Monthly Archives: October 2007

Shared sleep

I’ve often wondered why people expect babies to sleep through the night. Do adults sleep through? Do they never wake for a drink or to use the bathroom? Then why would you expect an infant to do the same? They have a stomach the size of a marble as a newborn.

From near day one, the main question about our babe (after the routine name, age, size bit) has centered on how he’s sleeping. Truth is, our babe sleeps like a dream most nights. I consider us lucky, but at the same time think that we owe a lot to the fact that we co-sleep. Nobody I know seems to talk about bed sharing but to me it seems totally natural. I’ve ofen wondered if more people do it than let on.

Thankfully, we have the resources available to help us become informed about the risks and benefits of the decision to share our sleep space. Turns out we’re not alone in the choice we’ve made. It seems co-sleeping is natural for our species and very common in many parts of the world.

Some studies show that if done properly it decreases the rate of SIDS, allows parents to more easily hear if their child is in distress and take corrective action, and can even regulate the child’s breathing and temperature. It promotoes breastfeeding, allowing feeding on demand without the need for babe or mom to fully wake, let alone schlep across the house in the middle of the night. For us it’s resulted in better sleep for all involved. It may not be the norm here in the Midwest, but it works well for our family and that’s what matters.

Much of the information out there about bed sharing is doom and gloom, worst case scenario type of stuff. It’s nice to see there are some sites devoted to providing useful information. can give you the lowdown on how to sleep safely with your babe.