Sleeping with your baby: What are the benefits? Is it safe?

8 years ago

The choice of where your baby is going to sleep is a personal and family-specific decision. A lot of parents have a preconceived notion about where their baby will sleep and then the baby's temperment changes all of that. A lot of the information available in the media and from public health authorities on co-sleeping (or bed sharing) is inaccurate and may serve to dissuade parents from making a choice that would work well for their family.

If you want to learn more about co-sleeping to decide if it is right for your family and also how to make it safe, please read on:

  • Benefits of Co-Sleeping: There are many advantages to sharing a bed with your baby including ease of breastfeeding, better sleep for mom and baby, mother can react more easily to baby, develops greater independence and self-esteem in children, and allows working parents more time to connect with their kids. Read this post to learn more about these benefits. 
  • Co-Sleeping Safety: There is a war on co-sleeping. Public institutions (sometimes in partnership with crib manufacturers) are spending our tax dollars to scare parents from bringing their babies to bed with them. The media is using fear inducing headlines and horror stories to garner readership. But here is the thing. Saying
    that co-sleeping is dangerous is like saying that riding in a car is
    dangerous. There is no way to make car travel completely safe, but no
    method of travel is completely safe.  Most reasonable people take
    precautions to make car travel as safe as possible, but some idiots do
    stupid things like drinking and driving, not wearing a seat belt,
    driving too fast, or not putting their children in car seats. It is the
    same thing with infant sleep. Babies do die in their parents’ beds. But
    they also die in cribs. There is no way to make either one completely
    safe, but co-sleeping is not inherently more dangerous than crib
    sleeping. In fact, when looked at objectively the statistics on infant
    deaths in various sleep environments show us that sleeping in an adult bed is twice as safe as sleeping in a crib once all  factors have been considered. Read this post to learn more about the relative safety of co-sleeping and how to create a safe co-sleeping environment for your family. 

These posts were authored by Annie @ the PhD in Parenting blog. 

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