Sharing sleep: An in-depth look

So let's add another fact: People need to be touched. Babies can be fed and burped and diapered, but if they are not held, they will die. Why would this need ever go away throughout childhood? Children need their parent's physical presence and they need to be touched by them. If the parents are away from their infants/children for over forty hours a week, when does this "touching" take place if bedtime is off limits? Considering the circumstances, it is no surprise that working parents would have difficulty keeping a child out of their bed?

I knew the popular American parenting culture, but my own experience led me down a different path. In 1988, I gave birth to my first son, Joshua, and everything I thought I knew about parenting was tested. I tried to start out on the regular route, but soon realized that I needed to follow the path less traveled.

The issue became basic to me - who's needs were more important - my son's or my own? For me the answer was simple. I was the adult in this situation, and my son's needs came first.

Practicality was also important. Why was I walking two doors down to the nursery, when he could be right there in my room? Soon the crib was set up like a sidecar to my bed, and I was meeting my son's needs right away. My husband and I got tired of the crib taking up so much space, so we adjusted by starting the baby out in the crib in the nursery, and bringing him to bed with us after his first feed at 2:00 a.m. At times, we would just bring him in our bed from the beginning.

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