my mother is trying to scare me about cosleeping - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-03-2011, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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My baby is almost 6 months and we've been cosleeping since day 1. I looooove it! He always has his head at same level or higher than me, I don't drink, I'm not obese, I wake easily at any little move he makes (I think), I'm BFing so can't roll onto my boobs anyway cause it hurts! My dh has been sleeping on the couch b/c he gets up early for work, our bed is small, and it just makes things easier right now so no danger there with daddy rolling over. So what's the issue? My mom calls me today and tells me she read an article that 100 babies died from cosleeping last year or this year (can't remember the details), more than died in cribs (hmmm I find that hard to believe). Anyway she's trying to scare me b/c she knows I cosleep and it made me nervous. Not gonna stop, but just wanted to hear from other cosleeping u have good stats on the safety etc that I can share with my mom?? Thanks! smile.gif

Mommy to beauties DS1 (7), DS2 (4, autism), & DS3 (2)

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#2 of 5 Old 08-03-2011, 01:27 PM
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Not that you didn't know this, but co-sleeping is the way much of the world goes to bed. It isn't until pretty recently in human history that some societies feel it's necessary to put babies in separate rooms. And then to put a monitor next to them that you have to listen to and guess at? Sigh. We have had a family bed forever! And my kids are quite well adjusted and secure . . .


Try googling this: Why the CPSC is Wrong about Cosleeping. I remember reading a Dr. Sears (I think) article about that.


And this specifically (I looked again):


SIDS can happen in either place, and just because it's in the FB doesn't mean that it was the FB that caused it. In fact, SIDS is probably prevented most of the time in the FB where it might have happened otherwise.


I just realized that the avatar I chose years ago is appropriate . . . smile.gif

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#3 of 5 Old 08-03-2011, 02:43 PM
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First off, I would ask for this article and ask whether this article sites actual primary sources. I would also take a good careful look the stats if any...and where they came from (and who funded the research).


Here some of these sources are good, some of them not so good (but easily digestible)

When looking for information, it would be best to look globally...I didn't have time to that but mothering does have a publication that looks at bedsharing on a global scale that puts it into prespective quite nicely.

I love you wikapedia (a little dated but I like the article) (I like this one) (I like this one)


another thing to look at is "attachment parenting". I know very little about it to say one clear thing or another...


the best thing to show your mother that you are educated in this matter.

best to start precautions, which are:

  • Should not be under the influence of alcohol and drugs, including medications that affect their sleep. including cough syrup, pain meds, over the counter, you get the idea
  • Should not cosleep if they have sleep disorders.
  • Should not cosleep in a waterbed or with any soft bedding near the baby. Preferably use a queen or king sized mattress.
  • Should not share a sleep space with their baby if they are extremely obese.
  • Should not smoke
  • And I should add, you do need to use some common sense when it comes to things like winter blankets...


like everything else, this does require an adjustment period. How many of these 100 poor families adhered to this list? How many of these families bedshared on a regular basis and thus were better equipped to handle the subtle nuances of bedsharing?


(let me just sneak in real quick...which may or may not be relevant...if you husband aren't sleeping in the same bed, make sure you are doing something together daily...couple time...where you are touching and happy. I have seen several marriages get very stressed when one parent bedshares and other sleeps in another room and they go through a period of...distance...starting at about 9-12months...One of the benefits of cosleeping is EVERYONE is on the same page. This helps the bond with daddy and baby too. My husband and I brought a twin bed into the room for him because he was was having a hard time sleeping and when he was ill or when he had one to many at family events (if you catch my drift) but he doesn't sleep there as often these we are looking to use it to transition our larger one out. But that way, we are all in the room...he says it is ideal to be in the room (he NEVER wanted to he is actually a bigger advocate for the family bed than I)


Here is some US history to give this debate a little bit more in prospective and depth...

a little over a hundred years ago babies were just dying...then they discovered hygiene and not as many babies died. Then, as most things do when it hits mass public, it just went nuts...mothers were told not to touch their babies...NOT SLEEP WITH THEIR BABIES IN THE SAME BED...not pick them up when they cried...culturally we were in a place of nurture to dominate nature. Also keep in mind the social class implications of differentiating from immigrants...doctors that were the product of this zeitgiest, John Watson (freak...funny story) decided no one should touch babies ever as it would lead to emotionally dependent adults (now we know why so many men of the 50's were so cold!). This was also when circumcision took off as a clean thing to do (to prevent masturbation) and this is also when formula took off (as breastfeeding is a disgusting thing that clearly won't benefit a baby as well as a scientific formula will). (actually if you look at cookbook's and women's / wives handbooks for the time you will see this in almost every aspect). Many women embraced this as a way to gain independence and to eradicate disagreeable aspects of beatings and alcoholism. But babies were still dying...sick babies in hospitals that had a chance to make it...just didn't. For some reason...the cute ones had a better chance of survival...then a doctor (whose name escapes me but I should totally know...barlow?) realized the nurses (women) were sneaking in and holding babies and mother's were sneaking in and breastfeeding and caressing babies. But it wasn't until Harry Harlow came around and tortured baby monkeys for about a good 10 years that we realized that touching babies is important.


The reality is that it is taking generations to undo all of this. It gets better with each decade. Lactation consultants are commonplace (unheard of in 1950 when women were discouraged from breastfeeding), we now carry our babies more...attachment parenting isn't a subculture or even trendy but rather becoming commonplace (as seen by the large market of baby carriers available). So too will bedsharing come coming. (more people are admitting that they cosleep, which is key) The APA does currently endorse having the baby sleep in the same room and toddlers are okay to sleep in the bed. As time goes on, they too will come around. (just look how they have come along on breastfeeding!)


I would take the time to remind your mother how she was raised compared to how she decided to raise you and thus the same shift is evident (only more so because of the glory of this here interweb). point out breastfeeding and weaning, when babies are starting solid food, what educational toys are available, parenting resources, circumcision (they take off FAR less foreskin now...mostly just for show), and car seats. Our zeitgiest isn't moving in a direction that makes it difficult for our babies to survive and thrive but rather making many decisions and rearing choices that define our lifestyle choices and does in fact respect the baby as a person with rights and needs. There are MANY ways to raise a healthy baby. We as a generation are making these choices based on who we are, who our babies are, and what our lives look like...not just what some doctor tells us to do.


With that said, for me it's a lifestyle choice that just seems natural and right for us. Like everything it is a risk/benefit ratio. Bedsharing is more benefit then risk. The very idea of having my baby sleep in another room seems very off to me. I know and respect people who do...I just don't think I could sleep. We all sleep so well at night. When sick the cold runs quickly through the house (which is important and less inconvenient then having a cold take a month and a half to two months to get rid of) and I really do believe my children are more confident and fight less because of it.  My husband also knows the sublties of what happens (when they are tired, when teething, sick, restless) which makes him a more confident father even though he only spends a fraction of the time that I do with our kids.


I'm so sorry this is so long...

Power to the babies

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#4 of 5 Old 08-03-2011, 04:21 PM
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One of the unfortunate things about deaths attributed to cosleeping is that they don't differentiate between an intoxicated person who fell asleep with their baby on a water bed with the baby face down and a concious cosleeper who has thought about their decision, is not intoxicated, doesn't smoke, is on a firm mattress, etc.  If you want a good analysis of what data is available on cosleeping, there is an excellent book by Dr. McKenna called something like Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parent's Guide.  He also has an excellent website which if you sift through it has a lot of the same data, but for free... it might give you what you need to argue with your mother but, more importantly, to put your own mind at ease.



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#5 of 5 Old 08-04-2011, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow!!!! What a wealth of information!!!!! smile.gif thank you ladies!! smile.gifsmile.gif I knew I could count on you guys! And mamaprovides, awesome awesome post, thanks a lot, this will help bunches!

Mommy to beauties DS1 (7), DS2 (4, autism), & DS3 (2)

and many angel babies angel1.gif

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