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#91 of 106 Old 08-19-2004, 01:58 PM
 
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Well, I'm sorry to see the thread get sidetracked to a debate about whether a bassinet/cosleeper attachment is the same as cosleeping. While I don't think anybody meant to be hurtful, I agree with LizD that we should be supporting each other, not creating more divisions. And really, if you want to get technical about it...McKenna never said just how far away a baby had to be from it's mother to reap the benefits of symbiotic breathing, sleep, etc...a baby in a bassinet right at mum's head level may be close enough to get that stimulation. All I can say is what I've said all along: if baby is happy there, then go for it. None of the mamas here said they'd keep a crying baby in the bassinett if baby wanted to be in the bed.

I also think this thread has served as a peice of supportive testimony to my question of "what makes a mother unable to cosleep". We've heard from three people with severe sleep issues that predated baby. Trying to lump such mothers into the catgory of those who "want baby to be independent" and thus stick them down the hall is analogous to lumping a mastectomy patient in with those who feed formula out of convenience. I think it goes without saying here that people with sleep/depression issues, or babies with special needs, are not included in the category that I think the OP was addressing: those who put baby down the hall as a matter of default.

Snowbaby, I appreciated the humour with which you are conducting yourself. I hope this comes across without sounding patronizing (it's so hard to convey tone in text!). The arguments you have raised are all "old hat" so to speak, in the sense that they are generally asked by those who have not done the research into AP. I know you have just begun your journey, and I don't expect you to be familiar with all the literatue. And I can't refute all your points without writing three pages (and LMB did a good job of it anyways). I can just tell you that you are misinformed, or should I say "underinformed" right now. Just one example is the study you cited of smothering deaths/accidental deaths in cosleeping infants. That study was not only terribly designed, not to mention sponsored by the JPMA (crib manufacturers), but it has been refuted by several of the world's leading experts on SIDS and infant sleep. If you can get your hands on a copy of Mothering's special Cosleeping issue, you will find the rebuttals there. Suffice to say that study is not worth the paper it's written on.

The anthropological data is also quite clear. Meredith Small's book "Our Babies, Our Selves" does a nice job of summarizing this. The truth is, that it's an American belief that those who don't use cribs and separate rooms are merely victims of poverty. Honestly, this is the sort of elitest garbage that makes me embarrassed to be part of the Developed World sometimes! 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.

As does history. If you research the origin of cribs, they stem from a very Victorian-era notion of bodies being full of harmful "vapours", of discomfort with anything remotely sexual, and warped ideas of a child's place in the home. It had nothing at all to do with child safety, I assure you.

Finally, an understanding of evolutionary behaviour is necessary to appreciate the difference between being adaptive, and changes in fundamental aspects of physiology. The latter take hundreds of thousands of years to change. Babies are born into this world expecting the Stone Age. They may be able to adapt, but only so far. Again there are some wonderful books out there that go into this in much more detail.

I can tell you as a scientist myself who has carefully reviewed the literature, that the safety of cosleeping is more than anecdotal. The evidence is very clear, society is just slow to catch up with changes in attitude. I applaud your openness to being here and learning about AP, and I applaud the way in which you have conducted yourself in this thread. But do understand that AP is very science-based. While some here naturally fall into it b/c they are "on the crunchy side", others (like myself) are convinced by the evidence that is readily available. We'll be happy to direct you to that literature, but be ready to change your mind about the "jury being out".

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#92 of 106 Old 08-19-2004, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Holly, You are exactly right. Your going to be a super mom and are already a great example of AP and openmindedness.

Piglet, You make a great point. We've all learned alot about why different mothers choose what place is right for their baby to sleep comfortably and safely.
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#93 of 106 Old 08-19-2004, 02:13 PM
 
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oh my gosh, piglet. I know I keep repeating myself but you are truly my inspiration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
Snowbaby, I appreciated the humour with which you are conducting yourself. I hope this comes across without sounding patronizing (it's so hard to convey tone in text!). The arguments you have raised are all "old hat" so to speak, in the sense that they are generally asked by those who have not done the research into AP. I know you have just begun your journey, and I don't expect you to be familiar with all the literatue. And I can't refute all your points without writing three pages (and LMB did a good job of it anyways). I can just tell you that you are misinformed, or should I say "underinformed" right now. Just one example is the study you cited of smothering deaths/accidental deaths in cosleeping infants. That study was not only terribly designed, not to mention sponsored by the JPMA (crib manufacturers), but it has been refuted by several of the world's leading experts on SIDS and infant sleep. If you can get your hands on a copy of Mothering's special Cosleeping issue, you will find the rebuttals there. Suffice to say that study is not worth the paper it's written on.
thank you for pointing this out. This is what I tried to say, before, hopefully with success.

Quote:
The anthropological data is also quite clear. Meredith Small's book "Our Babies, Our Selves" does a nice job of summarizing this. The truth is, that it's an American belief that those who don't use cribs and separate rooms are merely victims of poverty. Honestly, this is the sort of elitest garbage that makes me embarrassed to be part of the Developed World sometimes! 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.
Just for a little example.. my father belongs to the "elite" where he lives (our country chile) when I was born, my parents had nannies, maids and a cook. my mother still chose to coslept. it seemed cruel and cold to leave a newborn baby in another room. babies were the center of the universe!

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Finally, an understanding of evolutionary behaviour is necessary to appreciate the difference between being adaptive, and changes in fundamental aspects of physiology. The latter take hundreds of thousands of years to change. Babies are born into this world expecting the Stone Age. They may be able to adapt, but only so far. Again there are some wonderful books out there that go into this in much more detail.
this is a very important point. babies still are conceived the old fashioned way. the sperm still implants like millions of years ago, gestation is the one thing, that man has not been able to imitate. so yes, babies expect a tiger when they are born. they also expect arms, love, breasts. and they certainly don't expect being in a dark room all alone.


Quote:
I can tell you as a scientist myself who has carefully reviewed the literature, that the safety of cosleeping is more than anecdotal. The evidence is very clear, society is just slow to catch up with changes in attitude. I applaud your openness to being here and learning about AP, and I applaud the way in which you have conducted yourself in this thread. But do understand that AP is very science-based. While some here naturally fall into it b/c they are "on the crunchy side", others (like myself) are convinced by the evidence that is readily available. We'll be happy to direct you to that literature, but be ready to change your mind about the "jury being out".
HAIL TO THE QUEEN!!!!
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#94 of 106 Old 08-19-2004, 04:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
this is the only country where there are the MOST families that "cannot cosleep. coincidentally, in this country, there are the MOST women that have too many difficulties breastfeeding and cannot overcome those difficulties. in other countries, people have no pumps, no breastfeeding books, no LC's to call, nothing. and yet, they are incredibly succesful at breastfeeding. This is why I am not being understood. .
I also wanted to point out that we are the nation with the most "sleep disorder clinics".
So for all our "expert knowledge" on where babies should sleep and how babies should fall asleep once they get there, we have a heck of a lot of people with sleep disorders.
Maybe we aren't as smart as we think we are.
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#95 of 106 Old 08-19-2004, 04:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by grnbn76
I also wanted to point out that we are the nation with the most "sleep disorder clinics".
So for all our "expert knowledge" on where babies should sleep and how babies should fall asleep once they get there, we have a heck of a lot of people with sleep disorders.
Maybe we aren't as smart as we think we are.
I have always tried to say this but I get criticised for criticizing the US. I am also 50% american and being very objective, and being abroad pretty much all over, I think I can safely say, the US is the country that thinks it knows it all, but the country that truly knows less. Just my thoughts on the above statement.
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#96 of 106 Old 08-19-2004, 05:12 PM
 
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In fairness to Americans (and Canadians aren't that much better ) it is tough not to have blinders on when you live in a huge country with very little variation around you. In Europe, people are surrounded in close range by different countries with long-established, distinct cultures, as well as language. I think it's a bit easier to see the "big picture" when you are exposed to it more. America is so huge, and most people never get exposed to any other culture. I agree, we can be very myopic in our views, but I don't think it's because we are inherently ignorant. Its just tougher being isolated the way we are.

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#97 of 106 Old 08-19-2004, 05:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
I have always tried to say this but I get criticised for criticizing the US. I am also 50% american and being very objective, and being abroad pretty much all over, I think I can safely say, the US is the country that thinks it knows it all, but the country that truly knows less. Just my thoughts on the above statement.

LMB's - DH & I TOTALLY AGREE & we're Americans.
The US has turned into a bunch of whiney know-it-all bullies.
We HATE it.

DH & I seek out other views. I'm only 2nd generation full- American.

Folks need to be open to all kinds of info.

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#98 of 106 Old 08-19-2004, 05:50 PM
 
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I have a rather simple question that I never see addressed.

Many of you talk about how much the baby needs mama next to him/her at all times during sleep to be safe, happy, well-adjusted, etc.

And then you go on to talk about how you get your "alone time," "couple time" etc in after the baby has been put down for the night, alone, in your bed.

How is your bed anything but a crib without bars (and consequently, a slightly more dangerous crib--my DD rolls like crazy in her sleep these days) while mama and dada are out having margaritas on the balcony, I wonder? Who is keeping your baby from succumbing to SIDS during this time? Please explain.

My DD goes to bed at 7. I go to bed around 11 or 12. Even if we coslept (we used to but she is now in a crib) she would be alone for 4 or 5 hours between 7-12, and would only have me with her for 5-6 hours.

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#99 of 106 Old 08-19-2004, 05:57 PM
 
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The US has turned into a bunch of whiney know-it-all bullies. We HATE it. DH & I seek out other views. I'm only 2nd generation full- American. Folks need to be open to all kinds of info.

You mean "open" as in the way people on this thread need to be open to the possibility that cosleeping is not "best" for everyone and that every family gets to decide what is best for them, and that crib-sleeping can be best for some families. Open like that, you mean?

I agree.

I don't hate the US. I think there are many good things about it and many bad things about it, just like everywhere else in the world. The current American self-hatred disturbs me. For those of you have traveled, then you will know that there is plenty about other countries/ cultures that suck! Just like plenty here sucks. And there are many places in the world where you would get killed for voicing your opinion and that women are still men's slaves, etc. etc. etc. so let's not make us out to be the worst of the worst. We're doing okay overall and, let's not forget that, twice in the last century, the Europeans were killing each other in all-out war .... so much for their cross-cultural utopia.

ohhh, but we're soooo far off topic
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#100 of 106 Old 08-19-2004, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not very well traveled to say the least. I'm not sure about the way all countries and culture raise their kids and I never will. What's important to remember is that we don't have to do the things that mainstream USA does. We have the right and ability to raise our kids however we see best to a great extent. We have the internet and access to more knowledge than previous generations. We get to make educated choices that will better serve our kids. Yes, it's up to us to use those resources but they are out there for most Americans. Sadly alot of them don't care enough read up. There are alot of countries and cultures that don't have those advantages. Lots of places where women don't have the right to anything, let alone educated decisions in child rearing. Yes, that's all debatable and nothing is perfect here for sure. I still wish that AP ways were mainstream here and WIC handed out LC and pumps first and didn't give people the option of formula. I can't see that happening in my lifetime but you know things have come a long way since we were babies. Hell, my mother was told NOT to breastfeed in the 70's and 80's.
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#101 of 106 Old 08-19-2004, 07:36 PM
 
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Right now, I sleep best with baby in bed with me and dh in his own room. I wake a lot more fully when dh is with us; I am aware of his wakefulness too. He sleeps best like this too and I don't think it's a mutation, or something wrong with anyone if they prefer to be alone, or the result of some selfish culture (which could also be considered the culture that has raised the standard of individuality and self-will to new heights, though it might have gone astray). Even when we've shared a bed, dh and I have had separate blankets for years. I don't know how anyone could share a blanket at this point, but I don't think it's a comment on my attachment to dh or baby. We don't have any sleep disorders, either.

I don't much care where anyone else's baby sleeps. My point about dogma is you can get so locked into these labels and gradations you become unwilling to try anything, because it's "not AP," or "not natural," for instance. It seems for some to become a badge of honor or AP-correctness to be able to say, "we cosleep." Then for that person a bassinette next to the bed is not cosleeping bc it takes away from what they want people to know, etc etc. It doesn't make sense to me to argue about these things. The facts should be known, and an informed decision made by each family and truly respected by everyone else. Not lip service respect while thinking "oh, that's dreadful," underneath, which we all need to learn to stop doing.
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#102 of 106 Old 08-19-2004, 09:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
I have a rather simple question that I never see addressed.

Many of you talk about how much the baby needs mama next to him/her at all times during sleep to be safe, happy, well-adjusted, etc.

And then you go on to talk about how you get your "alone time," "couple time" etc in after the baby has been put down for the night, alone, in your bed.

How is your bed anything but a crib without bars (and consequently, a slightly more dangerous crib--my DD rolls like crazy in her sleep these days) while mama and dada are out having margaritas on the balcony, I wonder? Who is keeping your baby from succumbing to SIDS during this time? Please explain.

My DD goes to bed at 7. I go to bed around 11 or 12. Even if we coslept (we used to but she is now in a crib) she would be alone for 4 or 5 hours between 7-12, and would only have me with her for 5-6 hours.
ok, well I think I was not clear enough when I posted about leaving ds in our bed while we have alone time. right now, for example, ds is asleep, and in our family bed. I am in the computer, right next to him (our computer is in our room)
Dh is making dinner, so after I am done here, I will take my ds with me to the leaving room. if dh and I want to be alone, meaning, not holding ds in my arms like I do about 20 hours out of 24, we will put him on a special little mattress we have that we put on the floor. it's very small and comfy. we could use a crib, I suppose, but I'm not comfortable with that. so yes, we may be on the balcony, and ds is right next to me on his handmade wool matress.
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#103 of 106 Old 08-19-2004, 09:59 PM
 
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oh and loraxc, ds goes to bed around 10, and we go to bed around 11. so that's one hour of sleep not physically in my arms. I feel comfortable with that because he is right next to me at all times. we have a baby monitor and have never used it because of this.
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#104 of 106 Old 08-19-2004, 10:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by my~hearts~light
I'm not very well traveled to say the least. I'm not sure about the way all countries and culture raise their kids and I never will. What's important to remember is that we don't have to do the things that mainstream USA does. We have the right and ability to raise our kids however we see best to a great extent. We have the internet and access to more knowledge than previous generations. We get to make educated choices that will better serve our kids. Yes, it's up to us to use those resources but they are out there for most Americans. Sadly alot of them don't care enough read up. There are alot of countries and cultures that don't have those advantages. Lots of places where women don't have the right to anything, let alone educated decisions in child rearing. Yes, that's all debatable and nothing is perfect here for sure. I still wish that AP ways were mainstream here and WIC handed out LC and pumps first and didn't give people the option of formula. I can't see that happening in my lifetime but you know things have come a long way since we were babies. Hell, my mother was told NOT to breastfeed in the 70's and 80's.
yes, it was much worse, but that doesn't make it ok. it was culturally shocking, to say the least, when I moved here (right now I live in PA) and it's not just about information. when you know things first-hand, it comes so natural to you that it's harder to find it hard (I don't know if I'm explaining myself ok) anyway, when it's something you were born and raised with, it's much easier to do it as a mother. I wish things changed here and I am sure for your children, cosleeping and breastfeeding will be something you just do. because you are raising them to feel comfortable with that. you can read a lot but that won't give you 100% what first hand experience does. so yes, we have come a long way, in this country, what bothers me the most, is that everyone is raised here to believe "we are the best" "we have the AAP and the best research in the world" "we are so powerful" and yet, until you actually go out into the world you look back and say "no, you know what, these people know nothing of how things should be, everything is artificial and mass-produced, there is no trust in nature, men trying to break into people's bodies and recreate them almost like reprogramming them" it's sad. so, if people didn't claim to know it all, I would have no problem. it's a whole separate subject and I will be happy to discuss it further in another thread if you wish.
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#105 of 106 Old 08-20-2004, 02:25 PM
 
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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."

Quote:
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?
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#106 of 106 Old 08-20-2004, 04:34 PM
 
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Snowbaby, I'm starting to really like you!

You are an academic, and a mama after my own heart!

Okay, when I get a chance, I'll write that 3-page reply.

However, I wanted to say ITA with you when you wrote this:

Quote:
mothers respond to their infants differently based on the sociocultural, ecological and economic needs of the family and the mandates of the society.
I'm afraid I haven't read the link you gave (I'm off to a meeting in 1 minute) but this quote reminded me of my latest much-enjoyed book: Mother Nature by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy. She discusses this at some length. I bet you would love the book! It's way cool!

Also wanted to reply to lorax (very good question btw!). I was being shorthanded. My DD is 2 years old, and I have felt comfortable having her sleeping without me there for a brief time before I go to bed since she was about 13 months old. I would never leave an infant alone, for the reasons you describe. It would be no different than a crib (to me). Luckily, my DD was a "late to bed" baby so we usually went to bed together. But when she napped or slept early (or I just wasn't ready for bed), I was right by her side. She either slept on the sofa next to me, or I surfed the computer next to her in bed, etc...hope that answers the question!

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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