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More information on the family bed…

Posted by Sandra on December 3, 2008

It’s safety (I get really tired of hearing about how “unsafe” co-sleeping is – that’s beyond ridiculous) and it’s natural nurturing qualities:

…parents who enjoy a family bed and doctors who advocate its use (THOSE ARE GREAT DOCTORS!!) point out that the same internal signals that prevent a sleeping adult from rolling out of bed and injuring herself will also prevent a parent from rolling on top of her infant. In the rare cases where overlying has occurred, it has generally been the result of inappropriately soft bedding or a parent whose sleeping awareness was impaired by alcohol or medication. “The average, typical parent sleeping on a good mattress will be very aware and will not roll over on (her infant),” asserts Dettwyler.

In fact, the family bed may even offer protection against infant death. In his latest peer-reviewed medical research conducted at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health, Dr. McKenna theorizes that infants who sleep alone are at a significantly increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

My note:  I’ve commented on this before, there are links in my sidebar showing studies proving co-sleeping REDUCES the risk of SIDS.  But, don’t get me wrong – I don’t think a parent should lose sleep over this extremely rare mystery.  I don’t believe there’s a cause or a cure, or a prevention, myself.  I know tummy-sleeping is safe for my babies.  But for those that want to “follow the rules”, here’s yet another reason to keep that baby safe and sound right next to you, all night long.  YAY!!!


I found it highly disturbing that an “expert” could be publishing things like this, however:

Other criticisms of the family bed abound, however. Some, such as T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., does on a Pampers web site (, claim that when children sleep with their parents “sexual abuse is more likely (Freudian emphasis)…” Family-bedders are incensed and offended by this unsubstantiated accusation.

And a great retort:

The late Robert Mendelssohn — well-known pediatrician and author of several books — noted that when confronted by mental health specialists who feared sexualization of the family bed, he sarcastically agreed that “psychiatrists should not take their children to bed with them, but it is quite alright for everyone else!”

And the quote from the supposed “expert” is yet another reason why parents need to think from their heart, not from the pages of a worthless book. No expert has ever studied YOUR family, YOUR kids, YOUR lifestyle, therefore no book can tell you what you need to do.  By loving your children, following their cues, never neglecting or abusing them, you are doing it all RIGHT – by the only expert that matters – your baby.


2 Responses to “More information on the family bed…”

  1. Naomi said

    I totally agree with this! Big surprise right? I have coslept with both my kids and sleep soundly almost every night, yet anytime that my baby gets the corner of a pillow on her, the blanket over her face or whatever and she starts to fuss, I hear it and wake up instantly before my husband even knows she was starting to fuss. It is almost an unconscience thing, that your mind is aware of your baby and yet you can still sleep well. I do know of parents who aren’t that comfortable and don’t sleep well with their children in their bed – usually this is because of a small bed or they are unable to put the bed up against the wall.

  2. Ameda said

    I co sleep with my daughter as she’s just 1 year old, My husband understands it very well, so everything is going very smooth at our house, outr bed is normal size bed, no worries at all!

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