I am not so quiet about co-sleeping with my DD. I tend to mention it within the first minute or so of talking to another mom. I don't exactly mean to. It is a strange compulsive type of sharing. Upon reflection, I realize I am seeking out others who co-sleep because I feel that this practice is out of the ordinary. Or, maybe sometimes I feel like I am doing it all wrong. I want support, validation. Consequently, most other moms that I talk to do not co-sleep. My sense of being negatively judged varies, but overall, the subject seems to be a conversation stopper. A typical response is, "Oh, I could never do that. I need my sleep at night." It is a loaded response filled with assumptions. My own mother, as supportive as she is, told me I was making a "terrible mistake".
The other people that I know who co-sleep do talk about it, but usually with each other. Or online.
Sleeping comes up in all parenting circles. My guess would be that mothers who co-sleep and avoid talking about it do so because they are afraid that they will be negatively judged, or they already have been. For many people, co-sleeping is synonymous with passive parenting, sleeplessness, and increased health risks, even though these concerns are a misinformed. I just read a great article about this in the Huffington Post titled, "Moving Beyond a Biomedical View of Co-sleeping".
Alienation from groups is a very real risk parents face when selecting one body of knowledge over the other. Should they practice cultural traditions, such as co-sleeping, medical and public health officials admonish them as bad or uneducated parents.
Anyway, talking about it, reaching out to other moms, no matter how many times it doesn't go anywhere, is very important. When I was a brand newby mama, my instinct was to co-sleep, but my research left me unsure. I was lucky enough to have a neighbor who co-slept with her two dds. She had a wonderful experience with it and they both transitioned into their own room when they were ready. (She surprised her oldest with a bunk bed for her 5th b-day and both girls wanted to sleep in it from then on. She wasn't expecting the young one (3 yo) to make that choice, but she did.) Because I brought it up, I heard her story and felt much more at ease about my choice.