Thursday, May 26, 2011

Co-Sleeping vs. Bed Sharing

In the United States, Co-Sleeping gets a really bad wrap.  If you happen to co-sleep and lose a baby to SIDS, the autopsy cause of death will read "SIDS while Co-sleeping" even though most studies show that co-sleeping lessens the risk of SIDS.

We are a co-sleeping household.  Which does not mean we are a bed sharing household.  With Kaitlyn, we did bed share.  It was just so easy.  And comfy.  And cozy.  With Matthew, we co-slept with a bassinet.  With Samantha we co-sleep with a co-sleeper.  Sometimes in the wee hours of the morning, when she is hungry, won't sleep and I'm tired, we bed share while she nurses.

There have been many studies done in regards to babies and their sleeping habits.  When babies in Britain went through sleep training and slept alone, their stress hormones increased.  Other studies have shown that babies who are comforted through the night grow up to be more independent (but then, I would argue how can we be sure that isn't just the kid's personality?) and confident.

The United States has the lowest instance of co-sleeping, yet one of the highest instances of infant mortality.  In China, where co-sleeping is the norm, there are so few SIDS cases that it isn't even discussed.  In the UK, there are fewer than 500 SIDS cases a year, and they co-sleep on the norm.

I wish co-sleeping wasn't considered so taboo.  I wish co-sleeping wasn't always put into the same category as bed sharing.  I wish in America we could learn that what works for one family doesn't work for another, and just because one doesn't feel that co-sleeping is good for their family wouldn't knock it for another.  And I do wish that those who practice co-sleeping make sure they are practicing safe co-sleeping.  

1 comment:

ASHLEY ELDER said...

I Co-Sleep as well and I think it has nothing to do with SIDS either way. I think it is great bonding in the early months.