Cosleeping – our choice

by beagooddad on September 8, 2006

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Did your parents’ group or extended family just calm down from arguing about breastfeeding and homeschooling?  Do you need something to get everybody riled up again?  One simple word.  Cosleeping.

Cosleeping is another of the hot button parent polarizing topics that normally bring out some weird ideas in people.

I was using StumbleUpon to find some parenting articles.  (If you haven’t used StumbleUpon before, you should check it out – great way for finding new stuff on the internet).  My Stumble led me to this article on cosleeping.

I was reading through it and nodding my head a couple times.  The arguments seem fine and typcial until this one:

Cribs, especially if located outside the parents’ room, are dangerous in other ways too. An isolated baby has no protection from secret physical or sexual abuse.

That is single handedly one of the strangest arguments I have ever heard supporting cosleeping.  Especially since it is just thrown out there with no mention of a source or statistics or anything.  If your baby is at risk of “secret physical or sexual abuse” that probably means that it is going to come from one of the parents or friends/relatives living in the house.  If that problem really exists in the house, then having the child sleep in your bed is probably not going to eliminate that problem.  It will just move the problem to another room and another time.  The abuse problem should be dealt with entire independently from the issue of where your child sleeps and it should be dealt with immeditately.

She does use a statistic later when talking about how dangerous cribs are.  She quotes the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as reporting “40 to 50 crib deaths per year, and thousands of serious injuries.”  I would be interested in seeing the same numbers associated with cosleeping and then converted to a percentage.  I have no idea what the number would be, but I’m thinking anything that causes 40 to 50 deaths in all the millions of kids that are sleeping in cribs is something that is probably relatively safe in the grand scheme of things.

And of those thousands of serious injuries, I wonder how many of them happened because somebody tried to squeeze an extra couple months out of their crib.  I can guarantee you that Geetle and Pookie would have had to work very hard to hurt themselves in their crib for most of the time they were sleeping in the crib.  Once they were able to start thinking about climbing/jumping out of the crib, we moved them to beds.

Anyway, my kids obviously slept in cribs and they slept in a separate room they shared together.  They started the day we brought them home and have never slept with us except for a couple naps.  I never trusted myself to not squash them in the middle of the night or smother them beneath our giant blankets.

That was our choice.  Which way did you choose?

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