It is true there are three kinds of lies – lies, damn lies and infant statistics. I remember the first night when our daughter (she was around 1 year old that time) slept with us on the bed. I didn’t get a decent sleep. Why? It’s because I was afraid that I was going to roll on her and suffocate. My wife and I knew of this risk, but still, we decided to do it. While a lot of parents don’t do it because of the risks involved, we feel that the advantages greatly outweigh this risk.
We’ll be the first to admit that there’s a risk to it. Even the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns against it. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room-sharing and not bed-sharing. This is because they feel that bed-sharing presents a risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
How real is this risk? Are co-sleeping statistics are lies? Going back to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, they’ve collated data that showed that 515 infants under the age of 2 died because of co-sleeping.
While this is very old data (from January 1990 to December 1997), it still shows that the risk is real.
What does the CPSC recommend? You have to wait until your child is more than 2 years old to start co-sleeping if you really want to do it.
The CPSC co-sleeping statistics are lies because they don’t know why babies are dieing in a bed.
Why did we still decide to do it even with the risk? First of all, we felt back then that babies dying because of co-sleeping are rarer now than before because of the improvements in mattresses and beds.
In fact, the figures released now are not clear on whether the death occurred because of SIDS or suffocation.
There is research that shows that the cases of SIDS are decreasing, although sleep-related deaths among infants are on the rise.
What did this tell us? It showed us that as long as we’re aware of our baby’s presence, then the risk is highly minimal at best. Co-sleeping statistics are lies because they don’t take into account responsible parents who mitigate the risks.
Don’t drink alcohol, don’t eat Ambien!
This is where parental instincts kick in. We’re aware that we’re sleeping with our baby so we’re not going to roll over her.
Is co-sleeping worth the risk? With the risk minimized, we feel that it’s more than worth it. We’ve developed quite a great bond with our baby. She feels safe knowing that we’re right there beside her. Also, our baby’s sleep pattern is normal. She’s awake during the day and asleep during the night, even when she was still an infant. Co-sleeping advocates are saying that this practice encourages babies to sleep soundly through the night. We agree. This is also beneficial to us since we’ve always enjoyed a normal sleep cycle because of this.
This practice of co-sleeping also encouraged my wife and daughter to continue breastfeeding.
Yes, even up to now that my daughter is almost 3 years old. This is because it’s easier to breastfeed this way. My daughter quickly learned to just lift my wife’s shirt up if she wants to breastfeed. These are just some of the benefits of cosleeping but you can already see how it can help parents and toddlers alike.
Of course, this is not to say that you can just go ahead and have your baby sleep in your bed. You have to take the necessary precautions. First of all, don’t do it if you drink alcohol and do drugs. You need to be 100% aware of what’s happening around you. For example, your toddler will make it known if she’s feeling discomfort, so you need to be aware.
Also, make sure that your bed is not too soft or too hard. Make sure that it won’t contribute to the risk of SIDS.
When in doubt, ask your baby’s pediatrician for his or her thoughts.