Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mommy paranoia and co-sleeping

In a follow up to a recent post regarding safe co-sleeping, this post surrounds the many facets of mommy paranoia. I swore up and down that I would not co-sleep. Media had me afraid that I'd smother my baby. But, research shows that mothers, especially nursing mothers, actually are so in-tuned with their babies that co-sleeping (whether bed sharing or just rooming-in) can save babies (McKenna, 1994).

With the recent disappearance of baby Lisa from her crib, Chrissy recently posted the following (used with permission), "One day a lady commented 'If she would have been co-sleeping, this would have never happened.' Then some guy said "Co-sleeping is BAT SHIT CRAZ...Y!!!" I didn't want to get into it with strangers on the fb page for a missing child but I had to add "Co-sleeping is natural. It has been done since the beginning of time and actually helps prevent SIDS." Well. Some random lady sent me a PM telling me that I was ignorant and putting my Childs (sic) life at risk, blah blah blah. I responded with some general facts in a non-argumentative way and ended it with "I am doing what I know is best for my family and as a mother, I trust you are doing the same. Let's just agree to disagree." She continued trying to argue with me and I finally blocked her and said stop messaging me. She hunted me down from someone else's FB and messaged me from there about blocking her an continued to attack me. I didn't even read the whole thing."

We all know that parenting is TOUGH, and we all are trying to find what works for our families. But, media has us believing that co-sleeping is dangerous and wrong. For our family, we have a split floor plan and while our 3.75 year old generally is in her own bed, she is in our room. 

I am paranoid that she won't be safe on the other side of our house. Our daughter is safe and content in our room: I can respond to her needs, so I'm in no rush to have her on the other end of the house. She has yet to ask to be in her "own" room and I figure when she's ready she will ask. Right now her "room" has no bed and is considered her clothes room! We have asked her if she wanted a bed in it, and it seems foreign to her.

Source: McKenna, J., et al, "Experimental studies of infant-parent co-sleeping: Mutual physiological and behavioral influences and their relevance to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)." Early Human Development 38 (1994)187-201.

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