Baby Sleeping with Parents

Cosleeping: Taboo or OK?

Cosleeping, also sometimes called the family bed or shared sleep, means that your baby or child sleeps with you (or very close to your bed, such as in a special cosleeper crib that sits up against your bed). Babies and their parents sleep together in many cultures around the world. For approximately 90 percent of the world's population, cosleeping is simply the norm, and has been for thousands of years. In industrialized societies, such as North America and parts of Europe, however, sleeping has become more of a private affair in recent years. Many babies now sleep away from their parents in cribs, bassinets or cradles, and often in completely separate rooms, starting from the time they are born.

In the United States today, cosleeping is high on the list of controversial topics, right along with circumcision. It seems everyone has an opinion about cosleeping -- parents, grandparents, doctors and researchers alike. Even though it has been a subject of much debate, over half of babies in the United States still sleep with one parent (or both) at least part of the time. One cosleeping poll showed that up to 70 percent of babies sleep with their parents occasionally, but parents are scared to admit it to their doctors because of the fairly recent movement toward independent sleep. Opinions on cosleeping can be derived from research, cultural beliefs, advice from family and friends, popular literature, personal past experiences, stories about cosleeping, one's own need for privacy and "adult time", and, of course, safety and sleep quality concerns.

Parents choose to cosleep with their babies (or not) for many reasons. Some parents believe that babies simply belong in the parents' bed, while others have serious concerns about SIDS and safety. And whereas some parents feel that cosleeping is detrimental, dangerous and/or an invasion of privacy, others feel just as strongly that cosleeping is the best thing for them and their baby. Most people will agree that cosleeping has both advantages and disadvantages. There is no right or wrong place for your baby to sleep, as long as your baby's safety is top priority. Not sleeping with your baby doesn't make you a bad parent. The type of sleeping arrangement you decide on must be what works best for your family. If you decide to cosleep, please read our article "Cosleeping and Baby Safety" (link below).

More info on Cosleeping:

Cosleeping Risks
Cosleeping Pros
Cosleeping and Baby Safety

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