[dropcap type=”1″]W[/dropcap]e have all watched in ‘awe’ those amazing pictures of young parents cosying up to their children in bed, all peacefully sleeping, enjoying the family warmth. The dispute for and against co sleeping with our children , has been very controversial for many years. From personal experience, I gathered that there are certain types of women who support one argument or the other. But now new research that is coming from the UK, will shake things up a bit, supporting that children SHOULD sleep with their parents until the age of five!
Margot Sunderland, director of Education and Training at the Centre for Child Mental Health London, supports that co-sleeping with your children helps them turn into healthy, emotionally fulfilled adults. Her findings have been included in her new book, coming out soon, and they are gathered after 800 extensive clinical researches and studies. Dr Sunderland is adamant about her findings and very passionate about the results as she urges parents and child development experts to act upon those immediately and change they way they views co sleeping up to now.
She emphasizes that there is not even one study that supports the view that children should cry to sleep on their own or that it is a good thing for parents to let their children cry.
[quote_box_center]Especially in the UK, the notion that children should sleep on their own even only a few weeks after birth, is common practice and many experts have disputed its use over the years , noting that not only it should not take place but it is also harmful to the newborns because the separation from their parents causes rapid increase of some of the stress hormones including the hormone cortisol.[/quote_box_center]
Sunderland also believes that today’s conception about co sleeping is based on social and cultural old fashioned, anachronistic practices that have to be abandoned. Many other experts over the years have emphasized the need for the parents to have their own time alone and the necessity for children to learn how to sleep in their room since a very young age. On the other hand some health experts argue that so sleeping is dangerous for your newborn baby as it poses a danger for SIDS.
However, Sunderland argues that SIDS is more common when children sleep on their own, because they miss out on the calming effect on their heart rates and breathing function that the security of their sleeping mother next to them provides, which negatively impacts their ability to relax.
”In England there are 500 babies dying per years due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In China where co sleeping is considered as a standard practice and natural m SIDS is so rare they haven’t even officially made a term for it”, Dr Sunderland supports.
You can read a very interesting article on co sleeping by the world famous Dr Sears here. He also supports that: “Co-sleeping is a common practice worldwide: The rate of SIDS is lowest in cultures that traditionally share sleep, such as Asian. While there could be many other factors contributing to the lower incidence of SIDS in these cultures, all the population studies I’ve seen have come to the same conclusion: Safe co-sleeping lowers the SIDS risk.”
Sleep sharing should be a family decision and it works in different ways for each family. Make sure your partner is comfortable with this and you are both well informed of the cons and pros of this practice , especially on how it would benefit your family. “So before you start, make sure your partner is comfortable with the arrangement. You run the risk of damaging your relationship if you decide independently that this is what you’re going to do or pressure a reluctant partner to agree.”
[quote_box_right]You can definitely find the time to be alone and improvise ways for private time between you two. Talk openly about your feelings on co-sharing and listen to what your partner has to say. If either one of you still has doubts, why don’t you agree on a trial period of two or three weeks and then check in on each other after that trial period is over.[/quote_box_right]
If either of you still has doubts, one strategy is to agree to a trial period of two weeks or so and check in with each other when that period is over. This is one of those parenting decisions that you have to face daily and as such it should be made after careful consideration of each other’s feelings.
Sleeping with your children IS one of the most normal and natural things to do! In our family, is an amazing experience for all of us and gives us the opportunity for many cuddles and kisses and bonding throughout the night! Children grow up fast – faster than you can imagine! Don’t waste time in don’t s and must’s! Do what nature intended us to do!
More on co sleeping: