About Nicole Etolen

Nicole Etolen is the Editor-In-Chief of OurFamilyWorld and its sister site, MyKidsGuide. She is also a blogger and former Certified Nurses Aide. She's been writing most of her life and realized that she could combine her writing talents with her medical knowledge to help others in a new way. Nicole is also the owner of PrettyOpinionated.com. When she's not writing 12 hours a day, she enjoys reading and spending time with her very cool son.

Comments

  1. Research doesn’t support your co-sleeping cons. Children who co-sleep become independent sooner. Co-sleeping actually helps prevent SIDS – babies who co-sleep have a fourfold decrease of SIDS. There are 3 times MORE fatal deaths of children in cribs than in adult beds.

    As for the parents, sleepless nights happen regardless of where your child sleeps, I pity the couple who only has sex in bed, at night – where is your sense of adventure? :)

    For a collection of the research, check out: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/sleep-problems/scientific-benefits-co-sleeping

    • As with all of the “great parenting debates,” I find that there is always research to support either side, it’s just a matter of taking all the information and going through it to determine which aspects of a study relate best to your (general your) circumstances. The main issue that researchers have with co-sleeping as it relates to SIDS is that babies are not really as safe in the over-stuffed mattresses that we have today as they would be on a firmer mattress. Also, certain medications can interruptions to normal sleep patterns, which may in turn pose a threat to the baby.

      In the end, though, letting a baby sleep in a crib doesn’t make one a bad parent, so it really does come down to what is best for each family. In my situation, I was uncomfortable having my preemie sleep in my older, not quite firm bed while he was attached to a monitor. When he was three and scared of monsters, I had no issues letting him sleep with me for a while. That “while” turned into three years, but I wanted him to feel safe. Some would say I was wrong for that, that I should have made him go back to his own bed. But like I said, we all make our choices based on what is best for our circumstances. :)

      As for the independence, I supported your theory on that by saying I never understood that con, so we are in agreement there. However it is important to present both sides of a debate, and I wanted to cover all the major reasons that I’ve seen cited for pros and cons. :)

  2. ◾Could increase the risk of SIDS.
    That’s merely a guess.

    ◾Can put a strain on a marriage.
    Having shared our bed with a number of children over a number of years, I can attest that sleeping arrangements do not strain a marriage, that is, the addition of children to the bed. I can’t speak for those who leave their marriage bed to sleep with a child. Sleeping next to someone you love is good for the family unity. Mom and dad can find creative and fun ways to connect in privacy over the years, and when the youngest finally leaves the bed, it’s all NEW again! Woohoo!

    ◾Decreases the quality of your sleep. While sleeping with your baby may help you get a few extra “zzzs,” the overall quality of your sleep may be greatly diminished if you are subconsciously worrying about rolling over on your baby!
    That’s a guess, again. Nursing mothers do not roll over on their babies. They curl protectively around their offspring, just like other mammals do. In the recent noise about several bedsharing deaths in one US state, they found that 100% of the babies who died were not being breastfed.

    ◾Discourages independence in your child.
    Nonsense. Around the world people will share sleep with others in the family – a sibling, an aunt or grandparent. We’ve hosted International students in our home. One student, a Korean, was shocked to find out babies do not sleep with their parents in North America because it’s believe it makes them too dependent. On the contrary,Korean children are very independent; we’ve had them as young as 11 years old staying with us.

  3. I co-slept with my duaghter when she was a baby! But I was a single mom, so there was no marriage to worry about. When I got married when she was 3, she was already sleeping in her own bed.

    • I got separated when my son was three and that’s when he moved in to my room, so I was kind of the opposite! He was scared to sleep in his own bed for two years after seeing a scary Halloween display.

  4. I co-slept with my first born for a few months until we found out baby #2 was on the way. It worked great for us at the time.

  5. I co-slept with both of my kids when they were little. I think a lot of common sense goes a long way. It worked out really well for us, since my husband had a completely different schedule than most, and I was nursing, and I had a lot of pain from delivering, so it was the best choice for me.

  6. I think it has a lot to do with cultures too, I know a lot of Hispanics will cosleep with their babies. There are definitely safety issues involved but it can be done.

    • You’re right, it does seem that different cultures have different ideas about many things. I agree, it definitely can be done, as long as safety is a priority.

  7. Megan Marquez says:

    Not co-sleeping is merely a western culture thing. Children have been sleeping with their mothers and fathers for thousands of years. Doing it safely is the most important part. We have so many infant deaths from co sleeping because of down feather comforters, idiots becoming parents, things we didn’t have to worry about back in the day. I mean seriously who leaves their 3 month old in a bed alone to go out and party?! Anyway, I believe that families need to do what’s right for them, and everybody needs to be supportive of everyone. Wether you co sleep, breastfeed, use formula, swaddled or not, we are all in this together as parents and I think we an get a lot more done supporting each other rather then being at each other’s throats because our differences in parenting. It’s like family recipes, in the end we have all created the same thing, but our ways of getting there are just a little different and that’s okay. I love cosleeping with my son, but that’s my family’s decision. You decision is yours, and that will be respected.

    As for the rift in the marriage, I strongly advise any couple who is only ‘doing’ it in bed with the lights off, to get out of that room, put on something sexy, keep the lights on, and make some alternative uses for that kitchen table, don’t worry it can be disinfected. ;)

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