When Nathaniel was an infant we engaged in bed-sharing by having him sleep between us in a Fold N’ Go Bassinet. I was anxious I would roll over and crush him or even worse slug him.
The Pretty Lady mentioned on several occasions I’m must be fighting either Chuck Norris and/or Jet Li in my sleep. She didn’t appreciate being my nocturnal sparring partner especially if I was winning. Duh.
The Pretty Lady has expressed her irritation with my snoring claiming my health is at risk – she will “kill me” if I don’t get help to stop. Thankfully, she was so sleep deprived during the first six months after Nathaniel’s birth that it never came up as an issue.
As it turned out, Nathaniel was even more active than me in my sleep. One morning, I woke up literally with his foot in my mouth or at least near.
Nathaniel’s now 12 years old, but he still occasionally will join his mother in bed in the early morning hours.
Bed-sharing or co-sleeping or “having a family bed” is the practice in which young children especially infants sleep next to one or both parents instead of sleeping in a separate room. Bed-sharing is a common practice in many parts of the with the exception of North America, Europe and Australia.
Even in these areas a significant minority of children have shared a bed with their parents at some point in their childhood. In 2006, a study in India of children age 3 -10 reported 93% of children bed-sharing.
In the same year, a study of children in Kentucky (United States) reported 15% of infants and toddlers 2 weeks to 2 years engage in bed-sharing. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages room sharing sleeping in the same room but in separate beds in its policy statement regarding Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
However, the AAP recommends against bed-sharing with infants.
Benefits of Co-Sleeping
- Promotes breastfeeding and bonding
- Older babies can breastfeed without waking mother
- Safer than crib sleeping when done correctly
- Keep child warm at night
- Enables parents to get more sleep
Disadvantages of Co-Sleeping
- Stressful for the child when they are not co-sleeping
- Parent may smother the child
- Promote an unhealthy dependence of the child on the parent(s)
- Interference with the parents’ own relationship by limiting communication and sex at bedtime
Watch the following video and learn why H is for Hell. 😀