Thursday, July 26, 2007

How to Cosleep Safely

Can you answer yes to all of these questions?

1) I have a firm mattress.
2) I have a flat bedspread, and I'm willing to keep it at waist level.
3) I have a guardrail for my side of the bed.
4) I have read
this article, written by a pediatrician, on safe co-sleeping.

If so, here's your permission slip to co-sleep. You won't find this permission in the mainstream press, as long as the JPMA is the cash cow for SIDS studies, but you'll be in step with most of the past and present mothers in the world.

I'm not saying that crib sleeping is wrong. Some babies adapt quite easily to it. Though, along with the AAP, I would urge you to at least keep that baby in the same room with you for the first six months when, like it or not, wakings are a good thing, lessening the risk of SIDS.

For many babies, though, crib sleeping creates more problems than it's worth. It can lead mothers to push long-duration sleeping on their infants at a time when they are most at risk for SIDS. It can lead them to push cereal on their baby
before those intestines are ready, in hopes that their baby will sleep longer. It can even lead to some of the sleep training methods I tried myself, escalating in our case to borderline cruelty. Even for those mothers who don't do sleep training, who wants to get out of bed to tend to a baby at 3:00 a.m.? No wonder Babywise and similar books have such mass appeal!

What if mothers knew it's okay to eschew the crib and keep their babies close, as
biologically designed? What if they knew that co-sleeping is not going to destroy their marriage? What if they knew it might resolve most of their child's sleep "problems"?

If crib-sleeping worked best for most babies and toddlers, you wouldn't see a "Your Child's Sleep Problem Solved!" title on the cover of every mainstream parenting magazine in the US. You wouldn't see book after book after book on children's sleep issues lining the shelves at Barnes and Noble.

Mothers from most parts of the globe would be perplexed by the sleep questions we ask.

1 comment:

Babette said...

Tulipgirl sent me. She knows what's good! ;~)

A mother's instincts don't count for much anymore, do they? Imagine my joy upon (after sharing our bed with all 11 of our babies) observing the grace and ease with which my daughter and son-in-law have enveloped our first grandson into their life and bed.

That is a beautiful photo on your sidebar and I shall enjoy poking around here. God's Peace!