Thursday, April 23, 2009

Please Research: Co-Sleeping vs CIO

Bug sleeps in bed with me and my hubby. It has its ups and downs, but mostly just ups. Sometimes I say that I'm a lazy mom, and that's why I parent the way I do (i.e., "crunchy"). It definitely makes it easier to have Bug in bed with me at night. That means that I don't have to get up and out of bed when he needs me. If he needs to nurse, I can do it while I'm still half asleep. Heck, I may even nurse him while I'm wholly asleep. I honestly couldn't tell you how many times I "wake up" at night. And in the morning, it is such a happy thing to wake up to my little guy's face, all bright and cheery.

I'm just going to tell you now: I LOVE the Drs. Sears! I'm not big into medicine or doctors or regular checkups...but these guys are great. They are very natural-minded. In fact, they are the Attachment Parenting gurus. I don't agree with EVERYTHING they say, but I probably agree with about 99%.

I recently bought their book, The Baby Sleep Book. I bought it because I know there will come a day when I will have to wean Bug from our as soon as I get pregnant again, because the new baby will get priority seating laying (don't know when that will be, but I hope it is sooner rather than later)! I learned a lot from reading the book.

The first thing I did when I opened the book was flip to the chapter about co-sleeping. Of course I was interested, because we are a co-sleeping family. I had NO IDEA how good co-sleeping is for both mothers and babies! The health benefits alone are amazing. Once you add in the emotional and developmental benefits, it is a wonder anyone WOULDN'T co-sleep! Co-sleeping helps regulate breathing in the baby. This helps to reduce the chance of SIDS. Co-sleeping teaches babies how to go to sleep happily and to sleep better, because their stress levels are down when they are close to mom. There are just so many reasons to co-sleep!

The next chapter I read was the chapter about whether or not to let your baby Cry-It-Out (CIO). I was interested in what the Sears' would have to say about CIO, because they are such proponents of co-sleeping. I guess you could say I wasn't disappointed. They had scientific facts and good old common sense to tell parents why they should NOT let their baby CIO. Ask anyone, and they will likely say that babies should never be left alone during the day. Yet, tons of families are leaving their babies alone at night, to cry and try to fall asleep on their own. It's a shocking thing, really. Everything said in the CIO chapter was opposite of the amazing-ness found in the co-sleeping chapter. I wonder how people cannot see the difference!

Western culture is practically the only one that regularly practices separate sleeping. Actually, our western culture is practically the only one that regularly practices non-attachment parenting. (What? I haven't done a "Please Research" on Attachment Parenting?!? Sorry about that! I promise, my next PR will be on AP. Really, it should have been my first, as it encompasses all the rest of my other PR posts!)

Of course, I can't really get into all the details...or I would be writing a book! But I want you to -PLEASE- research co-sleeping. I'm glad that I have researched. And I'm glad I practice co-sleeping!


Rachel said...

Good for the baby, not so good for the marriage in this house. And if the marriage is hurting, the baby is hurting. Just the way it is.

Anonymous said...

I honestly can't co-sleep with my little ones. I'm a bed hog along with Hubby so there isn't room in the first place. I was told SIDS is increased when you co-sleep too. I put my baby in a bassinet next to my side of the bed. I can be there immediatly if I need to him and I can hear him breathing throughout the night. I also sleep about 100 times better having my own space. I guess you could call me selfish when it comes to my bed.

Mallory said...

Co-sleeping doesn't have to be in the same bed. And SIDS is NOT increased by co-sleeping. Something interesting I learned from the Sears' book is that when you take away all SIDS deaths there are actually more crib related deaths than adult bed deaths!

I also understand that having a baby in bed can create tension in a marriage. We have found ways to keep our marriage good and co-sleep.

I am not saying that everyone SHOULD co-sleep, but I definitely think that everyone should research it, and come up with the arrangement that works best!

Mallory said...

I just realized that my comment about SIDS and the number of infant deaths may have not helped. SIDS is actually decreased by co-sleeping. Being next to mom helps the baby regulate his breathing. Babies also spend most of the time on their backs when they co-sleep. Mother's breath on a baby's face also helps keep babies breathing regularly. These things reduce the likelihood of SIDS occurring.

My comment about non-SIDS related deaths was just another interesting fact about how safe co-sleeping actually is.

Terresa said...

I hear you on this-- I own a bunch of Dr. Sears books and have been referring to them years now with my 4 kids.

Once in awhile I overhear women talking about "taking control" of their crying babies by putting them in cribs, etc. I think that's sick and archaic. We co-sleep w/our youngest son now (he's almost 2) and even did when we had twins (who are now 5 1/2).

We owned a crib for a year and never used it. It was a "display" piece for visitors. Finally we realized what we were doing and got rid of it.

We are kindred spirits. Co-sleeping rocks!

Ash said...

Thank you so much for posting this. People need to research for themselves, and not be afraid of going against what was done by their own parents.

Roblynn and Rebekah said...

Great post. We bought a crib with our first baby, 28 years ago! And never used it with 7 children. I just thought I was lazy and it was so much easier to have baby in bed with us. When my husband finlly agreed to adopting baby 7 his only requirement was, she's not sleeping with us! While in China with our new baby she was having bonding problems. Our very wise social worker told us,"put her in the bed with you!" She is 5 now and still sneaks in when she gets a chance :)

Deveny said...

Sorry mallory but I really really disagree with co-sleeping. :) But if it works for you, cool. I don't have to research to know I don't want a 2 year old in my bed, no matter how much I love them! haha Sure I'll have my newborn in a bassinet for the first few months but then I gotta have my own space with my hubby. My best friend had seperation issues because her parents let her sleep in their bed. Eh, not for me. But again, if it works for you cool. Doesn't work for everyone though.

Jamie said...

WE love co-sleeping. It's an amazing bond that you just can't get anywhere else! Thanks for a great blog!