Co-Sleeping: Dangerous or Beneficial?

            Sleep deprivation is practically inevitable to a parent of a newborn. Accommodating infant and party for optimal sleep time is deemed necessary. Families are beginning to transition into the trend of what is known as “Co-Sleeping.” Many parents attribute an overall better sense of well being to Co-Sleeping. Some, though, believe it poses risk for their infants. This sleep arrangement is simply defined as an infant sharing the same bed as its mother/father. Co- Sleeping is controversial because it is undetermined whether the benefits outweigh the dangers.

 In 2018, the rate of Sudden Infant Deaths (SIDs) in America was at 3,500. This rate is a dramatic drop from earlier years of statistical data. While this rate has decreased, co-sleeping families in U.S. have an increased rate of 12.8%. So, why has family bed sharing become more prevalent in western culture? In an informative infant book titled Baby 411, by Denise Fields and Ari Brown, M.D., we are explained why. Better parent-infant attachment, sense of security, sense of trust, and protection of SIDs are all explained as benefits of bed sharing (Fields and Brown, M.D. 2008). Among the numerous benefits that co-sleeping offer, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently stated that co sleeping is an unsafe method. While pediatric expert Richard Ferber recently re submitted his position, denoting that the practice of bed sharing can be suitable for some families. Ferber explains that for most families, co-sleeping can reduce or avoid most risk factors, such as SIDs (AAP Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, 2005a).

            Aside from physical affects that co-sleeping may claim benefit, psychological effects are also at stake. Experts suggest that bed sharing may derail a path towards independence in children. Nonetheless, the controversy still remains; Co-sleeping: dangerous or beneficial?

Feilds, D., & Brown, A. (2008). Baby 411 (3rd ed.). Boulder, CO: Windsor Peak Press.

Goldberg, W. A., & Keller, M. A. (2007). Parent–infant co-sleeping: why the interest and concern? Infant & Child Development, 16(4), 331–339. https://doi-org.ezproxy.selu.edu/10.1002/icd.523

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