Bed sharing, also known as co-sleeping, is a practice where parents and their infants share the same bed or sleep surface. While bed-sharing has been a topic of controversy and myths, this blog post aims to shed light on the truths behind this practice. We’ll debunk common bed-sharing myths with statistics and citations, and discuss the potential benefits and risks. Additionally, we offer you the opportunity to book a consultation with our experienced doula to guide you through your parenting journey.
Myth 1: Bed Sharing Is Always Dangerous
Fact: Bed-sharing can be safe when practiced with proper guidelines. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that breastfeeding mothers who follow safe sleep guidelines can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (Pease et al., 2016).
Myth 2: Bed Sharing Increases the Risk of SIDS
Fact: While bed-sharing is associated with a higher risk of SIDS in certain situations (Carpenter et al., 2004), the risk is significantly reduced when parents follow safe sleep practices, such as avoiding soft bedding, using a firm mattress, and avoiding alcohol and drug use.
Myth 3: Bed Sharing Hinders Infant Independence
Fact: Bed sharing can foster secure attachment and independence. Research indicates that securely attached children are more likely to develop independence (Ainsworth, 1978). Bed sharing can promote bonding and emotional well-being.
Myth 4: Bed Sharing Is Unhygienic
Fact: Bed-sharing can be hygienic when done in a clean and safe environment. Regular laundering of bedding and using a safe sleep surface can maintain cleanliness.
Myth 5: Bed Sharing Is Only for Breastfeeding Mothers
Fact: While bed-sharing can enhance breastfeeding by making nighttime feedings more convenient, it can also benefit bottle-feeding families. The key is to follow safe sleep practices regardless of feeding method.
Benefits and Risks
Benefits of Bed Sharing:
- Facilitates breastfeeding.
- Enhances parent-infant bonding.
- Promotes better sleep for both parents and infants.
- Eases nighttime parenting and responsiveness.
Risks of Bed Sharing:
- Increased risk of SIDS when not practiced safely.
- Potential for parental exhaustion.
- The need for safe sleep guidelines.
Navigating the world of parenting and sleep practices can be overwhelming. Our experienced doula is here to offer guidance, answer your questions, and help you make informed choices. Whether you’re considering bed sharing or looking for alternative sleep solutions, our doula can provide the support you need.
Contact us now to schedule a consultation with our doula. We’re here to assist you on your parenting journey and ensure you have the resources and information to make the best decisions for your family.
In conclusion, bed-sharing is a practice that can be safe and beneficial when practiced with care and in alignment with recommended guidelines. Understanding the myths and truths about bed-sharing empowers parents to make informed choices that promote the well-being of both themselves and their infants.