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Pema's Father 01-09-2014 05:51 PM

Dear Mother Community,


I was a very active poster and reader about ten to eleven years ago. Our dd is now almost 11 and in 5th grade at a Waldorf School here in Seattle. She is one of the healthiest children I know - bright, intelligent, outgoing, athletic, emotionally balanced (with a bit of spice and fire at times). She has fluency in Chinese and English (speaking, writing, and reading), and is also studying Japanese and Spanish, playing violin.


Background - we attempted a home breech birth but ended up in the hospital with a cesarean. (Mom is doing fine). Our midwife was strung up on the medical cross and forced to leave the country (despite our being in the Dept. of Health court for 5 days testifying in her defense).


We practiced attachment parenting, infant wearing, co-sleeping, breast feeding until age three, diaper free toileting, and no vaccinations, no TV - some movies, and we have no plan to buy her a cell phone or a computer anytime soon - though she does use the computer to watch Chinese movies and order books from the public library. She uses a Kindle Paperwhite (no internet connectivity) - so we aren't complete luddites.


Still, I am gravely concerned about my daughter's future based on threats to the ecosystem...but perhaps I'll save that for another post. Now to my question:


I am taking a Developmental Psychology class and read that SIDS is linked with co-sleeping. I remember reading about this when I researched co-sleeping, but thought that the more complete story was that the co-sleeping link was only statistically relevant when other factors were present such as obesity, alcoholism and drug use in parents, cigarette smoking, etc. Did I miss something? I do remember that Mothering ran articles encouraging co-sleeping.


Thanks for the reality check and good to be back!:joy:bouncy dust.gif

cynthia mosher 01-13-2014 11:04 AM

29 Attachment(s)

Hi Pema's Father! I'm moving your post to the Family Bed and Nighttime Parenting forum where it wil get more input. :thumb

EnviroBecca 01-31-2014 10:33 AM

I remember you!  I'm glad to hear your daughter is doing so well.


I'm surprised nobody has responded to your question.  There are lots of resources in the articles section of this site.  Here are some good ones:

Cosleeping is Twice as Safe

Index of Nighttime Parenting Resources

Asiago 01-31-2014 11:26 AM

I was going to mention James McKenna of University Notre Dame
Though it may be included in the link above.
Best wishes Pema's Father!

Good Enough Mum 02-01-2014 03:13 AM

Yes. Newer studies have factored infant age in as a risk factor, and have shown that, for younger babies, there is a generally increased risk even after allowing for factors like smoking, bedding, etc. I wrote a (longish) summary of the research a year or so back, at


The risk is much higher if anyone in the bed is a smoker; if other young children are in the bed; on a waterbed or sofa; and with premature/low birthweight babies. Absent those risks, you're looking at a low overall risk, so I think it's a case of weighing up the pros and cons rather than being firmly anti-bedsharing (if you have a baby who just won't settle in a cot, bedsharing may be less risky than becoming so tired you fall asleep on the sofa with your baby) and being careful about safety precautions if you do bedshare (the UNICEF leaflet on bedsharing gives a good summary of precautions). But, yes, there's a slight risk there.

Good Enough Mum 02-01-2014 03:38 AM

Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post

Cosleeping is Twice as Safe



That article actually refers to suffocation risk, not SIDS risk, which is what the OP was asking about.


(Also, there's a big flaw in Kimmel's analysis: it simply isn't possible to get remotely accurate figures on bedsharing deaths from the dataset she uses, because the biggest group of bed-related suffocation deaths, the 'Other beds/bedding' group, doesn't have data on what proportion were bedsharing deaths. Kimmel points out quite correctly that we can't use that group to make calculations about suffocation risk in bedsharing and thus leaves them out of the calculations; but the problem is that, since we're missing data on such a big proportion on the deaths, we just can't use that dataset to make any accurate calculations on the risk of bedsharing death. If some of that group actually were bedsharing, that could be enough to push the figures the other way. So, without knowing what proportion of the 'Other beds/bedding' group were bedsharing deaths, we can't use that dataset to say anything about relative suffocation risks. I tried to leave a comment pointing out this error, but for some reason it didn't seem possible to leave comments.)

EnviroBecca 02-01-2014 06:03 AM

Good points! I had wondered about the large size of that "other" category. I work for a research study, and we have a policy of asking for description of any "other" response and then checking them to see if they can be recoded into one of the existing categoried or if there are enough similar ones to make a new category. That would have been a good idea in this data set. I have seen death certificates in my work, and at least in my state they have room for details.

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