Cosleeping: Fear Mongering, Flawed Research and How to Cosleep Safely

by Birth Without Fear on November 17, 2011

This ad has made quite the uproar!

baby sleeping with knife

Why? It takes a group of people (by zip code) that has a high death rate and instead of looking at the circumstances and the reasons why, they blame cosleeping and make a fear mongering ad that says all cosleeping is as dangerous as baby sleeping with a big rusty butcher knife.

Why not instead make an ad about the Do’s and Dont’s of Cosleeping? Why not make an ad focusing on the circumstances and issues surrounding the deaths in their area?

18% of the parents were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, 68% of the children were directly exposed to second hand smoke.

What they are trying to do with this ad is ‘shock’ those who are their target audience…those who cosleep while on medications, drugs and drinking alcohol. An ad with a baby surrounded by a bottle of beer, cigarettes and prescription bottles would better represent their point. The problem with this ad is it puts into the minds of the public that ALL cosleeping is dangerous and bad. It’s not.

If you would like to petition to remove this ad, you can do so here. Thank you Conscience Parenting.

Cosleeping is not a fad, cribs are.

“Solitary infant sleeping is a principally western practice which is quite young in terms of human history. The practice of training children to sleep alone through the night is approximately two centuries old. Prior to the late 1700s cosleeping was the norm in all societies (Davies, 1995). Today in many cultures the practice of cosleeping continues, with babies seen as natural extensions of their mothers for the first one or two years of life, spending both waking and sleeping hours by her side. Cosleeping is taken for granted in such cultures as best for both babies and mothers, and the western pattern of placing small infants alone in rooms of their own is seen as aberrant (Thevenin, 1987). Comprehensive studies of western nonreactive cosleeping, defined as family cosleeping from birth as a custom, rather than as the result of childhood sleep disturbances, are not yet available. However medical and anthropological evidence suggests the western movement to solitary infant sleeping in the past two centuries may have consequences in the areas of attachment security and physical safety.”

Flawed research and studies would have you believe that our history is wrong and flawed, when in fact it is the opposite that is true.

“One popular research study came out in 1999 from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that showed 515 cases of accidental infant deaths occurred in an adult bed over an 8-year period between 1990 and 1997. That’s about 65 deaths per year. These deaths were not classified as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS),…”

“The conclusion that the researchers drew from this study was that sleeping with an infant in an adult bed is dangerous and should never be done. This sounds like a reasonable conclusion, until you consider the epidemic of SIDS as a whole. During the 8-year period of this study, about 34,000 total cases of SIDS occurred in the U.S. (around 4250 per year). If 65 cases of non-SIDS accidental death occurred each year in a bed, and about 4250 cases of actual SIDS occurred overall each year, then the number of accidental deaths in an adult bed is only 1.5% of the total cases of SIDS.”

The numbers and comparisons of deaths for cosleeping and crib sleeping are not accurate.

“Until a legitimate survey is done to determine how many babies sleep with their parents, and this is factored into the rate of SIDS in a bed versus a crib, it is unwarranted to state that sleeping in a crib is safer than a bed.

If the incidence of SIDS is dramatically higher in crib versus a parent’s bed, and because the cases of accidental smothering and entrapment are only 1.5% of the total SIDS cases, then sleeping with a baby in your bed would be far safer than putting baby in a crib.

The answer is not to tell parents they shouldn’t sleep with their baby, but rather to educate them on how to sleep with their infants safely.”

How to Cosleep Safely:

-Take precautions to keep baby from rolling out of the bed.

-Place baby next to mom, not inbetween mother and father.

-Have baby sleep on his/her back.

-Use a large bed.

-If you want baby to be sleeping near you, but not in your bed, a bedside co-sleeper is a safe option.

-Do not cosleep if you are under the influence of drugs (legal or not) any amount of alcohol, you are very obese, you suffer from sleep apnea, exhausted from sleep deprivation, are not the baby’s mother, father or caregiver. Also, be careful cosleeping on a couch (that is too coushiny) or no water beds.

-Do not let siblings cosleep directly next to baby until baby is at least 9 months old.

-Keep strings, plastic, and chemicals away from baby.

-Use common sense.

There are so many benefits to cosleeping. It is natural and normal and helps establish a good breastfeeding relationship.

“In Japan where co-sleeping and breastfeeding (in the absence of maternal smoking) is the cultural norm, rates of the sudden infant death syndrome are the lowest in the world. For breastfeeding mothers, bedsharing makes breastfeeding much easier to manage and practically doubles the amount of breastfeeding sessions while permitting both mothers and infants to spend more time asleep. The increased exposure to mother’s antibodies which comes with more frequent nighttime breastfeeding can potentially, per any given infant, reduce infant illness. And because co-sleeping in the form of bedsharing makes breastfeeding easier for mothers, it encourages them to breastfeed for a greater number of months, according to Dr. Helen Ball’s studies at the University of Durham, therein potentially reducing the mothers chances of breast cancer. Indeed, the benefits of cosleeping helps explain why simply telling parents never to sleep with baby is like suggesting that nobody should eat fats and sugars since excessive fats and sugars lead to obesity and/or death from heart disease, diabetes or cancer.”

Not only is cosleeping NOT as dangerous as your baby sleeping with a knife, but in cultures where it is the norm, infant mortality rates are the lowest.

“…Irrepressible (ancient) neurologically-based infant responses to maternal smells, movements and touch altogether reduce infant crying while positively regulating infant breathing, body temperature, absorption of calories, stress hormone levels, immune status, and oxygenation. In short, and as mentioned above, cosleeping (whether on the same surface or not) facilitates positive clinical changes including more infant sleep and seems to make, well, babies happy. In other words, unless practiced dangerously, sleeping next to mother is good for infants. The reason why it occurs is because… it is supposed to.”

That is right…cosleeping isn’t done to be hip or hippy, but because it’s supposed to be.

Thank you to all the BWF Mamas for emailing your cosleeping pictures to us for this and future posts!

Other Resources

http://www.visi.com/~jlb/thesis/cosleep.html

http://cosleeping.nd.edu/articles-and-presentations/articles-and-essays/

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep-problems/sids-latest-research-how-sleeping-your-baby-safe

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep-problems/sleep-safety/safe-co-sleeping-habits

http://neuroanthropology.net/2008/12/21/cosleeping-and-biological-imperatives-why-human-babies-do-not-and-should-not-sleep-alone/

 

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Mikel-An K November 17, 2011 at 9:44 am

I LOVE these adorable little pictures! i wish i had some gooood ones of Zander and i…. you hit the nail on the head :)

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Daja November 17, 2011 at 9:54 am

EXCELLENT!!!!

I blogged about co-sleeping last night, too. That Milwaukee ad totally chaps my booty!

http://gombojavfamily.blogspot.com/2011/11/nighttime-parenting.html

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Sarah November 17, 2011 at 10:17 am

GREAT post. Love love love all the pictures!

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Amanda Wooten November 17, 2011 at 11:57 am

Seriously!?! I’m a firm believer in educating yourself about any subject. I cant believe this type of prejudice misinformation is being advertised. Not everyone has access to educational materials & this ad is FAR from being a CORRECT educational piece of information. I signed the petition to have it removed even though I don’t even live near this state!

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Cattrina November 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Omgosh thank you! And the pictures were beautiful!

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Crystal - Prenatal Coach November 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Those ads are infuriating!!!

Love the co-sleeping pictures!

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Liz November 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm

These ads are really upsetting and I was engaged in an internet conversation with one of the committee members that worked on this campaign this week. She wasn’t apparently even aware that smoking could be a factor that would cause higher instance of deaths. Nor was she aware that formula feeding would cause a higher instance of deaths. According to this report: http://www.phdinparenting.com/2010/05/05/fox-news-video-on-bed-sharing/#.TsOgJj2Vov
75% percent of the cases from 2009 and some of 2010 included a family member who smoked.
100% of the infants in the cases were formula fed.
She also inferred that information regarding co-sleeping in favorable light was not that of evidence based or peer reviewed research.

Frustrating on many many levels.

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Mrs. BWF November 17, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Wow. Thank you for that info!

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Bethany November 21, 2011 at 10:04 am

^ditto :)

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Ashley November 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm

If there is something positive that can come out of the baby-sleeping-with-a-knife ads, its that mothers might be more inclined to research co-sleeping and find out that it CAN be both safe and benefitial. That’s what happened to me. I had always been told co-sleeping was dangerous, so I hadn’t ever considered trying it. But since these ads came out and caused so much controversy, I’ve started researching the pros and cons of sleepsharing… and now I’m shopping for a co-sleeper bed. :)

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Brittanie Pierce November 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Thank you for this informational article. We have enjoyed bedsharing with our infant, and now with our child. I believe that parents need to know what is safe, and what is not. I agree that we need to focus on education, not making fear campaigns in regards to bedsharing. It can be safe, if you know what to do. :)

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Elise November 17, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Most of the instructions seem like common sense to me, but I’m confused by the one about not putting baby between mother and father. Can someone tell me why it’s not safe to have baby sleeping between mom and dad?

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Mrs. BWF November 17, 2011 at 6:46 pm

If you click on the link to Dr. Sears it explains more as to why. It’s not a must, but a recommendation.

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Shereen April 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I admit our kids sleep between us and it’s not been a problem. Hubs is pretty aware of baby and he is the one who goes up and sleeps with our toddler when he has a rough night.

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Kelly June 14, 2012 at 8:57 am

I used to place my babies between my husband and myself until one morning I woke up being kicked by my 4 month old. My husband was on top of her from the waste up. He had absolutely no idea what was going on when I beat the living tar out of him to make him get off of her. He just sleeps too hard and can roll on top of me in his sleep!! It really scares me to think that just as few as 30 more seconds could have been the difference between life and death!

He is much more aware when a baby is in our bed now, but I do not risk it anymore.

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michelle November 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Awesome post! Thank you for a well written, well researched blog post on cosleeping.

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Lynell Trochesset November 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm

The sad reality is Americans spend more time researching cars, phones, and shoes then they do the information they have been given by their doctors. I am amazed at how many women blindly go along with what they have been told. If you don’t know your options you don’t have any. I am so thankful that I was brought up to question authority and do my own research!

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Christina November 17, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Wow! So true! Sooooo true!

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Bethany November 21, 2011 at 10:06 am

Amen!!

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Erin November 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Great article. These ads are about as bad as the ones a year or so ago where the headboard of the bed was a tombstone… just sick. I think I’m going to link to this post on my blog. That co-sleeping is not only safe but also normal and beneficial needs to be spread far and wide!

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Amy November 17, 2011 at 10:32 pm

This is what we’re doing this time around: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/turn-your-crib-into-cosleeper.html

I don’t think I can sleep at night unless we have the extra space – we’ve set up our ‘cosleeper crib’ and it looks amazing.

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Bethany November 21, 2011 at 10:10 am

With my 2 older kids I had a bassinet that would convert to a cosleeper and I LOVED it. They would end up in before with me once hubby left for work and it was great. Unfortunately after my 2nd I got rid of it thinking I was done having kids. Lol baby #3 is due in Jan and I will be looking into the crib cosleeper option u posted about. Thnx

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Guggie Daly November 18, 2011 at 12:59 am

I read some comments from people digging around and it seems this campaign is heavily funded/promoted by Graco? Anyone have info on that? Also, if you donate to the campaign, the money goes to Graco? Can we say huge conflict of interest?

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Bethany November 21, 2011 at 10:12 am

wow. I could see how its possible. Don’t know about it 1st I’ve heard but could see it happening.

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kimberly lam November 18, 2011 at 8:27 am

thank you for this article. great sources and stats.

i also blogged about this marketing campaign on my little, unpublished blog. ;) i just used the two sources that i had here at home and readily available.

it is incredible (and helpful) how many websites, books, etc. there are regarding safe co-sleeping. i hope that this (nasty) marketing campaign somehow encourages parents to look for credible sources to base their decisions on instead of blindly following the ridiculous scare tactics of the seemingly uneducated.

i’m sure that the heart of milwaukee is in the right place, they just need to sort out the details before making inaccurate claims.

http://themakingofawomanandamother.blogspot.com/

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Jennifer November 18, 2011 at 10:14 pm

HOORAY!!

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Jennifer November 18, 2011 at 10:17 pm

hooray!! About time someone wrote this!! Thank you so much. I have coslept with all 4 of mine. People look at you like it’s some kind of disease sometimes, hopefully stories like this one will open some very shut minds!!

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Cristin November 20, 2011 at 8:54 am

THANK YOU for writing this! What a well-written and informative post!!! I co-slept w/my first 2 daughters (now 7 and 4 yrs), and actually still do. We’re adding a 3rd child who I will also co-sleep with. (Another bed will be added to our room for the big kids.) I never “planned” to co-sleep with my babies/children. It just came naturally to me. I breastfed and co-sleeping just worked. I was horrified when I saw the ad. That’s not at ALL what co-sleeping is like! Of course, if you add drugs/alcohol/smoking to the mix, co-sleeping probably isn’t best. I have to agree with promoting SAFE co-sleeping instead of fearing parents into not co-sleeping at all.

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Ayelet November 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I co-sleep b/c it’s right for us. Me and my 4 siblings slept in my parents’ bed till I (the oldest) was over 12 – well at that point I had to bunk on the floor for lack of space – but still needed that closeness!
in our community in NJ where we lived until 3 yrs ago, the general opinion was “you must be nuts!” but here in our community in northern Israel, I have been asked by several neighbors and friends, “so you have him in your bed, right?” as if to say that there’s really no other way! love it!

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Melissa Haynie November 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

We have co-slept with both of our children. At four and two they are still in our bed and we have a family bed. I truly believe that co-sleeping is why my breastfeeding relationship with my littles has been so successful. At 29 months my youngest still nurses at least once at night and I am so happy that we have been able to offer her all of the health benefits for so long. For us it simply is the most natural choice. My children are wonderfully well adjusted. It allows us to have the same closeness at night as we do during the day only better because it is ALL about snuggling and cuddling. People think that we are crazy, but my kids love it, and so do my husband and I.

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ceti November 22, 2011 at 12:47 am

So they are basically comparing mothers to a butcher’s knife? What kind of sadistic person would make such an ad.

I also hate the term “co-sleep” when really it’s just sleeping. It’s the separation into a prison/crib that is new, although for training to live in this crazy alienating society, it might have a point.

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Chelsea November 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I just had a conversation about this today. See I strongly believe that when your child is sleeping beside you, you KNOW they’re there. But I also agree that the children that are in most danger of co-sleeping is when the parent is intoxicated. See I have twin boys. Named Gage and Zander. They’re 5 months old and they LOVE to sleep with Mommy. They feel the most comfortable when they’re laying beside me.

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Dr Sarah December 10, 2011 at 6:24 am

Hmmmm. I’m not wild about Dr Sears’ recommendations – he doesn’t mention at all that smokers shouldn’t bedshare, even though several studies have clearly shown that being in bed with a smoking parent greatly increases the risk of bedsharing. And he advises pushing the bed flush against the wall – as James McKenna points out, this can actually increase risk because the mattress may shift with time and leave a gap just big enough for the baby’s head to get caught in, and it’s so easy for tired parents to forget to check each night.

The best leaflet on bedsharing that I know of is the UNICEF BabyFriendly leaflet – http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Baby_Friendly/Leaflets/caringatnight_web.pdf. Very good, thorough information about risk factors, weighing up the risks, and how to bedshare as safely as possible (and when it’s not a good idea to do so at all).

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Heather Philipp December 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Thank you! More education! Down with scare tactics which don’t help our families AT ALL! I also offered some safety tips and video from Dr. McKenna on our blog – all we can do is get the word out as clearly and as compassionately as possible. http://www.bobafamily.com/blog/2011/12/27/how-to-co-sleep-safely-and-that-terrible-milwaukee-ad

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Brook January 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Not just moms,
My wife could not sleep with our baby. The first night home he slept on my chest. My wife (now ex) is not a very good sleeper anyway. She had an emergency C-section that was kind of brutal and took a long time to heal. She also had to go back to her career very soon after our son was born. I am sensitive but I am also all male. I am proud that we are responsible co-parents and especially happy to be able to spend so much time with my young son. It is, by far, the best thing that has happened to me. I really feel sorry for those who can’t focus on the Natural Beauty of raising a child. And, of course, they should sleep with you.

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Amber January 21, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I agree with what this post is trying to say and co-sleep with my daughter regularly (she sleeps in a crib right next to my bed most of the time but ends up in my bed sometimes)

But one little thing bugged me about this quote:

“If the incidence of SIDS is dramatically higher in crib versus a parent’s bed, and because the cases of accidental smothering and entrapment are only 1.5% of the total SIDS cases, then sleeping with a baby in your bed would be far safer than putting baby in a crib.”

There’s no way accidental smothering and entrapment could ever be considered 1.5% of SIDS cases. Because smothering and entrapment are smothering and entrapment. They are explained reasons for infant death. SIDS is defined as infant death that is sudden and UNEXPLAINED. SIDS is not suffocation via blankets, or entrapment, or falling off a bed, or entrapment, or any of that. It is the heart just stopping in the baby’s sleep. Inexplicably. There are some theories that have even tried to explain it as a form of sleep apnea in infants. Most adults start breathing after they stop breathing in their sleep (sleep apnea) but underdeveloped babies often aren’t able to do so. And certain factors like sleeping on a soft surface or being in a particularly deep sleep or lying prone, etc., make it even more difficult for them to start up their own breathing again. This is just a theory, I’m getting slightly off topic. What I wanted to say is: SIDS and suffocation, two entirely different things.

What I wanted to know while reading that is: the “515 cases of accidental infant deaths occurr(ing) in an adult bed over an 8-year period (that) were not classified as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS),…” Were they not classified because they were all cases of suffocation or entrapment or smothering as is later mentioned and not SIDS (in which case they SHOULDN’T have been classified as SIDS)? Were there deaths that occurred in a parents’ bed that WERE classified as SIDS and thus categorized with the SIDS data and not the co-sleeping data that may have just focused on smothering, entrapment etc. type deaths? And were all deaths that took place in a crib automatically classified as SIDS or were there smothering, entrapment, etc. cases that took place in cribs? And if so, Were the smothering, entrapment, etc. cases significantly fewer in cribs than in co-sleeping situations?

It just seems like if any of the answers to the above questions is “yes,” then a WHOLE lot more data is needed before we jump to the opposite conclusion that co-sleeping is safer than crib sleeping.

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Lindsey January 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm

I have a question about co-sleeping. I have always loved the idea of co-sleeping, and we did it with our third but it wasn’t normal co-sleeping like I see in those pictures. I was just so uncomfortable all the time. My arms would fall asleep and I would wake up with my neck and back just aching. My husband is a bigger guy, but I wouldn’t say morbidly obese or anything. It was just really hard for us to fit into bed together – comfortably – and not being scared to crush our son as my husband rolled over in a sleepy stupor. I would therefore sleep with my son in my arms, hence the soreness the next morning. We ended up with just me sleeping in bed with our son and my husband sleeping out on the couch for about the first 3-4 months. When he turned about 4 months old I moved him into his crib and he’s been sleeping soundly ever since. How do you all do it? How is there room? How do you get sleep and not wake up all sore?

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Invi June 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm

I think may have something to do with how you were holding the baby, or how you were laying. I sleep holding my seven-week old son, on a couch. We don’t have a proper bed and I wouldn’t dare sleep with him on our air mattress. Usually he lays on his side, across my body (down around my waist), with his head resting on my arm. He has easy access to breast this way. Other times he lays on his back in the crook of my arm. This hasn’t yet been uncomfortable for me, but he is only twelve pounds right now.

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Lisa January 31, 2012 at 8:12 pm

THANK YOU!!!

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canoehead March 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I am with you, positive about cosleeping, glad to have babies with their families, BUT..

I work in the ER and was present when a 6week old infant came in, having died after Dad rolled over on him. Everyone involved, EMTs nurses, and absolutely his parents were devastated. Based on the parents’ history and what they shared with me about the events leading up to the pregnancy, this baby almost saved their lives. And that night they lost him. They did nothing wrong, just fell asleep, but what a huge loss.

Please, anyone planning on cosleeping, remember that tragedies do happen. Love your babies, and know that if you’re exhausted, or have had a drink, it’s not a sin. You’ve got to let yourself relax once in a while, but have a spot ready for the baby just in case cosleeping isn’t the right choice for that night.

It’s been five years, and I still remember that still, sweet face. Please pass this on to your friends, and maybe avoid another horrible night like that one.

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V.S. June 14, 2012 at 12:17 am

“Today in many cultures the practice of cosleeping continues, with babies seen as natural extensions of their mothers for the first one or two years of life, spending both waking and sleeping hours by her side”

This is exactly how I feel, it isn’t until at least 18-24 months before I start to really think of my baby as a seperate person who needs their own space, before then I view them as a piece of me, who stays with me nearly constantly.

And the 2nd picture in this blog, the baby looks so blissfully happy! No way you can convince me that he would be safer & happier alone in a crib, rather in his mothers arms.

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V.S. June 14, 2012 at 12:48 am

Lindsey, regarding space, I have a california king bed. I sleep in the middle, and I can sprawl out and not touch my husband on one side or my 21 month old on the other. I could easily fit another baby/toddler too. But my son also doesn’t move much in his sleep. He does like to touch me, so even if I go to sleep without anyone touching me, I’ll wake up with him snuggled next to me (and that’s fine with me!) but he doesn’t move much in his sleep so he has never bothered me yet. I’m barely comfortable with just my husband in a queen bed, so that would definitely be an issue if that’s what we had. But the cal king is great, takes up about 75% of the room, but well worth it!

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Heather-lee June 14, 2012 at 12:56 am

I grew up in a village situation in Papua New Guinea and the women there are horrified when they learn that a baby is put to sleep all alone separated from it’s mother. They believe it is cruel, and I agree really. Might I add that I have never heard of any child being harmed by co-sleeping in 45 years, and although babies do die of illnesses, ‘cot death’ is non-existant. Women in that culture are not at all suprised that babies die when left to sleep alone. Don’t get all defensive with me on this – I’m just sharing the facts and the beliefs of another cultural group of mothers.

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Melissa July 15, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Thank you for commenting. I really love hearing about views from other cultures!

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butterfly June 14, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I have coslept with all 8 of mine. our almost 3yo and 1yo (both boys)are still in bed with us and we are trying to get them to sleep in their own bed, that is right next to ours. They do about half the night and sometimes all night. We are just trying to get them out cause I am due with #9 at the end of August, so we need alittle more space on the bed. (they dont make beds bigger than a king.) :~) Cosleeping has been the best thing that we could have done with sleeping arrangements. Anything else wouls have been weird. ;~)

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Peace Arch Doula June 14, 2012 at 9:54 pm

What a wonderful article – thank you. So much evidence FOR co-sleeping, and a refreshing reminder that co-sleeping is actually the norm, not crib sleeping. Thanks!

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single moma August 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Co-sleeping kept my nursling fed and helped me get a decent nights sleep…for over 2 years. I think experts are afraid to tell you its “safer” if you do “xxxx”…for fear of being sued, if something still goes wrong! But…tips to consider, do not co-sleep in the same bed with anyone else, except the Mother! Dads are not nearly as in-tune with a baby as a nursing mom. re Babysitters – don’t even tell them you co-sleep. You don’t want a sitter sleeping with your baby, even with good intentions, like copying Mom. Cases of sitters rolling & crushing a baby have happened! Use a Queen or King Firm mattress, and put it on the floor (Yes, you can get rid of the frame, for now!) until baby is a toddler. This can alleviate fears of entrapment between bed and wall, and if there is a fall to the floor (rare!), it’s not more than 6 – 12 inches. Use the rigid foam style pillows with a flat back on them as means building a wall to keep baby in the bed. Standard / feather pillows are puffy and slide around. A co-sleeper style bassinet is a great idea, if you want Dad and mom together! They attach to the bed, on moms side of course! If you are uncomfortable, try something else…minor adjustments can make a big difference – sleep on your back or sleep on your side, and put a small decor semi-flat pillow between your knees…it gets in the way when you rollover! If you really don’t like it, and it does not help you relax, then put the baby in a bassinet or crib, within the same room! Everyone in the house has to be comfortable and get their rest – at least most nights!

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Chantel December 21, 2012 at 11:18 am

For the people that have shared stories about how co-sleeping has taken children’s lives, I have one that shows how it can save lives. When a child is in bed with mommy, the mother is aware of everything going on with their child. I am a light sleeper and any changes wake me up. I did not choose to co-sleep because I liked the style or am a hippy. I am actually pretty conservative. I co-sleep because the moment my baby was born, he was mine. The thought of leaving him alone just wasn’t an option. I love the feel of him snuggled up warm against me. He either sleeps on his back or now on his side spoon style. Mommy is always on my side with my arm wrapped around him. There is no way I could roll on him without breaking my arm. Daddy can’troll on him without being on me. So, for the story. My son was about 2 months old. As soon as he was born our cats were no longer allowed in our bedroom. My husband had checked the room and cleared it of cats when we went to bed. In the middle of the night I awoke to my son furiously kicking me. He wasn’t making a sound. I quickly realized our cat had curled up on his face and upper body. I scruffed the cat and removed him quickly. If my son hadn’t been sleeping in my arms, he would be dead. Even if he had been in a bassinet next to me I wouldn’t have woken because he made no sound. I believe co-sleeping is the safest option. I don’t believe that a baby’s heart will just stop. I think something happens to children in cribs. When mothers put their children far away from them on the other side of the house, how can they protect them? They won’t even know if the child is in danger. Cribs are unnatural.

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Heather November 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Pardon my question but how do you transition to their own room or own bed if you co-sleep? This was mine and my husbands main question although we fully support and coslept while our son was much younger. He’s now almost two and I would have loved to have coslept in past but this stopped me from continuing although it broke my heart because I preferred that closeness for us both.

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First time mom November 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I’m not going to argue with the safety of co-sleeping. For the most part, it is quite safe and moms do have that instinct to protect and not roll on top of their baby. I have an 11wk old and I do admit that I’ve had him in bed with me a few times. I know I would never roll on top of him – I’m always very aware. My argument is this: the bed is where the majority of a married couple’s connecting time happens. This is where they usually talk about their day, their feelings, they physically connect (sexually and otherwise), and are finally able to have some alone time. When the baby is brought into bed – that couple is robbed of an important time of day to maintain their relationship. For those of you that do co-sleep, I know I won’t convince you to put your baby in their crib, but I do ask this of you…. please make sure you are taking part of every day to focus on your partner without your child interfering. The divorce rate in our world is disgusting and I can guarantee that many of those divorces were brought on by moms who were obsessed with their children and forgot about their husband. A happy marriage makes for happy children – not the other way around.

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Mrs. BWF November 19, 2013 at 10:46 pm

I highly doubt the divorce rate is higher due to cosleeping. :)

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bettymunroe November 20, 2013 at 12:00 am

On the contrary, I believe that co-sleeping has strengthened our relationship. We both get to wake up to our boy’s beautiful face and share a stronger bond together. we still have alone time elsewhere, and obviously have sex elsewhere. For us beds are for sleeping and snuggling. Companionship is strengthened by spending time elsewhere for us.

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Second time mom November 20, 2013 at 2:34 am

Hahaha, if you think sex only happens in bed at night, you’d blush at what happens in my house. Beds are for sleeping.

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jenn November 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Great article, thank you.

Must point out that another good practice for safe co-sleeping is not sharing the same duvet/blankets, let baby have their own with enough room to wriggle away if too warm (last picture is a larger,older infant and I wish to clarify new-borns ought not to sleep under duvets)

sincerely,

J green rm

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Ivey Offermann November 19, 2013 at 4:15 pm

That Milwaukee stuff is a load of diaper dooty!
My son and I have successfully coslept for 7 months and counting!
His crib was a waste of money! He hates it and is even scared of it.
He refuses to sleep unless he can reach over and feel or touch me!
Babies are smart, and it’s only natural that both Mom and baby would want to be as close as possible!

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Gretchen Kubal November 20, 2013 at 10:42 pm

I coslept all four kids, now they are all grown up, I miss it! Have to settle for my dog cosleeping. I yeac ob and peds nursing and have to teach that cosleeping is a risk factor for SIDS, however; I preface that with it is safe in most cases with nonimpaired mother’s, nonsmokers. Baby on back to sleep, and be mindful of pillows. I felt it made my children feel very secure

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