Do you believe "co-sleeping" is healthy? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 09-22-2011, 12:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Please, could someone explain me why some people believe "co-sleeping" is good or healthy?

Thank you! ;)

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#2 of 15 Old 09-22-2011, 06:16 AM
 
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It's not "good" or "healthy."

 

It's biologically normal.


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#3 of 15 Old 09-22-2011, 06:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger Bean View Post

It's not "good" or "healthy."

 

It's biologically normal.



Yes, this. 

 

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#4 of 15 Old 09-22-2011, 07:08 AM
 
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Try reading "Our Babies, Ourselves" by Meredith Small.

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#5 of 15 Old 09-22-2011, 08:45 AM
 
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Why do you believe it isn't?


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#6 of 15 Old 09-22-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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Hi, KarenGordon! 

 

First of all, welcome to the forums at Mothering!  Have you taken a few moments to read up on what we're all about? Mothering is dedicated to ideals around natural family living, and this includes support for families around issues such as sleep sharing, "extended" breastfeeding, babywearing, choosing not to circumcise, etc. 

 

 

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Mothering advocates natural family living, including the ancient way of being with babies and children that is known today as attachment parenting. This way is reliant on the inherent integrity of children and the inviolate intuition of parents. The family is the dominion of parents and children and authoritative knowledge rests with them. This website is a place to safely explore all the aspects involved in such a parenting philosophy.

 

The MotheringDotCommunity discussion boards serve an online community of parents considering, learning and practicing attachment parenting and natural family living. Our discussions on the boards are about the real world of mothering and are first and foremost, for support and information.

 

And now, to answer your question.  You might have some luck browsing this forum, but a brief (and I do mean brief) summary of why it's a healthy and normal thing to do is because it:

 

  • regulates physiology (breathing, temperature, heart rate)
  • decreased risk of SIDS
  • babies sleep more peacefully
  • long-term emotional health
  • safer than crib sleeping

 

Read more here at Dr. Sears' site; the bibliography at the end is also a great starting point for reading studies about how cosleeping can promote health and happiness. 

 

Beyond that, there are many benefits to families who choose to share sleep.  Here are some places to read more about that:

 

Benefits of Co-Sleeping (PhD in Parenting)

Five Benefits to Co-Sleeping Past Infancy (Natural Parents Network)

The Benefits of Cosleeping (Breastfeeding.com)

 

Give those a read and let us know what you think.  The research really does not only seem to support cosleeping as an equally valid way to sleep (as compared to crib sleeping or sleeping alone), but also supports it as better.  I'm sure the seasoned co-sleepers among us here at FBNP would be happy to discuss it further if you still have questions.

 

Hope this helps.  Again, welcome to Mothering.

 

--To-Fu

Co-moderator of The Family Bed and Nighttime Parenting

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#7 of 15 Old 09-22-2011, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am sorry, I follow the assumption we all want the best for our kids, which pretty much includes good health and welfare. I assumed that most of the parents would want that too, that is why I asked why is it good or healthy, my interest was to understand to know if that has anything to do with the kids well-being. Biologically normal? oh.. ok. Thank you.

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#8 of 15 Old 09-22-2011, 10:17 PM
 
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I speak only for myself, but we have co-slept with my children from birth.  when I talk to my daughter (3.25 years old) about having her own room and bed, she says she doesn't want to.  I see no reason to  force her to sleep alone.  I also agree with all of the posts above.  


SAHM to Chloe«- 6/2008 (10 lbs, 5 oz), Hannah- 9/2010 (9 lbs, 12 oz), Liam- 2/2013 (9 lbs, 6 oz)

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#9 of 15 Old 09-23-2011, 04:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenGordon View Post

I am sorry, I follow the assumption we all want the best for our kids, which pretty much includes good health and welfare. I assumed that most of the parents would want that too, that is why I asked why is it good or healthy, my interest was to understand to know if that has anything to do with the kids well-being. Biologically normal? oh.. ok. Thank you.



Did you see To-Fu's post? It's hard to tell what you are saying.

 

 

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#10 of 15 Old 09-23-2011, 06:03 PM
 
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To answer the original question, I agree with To-Fu's post and those are some of the reasons we co-sleep. Other reasons are more for my benefit, I don't have to get out of bed to feed my LO or check on her during the night. And emotionally, DH and I love that we are all tucked up together each night and wake up together each morning.

 

TBH, if it works for all the people involved I can't think of any *downsides* to co-sleeping.


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#11 of 15 Old 09-23-2011, 06:26 PM
 
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It's healthier because we're biologically wired to co-sleep.

 

Summary of why:

Think of when humans first evolved -- the world was a dangerous place. You would not leave an infant alone in a hut/teepee because of the risks of them being snatched by a predator. Humans evolved to sleep in groups for warmth and safety. That's still wired into our brains.

Human infants regulate their breathing and heart rate with their mother's -- that's why it reduces the incidence of SIDS.

It's healthier for infants because it's much easier to breastfeed every 2 hours like a young infant is wired to do. Infants were thus more likely to gain weight and survive in eras when food supply was not in abundance. Human infants still have that wiring.

It's healthier emotionally because infants have less stress (being left alone to cry is very stressful). Less stress leads to healthier brains as the infant grows. Stress hormones reduce the capacity to learn.

 

But if you read the articles that To-Fu posted you'll get more scientifically worded evidence.

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#12 of 15 Old 09-23-2011, 07:04 PM
 
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OP, you get a lot of strong reactions both ways when you talk about cosleeping (as you're discovering).  I was suprised by this when I was pregnant, because my family of origin coslept and we really never discussed it as a lifestyle choice.  It was socioeconomic -- we had one bedroom which was warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and we all slept in that bed until my brother and I started to feel like independence mattered more than comfort.  Then I went to my breastfeeding preparation class and the lactation consulted 'challenged us' to consider co-sleeping.  I was shocked as the otherwise pretty granola mothers-to-be shook their heads no with looks of disbelief that it had even been suggested!

 

So, back to your question, which I'm going to rephrase as 'is co-sleeping good or healthy'.  The answer is, it depends.  If you or your partner smoke, or have at any point during pregnancy -- no.  If you sleep on a water bed or a soft matress -- no.  Some would say if you are not breastfeeding, you'd be better off keeping the baby in a bastinett nearby.

 

However, if you and your environment meet certain criteria (take a look at Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Cosleeping for a pretty balanced approach), cosleeping can be wonderful for you and your infant.  To-Fu summarized a lot what it helps with.  The Sleeping with your Baby book goes over a lot of the evidence for cosleeping, and also reviews evidence sometimes used to argue against it -- again, it's pretty balanced.  Cosleeping isn't appropriate for every family.

 

Personally, I've found cosleeping with my own infant to be pleasant, especially now that I'm working outside the home.  We have a chance to be connected for more than a few hours every evening.  It also makes breastfeeding a lot easier.  Rather than waking up because my baby is crying over the monitor, going to a nursery down the hall, taking the baby out of the crib, nursing, putting the baby back in the crib (hopefully not waking him up while doing so), then trying to fall back to sleep, as a cosleeping parent I hear my baby start to lip smack and make his little 'I want to nurse' noises long before he reaches the point of full blown crying, roll over and still lying down nurse him back to sleep, don't have to worry about moving him someplace else, then roll over myself (usually still half asleep).  Cosleeping mother-infant dyads nurse a lot more (and a lot more succesfully) than non cosleeping dyads.

 

Anyway, you'll have to figure out what works for your family.  If you're interested in cosleeping, I'd really recommend the book.  You may find that what works at one point in your family doesn't work at other times.

 

Best wishes

Anka


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#13 of 15 Old 09-24-2011, 07:02 PM
 
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I agree with all the previous posters. I choose to co-sleep for the first year old my older son's life, and am co-sleeping with my new baby also.  With my first most of the mainstream info I got went against co-sleeping, the nurses at the hospital were down right bullies about it, but it was what felt right and made the most sense. I also did a bunch of research and found the same scientific info listed above, I was sold.  Do the research and search your heart, use your own logic, the info you find, and what feels right to you as a mother!

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#14 of 15 Old 10-02-2011, 10:39 PM
 
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I cosleep because that is what my kids want. It makes them feel safe and happy and it is easier for me when they wake during the night. It is also good because we've never had issues with bedtime, they have never been afraid of the dark and I can't remember a single nightmare that they've had. I attribute all these things to the fact that sleeping has always been a pleasant experience for them.


It's complicated.
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#15 of 15 Old 10-03-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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Our son is 16 months, and he's a very self-confident and bold little guy. He's quite fearless in his interactions with others (never had separation anxiety...yet), but at the same time very careful and graceful physically ~so although he's bold and fearless in his interactions, he's not rambunctious to the point of constantly endangering himself the way many toddlers are.

 

Why do I say this? Because I attribute some of his boldness and confidence to cosleeping. I know a lot is just personality, but I intuitively feel he is better able to be confident and outgoing during the day because he has the very secure base of sleeping next to mama at night. Cosleeping gives a very real foundation of trust and security. The world is a big scary place for a baby or child (and sometimes for adults, lol!). Sleeping next to the parents is one way we can offer our little ones some security in this crazy world.

 

Not to mention it is one of the sweetest most precious experiences to sleep cuddled up next to a baby!

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