Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Get Out of My Bedroom: An attachment parenting article review

Co-sleeping is an integral part of attachment parenting. It is common knowledge that breastfeeding is the best food for an infant. However, breastfeeding is a lot harder when the mom and baby do not co-sleep. Peggy O'Mara, the editor of Mothering Magazine, writes a wonderful article in response to the idea that it is automatically unsafe to put the baby in the bed with the mother. In her article, Get out of My Bedroom!Ms. O'Mara makes a profound argument for co-sleeping using studies of entire societies that co-sleep and mother's intuition for hard evidence. Some people would say that a mother's intuition is false. However, I don't think that you can convince any woman who's been a mother for more than 4 days that it doesn't exist. Also, the article mentions that safety in co-sleeping is important. Just as people publish safety instructions for babies sleeping in a crib, people should publish safe co-sleeping practices.

I believe that if one takes precautions, co-sleeping can be even more safe than crib sleeping. When the baby is in bed with the mother, the mother can hear the baby's cues. If the baby does stop breathing or get stuck, the mother is right there. If the baby is in the crib in the other room, the mother is less likely to notice.

1 comment:

Robert said...

I think parents who co-sleep get better sleep than they would if the baby is in another room. It's easier to be half awake and help a kid go back to sleep than have to wait until they're screaming or crying loud enough to be heard over a monitor and then come to them in that state, both of you more awake. Then it takes a lot longer to get back to sleep. Plus, our king size bed is big enough that you don't even lose sleeping space by sharing it. The queen is a little crowded, but it's manageable, too, and with Jackie sleeping in her own bed more and more, the queen is fine with just the baby in it.