My little lady has never been interested in sleeping in my bed. Some nights I’d love her to snuggle in with me so I can smell her little head (creepy much?) but she will have none of it. She likes to sleep in her cot and that’s that.
There are, however, plenty of parents out there who co-sleep with their babies because that’s the only way their tots will sleep. And I am on board with doing whatever you can to get them to sleep because, well, sleep!
But apparently more than 50% of these parents are too ashamed to admit they co-sleep – according to a new study, that is.
Professor Susan Stewart and author of Co-Sleeping: Parents, Children, and Musical Beds conducted a study and found that about half of the participants did not discuss their co-sleeping with family members or their children’s pediatricians due to the shame and stigma associated with it.
Co-sleeping is discouraged by many peadiatricians due to its link with SIDS…but for everyone that says it’s dangerous, you’ll find another person arguing the opposite. Professor Susan Stewart is one of them.
Half of the participants did not discuss their co-sleeping with family members or their children’s pediatricians due to the shame
She says despite what people may think, bed sharing doesn’t make children overly dependent on their parents. In fact, she claims that her research has found babies who co-sleep often grow up to feel more secure and attached to their parents. And while many parents want to break the habit, they need sleep in order to be the best parents they can be.
“Parents also choose to co-sleep because they are exhausted. They’re stressed, and honestly, it’s often easier for them to sleep with their kids. It’s one way for busy families to spend time together,” she says. “Everyone is telling you how to parent, but not supporting your parenting decisions. This judgment makes mothers feel like they are not good enough.”
And any mother knows that’s the truth. I may not co-sleep, but according to society I probably should have breastfed longer, not given in to the dummy, not put The Wiggles on as much as I do… and a million other things that are frowned upon by society.
Professor Susan Stewart wants to take the finger pointing out of parenting and encourages parents who choose to co-sleep not to feel ashamed of their choices. Hallelujah to that.
Did you co-sleep with your baby? If so, did you love it or hate it?