Wow, we really got sidetracked!! I'm gonna bring us back to the topic at hand.
[Edited to add], piglet68
: sweeping each of the points in my previous thread under the category of "misinformed" rather than addressing them seems like a bit of an easy way out to me (no offense
) ... I'd be more than happy to read those "three pages" if you can/ want to write them and pm them.
You are right that I have just begun my journey into AP and I'm finding many, many valuable things in some of the philosophies and approaches that are promoted by this parenting style. I am proud to say that I just ordered my first "for dummys" cloth diapering package (thanks to bluedragonflymama, on another thread who guided me through the process!) and am eagerly awaiting to see if it works for us. I'm also waiting for a copy of Our Babies, Ourselves to become available at our local library. So I, by no means can claim to be an AP expert or know all of the AP research. However, I think I know a little bit about something (unless my ph.d. in psychology and child development is a sham!! ok, ok so i'm still finishing my dissertation and can't claim to have officially finished the degree
Regarding the study of infant deaths while cosleeping, you are right that it was a poor study. I know that current research is showing cosleeping to be fairly safe (which is contrary to what has been advocated for years) as long as certain measures are taken (no smoking or drinking by parents, adequate bed and linen, etc.). I quoted the study only as a response to someone's statement that it is NOT possible for them to smother their child in their bed...no matter how faulty the study, the data does show that it IS possible for injury to come to a child in its parents' bed. I was not meaning to suggest that cosleeping is unsafe for everyone.
Regarding the "elitist assumption" that those who don't use cribs are poor. You are right that there are certainly socioeconomic factors and attitudes affecting this cosleeping issue. In many cultures, in fact, using a crib is seen as a status symbol and many don't get them because they can't afford them. This is not elitism, it is reality. However, I fully acknowledge that in just as many other cultures, cosleeping is the norm and has nothing to do with being able to afford a crib or not. It also appears that in a minority of circles (especially in the U.S.) cosleeping is used by some as some sort of symbol of their "trendiness."
|Mothers in many cultures around the world are positively shocked and disgusted at how readily North American women abandon their babies and ignore their cries. A global perspective really sheds light on this issue.
If you read this article http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...58/ai_63692736
you will find that a global perspective shows us that all over the world, mothers respond to their infants differently based on the sociocultural, ecological and economic needs of the family and the mandates of the society. Ultimately, our jobs as parents are to prepare our children to function optimally within the environment in which they will be adults. Therefore, we cannot claim to know what is "best" for an infant/child unless we take into account his/her ecological, sociocultural world. This constant criticism of American mothers pushing for independence gets old if we consider that, independence is one of the factors that helps adults success in THIS environment. And if we're going to bash american mothers for "ignoring" their infants' cries, let's talk about Ngandu parents! I also have to respectfully disagree that American mothers "ignore" their infants cries, by the way ... I believe most mothers in this country are quite attentive. Yes, there was a time when mothers were given advice to let their babies cry for lung development or so they are not spoiled (each culture has stupid ideas about what is good for a baby) but I can bet you most women secretly rushed to their babies anyway even if they told their pediatricians otherwise (just like nowadays many, if not most, put their infants in their beds for some period of time but don't admit it and certainly don't claim to "cosleep").
Regarding the science in the AP literature that suggests cosleeping is best, natural, right, etc and that crib sleeping is damaging somehow and reflective of bad or ignorant/ naive parenting, so far what I've got from this thread is this:
1) cosleeping (contrary to popular belief and some faulty studies) IS safe.
I believe you! I truly believe that the safety of cosleeping is not just anecdotal but that, in fact, in most homes it is quite safe. However, I believe that not all homes and parents' beds are safe and since the "AP inspectors" haven't been put in place yet to determine each home's cosleeping safety level, we'll just have to trust those parents who say "I don't think it's safe to have my kid in my bed because of x, y, z and, therefore, we don't cosleep" and not question their decision. Because I don't believe crib sleeping is bad, I also think parents who put their kids in there WITHOUT any reason are also to be respected. No one needs to justify it in the end (even if many of us on this thread have!).
2) cosleeping is best, natural, right, instinctual, etc. because
it's what most societies around the world (or the majority of people in X country) do and have done throughout history.
Most societies around the world believe women to be inferior to men and have shaped many of their behaviors based on that premise. So, as you can see, just because its common or just because the majority does it or believes it, it doesn't make it the right thing or the natural thing or the best thing! There ARE benefits to cosleeping, of course, but my argument is just to say that so are there benefits to crib-sleeping (or that, in the LEAST, it is NOT damaging to a child and, therefore, shouldn't be so maligned by AP'ers).
As I asked before .... where is the science showing that adults who coslept as children are doing that much better than adults who slept in cribs as children. No one has answered that question.loving-my-babies
suggested that the evidence is in the incidence of sleep disorders in America. Okay, so what would you say if I told you that there is very high rate of cosleeping and breastfeeding in Mozambique but that there is also a very high rate of infant mortality. Should we conclude then that cosleeping and breastfeeding are contributing to infant mortality? No, of course not! Two things being present in high numbers within a culture does not mean that they are connected/ associated. That is faulty science! Much of Americans' sleep problems have been associated with our work ethic and capitalistic drive that has led us to create increasingly long work schedules that require we sleep less and less. Of course, that is just one theory and other factors have been looked at. And you may be right that crib sleeping and later sleep disorders are linked ... but, again, where's the evidence?