(Laughing out loud) How do you feel about sleep-sharing then?
There is no right or wrong place for a baby to sleep. Wherever all family members get the best sleep is the right arrangement for that family. This may vary at different stages of a baby's development.
Some babies sleep better on their own the first few months and then come into the parents' bed. When babies separate, towards the end of the first year, anxiety sets in. Other babies need to sleep close to their mother during the early months and then sleep in their crib later on. My personal belief is that it is good for babies to sleep next to their mother for the first six months.... Scientifically, because you share more than just bed space, you are sharing each other's sleep cycles. Mom and baby get their sleep cycles in sync.
Is sleep-sharing more popular today in the U.S. than in the past?
It fits in with the busy lifestyles of today's parents. Today's parents don't have as much daytime to spend with their baby. Sleeping with baby at night allows them to reconnect at night and make up for the lost touch time they could've had during the day.
How important is it for parents to have physical contact with their babies?
I believe the quality of infant development is directly proportional to the amount of touch that baby gets in a 24-hour period. Sleeping with your baby is a wonderful [way to provide] touch.
Do breastfeeding mothers sleep-share with their babies more often than not?
Breastmilk is digested very rapidly in the stomach, so babies do wake up more frequently than bottle-fed babies. It makes more practical sense for a breastfeeding mom to sleep with her baby. If baby is right next to mom, baby wakes up to nurse, mother rolls over to baby, and neither member of the breastfeeding pair is completely awakened. And that is why it works so well.