Co-sleeping is hardly some radical new idea. In fact, throughout history, it has been the norm that children sleep with their families, particularly in colder climates, where everyone benefits from sharing precious body heat! But what about today, when we have central heating, and enough beds to go around? Recent studies have shown that co-sleeping has many positives for your child and family above and beyond having to conserve both heat and space.
Dr. William Sears, head cheerleader for the attachment parenting movement, is a big fan of co-sleeping –- in fact, he and his wife have done this with all 8 of their kids! He has also studied the practice extensively, reporting that children who sleep with their parents tend to “thrive”, or grow to their fullest potential, as the extra touching stimulates physical and mental development. Co-sleeping will also let you know immediately if your child has any trouble in the night.
Skip the nightly bedtime hassles by allowing your little into the family bed. He is less likely to feel lonely, or cry, or wake up numerous times in the night asking for a glass of water or trip to the potty. As an added benefit, you'll sleep better too as you relax and snuggle his little body –- once you can get past the occasional kick or blanket-hogging, that is!
In the book “Good Nights: The Happy Parents' Guide to the Family Bed (and a Peaceful Night's Sleep!)”, pediatrician Dr. Jay Gordon explains that toddlers allowed to share their parents' bed are happier, easier to control, less fearful and have fewer tantrums than children who sleep alone. As an added bonus, he cites several studies of co-sleeping children that report they rarely, if ever, suck their thumbs or become overly attached to a blankie or teddy.
The family that sleeps together, keeps together! In today's busy world, when you've got to rush straight from work to pick up the kids at daycare, then home in time for a quick dinner and bed, it's hard to find that special family time needed for bonding. Sleeping together gives those precious extra hours of cuddling and connecting that really do carry over and allow for a closer family relationship once the youngsters are able to stay up past sunset.
- Good Nights: The Happy Parents' Guide to the Family Bed (and a Peaceful Night's Sleep!) ; Jay Gordon, M.D. and Maria Goodavage
- Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep; William Sears, M.D.
- Libaware: Sleep with Me: A Trans-cultural Look at the Power -- and Protection -- of Sharing a Bed
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