to co-sleep or not to co-sleep

An excellent article on co-sleeping with your infant:

Co-sleeping and Biological Imperatives: Why Human Babies do not and should not Sleep Alone

While I personally champion co-sleeping (bed-sharing, specifically) I understand that as with everything medicine thinks they know best and parents can be fearful of the worst-case-scenario. Read the article and draw your own conclusions! Here are some highlights from my perspective:

  • Room sharing is a form of cosleeping, bedsharing and a well-known dangerous form of cosleeping, couch or sofa cosleeping, are mostly used interchangeably … though these terms need to be kept separate.
  • Merely having an infant sleeping in a room with a committed adult caregiver (cosleeping) reduces the chances of an infant dying from SIDS or from an accident by one half!
  • That the highest rates of bedsharing worldwide occur alongside the lowest rates of infant mortality, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) rates, is a point worth returning to.
  • Studies suggest that breastfeeding mother-infant pairs exhibit increased sensitivities and responses to each other while sleeping, and those sensitivities offers the infant protection from overlay.
  • 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…co-sleeping (room or bed-sharing) facilitates… more infant sleep and seems to make… babies happy.

The end depressingly brings up SIDS- sudden infant death syndrome- so be prepared for a little freak-out if you’re a concerned parent subject to feeling sadly about dying babies (if not prone to get sucked into the fear-fest yourself). Civilized society can be a tough judge and there is so much conflicting information out there that it seems confusing and can be fear-inducing. As the article states, there are “risk factors” and for the most part, if you’re aware and informed, it is unlikely you will have to worry about SIDS. For the record, if you would like more information, try starting at the SIDS Wikipedia page (less biased) for an overview and links.

Happy reading. :)

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