Bree and Orson debate over the family bed.
On last night's DH, Bree and her husband, Orson, battled
over Bree's "family bed" approach to child-rearing. She feels
co-sleeping will help them bond with the baby—but Orson worries that
having a baby in the bed will prevent him from "bonding" with Bree.
Most of us Moms in the office have had similar conversations with our spouses. Even though we know it's a controversial topic, many Moms here fess up to co-sleeping at least some of the time, mainly out of sheer
exhaustion. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against co-sleeping due to the elevated risk of suffocation and SIDS: "Bed sharing is not recommended during sleep," according to AAP guidelines. "Infants may be brought into bed for nursing or comforting, but should be returned to their own crib or bassinet when the parent is ready to return to sleep." Famous attachment parenting advocate Dr. Sears
disagrees. He says the answer is not to tell parents they shouldn't sleep with their baby, but rather to educate them on how to sleep with their infants safely.
Dr. Sears' Tips for Safe Co-Sleeping:
* Take precautions to prevent baby from rolling out of bed, even though it is unlikely to happen when baby is sleeping next to mother. Like heat-seeking missiles, babies automatically gravitate toward a warm body. Yet, to be safe, place baby between mother and a guardrail or push the mattress flush against the wall and position baby between mother and the wall. Guardrails enclosed with plastic mesh are safer than those with slats, which can entrap baby's limbs or head. Be sure the guardrail is flush against the mattress so there is no crevice that baby could sink into.
* Place baby adjacent to mother, rather than between mother and father.
* Place baby to sleep on his or her back.
* Use a large bed, preferably a queen-size or king-size.
* Don't wear lingerie with string ties longer than eight inches. Ditto for dangling jewelry. Baby may get caught in these entrapments.
* Some parents and babies sleep better if baby is still in touching and hearing distance, but not in the same bed. For them, a bedside co-sleeper is a safe option.
A Mom•Logic favorite is the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper Bassinet. Many Moms here swear by it!