What the *heck* is co-sleeping?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
What the *heck* is co-sleeping?
22
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 10:59am
I've read it bunches of times, but I have no idea what it is... well I have a small idea, but if it means the kids sleep in your bed with you, when the heck do you have sex?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 10:12am
FYI - in Dear Abby today:

DEAR ABBY: My daughter's preschool teacher sent the following letter home last week. If you think it would benefit your readers, would you please consider printing it? -- A PARENT IN TEXAS

DEAR PARENT: The message in that letter is powerful. I hope other parents will heed it. Read on:

"Dear Parents: Today I attended the funeral of my 3-week-old niece. She died of suffocation in bed with her mother, her father and her 2-year-old sister.

"I don't need to tell you the shock and sorrow this tragedy has caused. As parents, we can only imagine such a nightmare. It will take a lifetime of healing and God's grace to get past this.

"Although my niece's death was tragic, she didn't die in vain if, through her death, other lives can be saved.

"I know it's popular and natural to gather your children into bed with you -- whether for their safety and security, for bonding, or just to get a good night's sleep. We've all been there.

"So, it isn't out of judgment or criticism that I write this note but only out of caution -- a warning. Be careful. It CAN happen. It happened to my family. Please, don't let it happen to yours."

Avatar for biancamami
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 12:54pm
Many many children have died of SIDS in cribs. And yet no one writes heart wrenching columns about how dangerous cribs are.

I honestly think that while the intention of columns like this may be good, it really is offensive to cultures that have been practicing co-sleeping for centuries. The death of a child in his or her sleep is often multifactorial and should be analyzed in depth before blaming the parents for engaging in an "unsafe" practice.

Ana
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 12:52pm
Co-sleeping is when parents are too lazy to teach their children how to sleep on their own.

How they have sex is something I wondered too. I am afraid of the answer as it is probably not truly legal even.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-04-1997
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 12:55pm
I think you win the award for the most judegemental, knee-jerk, narrow-minded comment of the thread. Congratulations!
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 1:14pm
And you are an expert on the "laziness" of others? REally? Have you studied this? Have you been in my home, or the homes of others who practice it? Have you been able to discuss the "reasons" for co-sleeping with EVERY family who does it, and then draw an educated conclusion that they are all full of it, and actually very lazy, and THAT is the REAL reason they co-sleep?

Give me a break!

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

Avatar for biancamami
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 3:27pm
Not only is your post completely offensive and judgmental, it is also plain WRONG. Many parents choose this arrangement for many reasons...in fact, in some countries, putting a baby in a crib (let alone a separate room) is seen as heartless and cruel . Have you even considered that many people don't have a separate room for their children? What about low income families where the whole family sleeps in the same room? What about parents that feel that cosleeping is the most "natural" sleeping arrangement for their children...are they just being lazy too?

"Solitary infant sleeping is a principally western practice which is quite young in terms of human history. The practice of training children to sleep alone through the night is approximately two centuries old. Prior to the late 1700s cosleeping was the norm in all societies (Davies, 1995). Today in many cultures the practice of cosleeping continues, with babies seen as natural extensions of their mothers for the first one or two years of life, spending both waking and sleeping hours by her side. Cosleeping is taken for granted in such cultures as best for both babies and mothers, and the western pattern of placing small infants alone in rooms of their own is seen as aberrant (Thevenin, 1987).

Anthropological evidence of cosleeping societies is abundant. In reviews of literature on cosleeping societies Thevenin (1987) and Lozoff and Brittenham (1979) noted classic studies which included nearly 200 cultures, all of which practiced mother-infant cosleeping even if in some cultures the sleeping location of the father was separate. Examples of cultures included in the studies were the Japanese, the Korean, the Phillipino, the Eskimo Indian, the !Kung San of Africa, and the natives of Okinowa (Lozoff & Brittenham, 1979; Thevenin, 1987). The description of the Okinowan Indian culture included observations both of parent-child cosleeping until the age of six and unrestricted breastfeeding, as well as of characteristics of adult behavior that are very consistent with secure attachment histories (Thevenin, 1987). Cosleeping is the cultural norm for approximately 90% of the world's population (Young, 1998)."



Ana
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 9:45pm
why is it so important we teach our children to sleep alone?

my kids always started out in their own beds in their own rooms. gradually, first one would climb in the bed, then another. sometimes all three would end up in the bed. maybe it was laziness, but i for one *need* at least eight hours of sleep, and it was so much easier to roll over and let them in, then try to engage in child psychology, and a battle of the wits at 3am. i've never had energy for *any* kind of interaction in the middle of the night, and was not about to start. i am a better mom during the day with my allotted amount of sleep, and they are better kids with theirs. who cares, its done everywhere all the time. they eventually want their own space, and it does not last forever. personally, i wish i could have those days back. i miss my babies. they are all bigger than me now, and definitly want their own space.

as far as sex, lets just say, if there's a will, there's a way, and *never* with the kids present.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 8:43am
Her post was incredibly judgmental, and I don't think co-sleeping is lazy or dangerous, necessarily.

I think the reaction was one that a lot of people share, in a modified form, though. It DOES take more energy to get up and go into the baby's room all night long than to bring them in with you. We forced ourselves to do it because we didn't want the kids to ever come into bed with us. I don't even like sleeping with DH every night!!!! I like my own space. I can truly say that neither of my kids has ever come into bed with us any night, and we wouldn't permit it. In addition, if you aren't raised with co-sleeping, you do find it an unusual practice. That's why the Sleep Training, Gently to Sleep, Attachment Parenting and Family Bed boards exist here - to highlight all of the differences in philosophy on sleep practices.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2000
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 9:09am
OMG, you sound just like me! I could never, ever sleep with a child in my bed. I've never allowed it. I've tried, when we were away, but it was grueling. Nope, won't ever happen.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Thu, 05-15-2003 - 1:26pm
I co-slept w/ my first dd when me and her father were together. We just never had sex in bed is all (and I find the practice to be a bit...ordinary anyway). I still co-sleep now that I'm single (though I'm moving the girls into their own room over the summer). My youngest has always slept with me (I BF'd and it made it soooo much easier) and my oldest has on and off throughout her 4 years.

I think it's also called having a "family bed." It's just what we've always done. I actually have trouble sleeping w/o my girls in the bed but I'm just going to have to get over that because I want my room back!