Co-Sleeping With Your Child


Co-sleeping is the practice of bed-sharing between a parent and their child. Parents who support this, believe that children belong next to them. There are risks associated with both co-sleeping and creating a solitary sleeping environment.

Solitary sleeping, otherwise known as the practice of training children to sleep alone through the night, has been around forever. Co-sleeping, has been around the longest, but both are still used widely today. Parents who practice co-sleeping believe its the best choice for their child, as it provides as long lasting, secure attachment. However, there’s much medical evidence in terms of safety, not to mention other consequences children could have with attachment later in life.

In early life, it’s been believed that sleeping next to the infant was the best, as it would give the child a chance to develop a strong bond with their mother. It’s believed that infants thrive on the emotional security they get from skin-to-skin with their mother during the night. It’s been found that children who were solitary sleepers were more likely to develop an attachment to specific security objects and were more disturbed by the absence of that object than co-sleepers. Studies have shown that children who had a soft object attachment were rated as having an insecure attachment with their mothers.

The Safety Aspect
The Consumer Safety Commission released a statement in 1999, warning parents that co-sleeping or laying infants in an adult bed under the age of two would cause them physical harm. Not by choice, but thousands of infants were found dead by unintentional strangulation from being overlain in a bed or sofa. These statistics resulted in a media frenzy, which discouraged against sleeping with infants or any child under the age of two. Instead of the media choosing to use this as a “learning experience,” educating the public on how to safely sleep with their child, the media chose to alarm parents in more ways than one.

Parents should take in consideration the importance of providing their babies a safe sleeping environment. Most of these guidelines that should be thought of are common sense. If parents decide that co-sleeping is the choice they want to make, their bed should be arranged in such way that there is no possibility of the child falling out.

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