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What do you think of co-sleeping?

April 30th, 2010 / 6 Comments

I just read an article on 10 Controversial Parenting Tips. The author asked four prominent experts to weigh in on 10 hot button issues of parenting. I am glad to see Kevin Leman on the panel because I’m a fan of his books.

The author didn’t ask me, nevertheless, I’m going to take a stab at giving my opinions. In the next 10 posts, I will give my perspective on the 10 hot button issues of parenting.

Here is the first one:
Co-sleeping: “Proponents claim it fosters a bond between parent and baby.  Opponents fear the baby will be injured by a parent rolling over, or the baby will get too attached to their parents.”

If a child grows up too attached to the parents, I doubt it was simply due to co-sleeping. I’m sure other factors would be involved. If the parents are emotionally healthy, not using the baby for their own attachment needs, I don’t think the concern of over-attachment is a problem.

When my kids were babies, they slept in a bassinet next to my bed so I can reach them easily to nurse them without getting out of my bed. Sometimes they would end up sleeping on my bed after nursing. I found this to be not only convenient but a wonderful bonding time. I believe the snuggling and the closeness helps the baby feel secure. I imagine coming out of a safe, soft, warm womb into the big, open environment is pretty scary, don’t you think?

Safety in co-sleeping is a concern. With my baby in bed, I would lie so still and stiff that I couldn’t really sleep peacefully. After 3 months or so, my babies were usually back in their own cribs in their own room.

However, when my children reached that separation anxiety period of not wanting to sleep in their own room, they moved back to my room and slept on the floor next to my bed. They gradually made their way to their own rooms.

Parents should provide safety and comfort during times of anxiety and at various stages of life. Co-sleeping is just one way to do this. I believe healthy kids will naturally want to be autonomous as they grow. If co-sleeping is more of the parent’s need to hold on than the child’s need, then it’s wrong.

What’s been your experience and your opinion?

Next post, hot issue #2:  Homeschooling

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  1. […] 10 Controversial Parenting Tips, here is my take at #2 of the 10 hot button issues of parenting. (Read the #1 issue on […]

  2. […] What do you think of co-sleeping? […]

  3. […] post is hot button issue #4, childhood immunizations. (See #1 co-sleeping, #2 homeschooling, and #3 […]

  4. we cosleep but with our son in a separate twinbed next to ours. It MUST be done correctly for safety reasons. yes it was very helpful for nursing. but now that he’s weaned it’s a source of comfort for him as well as convenience for us as he still wakes up at least once a week in the middle of the night needing water, or some other reason. the book Good Nights was a helpful resource for me. I know our son will move out when he’s ready, and we’re ready for that whenever it happens (the book says usually around 7 or when a new baby comes)

  5. […] this series of 10 Hot Button Parenting Issues, here is […]

  6. […] took a break from blogging after covering the 10 Hot Button Parenting Issues. Enjoyed some time off with my kids. Now I’m back for […]


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