David Brinkley’s Facebook post of his wife sleeping with their two young children went viral like wildfire. The reason? Despite the apparently sweet and peaceful picture, many people argued she was actually putting her babies in serious danger by sharing a bed. And others came to the Brinkleys’ defense, claiming it was a great way for parents to bond with their children as long as they are careful.
AAP and US Consumer Product Safety Commision say sleeping in the same bed as your baby increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Other studies have found a multitude of benefits when it comes to sharing your bed with your little ones. James McKenna, director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory, says that being with your baby all night can actually help protect them. “Infants and babies give off cues and signals that caregivers need to react and respond to,” McKenna says. “By sleeping next to baby, the mother is able to promote baby’s breathing stability…. There is no scientific validation that says co-sleeping is bad. Accidents, of course, happen, and there are risk factors, as with everything.”
But are the apparent benefits of co sleeping worth the risk? How do your opinions on this and other controversial parenting techniques measure up to others’?