Sharing sleep: An in-depth look

Other areas of concern often voiced by those opposed to co-sleeping include possible overlaying, marital conflict, and the inevitable "you'll never get them to leave."

Will you roll over on your baby?

Mothers are so physically and mentally aware of their baby that this is highly unlikely unless alcohol or drugs are involved. In addition, a baby is not completely helpless. If a parent starts to roll onto a baby, she will most likely wake up and cry. Fathers may not be as aware and could knock the baby with a stray arm. Consider keeping the baby on the other side of mom and install a guard rail or move the bed flush against the wall. Keep pillows and blankets away from the baby's face. Do not allow a baby to sleep on a couch, bean bag or water bed. Never sleep with the baby when under the influence of alcohol or tranquilizing medication.


Most parents throughout the world sleep with their infants with no such problems. A Swedish study looked at this issue and found that the parents' marital relations were not harmed by having a child sleep with them and that it did not cause a rise in the divorce rate. If both parents agree on it, sharing sleep usually does not contribute to marital conflict (however, it won't work if you don't want the child there). Many parents report that co- sleeping has lead to more creativity in their sex lives. They point out that there are many other rooms in the house. They may also move a sleeping child to the floor or another room temporarily.

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