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the sep/oct pg mamas were just talking about family bed i thought i would post some of the stuff i read recently for our local api chapter. much of this is paraphrased from "good nights" by jay gordon...<br><br><br>
* Myth - “You’ll squash your baby” Reality - In May of 2002, the Consumer Products Safety Commission and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association reported that, between 1999 and 2001 at least 180 children under the age of two have died after being placed in adult beds (roughly 60 per year). 98% were children under the age of one year. This number includes deaths attributed to: entrapment between bed and wall or other object, suffocation due to soft bedding, falls, and overlaying (by an adult or other child). The total for overlaying was 58 (or less than 20 per year). When overlaying is considered, factors such as alcohol or drug use by an adult were not included in the data.<br><br>
Between 1983 and 1994, between 61,882 infants under the age of 12 months died from SIDS (roughly 4,000 to 5,600 per year) (Centers for Disease Control). Of all SIDS deaths, over 90% occur in cribs. In addition, 35 additional deaths are attributed to “crib hazards such as suffocation in bedding or entrapment between rails” (Consumer Products Safety Commission).<br><br>
Taken at face value, these numbers would indicate that, at the very least, there are 180 times more SIDS related crib deaths, than there are deaths from overlaying in an adult bed.<br><br>
* Myth “I’ll never get any sleep” - Reality - While co-sleeping does not work for everyone, studies have shown that mothers either get the same amount or even MORE sleep during co-sleeping than when an infant is placed in a crib. This is due to the duration of wakefulness as compared to the frequency of wakefulness. (“Maternal Sleep and Arousals During Bedsharing with Infants." Sleep . Vol. 20, No. 2 (1997): 142-150.)<br><br>
* Myth “We won’t ever be able to have sex.” - Reality - “Family bed or no, having sex after kids isn’t really a problem—finding time for sex is. In fact, many cosleeping parents, like us, have found that family bedding just makes your sex life more inventive. If the kids are in the family bed, well, that means they aren’t in the living room, bathroom, kitchen, guest bedroom, hallway, on top of the fridge... you get the idea. When you family bed, you have to use your imagination to sustain your sex life.” (“A Foot in Your Face, or Ten Other Reasons to Family Bed” Mothering. Issue 98, January/February 2000 by Joylyn Fowler)<br><br>
* Myth “We’ll never be able to get our child out of our bed.” - Reality - In a talk with the National Press Club, well known pediatrician T. Barry Brazelton, discussed this very issue. He asked a colleague from Japan, where co-sleeping is the social norm, how co-sleeping worked in his family. When he was very young, he shared his parents bed. When a younger sibling was born, he moved out of his parents bed. “Where did you sleep then?” “With my grandmother.” “And how long did you sleep there?” “Until I was a teenager and wanted privacy in order to masturbate.” Brazelton then joked that surely, you child WILL eventually leave your bed. Seriously though, children will give cues as to whether they are ready for their own space. It is not black or white. Your child may nurse down in your bed, but sleep well the rest of the night in a crib. As your child gets older, s/he may want their own bed, but still want to move into your bed in the early morning for cuddles. Stay flexible.<br><br>
* Myth “I have to wean my child because I can’t take all this night nursing!” - Reality - You can night wean and still maintain a family bed. While this might not be for everyone, it is a great alternative to either crib or full weaning, Dr. Jay Gordon has developed a system for night weaning while still maintaining the family bed. He does not advocate that his method be used for children under 12 months of age. More information can be found on his website: <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br>
* Myth “This will spoil my child. He won’t learn to sleep on his own or be independent” - Reality - A cross-sectional study of middle class English children showed that amongst the children who "never" slept in their parents bed there was a trend to be harder to control, less happy, exhibit a greater number of tantrums. Moreover, it was found that those children who never were permitted to bed-share were actually more fearful than children who always slept in their parents bed, for all of the night (Heron P. Nonreactive CO-sleeping and Child Behavior: Getting a Good Night's Sleep All Night Every Night. Masters Thesis, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom, 1994)<br><br>
* Myth “We’re the only family we know who co-sleeps.” - Reality - Many people co-sleep...they just don’t admit it. If you child starts the night in a crib, but ends up in your bed, does that mean you aren’t co-sleeping?
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