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Co-Sleeping with Baby: Attachment Parenting for Dads

Co-sleeping is one of the principles of attachment parenting, and also one of the most contentious. For those who practice it, it’s normal and healthy. For those who don’t, it’s dangerous and irresponsible.

“You really let your baby sleep in the same bed with you? Isn’t that dangerous?”

Before our first child was born, my wife and I discussed co-sleeping, and I have to admit that I wasn’t so sure about it. I read about the basics, the pros and cons, and intuitively, it seemed right. But when I thought of actually having the baby in bed with us, I had some reservations. After some serious study of the issue, and talking to others, I eventually came around, and now, I can’t see doing it any differently.

My wife and I have been co-sleeping with all of our children for almost 12 years (one at a time, though, not all of them at once), and I believe that if you can disregard the negative bias of the mainstream media when it comes to natural parenting, and trust your own instincts, co-sleeping is beneficial to the entire family.

New dads and expectant dads have asked me numerous times about co-sleeping, so I’ll attempt to address their concerns here and shed some light on the perceived dangers of the practice. Before I start, remember that I’m not trying to convince you that you need to co-sleep, or that it’s wrong if you don’t. Co-sleeping is a personal preference, and is definitely not for everyone.

Will we roll over on top of our child and smother them?

Here’s a little test for you: Grab a couple of tennis balls, or a 10 pound bag of rice, throw it in your bed, and see if you roll over on it without waking up. Chances are, unless you’re drunk or high, you’ll be aware of something next to you and can adjust your position to accommodate it. For new dads, putting a rolled up towel between you and the baby at first can help to train you to be more aware. For more on that topic, see Cosleeping and Overlaying/Suffocation, from the University of Notre Dame’s Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory. And if you’re extremely overweight, or drunk or wacked out, please don’t co-sleep!

But I don’t want the baby to wake us up throughout the night.

I hate to break it to you, but your child is going to wake up in the night, sometimes often. Studies have shown that babies who sleep next to their mothers are better sleepers and have less stressful experiences during the night. Mothers who wait until they hear the baby cry from the other room have to get out of bed and comfort the child and then nurse them back to sleep (and only then can they return to bed). Contrast that with a mother who can nurse the baby without ever leaving the bed, and without letting the baby get vocal enough to wake you both up. So co-sleeping can be better for the sleep patterns of both mother and child.

If there’s a baby in our bed, won’t that keep us from being intimate with our partner?

Only if you let it… I wouldn’t ever advocate ‘adult’ activities with your child between you, ’cause that’s just silly. But like they say, where there’s a will there’s a way. Co-sleeping doesn’t have to mean the child is always between you. You can always put the baby to sleep somewhere else and bring him into bed with you later. Or get creative and take your love life outside of the bedroom.

Won’t the baby pee (poop, spit-up, etc.) in the bed?

Yes, babies can be messy. A wool soaker pad under the baby (covered with a baby blanket) keeps bodily fluids from soaking into your mattress, and are easy to make from a wool blanket. Simply cut to size, and while you’re at it, cut several smaller pieces for the diaper bag to use as changing pads.

The baby will fall out of bed.

We sleep with the baby between us, but for some couples, that doesn’t work. Use a rolled up towel as a barrier until the baby is old enough to roll over regularly. Push your bed against the wall if you need to, or purchase (or make) a bed extender (kind of like a mini bed that attaches to yours, effectively enlarging the bed enough for a baby).

But won’t the child get ‘addicted’ to sleeping with us? How will we transition them to their own bed when they get older?

We’ve found that as a child gets older, they tend to want their own space, and getting a bed of their own is an exciting thing. Kids who feel secure at night as a result of co-sleeping may have an easier time transitioning to a ‘big-kid bed’. There might be some opposition to having to move out of the family bed when a new baby comes, but you’ll have plenty of time to get them used to it during the pregnancy (and it’s only one of many issues that come up when having a younger sibling come into the family).

I have to admit that I envied the closeness that the mother enjoys with the baby, but co-sleeping helped to allay that, giving me a greater sense of connection with our children. There’s nothing like waking up to the sweet smell of baby’s breath, or having them snuggle up to you in the night. Co-sleeping has strengthened the bond I feel with our children, and if you feel drawn to it, I recommend giving it a try. You probably won’t want to give it up afterward.

A word of warning to dads: As kids grow bigger, their feet are right at the level of the family jewels, so if you’ve got a kicker in the family, you might need to sleep facing away from them (or risk a painful awakening).

A caveat: Co-sleeping on a couch or a water bed is not a good idea – most, if not all, co-sleeping advocates warn against it. And it’s not for babysitters or non-parental caregivers, either.

Many families around the world sleep in a family bed, and humans have been co-sleeping for thousand of years. Putting our kids in separate beds is a relatively new concept, and one that no doubt sells lots of cribs…

Don’t take my word for it, though. Read what Dr. Sears, MD, a father of 8 children, author of 30 books on childcare with 30 years of pediatric experience, has to say about co-sleeping: Co-Sleeping: Yes, No, Sometimes? | Safe Co-Sleeping Habits Every Parent Should Know: Do’s and Don’ts

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39 Responses to Co-Sleeping with Baby: Attachment Parenting for Dads

  1. Man! You have just said what I have been screaming at people for years. Thank you for putting it so clearly. I get so upset at people who tell me I’m a terrible parent for co-sleeping with my two boys. The biggest kicker is people who try to tell me I’m actually putting them in danger somehow. This from people who have never done it and who know nothing of my kids and how much I care for them. It’s the same as what I get with homeschooling. I hear it from the right because I’m not a christian (and most homeschoolers are) and I hear it from the left because I’m terrible for not putting my kids in public school. here’s a brilliant idea to all these anti-co sleeping and anti-homeschooling bone heads. Give it a try before you knock it. If they still don’t like it then that’s fine and this is America. But, don’t tell me I’m a bad parent. OK. Sorry bout that :-) You just sparked a bit of passion in me there. Thanks for that! HAHAHAHAH
    .-= Keith Wilcox´s last blog ..The Winner of the Pirate’s Booty =-.

    • Awesome, Keith. Passion about fatherhood is always welcome here, so no apologies – Rock on with your homeschooling, co-sleeping self!

  2. [...] is well written and has some really great articles. Derek’s latest topic discusses co-sleeping with a baby. This is what we like to see: men taking an active role in their health and the health [...]

  3. Whilst we didn’t have our babies in our bed I don’t think we ever considered it dangerous or irresponsible to do so. Its just a simple matter of choice. We did however have each of the girls in the same room as a us for an extended period of time. I’m a firm believer in full participation by the father. It is soo rewarding and has many, many future benefits.

  4. Well said. Although there can be dangers to co-sleeping especially for those who do toss and turn in their sleep, you just can’t beat the benefits of having the child sleep (and you sleep) more soundly. No parent likes getting up several times a night with a new baby, this way everyone is happy. Still you really hate to hear the horror stories in the rare case when a parent does smother the child. You said it best though trust your instincts – if you know you roll around a lot at night don’t do it, if you are a calm sleeper enjoy the benefits.
    .-= Chris @ Earth Friendly Goodies´s last blog ..A Gluten Free Home Run for New Grist Beer =-.

    • I love having our daughter sleep in bed with us, and I’m tired of all these ignorant people saying its dangerous. Our doctor doesn’t think so, and I slept in my parent’s bed. I’m a light sleeper too, if you so much as nudge me, I wake up.

  5. I’m not going to lie, I’m not a big fan of co-sleeping. My daughter is 5 months old right now and outside of a random night in the crib, she sleeps with us. It makes things easier for my wife since she is breast feeding, and it is nice to see her little smile in the morning…but at the end of the day, I like my sleeping space…and when I’m not flailing about in my “sleeping space,” I like to be close to my wife. The little one sleeps through the night in her crib and doesn’t wake up crying either…she usually lays there, makes cute noises and sucks on her toes until we come and get her.

    I’m not against co-sleeping, it’s just not for me.

  6. it is NOT RARE for a child to die during co-sleeping.

    160 Texas infants die a year while co-sleeping . Do you call that rare?
    During a two year period in Philadelphia, 57 babies were smothered by their sleeping parents.
    Do some real research.

    http://child-abuse-and-neglect.lawyers.com/Co-Sleeping-Can-Mean-Danger-for-Babies-and-Parents.html

    It happens way more then we hear on the nightly or national news

    “In August, two-month-old baby Lailanni Amkha died sleeping with her dad on the couch. She was the sixth Milwaukee baby killed this year sleeping with an adult.”

    “During a two-year period in Philadelphia, 57 babies died co-sleeping with adults. The city responded by launching a media campaign telling parents to never sleep with their babies. ”

    “A person can be charged with manslaughter or criminal negligence for disregarding a substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily harm. A Georgia court of appeals found that this legal test was met in a case where a baby was smothered when sleeping between her drunken parents. Even though it was the father who rolled onto the baby, the mother was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for bringing the baby into their bed.”
    (all from above link)

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/healthscience/stories/111009dntexcosleeping.3eadba1.html

    “More than 160 Texas infants die each year while sleeping in bed with family members, state statistics show, and officials are starting a campaign to warn parents of the dangers.”

    Sgt. Brenda Nichols, head of the Dallas police department’s child abuse squad, said bed-sharing advocates are foolish to claim mothers and breast-fed infants will doze and wake up simultaneously throughout the night, so there’s little risk of a fatal rollover.

    Just an adult arm alone can smother babies, Nichols said. An infant’s neck, shoulders and arms aren’t strong enough to push away, she said.

    “For someone to say that while they’re in a dead sleep, ‘Well, I would wake up and I would know,’ well, no, you don’t,” she said. “That’s the reason we have so many of these deaths.”

    It is insane to me that with these statistics people still co-sleep.

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/43271902.html

    http://www.news-medical.net/news/2008/07/01/39617.aspx

    • Jess –

      It isn’t common – and your first link, to Lawyers dot com, is a legal article, not a medical one, so I’ll throw that one out first.

      I love how you only quoted the parts that you wanted to from the Dallas News article (second link). Let me help you out with that:

      “The deaths haven’t been ruled definitively to be caused by bed sharing, said CPS spokesman Patrick Crimmins.

      It’s not a cause of death, it’s a sleeping circumstance,” he said.

      The statistics include deaths while young children shared sofas, couches, cots, futons and waterbeds with family members. “

      And:

      “James McKenna, director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Lab at the University of Notre Dame, says bed sharing can be done safely and is beneficial. But he says the pediatricians’ group and government agencies routinely misuse science by claiming babies sleep safest alone. “

      And from the News-medical.net article:

      “The investigation into four infant deaths in 2005 and 2006, found that three died from sudden infant death syndrome where the cause of death given was bronchopneumonia in circumstances of bed sharing or an unsafe sleeping environment and the fourth was killed when a parent accidentally rolled on to the baby and smothered it. … Nine deaths occurred after the infant had been put to sleep in their own cot, but on their stomach or side.”

      I leave you with this, from Dr. Sears, a pediatrician with 30 years of practice:

      “One popular research study came out in 1999 from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that showed 515 cases of accidental infant deaths occurred in an adult bed over an 8-year period between 1990 and 1997. That’s about 65 deaths per year.

      The conclusion that the researchers drew from this study was that sleeping with an infant in an adult bed is dangerous and should never be done. This sounds like a reasonable conclusion, until you consider the epidemic of SIDS as a whole. During the 8-year period of this study, about 34,000 total cases of SIDS occurred in the U.S. (around 4250 per year). If 65 cases of non-SIDS accidental death occurred each year in a bed, and about 4250 cases of actual SIDS occurred overall each year, then the number of accidental deaths in an adult bed is only 1.5% of the total cases of SIDS.

      • Co-sleeping kills babies. It’s a fact. Just because you didn’t kill your baby, doesn’t mean one of your readers hasn’t already smothered their kid. Never, ever co-sleep.

        • You are right Jason, anecdotal evidence should not be sufficient to make a decision on a topic. At the same time, however, simply stating that something is “a fact” does not make it one.

          I will admit up front that I have done no research on this topic beyond this blog article, and have not looked into any of the statistics regarding co-sleeping, but in my mind, the question of the safety of co-sleeping can be answered (or at least analyzed) statistically, but not by the “statistics” of provocative headlines or by numbers tossed out with no point of reference.

          If the percentage of children who die while co-sleeping (number of deaths divided by total number of co-sleeping children) is greater than the percentage of children who die while sleeping alone (again number of deaths divided by total number of non-co-sleeping children), then we can start to talk about it being dangerous.

          But even this blanket statistic could be misleading: to quote Derek’s original post, “if you’re extremely overweight, or drunk or wacked out, please don’t co-sleep!” I don’t think anyone is claiming that there aren’t some situations where sleeping with a child does increase the chances of the child being injured or smothered. So even the nice, clean percentage comparison that I laid out above would have to be viewed in light of the fact that these situations – which to some extent involve the conscious decision of the parents, and thus are mostly preventable by aware, responsible parents – skew the data to make co-sleeping appear more dangerous.

          Again, I want to point out that I have no clue what sort of results my percentage comparison would yield, though Derek’s quote of Dr. Sears above seems to suggest that co-sleepers would have to make up less than 1.5% of the overall infant population in order for co-sleeping to be damned by the studies he cites. Though that actually seems entirely possible.

          Anyway, I do want to post one new concern about the “naturalness” argument for co-sleeping: I do tend to take a shining to arguments about “what people did 10,000 years ago,” but at the same time, sleeping conditions in general have changed significantly in recent history. At least I have never heard of any traces of memory foam or pocket-coil spring materials being recovered at Neolithic settlement sites in eastern Europe. Like I said though, I am quite interested in the approach of asking, “what do/did people do in times and places where no one has ever heard or thought of a crib?”

          Ultimately, we need to avoid basing decisions on emotional responses, single sources (even if they are PhDs or academic studies, which unfortunately can be influenced by politics, money, or ego), “statistics” with no point of reference, anything a lawyer says, most things from news websites (unless cited and cross-checked), and most importantly, anything based on the premise “It’s a fact.”

  7. Hi Derek,

    I am a firm believer in co-sleeping. And my kids are bigger now 14 and 10 – while we no longer share beds – we are closer than a knit sweater and they are more courageous and confident than Batman, Superman and Spidey combined.

    Yeah sure I lost a few nights sleep, but heck that is what parenting is all about – giving the confidence away.

    Plus, letting a baby cry himself/herself to sleep is rather brutal.

    Spread the love – and show it to the kinder.

  8. My wife really does not want to do this, but I do. I’ve suggested to her doing it for naps during the day, but she’s countered with the argument that baby will get into a habit of wanting to sleep with us and not in its own basinette/cot. Ideas?

    • Nate –

      To be honest, we’ve never used a bassinet or crib – they’ve always slept with us – because we’re believers in Dr Sears’ work which says that it’s good for babies to have that experience. We’ve never minded it, and only moved them to their own bed when they were ready.

      Here’s Dr Sears:

      “Every family goes through nocturnal juggling acts at different stages of children’s development. Sharing sleep reflects an attitude of acceptance of your baby as a little person with big needs. Your infant trusts that you, his parents, will continually be available during the night, as you are during the day. Sharing sleep in our culture also requires that you trust your intuition about parenting your individual baby instead of unquestionably accepting the norms of American society. Accepting and respecting your baby’s needs can help you recognize that you are not spoiling your baby or letting him manipulate you when you welcome him into your bed.”

      And it’s certainly easier than the mom waking up and having to go into another room to breastfeed in the middle of the night.

      I think that in our modern age, having kids that are more connected to us, not less, is a good thing.

  9. This was great to read. My son is now 3 and still in the bed with us. We have had our mattress on the floor since he was born and I don’t think I could go back to having an elevated bed.

    One comment I will make about the whole suffocating your child – I think that is possible. I woke up one night when my son was first born and my husband has his arm over him! Since then I kept him to the side (me in middle) until he was about a year old or so and then we tried the middle again.

    My son is in the middle now all the time..and to be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way..I hate the middle :)

    It seems like everyone is in a rush to get theri children to move on a stage. I let my son self wean (he is still breastfeeding strong), am going to let him decide when he is ready for his own bed – which he isn’t yet, and let him just develop and grow in his own time. It is sad that as soon as a baby is born people expect so much out of them that they aren’t ready for. I think we all need to follow our instincts and forget about the concept of spoiling. It is painful hearing your child cry – that happens for a reason!

    Thanks for the great article :)

  10. Co-sleeping with your baby is an opportunity for you to appreciate the joys of parenthood. And since there are risks involve, keep in mind that you have a baby sleeping with you and be cautious about it.

  11. Two more risk factors to consider: smoking and prescription drugs. Smokers absolutely should not share a bed with their baby, because of the increased risk of SIDS. You mentioned recreational drug use, but also people sometimes forget that their prescription or over the counter drugs can have side effects, like drowsiness. (No sleeping pills and bed-sharing!)

    For those who want a compromise between bed-sharing and the baby in a crib in their own room, there are options. You can buy a “co-sleeper” bassinet, put a crib mattress on the floor of your room, or drop the side of a crib and attach it to your bed like a sidecar.

    Most parents end up co-sleeping occasionally, whether accidentally or out of desperation. But falling asleep on the sofa is very dangerous, and if you’re going to do it eventually, you may as well do it thoughtfully!

  12. Great idea with the rolled up towel to train you to realise something is there. My Husband didn’t really sense our baby was in between us so on the times I wasn’t cuddling my son all night (from frequent feeds) we put him a little higher up between us on a folded blanket and put a pillow in between him and his dad. This worked well. Now that he is 3 we have no problems and it hasn’t ruined our sex life or kept us awake. In fact by having our son in bed with us it has allowed my Husband (at least!) to get more sleep and less disturbance! We also have our mattress on the floor so there was also no issue of him falling out and hurting himself at times when I want to cuddle with my Husband. I much prefer my mattress on the floor and don’t what others think about not havnig a bedframe!

  13. It is great that you are such a dedicated dad. I have to admit that there is no way on God’s green earth that I would have my son in bed with me. For starters he wouldn’t go to sleep because he would be to busy talking if there was another body in the room and I don’t know about everyone else but I have to go to work, and I don’t work at job that requires my full attention (im in the military). Also I hate having anyone in the bed with me I even kicked my husband out of the bed, shoot then I kicked him out of the house. I don’t think its all that dangerous I think for me it is personal choice just like this is really personal choice for you all.

  14. [...] Cosleeping and Biological Imperatives: Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep Alone Co-Sleeping with Baby: Attachment Parenting for Dads Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally – Attachment Parenting International Co-sleeping [...]

  15. You are absolutely insane!! If one child dies from co sleeping why would you become advocate? It’s not a matter of rather it is rare or not, it is the simple fact that if we can save one infants life by educating parents to protect there kids from co-sleeping. I am disgusted by your view on this topic. Your so called test is incredibly ignorant and lacks common sense. 1.If you were to lay on on the rice sack in the middle of the night, but before waking rolled off of it you would have no way of knowing if you rolled on it. Also, waking up to rolling on a sack of rice one night can in no way prove that you will always wake up. You fail to include such variables such as being extra tired one night or unusually unaware of your surroundings while a sleep. You also say that if are extremely overweight, not to co sleep. Well even an adult’s arm can be enough to suffocate an infant. We are talking about a baby here. Many infants die every year from sufffocating face down from the weight of their own head. Finally I leave you with a story. A close family friend of ours had their baby in January earlier this year. Isaiah was a cute baby with a smile that lit up the room, his parents were a loving young couple who were thrilled to have their first child with no complications. A healthy little boy. After two months of close superivision the parents of the mother offered to watch Isaiah one Friday night so that the parents could rest and enjoy each other. Reluctantly the parents agreed and Isaiah would spend his first night away from mom and dad. The night before Isaiah would stay over the grandparents were discussing co sleeping but were concerned of the safety risk. They decided to google the topic and stumbled upon this website. They used your test and passed with flying colors. They followed your advice. The next night Isaiah made his trip to G-dads and Nanas for his first sleepover. After his bath and a bedtime story. Isaiah feel asleep in between his loving Grandparents. Both of the Grandparents slept soundly. The next morning they awoke to find Isaiah had been smothered to death. I warn everyone reading this page, don’t co sleep. If the statistics were 1 and 1000 I wouldn’t allow my child to co sleep but unfortunately it is much higher. Isaiah will never be back but you can save more like him. Don’t co sleep.

    • In your example, the grandparents broke all the rules of co-sleeping. #1. If you have doubts about it, just don’t do it. I have always co-slept, but if ever I have one of those nights where I am so exhausted/sleep-deprived I am literally on the verge of collapse, I put the baby next to me in a portable basinette. The need for this is rare, but if I feel overly exhausted or sick, I don’t co-sleep. #2 Co-sleeping is for the parents and child. Breastfeeding mothers have all experienced a hyper awareness of their baby that seems to border on psychic ability (which in reality is due to the mother and baby’s hormones). Parents have a special bond with their baby that even grandparents don’t share. even though I have co-slept with all my children (4) I would never take somebody else’s baby into my bed. And BTW, your feelings about co-sleeping mirrors my feelings about circumcision. every year, hundreds of babies DIE or suffer permanantly from botched circs. yet we continue to circumcise boys in the U.S.

  16. @jonathon: babies don’t die from co-sleeping. you don’t even have a baby, therefore you have NO experience when it comes to ANYTHING related to babies or a family.

    your pets don’t count. fam up and come talk to us.

    even before my son was born i had already determined i would sleep with him during his infancy. in time he will sleep in his crib, but while he is my precious, tender little man, i sleep with him as much as i can; even on work nights when i know he will wake me up!

    it’s funny that you never hear from PARENTS who co-sleep/slept with their children who say “DON’T DO IT!!!” it’s always you people who have no desire to spread your own genetics.

    like your DNA, keep your opinions to yourself. that goes for ALL of you non-breeders. fear mongers. fools.

  17. I want to respond to your comment that co-sleeping doesn’t stop you being intimate with your partner. My wife and I have co-slept with our girl since she was born, and in some respects it’s great: it’s definitely good for the baby, I think we’ve all had more sleep this way, and the times when she wakes up in the morning are some of our best family moments. However, my wife and I get very little time together as just the two of us. It was several months before my wife would leave the baby on her own in bed at all in case she woke up. Now (at 16 months) we can get about 30-40 minutes together after the baby first goes to sleep, but then she wakes up and my wife has to return to bed to breastfeed her back to sleep. I really struggle with only having such short periods together, and anyway that is still dominated by the baby because she’s always watching to see if the baby stirs on the video monitor. I was very enthusiastic about cosleeping to start with but now I feel like I’ve lost my wife, and our marriage is suffering. Are we in a normal position? Do lots of cosleeping dads struggle like this? Any help or others’ experience would be great to hear.

  18. To Jess and Jonathan (and every other co-sleeping/bed sharing opponent):

    Every instance that was mentioned by you two regarding the “dangers” of bed sharing (or co-sleeping) involve situations where the parents obviously didnt adhere to the reasons NOT to bed share, as stated by doctors and bed sharing advocates.

    Examples: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep-problems/sleep-safety/safe-co-sleeping-habits
    http://www.attachmentparenting.org/pdfs/APIRG_safe_sleep_%20position_paper.pdf
    http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/familybed.html#safety
    http://www.llli.org/faq/cosleep.html

    Every single bed sharing advocate site has a list of reasons not to bed share: do not co-sleep on a couch/sofa, armchair, or waterbed, as there are places that the baby can slip down into, get stuck, and suffocate; do not co-sleep if you’ve been drinking or taking drugs because your mind is altered, your senses are muted, you are harder to arouse out of a deep sleep and you could roll over without knowing it and smother your baby – same goes for being overtired; do not allow anyone that is NOT the parent (in the case of Isaiah) bed share or co sleep with your child – not even older child siblings or other “moms”…

    All you’ve proven with your examples is that the people that suffered these tragedies did not follow the basic guidelines to co-sleeping safety (they were drunk, or on a couch, or they were the grandparents), and paid the ultimate price for their lack of common sense.

    Hell, I dont even let my own husband sleep with our 2 month old son in the mornings after I leave for work – I make him place the baby in a bassinet. At night, my son sleeps on the outside of me, placing me in between him and my husband – since I know my loving, wonderful father of a husband has a tendency to move a lot in his sleep without realizing it…but rather than take the risk and allow my son to sleep between us, I create a human barrier so that nothing happens to him. BTW I am also a breastfeeding mother, so it’s quite convenient not to have to even so much as sit up when the baby wakes to feed – not to mention we all sleep much better since the baby has to fuss less to get my attention, and my son and I can both remain fairly drowsy while nursing, allowing us to fall back asleep more easily after we’re done.

    Point being – my husband may be a fabulous father, but when it comes to his sleep habits, I dont trust him any farther than I can throw him. Same goes for my mom. My mother suggested the possibility of bed sharing when she takes my son this weekend for his 1st overnight. I told her HELL.TO.THE.NO. He can sleep in his Pack n Play in her room, but that’s as close as he’s gonna get. That’s me using common sense not to allow my child to be placed in a potentially unsafe situation by bed sharing with someone that is not an appropriate candidate for it.

    Long story short – your arguments are bogus and refutable; opinions built based on fear and lack of education. There is nothing wrong with bed sharing if done properly, with common sense, following the recommended safety guidelines.

    • I would agree with this. And we are pro co Sleepers. My wife is a very light sleeper and has slept with both kids (one at a time). She gets more sleep than me. I admit if it was just me, I wouldn’t do it because of my sleep habits..

  19. dr sears is not a psychologist and no understanding of human psyche, yet militantlyt advocates his bogus theories. some of the research he cites in his books on cosleeping (to support his theory) actually arrive at opposite conclusions, or have no implications to humans as they’re done on rats. the truth of the matter is Sears likes cosleeping, and has no training in sleep research or psychology.

  20. We have Co slept now for 4 years. My son who just turned 4 has his own room now and that was cause he wanted to. My daughter sleeps with Mom and she is 20 months old. We have two beds in our bedroom. I find this article to e very accurate. There has never been safety concerns. Intimacy has suffered, I will not lie, but at the same time my love of my wife and family has not. We are a much stronger couple now then ever. It’s about priorities I guess. Sex is not on our minds..I am also a stay at home dad and my wife works so maybe that is why my thinking is skewed..I am too dang tired raising two little ones to care all that much. I am sure we will get back to that in due time.

  21. We have been cosleeping with our 8 month old son for a long time and got a scare this morning. He crawls. We have an attached basinet which he often sleeps in. I put him to sleep in it last night and he woke us up by crawling over me, I didn’t wake and playing with his mother’s feet. What to do? We’re afraid he’ll crawl out of crib. What to do?

  22. Now, more than ever, this site is needed! There is a TX “co-sleeping” mother making headlines because her last 2 infant children died while in bed with her, but the majority of stories discussing this case fail to mention the several bottles of prescription pills on her nightstand! Obviously, a mother cannot respond to her child on sleeping pills! Who is the foolish doctor prescribing sleeping pills to a new mother anyway?! Another TX “co-sleeping” mother put her newborn in her bed on his tummy on a pillow, and any informed parent knows that these are both foolish ideas! Supposedly, one article read, TX has hundreds of “co-sleeping” deaths each year. The claims are being made that co-sleeping is killing, but it is bad parenting that is the truly to blame. Bad parenting is the real tragedy! It’s all just so ridiculous!

  23. We co-slept with our son until he was almost 8. We tried letting him cry himself to sleep as a baby, but he wouldn’t ever go to sleep. He didn’t self wean himself from it and we didn’t push him. I was really close to my son during all that time, as was his mother. Then his mother left me for unrelated reasons, and during the divorce proceedings her attorney floated the trial balloon that I had been molesting my son (pure BS) based on the co-sleeping arrangement we had had. That went nowhere, but it is a risk for the father if the family breaks up. All of the good regarding my relationship with my son was undone thereafter, thanks to the mother’s influence following the divorce, so I can’t attest to any longer term benefits of the sleeping arrangement we had while my son was young. At the time it seemed very positive for everyone, especially him.

  24. I think the American way of putting a newborn baby to sleep in a little cage down the hall from his/her parents is beyond my comprehension. I know it works for some people and it’s what my parents did to me, but I’ll never get it. As one pediaatrician who promotes co-sleeping says: SIDS used to be called crib death for a reason. A baby is far safer with it’s parents than left alone in a crib.

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