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Alabama Parents Spark Debate Over 'Co-Sleeping' With Their 6 And 12-Year-Old Daughters

TikTokers the Deal family revealed their unusual 'co-sleeping' arrangement with their two daughters, chalking it up to 'Southern parenting.'

Brandon Deal and McKenzi Deal
@deal_family / TikTok

Many people are changing the way they do parenting nowadays, as experts urge a gentler approach than what many Gen X'ers, Millennials and Gen Z'ers received.

But family influencers the Deal Family have sparked quite a bit of controversy for their unorthodox approach to the "co-sleeping" trend that has come to the forefront in recent years, in which parents and kids share either a bed, a bedroom, or both.

But as the family patriarch Brandon Deal revealed in a recent TikTok, the Deals take co-sleeping to a whole new level: co-sleeping as an entire family, including their 12-year-old daughter McKenzi.


Anyone else co-sleep?? #cosleeping #familygoals #parentsoftiktok

As he revealed, Brandon, his wife Meagan, their six-year-old daughter Sarah Grace and 12-year-old daughter McKenzi all sleep together, Sarah Grace in the bed with her parents and McKenzi in a twin bed that sits at the foot of the Deals' king-size bed.

Asked why she still prefers to co-sleep, McKenzi, who is deaf, said it "feels a little safer" to her.

Their video instantly went viral, in part because many people find it a very strange practice to continue co-sleeping so late in life. But Brandon told Insider that it's a common practice in the South, where they live.

Deal told the website:

"I think Southern parenting is just completely different than Northern parenting."

Meagan agreed, telling Insider:

"I always thought that kids just did that because all of my friends slept with their parents off and on."

Co-sleeping is thought to have both emotional and physical health effects. For instance, it is thought that babies sharing a room with their parents helps them to regulate their breathing and may reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

Most pediatricians say babies should never share a bed before a child's first birthday due to safety concerns, and that co-sleeping should end by prepuberty.

Both the Deal's children have their own bedrooms, but Brandon told Insider that they both end up coming back to their parents' bedroom any time they try to sleep in their own rooms.

The Deal Family's take on co-sleeping has definitely gotten a lot of people talking.











Despite all the uproar it generated, the Deals insist that co-sleeping is the norm in Alabama where they live.

As Meagan put it to Insider:

"It's just so normal around here that I'm shocked that so many people have not heard about it."

As many have pointed out on TikTok, families sleeping together was the norm for most of human history until recently. Maybe the Deals really are onto something?