Meet the family who all share a bedroom, including their 12-year-old daughter.
Parents Meagan and Brandon Deal have allowed their daughters to sleep in their bed since they were babies. Mckenzie has always had trouble sleeping.
The 12-year-old stayed in her parents' king-sized bed until she was 10. Now she has her own bed at the foot of her parents', but youngest Sarah Grace, six, still snuggles between them.
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Despite some people calling it "toxic", Meagan and Brandon let their daughters decide when they want to sleep in their own room.
Stay-at-home mum Meagan, from Alabama, US, said: "Mckenzie was really tiny. We had a really hard time with her sleeping by herself.
"She stayed in our bed and just never got out of it. She has tried her own bedroom but never makes it through the night."
Meagan first decided to try co-sleeping with Mckenzie when she was a baby to help her fall asleep. After losing her hearing at six, Mckenzie felt "scared" to sleep in her own room as she couldn't see or hear her parents.
"It's a comfort to have us right there with her. We would sing and she'd feel our throats," Meagan explained. "With Sarah Grace she was an active baby. To get her to sleep I'd have to nurse her. She's still in our bed."
Mckenzie, who started sleeping in her own bed at the age of 10, still stayed in her parents' room.
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Her mum Meagan said: "She was getting bigger and everybody was starting to get less sleep. I was pregnant with James Mitchell, who was stillborn, and I was talking to her saying we were about to have a baby – and less space.
"At first she just lay there but wouldn't sleep on it. However by the age of 10 she started sleeping in her bed."
Meagan and Brandon set a strict bedtime for their girls to ensure they get some couple time. Meagan stated: "8pm is bed time [for the children]. We go to bed at 10.30pm or 11pm. With co-sleeping we make alone time a priority."
Brandon, who works in fire protection systems, also said: "People ask 'how do you get alone time?' It's important as a couple to have alone time. We watch TV, we stay up and talk. We get to have some childless time."
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The dad added: "They say 'it's toxic for your children'. But I knew a lot of friends growing up who used to sleep in their parents bed. It's more of a foreign conversation in Northern America."
Both girls have a shared room they can sleep in, but currently choose not to. The couple believe eventually their children will move out and into their own room.
Meagan said: "Mckenzie is getting close to having her own room. She's extremely independent." Brandon added: "We wouldn't be sad if they wanted to sleep in their own room. It's up to them."
* This article was crafted with the help of an AI tool, which speeds up Daily Star's editorial research. An editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors to [email protected]
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