A personal story... my dad had always given me grief about bedsharing with my children. I paid him no mind, smiled, and continued sleeping with my babe. When I went into labor with my oldest son and left for the birth center, my oldest daughter crawled in bed with my parents who were staying with us, as it was the middle of the night. When they came the next morning, my dad whispered in my ear, "now I know why you like them sleeping with you - their sweet little snores, their warm little bodies curl right up next to you. Its the most peaceful feeling in the world." I couldn't have asked for a better way for him to change his mind! It didn't come from me trying to change his mind, it came from him experiencing it himself, which I feel is a stronger place anyway! He know tells all my siblings to sllep with their babies, its just great.
this is one of the most touching stories i have ever heard, i actually got choked up. thanks for sharing!
when babies die in cribs, no one says, "we have to get rid of all the cribs" (even though crib mattresses have been proven to release toxic chemicals). no one tells the parents they were negligent to put their baby there to begin with, yet the exact opposite is true of parents who cosleep.
I agree! It's interesting how everyone calls it SIDS instead of "crib death" like they used to!
I stopped having the concerns you have about other people giving me a hard time once I educated myself and was confident that my decision was the right one. If there is a reason to bring up our sleeping arrangement, I do not feel embarrassed or ashamed to do so. If I don't feel like discussing it, I don't bring it up. I find ways to mention that we co-sleep to new moms all the time, though, and find that many of them admit to me that they "secretly" co-sleep. On the rare occasions that someone actually does criticize it, I am well-informed and perfectly able to share my knowledge with them.
It almost sounds like it's discouraging cosleeping (baby in bed with parents) because it's not safe?
Unfortunately, the study I cited has been used by the AAP to recommend against bedsharing (but in favor of having the baby sleep in the same room with the parents). However, I do not believe that was the intention of the study, nor did it appear to me from reading the paper that the authors were making assumptions about crib sleeping being the default sleep situation. The study covered a very wide range of factors that might have something to do with SIDS, including things like whether or not the family had moved since the baby was born.
The authors went out of their way to point out that the slight increase (over sleeping in the same room but not the same bed) in risk of SIDS during bedsharing that they found in their analysis disappeared after the baby was 8 weeks old, unless the mother smokes.
The reason I mentioned this study in this thread is that relatives who are concerned about SIDS might be reassured by the findings of such a large study published in such a reputable journal.
To put these findings into perspective, here are some things that had a much greater risk of SIDS than bedsharing in the first 8 weeks:
Baby was put down to sleep on their stomach
Mother smokes and bedshares (riskier than putting the baby down to sleep on their stomach!)
Mother is under the age of 21
Mother has previously had more than 4 live births
I think I'd point concerned relatives though to Dr. McKenna's site instead. Only because I can see people taking the study to mean (just like the AAP did) that bedsharing is unsafe or that cribs are safer. Those first few weeks are when a baby and mother could really use and benefit from cosleeping.
Here are other links that I think would be good to use for concerned friends and relatives: