Friday, July 22, 2011

Co-Sleeping Study

The attachment parenting internet is all abuzz with a new study done in the US that says that co-sleeping is not harmful, nor is it helpful to toddlers. (Before that, co-sleeping was demonized by some and lauded  by others- this is the first study that cites ambivalence as its outcome.

I am pro-co-sleeping. While it may not work for every family, I feel that when done- it builds a secure attachment between parent(s) and child- demonstarting (especially to a pre-verbal child) that their needs will be met and they are safe, even when unconscious. I wrote this blog post about my top reasons to co-sleep earlier this year. If you think about it, what other mammal on earth does not sleep nestled in with their offspring? It is the natural way to go.

While the study cites no compelling reason to co-sleep or not to co-sleep, I believe it was the best choice for my son. What do you think? Did or do you co-sleep? Why or why not?


  1. I would be afraid to co sleep because both my husband and I are normally heavy sleepers, and we would be afraid that we would roll onto the baby.

    However, we plan on having our child sleep in the same room as us, right next to our bed, in their crib. Mainly because I believe that its best for babies to be with their parents. I would love to co sleep but I don't think it would be safe in our situation, so we are going to aim for something very close to it!

  2. I coslept with my daughter, and it's the best decision that I could have made, because I would have lost her at 4 months old to reflux. I woke up because she had been sick, and she hadn't and was choking. I wouldn't have heard her if she had been in a cot or moses basket, because before I started to cosleep I was an extremely hard sleeper. But because we shared, I started waking at the slightest drop of a pin.

    We also babywore until a couple of months before her 3rd birthday. She's 3 1/2, and we have an amazing bond that most people are shocked to see. I have a well-mannered 3 year old that, other than our off days, I don't really have to raise my voice to. Yes, she was late with her speech, but she essentially skipped a stage, because she had spent all that time watching and learning.

    As for cosleeping, she 'slept through' from the start, because neither of us had to wake up for her to feed. I didn't have the sleepless nights. She decided when we moved into this house when she was 17 months old that she was ready for her own space, and still slept with no issues, going straight into an adult single bed. The only time that she joins me now is if she's ill, or if she wakes up in the morning before I do.

  3. I did with both my kids. I enjoyed the extra snuggle-time, plus I breastfed. It made feeding times easier. I used to fall asleep with my daughter feeding, her head on my arm. I dont really like the idea of the father sleeping alone with a baby, though...just for safety reasons. I dont think they are as in tune with the baby. I constantly had/have my kid alarm on. I wake up to the slightest peep. My fiance told me when he slept with his first son, he awoke to find the baby on the floor next to the bed. SCARY!

  4. I absolutely did! Do? My eldest wouldn't have been able to sleep any other way. My mom bought me a crib, but we used it for laundry. My younger one would have slept fine anywhere, but of course I always wanted her with me. Now they're six and three and I woke up with one on either side today. They squished their daddy out of bed, but it was time for him to get up anyway. :)

    It's so sad to see babies brought up otherwise, knowing the kind of lifelong issues forcible separation can bring.

  5. I have heard lots about this! I do not have a baby yet... but I would be worried that I would squish that baby...

    have you heard of the cosleepers that snuggle up next to you bed??

  6. Before I actually did it, I was also worried of squishing the baby. But you know what? I cannot imagine how that would be possible. I was a very sound sleeper, as is my partner. You automatically become lighter sleepers as parents. And babies cry at the drop of a hat. If you rolled on top of a baby, they would cry.

    I had one of those co-sleepers that hitches to your bed and placed Rowan in it all of one night. He preferred to be snuggled as close to me as possible. It is instinctual- we are animals after all. Think mama bunny and her kits and you will know what I mean.

  7. We snuggled with our kids all the time and had "sleep overs" in our room, but we had to limit it to one kid at a time or we wouldn't all fit. But my son is 8 and still every now and then he asks to snuggle with us in our room. Since isn't so small anymore, we let him know that as soon as he falls asleep, he goes on the floor and he agrees. He sets up his floor bed and enjoys snuggling with us. We usually watch the Animal Planet channel til he falls asleep. My husband and I both have a very good relationship with our son. My girls used to bunk with me often when they were little, during a time when my husband and I had some difficult times. I never really slept with them very often when they were babies though, I was too afraid they would fall off the bed or get squished.

  8. I plan to buy a co-sleeper bassinet for our baby coming in January. I'm so nervous about accidentally rolling onto the baby, that I feel the bassinet is the best option for us. My husband, who co-slept his first two kids with his first wife, said you just know where they are at and don't roll onto them. Seeing as this is my first, I am fine spending the money on the co-sleeper so I feel good/safe about it. :) I think co-sleeping is the best thing for babies, since as you said they need to know they are safe while sleeping. Being next to you does that. The study you linked to is about toddlers, so maybe once they are old enough to start communicating some there are less advantages of co-sleeping. But if it does no harm and everyone is happy, I say go for it!


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