- Alabama family gains popularity for documenting their co-sleeping arrangement, attributing it to “Southern parenting” practices and feeling safer and closer as a family.
- The Deals address criticism and discuss safety precautions, while also acknowledging that co-sleeping is not for everyone.
- Co-sleeping with older children has generated debate among celebrities, but pediatricians warn against it before 12 months and during puberty. The Deals consider transitioning their daughter to her own room, but believe she is independent and capable.
- An Alabama couple who ‘co-sleeps’ with their 6 and 12-year-old daughters was shocked that others found it odd, but called it ‘Southern parenting’ (insider.com)
The Deal family, based in Alabama, has gained massive popularity for documenting their co-sleeping arrangement. Dad Brandon, in an interview with Insider, attributed the difference in parenting styles between the South and the North as the reason for their unique setup. Daughter McKenzi, who is deaf, expressed feeling safer with the arrangement. Last week, Brandon took to TikTok to share the logistics of their co-sleeping, where he, his wife Meagan, and their two daughters, McKenzi and Sarah Grace, all sleep in the same bedroom. While Sarah Grace shares a bed with her parents, McKenzi sleeps on a cot at the foot of their bed. McKenzi explained in the viral TikTok clip that it makes her feel safer.
The Deal Family, who have a substantial following on TikTok, has been discussing their co-sleeping arrangement since around 2020. They were surprised to find out that it is not the norm nationwide. Brandon referred to it as a “Southern parenting” practice, which he and Meagan grew up with. While they have received support, they have also addressed critics who believe it encourages separation anxiety or codependency. Meagan shared that she thought co-sleeping was common among her friends and that her family didn’t do it every single night.
Celebrities like Alicia Silverstone, Kourtney Kardashian, Ice-T, and Coco Austin have also sparked debates about co-sleeping with their older children. However, a pediatrician previously stated that co-sleeping should not occur before 12 months due to the risk of SIDS and suffocation and should stop before puberty. For the Deals, the arrangement happened naturally. McKenzi, who was born a high-risk baby, slept with her mom when Brandon was away in the military. She transitioned to the cot when she was 10. Despite having their own bedrooms, McKenzi frequently returns to sleep in her parents’ room.
The Deals have been discussing the possibility of McKenzi sleeping in her own room and have been implementing safety measures like a fire alarm system designed for the deaf. While they have received both support and criticism on social media, they believe McKenzi is independent and will be able to handle the transition. The couple also clarified that they find alone time and privacy in other rooms.
Overall, the Deals are shocked that many people are not familiar with co-sleeping as it is considered normal in their region. They feel that their arrangement provides safety and a sense of closeness for their family.