Despite the well-documented dangers, a growing number of otherwise safety conscious moms and dads are bed-sharing with their babies. What do experts say about this controversial practice?
A Dangerous way to bond
A child can become wedged between the wall and the mattress, headboard, or footboard, and at that age (3 and 6 months) she doesn't have the muscle development or motor control to free herself. She also my suffocate if she's lying prone and turns her head into soft bedding or pillows. An infant under 3 months is especially vulnerable to being overlain by a parent or sibling.
SIDS is another hazard. Overheating is yet one other SIDS risk factor that's exacerbated by bed-sharing. Young babies [under age 5 months] are more susceptible to overheating because their bodies ability to regulate hear is not intact.
Savoring the benefits
Many women find that sleeping with infant is more restful especially if they're breastfeeding. Bed-sharing maximizes sleep for both babies and families.
For moms, the decision to bed-share is a philosophical one. It's also a conerstone of a popular parenting approach know at attachment parenting (AP) which emphasizes creating strong emotion bond with your child through breastfeed baby-wearing and bed-sharing. "I love this idea of the whole family sleeping together". Bed sharing could bolster a child's self-confidence because he'd feel that his mother would always be there for him.
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