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Posts Tagged ‘bedsharing

Bedsharing isn't always pretty

Bedsharing proponents generally fall into one of two camps. The first kind is the “attachment parenting” type of parent that strongly believes that it is in the best interest of the baby to share a sleep space with the parents from birth. These parents will sometimes have a “family bed” where everyone in the family shares the same sleep space. Bonding and the emotional well-being of the baby is often sited as a primary goal for this group.

The second and most common group is the parents that have a crib or bassinet for their baby and plan for precious child to sleep the night through in his or her crib.  Unfortunately, no one informed junior of that plan.  After a night of singing, walking, rocking their darling, wide-eyed, screaming baby – these exhausted, anxious parents bring baby into bed with them because they can’t keep their eyes open one more moment and they have to get to work the next morning.  So in complete desperation they bring baby into bed with them in the frantic hope that they will get just 5 minutes of good sleep before the alarm goes off. This type of bedsharing parent is often referred to as the “Chaotic bedsharer”.

There is a raging debate amongst parents and professionals.  Advocates of bedsharing believe that it is:

  • Natural
  • Historical (It’s been done since the beginning of time.)
  • Facilitates breastfeeding
  • Helps with Bonding
  • Assists baby with healthy emotional development
  • Increases both parental and infant sleep time

Opponents of bedsharing believe that it is dangerous for the infant less than one year of age because it can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation by overlay or by entrapment.

Whatever your belief, I think that we can all agree that neither parent is “evil” because they choose to bedshare.  But, the photo tells a truer picture of a night spent with a baby.  So, regardless of your parenting style, be prepared for a foot in your nose and another foot in your kidneys!  I wish all you parents a pleasant – “Good Night.”

Many thanks to bellyitchblog.com for this great photo!

As a parent, do you feel like you just can’t get it right?  You just can’t keep up with all the changes in child rearing practices?  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) actually makes a practice of reviewing the safe sleep guidelines every 5  years or so so that their recommendations can keep up with the latest trends and products.

Since the AAP recommended all babies should be placed on their backs to sleep in 1992, deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome have declined dramatically. But sleep-related deaths from other causes, including suffocation, entrapment and asphyxia, have increased. In an updated policy statement, the AAP is expanding its guidelines on safe sleep for babies, with additional information for parents on creating a safe environment for their babies to sleep. Rachel Moon, MD, FAAP explains how parents can help their babies sleep safely in a video.

The current recommendations:

  • Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time.
  • Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
  • The baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing).
  • Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads.
  • Wedges and positioners should not be used.
  • Pregnant woman should receive regular prenatal care.
  • Don’t smoke during pregnancy or after birth.
  • Breastfeeding is recommended.
  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating.
  • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations.
  • Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly (flat heads).
The best thing about these guidelines is that they continue to be easy for parents and caregivers to do.  These guidelines can actually decrease the amount of money that you might spend by reducing the number of products in the baby’s crib.  Remember, that you need to share these guidelines with anyone who cares for your baby.

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