child to transition to independent sleep, there are several strategies that parents can use to make the process smoother. These can include creating a consistent bedtime routine, gradually moving the child into their own room or bed, and providing comfort items like stuffed animals.

Alternatives to Cosleeping

For parents who do not wish to cosleep with their children, there are several alternative sleeping arrangements that can still promote bonding and closeness. These can include sharing stories or cuddling before bedtime, having a designated snuggle spot in the house, or practicing co-reading before bed.

Maintaining Healthy Sleep Habits

Regardless of whether or not parents choose to cosleep with their children, it is important to maintain healthy sleep habits throughout childhood. This can include establishing a consistent sleep schedule, limiting screen time before bed, and creating a comfortable sleeping environment.


Cosleeping is a longstanding tradition in Japan that continues to be practiced by many families today. While there are potential benefits and risks associated with this practice, ultimately the decision to cosleep or not should be based on each family’s individual circumstances and needs. By maintaining healthy sleep habits and making informed choices about sleeping arrangements, parents can help ensure that their children get the restful and rejuvenating sleep they need to thrive.

Is cosleeping normal in Japan?

Co-sleeping with infants has been a prevalent practice in Japan for centuries, with mothers and infants often sleeping face-to-face. Research suggests that as of 2008-2009, around 70% of Japanese infants still co-sleep with their parents. (Shimizu et al. 2014)

Does Japan encourage cosleeping?

In Japan, it is common for families to adhere to the practice of co-sleeping, where babies share the bed with their parents until the next child is born. Even after that, it is typical for the first child to continue co-sleeping with another family member until they reach the age of ten.

Which country has the highest rate of co-sleeping?

In Japan, where the population is wealthy, modern and sizable, it is common for parents to sleep with their babies. Surprisingly, despite this practice, Japan has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world, with only 2.8 deaths per 1,000 live births compared to 6.2 in the United States. Additionally, the rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is approximately half that of the U.S. rate.

Why is SIDS so low in Japan?

What is the reason behind Japan’s low rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)? One factor is the widespread use of the Boshi Kenko Techo, a handbook on maternal and child health, along with access to healthcare for all. Additionally, most births occur to women aged 25-29 years, and there are very few unmarried mothers.

At what age is cosleeping inappropriate?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly opposes co-sleeping with children under the age of 1. This statement was made on June 29, 2020.

Why is co-sleeping not recommended in the US?

Co-sleeping has been linked to a higher likelihood of sudden unexpected death in infants, such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and fatal sleeping accidents in certain situations. This association should be considered by parents when deciding on sleeping arrangements for their infants.

It is important to note that cosleeping is not the only way to promote bonding and closeness between parents and children. Other activities such as playtime, mealtime, and reading together can also foster strong relationships. Furthermore, each family’s situation is unique, and what works for one family may not work for another.

Parents who choose to cosleep should also be aware of the potential impacts on their own sleep quality. While some parents find that cosleeping helps them get more restful sleep, others may experience disruptions or discomfort. It is important to prioritize one’s own sleep needs in order to be able to provide the best care for the child.

Additionally, parents who choose to transition their child to independent sleep should do so gradually and with patience. It may take time for the child to adjust to a new sleeping arrangement, and setbacks are common. By providing gentle guidance and support, parents can help their child develop healthy sleep habits that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to cosleep with one’s child is a personal one that should be made with careful consideration of all the potential benefits and risks. Regardless of the chosen sleeping arrangement, maintaining healthy sleep habits and prioritizing restful sleep can help ensure that both parent and child are well-rested and ready to face each day with energy and enthusiasm.

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