There's a lot of controversy over co-sleeping. Is it safe; is it dangerous? I co-slept with my son and he's...
There's a lot of controversy over co-sleeping. Is it safe; is it dangerous? I co-slept with my son and he's just fine. He's probably much better actually for having co-slept. Most of my friend's co-sleep and their babies are just fine as well.
  • baby_with_father.jpgAccording to statistics at least 50% of American adults admit to co-sleeping with their baby at one point or another (but there's likely more).
  • Research by Dr. James J. McKenna at the University of Notre Dame reports that the vast majority of scientific research on co-sleeping actually points to co-sleeping as being safer than not co-sleeping and that it can possibly reduce risks of SIDS and other baby sleep-related issues.
  • In almost all cultures around the world babies sleep with their parents; usually their mamas. It's only in North America and a few European countries where babies sleeping alone is now the norm. The United States also has the highest rates of SIDS deaths -- is there a connection?
  • In the amazing book, Our Babies Ourselves by Meredith F. Small there are many studies discussed regarding the positives of co-sleeping. The book points out that in studies that measure a baby's heart rate, muscle movements, breathing, and brain wave activity against a mamas that the two will match up almost perfectly in co-sleepers while babies that sleep alone tend to fuss more and breathe more sporadically.
It makes sense that a baby would learn to regulate breathing patterns based on his mamas. In one study I read it noted that babies and mamas tend to breathe while sleeping perfectly in sync. If that's a fact across the board than SIDS (heavily thought to be an issue based on lapses of breathing) might very well be reduced by co-sleeping. If you think about it babies need to learn how to do almost everything by example. Why wouldn't we expect that they also need to learn to sleep properly by example. For a mama and baby co-sleeping has even more benefits.... Stick around; those benefits and more co-sleeping facts including safety tips will be coming up in the following posts.

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