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Myths Blog 3: Co Sleeping

Myths Blog 3: Co Sleeping

This is the third of my blogs taken from the fabulous new book called Great Myths of Child Development (Hupp & Jewell, 2015). Hupp & Jewel weigh up the research available about certain parenting myths in a well-written and excellently researched book.

The particular topic that caught my eye was the Myth around ‘Attachment Parenting’. Over the past two blogs, I have looked at their research on extended breastfeeding up to 7 years and immediate bonding within the first two hours of birth. Today, in this final blog, I will look at their review of the literature on co-sleeping.

Co-sleeping with your baby – Attachment parenting promotes co-sleeping with your baby as a method to enhance attachment and bonding. This is such a difficult subject, so lets look at the evidence:

  • There is no evidence that babies who co-sleep are better adjusted or bonded to their parents.
  • There is evidence that babies who co-sleep with their mothers are more likely to breastfeed and for a longer period.
  • There is evidence that co-sleeping with unsafe practices increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Unsafe practices being – baby under the bed covers, parents drinking alcohol prior to sleep, co-sleeping on a couch.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics has a firm recommendation to not co-sleep, siting this and the back to sleep campaign as two important parts to decreasing SIDS.

This leaves the issue open to you. Essentially, if you do choose to co-sleep – do so safely and don’t prioritize it thinking it enhances emotional foundations.

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