5 Benefits to co-sleeping past infancy

Katherine - posted on 01/19/2011 ( 98 moms have responded )

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Cosleeping, also known as “sharing sleep” or having a “family bed,” is a parenting practice that still smacks of taboo in our Western culture. But recent scientific studies are building a much stronger argument for the benefits of sharing sleep with our children.1 Yet even with the scientific support and the changing cultural perception of cosleeping, the subject is typically constrained to parents of infants.

It is still socially taboo to admit that you share sleep with toddlers or older children, but research shows that the taboo is unfounded. Children who cosleep are generally more independent and secure, develop close and lasting bonds to their families, and report more happiness and general life satisfaction than children who sleep alone. There are many reasons that sharing sleep with your children is healthy and beneficial even after they’ve started walking, but below are five of the best reasons.

Five Reasons to Continue Cosleeping Past Infancy
1.Cosleeping Can Further Both Trust and Independence
One common argument against cosleeping is that it will create children who are more dependent on parents than children who sleep alone, or that cosleeping children will never learn to sleep alone. “But this is like saying that by putting a baby in diapers, she’ll be in diapers throughout her life, or that by using a stroller or carrying her, she’ll never learn to walk.”2

As a matter of fact, the opposite is actually true: children who shared sleep with their parents are actually more independent than their solo sleeping peers. Recent research has shown:

*Solitary sleepers have actually been found to be more dependent on their parents than co-sleepers.

*Co-sleeping boys ages three and older were shown to have no greater difficulty separating from one or both parents than solitary sleeping boys. (In this study, girls were not observed for this trait.)

*The majority of family bed graduates consider themselves more independent than their peers.3
And why shouldn’t cosleepers be more independent?! They learned from infancy that they could trust their caregivers to quickly respond to their needs, no matter what time of day or night it was. “You are not encouraging dependency when you sleep with your baby. You are responding to a need and teaching your child about trust.”4 “Children, given time to learn to trust those around them, and thus learn that their own feelings and needs are legitimate, will develop a true, enduring sense of independence.”5


Melissa of Simple Whimsy and her family snoozing peacefully.
2.Parents Are the Ultimate Security Blankets
The image of a child sucking his thumb or carrying around a treasured blanket or teddy is a very familiar one in our culture. Search the internet and you’ll find all kinds of advice columns and articles on how to transition children away from these practices. But research has revealed something very interesting: children who cosleep do not need replacement security figures. Children feel more secure as a result of being close to their caregivers.

“When a child routinely goes to sleep in the presence of an adult, or with an adult holding her, it’s extremely rare to find thumb sucking or attachment to security objects.” In a study of children ages one to seven years old who all sucked their thumbs, 96% of them “had been left alone to fall asleep as infants. In stark contrast, there were no thumb suckers among a large group of children who had physical contact with an adult while falling asleep.” In a different study of children between three and five years old, researchers found “that solitary sleepers were far more likely to use a security object than co-sleepers. The researchers concluded that children use security objects as substitutes for nighttime human touch.”6

Our culture emphasizes the desirability of teaching children to self-soothe, and parents are encouraged to introduce security objects to help in this process. But in the dark of the night, why not allow a child to experience the love and comfort of a parent? If we teach our children to rely on things for comfort, what effect will this have on them later in life during times of stress? Shouldn’t we be encouraging them to reach out to people?

3.Cosleeping Can Have Positive Effects on Self-Esteem and Family Closeness
As Dr. Sears says, welcoming children into the family bed sends incredible “I care” messages. It says “you are special to us, day and night.”7 A little one welcomed into the family bed receives “countless hours more tender snuggles, and more affection than if she were left alone to sleep. If she wakes up at night, all she has to do is see you or reach out and touch you to feel the world is safe and right.”8

And parents who fall asleep and/or wake up next to their children know how sweet it can be in those sleepy twilight hours. With everyone relaxed and cuddled up, children feel peaceful and ready to share their thoughts and stories, things that you might never hear during the hustle and bustle of daily life. “[Y]ou can get to know a family bed child on a level you might not otherwise. In the words of Thomas Anders, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, and director of the school’s infant and family sleep laboratory: ‘Co-sleeping encourages family closeness.’” These sentiments have been reinforced by research: the “vast majority” of both family bed graduates and their parents report that they are incredibly close to their families.9

4.Children Who Cosleep May Be Easier to Get Along With and Better Adjusted Than Their Solo Sleeping Peers
Psychologists in years past theorized that children in family beds were maladjusted, insecure, needy, and that their parents were languishing in bad marriages. Recent research blows the old theories out of the water. Here is a sample of what we’ve learned:

*Children who never slept in their parents’ beds were harder to control, less happy, had more tantrums, handled stress less well, and were more fearful than routinely co-sleeping children.

*Co-sleepers showed a feeling of general satisfaction with life.

*Children who didn’t co-sleep end up getting more professional help with emotional and behavioral problems than co-sleepers.

*Boys who slept in the family bed had increased self-esteem and less guilt and anxiety. Girls had more comfort with physical contact and affection.

*Children who had co-slept felt they weren’t as prone to peer pressure as others their age.10
Psychologists have long agreed “that children who have responsive, sensitive, accessible parents are much more likely to be happier later in life. It should come as no surprise, then, that children whose parents are there for them day and night turn out so well.”11

5.Everyone Sleeps Better
As long as cosleeping works for you12 and your child, why change it? If you can get past learning to nurse while sleeping and wild toddler sleeping arrangements,13 continuing to share sleep with your little one may help your whole family sleep better into your child’s preschool years and beyond.

And when I say that everyone sleeps better, I really mean it. Scientific studies have shown that a family who sleeps together actually enters the different stages of sleep together almost simultaneously. Dr. Jay Gordon shared a beautiful illustration about the science behind this concept in his book, Good Nights: The Happy Parent’s Guide to the Family Bed (and a Peaceful Night’s Sleep!)14:

Science is finally beginning to discover what babies have known all along: Babies are designed to sleep with their parents. And parents are designed to sleep with their babies.
At the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, anthropologist James McKenna, Ph.D., watches an intimate dance unfold. It’s a dance in which there’s no leader, no follower, and yet almost seamless choreography.
A mother and father sleep with their baby between them in a large bed in the laboratory’s comfortable bedroom. It’s similar to the way they sleep at home, only with infrared video cameras monitoring their sleep stages, zooming in on every roll of an eyeball, every twitch of muscle, all night long.
All is quiet and still, except for the rapidly moving, closed eyes of the baby, mother, and father. They’re all dreaming at the same time. Moments later they enter a stage of light sleep together: The mother stirs, awakens for just a moment, and drifts back to sleep, moving her head a little to the left, her arm to the right. The baby stirs, moves her head to the left, her arm to the right. Then the father follows with the same pattern. McKenna, director of the lab, smiles broadly and nods his head.
“It’s incredible watching these sequences unfold,” says McKenna, acclaimed as the father of this type of sleep research and the world’s foremost authority on the biological basis of cosleeping. “The synchronization that happens when parents sleep beside their baby is remarkable.”
Similar experiments in England find the same dance with family bedders. But place the baby in another room, and it’s like putting a wall between a pair of ballroom dancers. Everyone reverts to their own rhythms, their sleep cycles coinciding only by chance.15
http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/five-be...

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Katherine - posted on 01/20/2011

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I love co-sleeping, it's just so natural. I did it with bith of my girls and my LO still sleeps with me.

Amber - posted on 01/20/2011

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i think co-sleeping rocks. but i'm sooooooooo crunchy :P LOL my son slept in my bed more often than not in his first two years of life, but it was just me & him, no man in the picture :) so we had tons of space. we both slept better when he was with me, i look back now and wonder why i ever felt this need to have him in another bed or room even. i guess society just pushes that on you. the no comfort object thing is so right too, my son never had a blankie or soother or thumb sucking, i never had to take anything away from him. the transition to his wn 'big boy bed' at two and a half years -ish was pretty simple, too. he was old enough at that age to actually understand why he can no longer sleep in mommys bed [mostly because i had a man in there at that time, finally :P]. i think before that age he was just too little to understand why i didn't want him near me at night. so yeah, i think co-sleeping is awesome and i can't wait to do it with the baby on the way, my hubby has already resigned himself to sleeping on the couch for a few months :D he's awesome. now i just have to convince my mom that i'm not going to squash the baby in my sleep!

Sherri - posted on 01/20/2011

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Tara I definitely wouldn't say it is better. It simply is whatever works for your family. Cosleeping is fine, just as putting them in their own rooms is fine. Neither one is better than the other, simply put it is whatever gives the family peace of mind and a proper nights sleep.

Minnie - posted on 01/20/2011

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It helps to know that there aren't any documented cases of infant death due to a -safe- cosleeping situation. All of those situations you cited, Mandy, were when the parents weren't cosleeping safely. Note the gaps, the excessive bedding, situations where parents roll on a baby are parents who are either obese or are on alcohol or drugs- and these findings typically include cosleeping on couches with young infants- that's not safe either.



For me I couldn't imagine -not- bedsharing. I'm a mammal. No other mammal sleeps apart from its young. I'm a mammal, and therefore I breastfeed my young. My child wakes at night and I pop her on and we both go back to sleep. Couldn't imagine getting up during the night.



Regarding intimacy, just get creative :). I nurse Adelaide off to sleep in our bed and then we go elsewhere.



And I don't wake her up by my movements. We've coslept since birth (as I have with my 4 1/2 year old as well) and we're all very used to each other's night-time noises. We don't bother each other at all.

Melissa - posted on 01/20/2011

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I guess what works for some doesnt work for others. For me it would never cross my mind

Tara - posted on 01/20/2011

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Just wanted to point out to Mandy that over 90% of the worlds population co-sleep.
And if it were so dangerous our species would never have survived at all.
How do you explain those numbers Mandy?
Co-sleeping when done safely is better for babies than sleeping alone.

Sarah - posted on 01/20/2011

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I don't really feel very strongly about Co-sleeping either way.

It certainly wasn't for me or my girls, but I don't think it's a bad thing anyway.
If it works for you and yours, then that's great. If it doesn't work for you and yours, that's great too.

Whatever gets everyone a good nights sleep has my vote!!

[deleted account]

My children all start the night off in their own bed. They all go to sleep with no problems. If they wake during the night the come in to us and sleep with us for the rest of the night but more often then not they sleep through in their beds. Co-sleeping or bed sharing is brilliant and i wouldn't have it any other way in my house.

Johnny - posted on 01/19/2011

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I just want to add that co-sleeping is only dangerous if you do not follow proper safety protocols. The exact same thing applies to putting children in cribs.

Johnny - posted on 01/19/2011

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We do not exclusively co-sleep. My daughter did sleep with us for a while, sometimes in our bed, sometimes on a mattress on the floor. She moved into her own room around 14 months without a lot of problems. When she just over 2, she had a long-time bad cold, waking up coughing and such and we brought her into bed with us. We all slept better that way. Now, she starts the night off in her own room, and about half the time she sleeps through and the other half she comes into our bed when she wakes, any time from about 4 am to 6 am. It's kind of nice actually. We get our private time, and we get our snuggle time. And we are not up all night fighting with her to make her sleep in her own bed. She'll do so when she's ready. I've got zero worries about her climbing into our bed when she's 12. She's already far too independent for this mommy's liking. Yesterday she told me that she was going to move to the coffee shop and become a barista. Sob!

I've always tried to follow her cues while making sure that our needs are met too. I think that's what any mom should do. Follow what their child needs and try to make sure the parents get their needs met too. However that plays out, co-sleeping or alone sleeping. I think that clinginess comes from people who are not having their needs properly met.

Charlie - posted on 01/19/2011

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Look like Lisa I know co sleeping isn't for everyone but I will defend it because there is so much misinformation out there about it , if your not comfortable doing it then don't do it , I certainly don't think not co sleeping will mean not having an independent child there are just so many other factors to that but I do believe personally it was one of many factors that created the confident , independent boys I have .

Meghan - posted on 01/19/2011

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I am the HEAVIEST sleeper you will ever meet. I could fall asleep on a freakin boulder...a tornado could rip through the house and I wouldn't move. Yet when my son is in my bed, I wake up EVERY time he moves.
And once a baby learns to roll over...and certainly into toddler age...you don't need to worry so much about blankets and pillows.
If it doesn't work for your family that is fine, but lets not go crazy here.

Melissa - posted on 01/19/2011

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All in all I suppose I have not done enough research into either way but common sense told me not to. I have a $250 video baby monitor Next to my bed I can constanly look at her when I wake up My old video monitor broke and so I was sleeping in the longue next to her while she was a newborn (with her in a bassinette) then when she absolutely coudlnt fit into the basinnete anymore I slept on the floor next to her cot in her room until we got the new baby video monitor and until I was comfortable I check on her constantly so theres no risk of her suffocating pulling the blankets over falling out of bed anything like that like thee is with co sleeping Sometimes the second I walk out I go back in and check again alot of times accidentally waking her so I coudlnt imagine co sleeping and having her always woken up by me. I think I check on her about 20 times before I go to sleep about 1am because Im trying to stay awake to make sure shes comfortable and safe. I may be very sleep deprived even with a baby who sleeps 9-12 hours a night but I feel happy that I know Im oding the right thing and she isnt n danger. theres my piece lol

Charlie - posted on 01/19/2011

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" •290 of the deaths were caused by the baby getting its head caught between the mattress and the headboard, wall, or furniture next to the bed
•36 deaths were caused by the infant strangling as its head was caught between railings on the bed or between the mattress and a portable bed railing
•68 babies died as their faces pressed against a water bed mattress and they could not breathe through their mouth or nose
•394 of the infant deaths were the result of the baby suffocating as they got caught up in blankets and bedding
•121 infants dies because a parent accidentally rolled on top of them without realizing it and suffocated the baby"

I can tell by description these parents were not following safe sleep practices as outlined by Mckenna and consequently caused death .

There are safe sleep practices for all methods of sleep including cots such as no bumpers , stuffed animals , pillows , blankets drop side cribs , sleeping on tummy's ect
These sleep rules should be followed as the safe co sleeping rules should be followed to avoid tragedy .

Kylie - posted on 01/19/2011

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great article Katherine:)I love co-sleeping!. We've recently set up my 2 year olds room and he has his own bed and i've started putting him down in there at bedtime but he always ends up in our big bed or i end up next to him in his bedroom. We co-slept with our first child and she went happily into her own bed at 2. I think my son is not quite ready yet and I'm happy to keep co-sleeping.
I like night time nookie but not in bed though. When we do do it in bed it's a nice lazy treat for me.

Charlie - posted on 01/19/2011

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I see your last article is from 2008 but as per Dr Mckenna's recommendation as the worlds leading expert on infant sleep and SIDS he was pleased to announce this :
"Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) SIDS Sub-Committee for whom I served (ad hoc) as an expert panel member recommended that babies should sleep close to their mothers "

Melissa - posted on 01/19/2011

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"
Co-sleeping with an infant is dangerous, putting the baby at a high risk of accidental death due to suffocation. Parents should not sleep in the same bed as their baby.


Read more at Suite101: Dangers of Co-Sleeping: Why Parents Should Not Bring Their Babies Into Their Bed http://www.suite101.com/content/dangers-...

Melissa - posted on 01/19/2011

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"
•290 of the deaths were caused by the baby getting its head caught between the mattress and the headboard, wall, or furniture next to the bed
•36 deaths were caused by the infant strangling as its head was caught between railings on the bed or between the mattress and a portable bed railing
•68 babies died as their faces pressed against a water bed mattress and they could not breathe through their mouth or nose
•394 of the infant deaths were the result of the baby suffocating as they got caught up in blankets and bedding
•121 infants dies because a parent accidentally rolled on top of them without realizing it and suffocated the baby


Read more at Suite101: Dangers of Co-Sleeping: Why Parents Should Not Bring Their Babies Into Their Bed http://www.suite101.com/content/dangers-..."

Charlie - posted on 01/19/2011

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Yes that is sad but like I posted earlier FAR more babies die in cots .

"
Births in Australia: 285,200

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ( cots )cases: 71

Co-sleeping deaths: 2

Births in Australia: 296,600

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (cots )cases: 59

Co-sleeping deaths: 2"

Meghan - posted on 01/19/2011

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I totally depends on the child and family dynamics. I have co-slept with J off and on for 2 years. I finally decided (within the past month) that it wasn't conducive to either one of us anymore. I started university-after a full day of classes, then doing homework then cooking, cleaning, playing and cuddling him until he fell asleep... I was too drained at the end of the nite to do homework and I started to fall behind.
If everyone is comfortable with it and getting enough sleep I don't see anything wrong with that extra comfort for our babies. Your heart/instincts will tell you when it is time for everyone to hop in their own beds.

Sherri - posted on 01/19/2011

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Us too Heather. We only ever do it at night and only ever in our own bed. But three kids and 2 teenagers, yes always at night after everyone is in bed and only in our room with the door shut.

Charlie - posted on 01/19/2011

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Heather , sex is spontaneous and can happen anywhere , we also put emphasis on date nights ( boys stay at grandmas who also co sleeps with them and what a close to maternal bond they have ! ) we put effort into our relationship and funnily enough it is better than it has ever been .

I understand this is a big concern for many people but for us we make it work , we co sleep at night but during the day our youngest ( our oldest sleeps in his own bed now ) sleeps in his crib .

It takes a little cheeky imagination and the ability to be ready to go whenever the opportunity arises .

Charlie - posted on 01/19/2011

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Well that is a myth( breathing the same air ) unless sleeping in an air locked room like a vault , intense research shows co sleeping positively regulates infant breathing unlike babies who sleep further away than arms distance this sets them up for safer sleep patterns , note : babies who sleep within arms distance in a bassinet reap the same benefits of bed sharers .

The fact is far more babies die in cots than while co sleeping
2007

Births in Australia: 285,200

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ( cots )cases: 71

Co-sleeping deaths: 2

Births in Australia: 296,600

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (cots )cases: 59

Co-sleeping deaths: 2

Dr Mckenna writes it another paper :
Babies Need Their Mothers Beside Them
by James J. McKenna, Ph.D.

"It is a curious fact that in Western societies the practice of mothers, fathers and infants sleeping together came to be thought of as strange, unhealthy and dangerous. Western parents are taught that "co-sleeping" will make the infant too dependent on them, or risk accidental suffocation. Such views are not supported by human experience worldwide, however, where for perhaps millions of years, infants as a matter of course slept next to at least one caregiver, usually the mother, in order to survive. At some point in recent history, infant separateness with low parental contact during the night came to be advocated by child care specialists, while infant-parent interdependence with high parental contact came to be discouraged. In fact, the few psychological studies which are available suggest that children who have "co-slept" in a loving and safe environment become better adjusted adults than those who were encouraged to sleep without parental contact or reassurance."

Lady Heather - posted on 01/19/2011

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My kid is definitely the opposite of sociable and independent (terribly shyl), but I wonder if it's that personality that makes her not like co-sleeping rather than the lack of it giving her those personality traits. She wouldn't even sleep in bed with us as a newborn. I think she just likes her alone time. Even moreso now because I make her go out and socialize. Ha.

Question though - how do you co-sleep and conceive siblings? Do people do that when the kid naps or something? I'm not being critical. I just know there would be no hanky panky in my house if the kid was in the bed all night, so I'm just wondering how it all works.

Minnie - posted on 01/19/2011

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I won't ever tell a mother she has to sleep with her babes.



But I'll defend cosleeping to the death! We are still enjoying cosleeping- still with our 4 1/2 year old and bedsharing with our 27 month old.



Breathing of the same air is not dangerous. It's not sitting in a stagnant cloud between mother and babe, seriously. The force of each other's breath, movement in the room (we also always sleep with a fan on) keeps the air circulating. We don't sleep in a paper bag.



We also aren't going to force our children out of the bedroom so no issues there. They're not going to be snoozing with us every night at 18. But you know what? I remember being a teenager and both my mother and myself thoroughly enjoying late-night talks and then sleeping in the same bed together. And I have no troubles getting off to sleep myself.



This seriously is a hang-up of western culture. Even IF teenagers slept in the same room as their parents there is nothing WRONG with that. And there is nothing WRONG with bedsharing with an infant, if it is done safely. It's not stunting development, it's not hindering independence- really, people do go off and do other things during the daylight hours. We are a family and we like to sleep together. Humans have done this for as long as they have existed and continue to do it across the globe- and enjoy doing it.

Melissa - posted on 01/19/2011

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I heard Loureen that they are breathing in the same air they breathe out or that they are breathing the same air something like that , which is not good for them at all and dangerous. I cant remember fully but I know it was fact. I'd also be worried about waking them up. You cant sleep comfortably wth a baby there, if you move your bub will wake u have to stay in the same position. Much too hard for me

Charlie - posted on 01/19/2011

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"I completely am against co -sleeping. It just causes more upset for your child when teaching them to sleep in there own room. It will just confuse them. own bed from day 1. "

As you can tell by the many statements here it is far from the truth .

"They are not supposed to sleep that close to you. Dangerous with breathing and all."

Dr James Mckenna is the worlds leading expert on infant sleep and SIDS he actually recommends it ( following the guidelines of course ) not only are they "supposed" to sleep next to you it is biologically meant to be he even wrote a paper on it :
Cosleeping and Biological Imperatives:
Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep Alone

by James J. McKenna Ph.D.,

"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. "
Interesting !

"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."

http://www.naturalchild.org/james_mckenn...

Sherri - posted on 01/19/2011

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Never coslept with my kids, won't cosleep with my kids. The few times one of my kids wasn't feeling well and crawled into bed with my husband and I. Either my husband and I ended up getting up and going into their bed. It was HORRIBLE. They breath in your face, they snore, they kick and hit you all night long. It is plain torture. It did not work for us and will not happen. Plus if you are bottle feeding certainly no real benefits to it, since you still have to get up and make bottle, change diaper etc. might as well have just grab them out of their crib as well since your already up.

Melissa - posted on 01/19/2011

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yep I read the whole thing. I just thought Id share my POV. I just know how dangerous it is. They are not supposed to sleep that close to you. Dangerous with breathing and all. I just wasnt do it because Ive always just known it to be wrong

Stifler's - posted on 01/19/2011

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Did you even read the OP. If you've never co slept then how do you know it's so wrong and all this.

Melissa - posted on 01/19/2011

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I completely am against co -sleeping. It just causes more upset for your child when teaching them to sleep in there own room. It will just confuse them. own bed from day 1. I have co slept a couple times on the couch. Not proud of it but I was tired as hell had a newborn and toddler waking up more then the newborn because of the new baby in the house and she hadnt settled for hours...its been done in our house on occasions but by no means did I do the right thing. My toddler fell asleep with me once on the couch while I was pregnant. It was amazing at least at that age it is safe.. I enjoyed laying with her she would have been just turned 2 it was nice to have her wake up with me. But its so wrong for babies under 1, IMO

Tara - posted on 01/19/2011

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@Loureen,
I want to hazard a guess that you also believe in babywearing when they are small, which I believe is another factor in independence.
Bottom line for me,
Nature is as perfect as perfect can be. And we are mammals, when we parent the way our bodies, our biology and nature leads us we will find that we can reduce so many of the problems and pitfalls of parenting.
When we stop fighting the instincts we have in our dna, we will see a return to the more instinctive way of parenting.

Tara - posted on 01/19/2011

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The other neat thing about the sleep dance is that not only are the parents aware of the baby's place in bed and accommodate for it, the baby is also aware of their place in the bed and also reacts instinctively.

I used to marvel at the way my first baby would find my nipple in his sleep without my help, how he would then grab my finger and settle right back to sleep. Now after 5 more I still marvel at the wonder of nature and how mammalian we are.

Oh and not one of my kids ever had a pacifier, a blanket, a teddy or any other security objects.

I co-slept until 2 years or so with them. Transition to their bed was easy and natural.

Tara - posted on 01/19/2011

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Lovely... I want to steal it but the only place I would post it is here!!!

I am having been co-sleeping for over 17 years of motherhood, with 6 babies and I know for certain it is the best way to ensure everyone sleeps well in our house.
Thanks for posting!!
I will also add that in my own family none of my babies ever woke up cranky or upset, they were all pleasant to put to sleep and pleasant when they woke up... I'll miss that little smiley face right next to mine in the morning..

Jodi - posted on 01/19/2011

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My daughter co-slept until about 15 months, now we room share, her toddler bed next to our big bed. I'm still trying to figure out how to do all this with newborn twins in the mix! I would most definately describe my almost 2 year old as very happy, sociable, independant and well-adjusted!

Stifler's - posted on 01/19/2011

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I didn't cosleep for very long but my parents are huge attachment parents. Logan went in his own room at 10 weeks. It still disturbs my mum that I didn't breastfeed and couldn't get the hang of carrying the baby around all day. My brother is still allowed to sleep in their room on a mattress and he is 8. They coslept with all of us in a cot in their room and we were allowed to crawl into their bed in the middle of the night when we were scared and it's safe to say that none of us are still living at home vying for attention and making mum do everything for us. Except my 8 year old brother who isn't old enough to move out.

Charlie - posted on 01/19/2011

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Personally we co sleep our first born is very independent and has been sleeping in his own bed in his room since one , as an individual he actually likes to play on his own , sleep on his ( unless sick ) and is very outgoing and social , our youngest also co sleeps , while he is only 6 months he is at the stage where I can leave him to play on his own without him worrying or crying .



I do believe co sleeping is PART of that independence but I also believe there are many other factors that play into a child's confidence and independence .



Co sleeping is a great step towards bonding and independence but it isn't everything , it doesn't work for everyone and that is fine because there are many ways to form a strong bond and attachment .



The idea is that a child who knows they are safe within their attachment have a wider circle of exploration in which they are comfortable to be independent in , as the attachment grows and the child ages the circle gets wider .

Cassie - posted on 01/19/2011

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Honestly though, I think clingyness really depends on the individual child and so many factors. While Kiera is a toddler who co-sleeps, she is anything but clingy (except for right now because she's sick and has her molars breaking through). She is one of the most independent little girls I know even though we sleep together. I've also met little ones who sleep in their own bed who are completely independent.

This again falls into the realm of "if it works for you, great! If it doesn't work for you, that's great too!"

Rosie - posted on 01/19/2011

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cosleeping does not interest me in the least. i have a hard time believing that a child who cosleeps is more independent as well, since they are doing the exact opposite of being independent by sleeping in the same bed as their parents. that screams clingy to me. i wonder if some of these mothers that don't co-sleep don't try to help their kids soothe themselves or something and just leave them to fend for themselves with no reassurance or tools. that would make them clingy IMO, not the fact that they share a different bed.

it just seems incredibly odd to me that a person would want their child in their bed, and up through toddlerhood?? *shivers* i'm happy with my self soothing, non clingy, in their own beds, kids. :)

Charlie - posted on 01/19/2011

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I ♥ Dr James Mckenna !


"Science is finally beginning to discover what babies have known all along: Babies are designed to sleep with their parents. And parents are designed to sleep with their babies."
"And when I say that everyone sleeps better, I really mean it. Scientific studies have shown that a family who sleeps together actually enters the different stages of sleep together almost simultaneously"
Has anyone actually watched a mother and baby sleep in these sleep tests , it IS amazing how even in sleep they instinctively know where the baby is .

Cassie - posted on 01/19/2011

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Kiera is 2 and is still bedsharing with my husband and I. We tried moving her to her own room a few times but none of us slept well.

Emma is in her crib but is next to my bed. We've tried bedsharing a few times with her but she doesn't sleep well at all in bed with us. We've also tried moving her crib to her room but that was a miserable week for us all too.

We are all very happy sleeping in the same room!

Lady Heather - posted on 01/19/2011

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Have to laugh at number 5. We tried having my daughter in bed with us. She just squirms around unable to get comfortable which leads to her kicking my husband an myself and nobody gets any sleep. She HATES cosleeping. I would like it, especially when my husband is out of town, but she's not having any of it.

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