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Friday
Jan092009

Benefits of Co-Sleeping

When a baby is on the way, most parents spend hours, days or weeks preparing a beautiful nursery with a gorgeous crib. Society tells us that babies sleep on their own, in a crib, in a different room from their parents. More recently, health authorities have started suggesting that the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a crib in the parents room, because proximity to the parents is important but many consider bed sharing to be dangerous. In attachment parenting circles though, co-sleeping is quite popular and there is great opposition to the faulty conclusion that bed sharing is unsafe.

Over the next week or so, I plan to publish a few posts on co-sleeping, starting tonight with the benefits of bed sharing.

Benefits of Bed Sharing

There are many benefits to sharing a bed with your baby. For me part of it is that I just love being able to cuddle with my kids, but there is more to it than just that:

  • Ease of breastfeeding: One study found that bed sharing infants breastfeed about twice as often as regular solitary sleepers, with the total duration of nightly nursing episodes amounting to almost three times of what is observed in lone sleep conditions (see p. 124 of Natural Parenting - Back to Basics in Infant Care - by Regine A. Schön and Maarit Silvén in the Evolutionary Psychology journal) . This can be particularly helpful in the case of infants that are not gaining enough weight, as they will be encouraged by the proximity to nurse more frequently.  It is also helpful to working and pumping moms that struggle to pump enough during the day, since nighttime nursing can increase their supply and also decrease their baby's daytime needs. Also, it is easier to just roll-over and pop out a breast to nurse your baby than to get out of bed, go to another room, sit in a rocker for 20 to 30 minutes, and then return to bed (especially if this happens several times per night).
  • Better sleep for mom and baby: For us and for many co-sleeping families, co-sleeping means more sleep and generally less anxiety about sleep. In our case, our daughter actually slept through the night most nights while sleeping next to us but woke frequently if we were not there. Our son never slept through the night as an infant, but responding to his needs was easier when he was in bed with us. Mothers whose babies sleep in another room have to get out of bed to respond to their baby. This causes the mother to wake up more fully and makes it more difficult for her to fall back asleep. Also, she is less able to rest while tending to her baby than a mother who is in bed with her baby. This is backed up by research by M.D. Gordon and S.L. Hill in 2008 that found that co-sleeping families were less likely to believe their infant's sleep was problematic than non-co-sleeping families. Those with the greatest levels of stress/concern were non-c0-sleepers that don't practice cry it out, suggesting that responding to your baby when you do not sleep with your baby can be very stressful.
  • Mothers can react to baby: Co-sleeping mothers are more in tune with their baby's sleep and can take action to keep their baby comfortable and safe during the night. Parents that have a baby in a separate room and use a baby monitor will hear their baby cry, but may not hear more subtle signs that their baby is uncomfortable. Missing those subtle cues can mean that the baby needs to wake more fully in order to alert the parents, which can result in more effort and time required to resettle the baby.
  • Bed bonding results in more independent children: Generally speaking, research around secure and insecure attachments show that children that are securely attached to their parents become independent more easily and those that are insecurely attached end up being anxious or overly dependent. As it relates to bed sharing specifically, one study (reported on p.141 of Natural Parenting - Back to Basics in Infant Care) found that "routinely sharing the parents’ bed in infancy has been associated with greater self-reliance and social independence at preschool age than a history of solitary sleeping (Keller, M. A., and Goldberg, 2004)." Other studies have also consistently reported higher self-esteem among children and adults that co-slept during childhood.
  • Allows working parents to connect with their child: As I mentioned in my post about finding balance as a working mom, I have heard so many working parents complain about how little time they have with their kids during the week. Some parents arrive home from work at 6pm and have their little ones in bed by 7pm.  We do manage to sneak in more than an hour of time together in the evenings. Usually I end up having close to 3 hours with my kids at home before bedtime. But being together doesn’t end there. I share a bed with one or the other of my kids every night (we play musical beds sometimes). I find this time to be an essential way of staying close even when we can’t spend as much waking time together as we would like.

That said, co-sleeping is not for everyone. Some parents are not able to sleep comfortably with a baby in bed with them and some babies are easily woken by the noises or movement of others in the room. In other cases, parents may not be willing or able to give up certain things that they would need to give up to make their bed a safe place for their baby to sleep. In those situations, parents may wish to consider having the baby in a crib and possibly even in another room depending on the factors involved.

Next up...Is co-sleeping safe?

Further Reading

The Benefits of Co-Sleeping (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Newsletter)

What are the advantages of having our baby sleep with us? (by Dr. James J. McKenna)

What are the long term effects on my baby of sharing a bed? (by Dr. James J. McKenna)


« Co-Sleeping Safety | Main | One step forward, two steps back »

Reader Comments (62)

This is great. Its because of people like you that take the time to share your great wealth of knowledge that may go against the grain of modern American parenting, you end up with "converts" like me, who are absolutely in love with cosleeping and AP, and who pay it forward by promoting these beautiful family practices. I hope you don't mind if I link to this article on my blog.

January 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErin

I totally attribute our good night's rest to cosleeping. Once I figured out at 2 weeks post partum how to nurse lying down and how to latch her on at night without getting up, I've been getting a full 8 hours of sleep. Sometimes she'll stir in the night, but a quick latch on keeps her and me from waking up fully. She definitely sleeps better with us next to her- she'll sleep in until 10 or 11 as long as I'm on the bed with her (usually on the lap top like I am right now). But if I get up, she'll wake up within minutes.

January 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Great article! We are co-sleepers in this household and I truly believe that it has been great for our family. All three children slept with us for the first year of their lives and sometimes still do.

January 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStacie Hagiht Connerty

When we brought our daughter home from hospital, we slept with her in a bassinett in our room. We didn't want her away from us but couldn't rest if she was in our bed. Soon, we moved the bassinett to outside our (open) door because neither of us was sleeping through her noises, and besides, one of us was usually up all night with her crying anyway, she was such a fitful sleeper. Eventually, she moved to her own room. I would get up a couple of times each night and breastfeed her and she would settle well afterwards. It didn't feel like a chore. Eventually, she stopped calling out to me and started sleeping all night. I felt saddened by the end of our night-time cuddles - but better rested!

At various times since she was a few weeks old I have tried to introduce her to our bed - for 'normal' naps, for breastfeeding lying down, for coming into our bed when she is sick or fretful, for coming in for a snuggle in the mornings. She wouldn't have a bar of this then and she won't now. She hates our bed.

Sometimes, this makes me feel like I've failed.

January 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermymilkspilt

@mymilkspilt: I find it so sad that you'd see yourself as having 'failed' when it sounds to me as though you've succeeded beautifully in working out the sleep plan that works best for your family. Why would it be so necessary for her to like your bed that anything else feels like a failure?

January 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah V.

@mymilksplit: I would agree with Sarah V. on this one. Different sleep situations work for different babies and different families. I would say you have succeeded by listening to your baby's needs. However, if co-sleeping is something you looked forward to and had hoped to do, I think it is fair to be disappointed. Not because of what anyone else says, but because of your own feelings and preferences. We need to be able to accept our own emotions and feelings as parents. You shouldn't let me or Sarah V. or anyone else tell you how to feel!

January 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Yes yes yes! I wholeheartedly agree, and have been co-sleeping since my 1st daughter was born 2.5 years ago. We'll be adding another baby to our (now giant and happy!) family bed in March. Safe co-sleeping guidelines are a must when you have an infant and a toddler in bed with you, so I hope you touch on that in your next post - how to co-sleep safely with multiple children.

January 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Another great topic! I, like you, didn't start out intending to co-sleep. I had an adorable room all painted and set up for our little guy. He never spent a single night in that room, nor did he even nap in it! The fact was, he would not sleep unless he was in physical contact with me, so I didn't sleep either.
Then with the next baby, I just never bothered with the crib. We used an Arm's Reach co-sleeper while the three year old was still in bed with us, then transitioned baby into our bed and big brother into his own - a mattress on the floor right beside us.
I know this set-up is not for everyone, but my mantra is "do what works and is best for your family." Parenting is a *huge* lesson in flexibility, and kids are so much better off when parents learn that lesson quickly :)

January 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbarelyknittogether

Thank you so much for posting this! I don't have any friends that share my views on co-sleeping, so it's always nice to read something like this!

My daughter is 21 months old and has slept in our bed since day one. I tried putting her in her crib at 6 months, but it just didn't feel right to me, so she came right back to bed with us. I absolutely LOVE co-sleeping with her and wouldn't have it any other way.

Now we just have to figure out how we're going to fit all four of us in our bed, as we have another one on the way! I'm thinking we need to upgrade to California king bed, because I'm not willing to kick either of them out! :)

January 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRhyah

I probably should have said that it makes me feel I'm missing out, not that I've failed. Just lately I wonder whether our breastfeeding relationship would have been better if I'd persisted with learning to feed lying down and perhaps cosleeping. I can definitely see the benefits of a family bed. What ifs are a bit pointless though, aren't they - perhaps even more so in parenting than anything!

January 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermymilkspilt

@Rhyah: Be sure to check out my upcoming post on co-sleeping safety. I'll have some tips there on co-sleeping safely with two children.

January 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

[...] 11, 2009 by phdinparenting As a follow-up to my post on the benefits of co-sleeping, I wanted to write a post about co-sleeping safety. I think this is important because too many [...]

January 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCo-Sleeping Safety « PhD

[...] a follow-up to my post on the benefits of co-sleeping, I wanted to write a post about co-sleeping safety. I think this is important because too many [...]

Hi, I'm sorry if this is a "101" type question on a "PhD" blog, but with regard to the breastfeeding/better rest aspects of cosleeping, there is something I don't understand - even if you're able to do the nursing part in bed, don't you still have to get up to change the baby's diaper with some/most/all of those feeds? The idea of having the baby close still seems very appealing but I don't quite see how the "less getting up" part works. (I found this blog recently following a link to the Sesame Street breastfeeding videos.)

February 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

@Amy

When my babies were newborns I did have to do some nighttime diaper changes, but although we cloth diaper during the day we generally use disposables at night and since they are more absorbent, you don't really need to change it at every feed unless there is a bowel movement. Both of my kids stopped having nighttime bowel movements sometime in their 2nd month.

February 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

[...] (mine included), it is the best way for everyone to get a good night’s rest. There are many benefits to co-sleeping and also important co-sleeping safety requirements to consider if you do decide this is right for [...]

[...] can be such a wonderful experience and can have many benefits. Whatever arrangement you choose, it is important to keep everyone’s needs in mind and to [...]

Thanks for this and I hear your arguments. However, I believe you need to complement this by a discussion of what cosleeping may mean subjectively for one or both of the parents, and its consequent developmental impact on the child.

Whilst I appreciate that well-motivated parents can do this safely, there is a problem that, whilst almost all parents do consider themselves well-motivated, many have their own attachment neuroses. This for instance was the case of my mother and equally the mother of my spouse. The consequence of overattachment is reduced autonomy in later life, which may take highly neurotic forms. Equally, many parents (I am afraid) have such strong sexual scripting related to nudity and intimacy that it may be on aggregate unhelpful to the child to share the bed. These concerns, which you omit from your list, need also to be brought into the open. In a perfect world, I would have no objection to what you say, but in the world we live in, there is some danger to recommending it without at least inviting parents to reflect on their own associations and cathexes.

Of course this does not take away that the child needs intimacy, even the intimacy of imperfect parents. If your tendency is to deny intimacy, you should certainly think whether you can provide more. If, however, your tendency is to be overintimate and this cathects inappropriate reactions, then I believe it may be wiser to recognize this and physically separate the child at night.

Aside from the danger of activating sexual scripting, I want to point out that even a newborn infant needs some space to be alone with its emotions which a wise parent will accord it. Crowding this space out seems to me the greatest risk of sharing the bed. I have simply seen far too many parents who run to the child to distract it at the very slightest sign of any discomfort whatsoever. In the context of sleeping, failure to respect the natural rhythm of the child by intervening obsessively to the slightest sound is bound both to interrupt sleep and to generate neuroses.

In the end, I find this a practical question, the answer to which depends both on the parents and the child. There should be no stigma or dogma attached to whatever option, but self-examination is an important prerequisite to making the right decision for your child.

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSean

[...] that have carefully considered the options and, for example, decided that extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, or not vaccinating is the best choice. Other parents may let their children do things that are [...]

[...] can be such a wonderful experience and can have many benefits. Whatever arrangement you choose, it is important to keep everyone’s needs in mind and to [...]

[...] (mine included), it is the best way for everyone to get a good night’s rest. There are many benefits to co-sleeping and also important co-sleeping safety requirements to consider if you do decide this is right for [...]

[...] age of weaning is between 2.5 years and 7 years. With regards to co-sleeping, there are many benefits to co-sleeping and despite what people often assume, children that co-sleep are generally more independent and [...]

[...] If you think co-sleeping might be the right solution for your family I encourage you to read more detailed co-sleeping safety tips and the benefits of co-sleeping. [...]

[...] Co-sleeping. I have heard so many working parents complain about how little time they have with their kids during the week. Some parents arrive home from work at 6pm and have their little ones in bed by 7pm.  We do manage to sneak in more than an hour of time together in the evenings. Usually I end up having close to 3 hours with my kids at home before bedtime. But being together doesn’t end there. I share a bed with one or the other of my kids every night (we play musical beds sometimes). I find this time to be an essential way of staying close even when we can’t spend as much waking time together as we would like.  As I sit here and type, my daughter is sleeping on a boppy pillow on my lap. [...]

[...] if the baby doesn’t die during birth at a home birth, it would certainly die from suffocation co-sleeping with those crazy hippie [...]

[...] are going to co-sleep with their babies. Some do it for cultural reasons. Some do it because of the benefits of co-sleeping, such as ease of breastfeeding and promoting bonding. Some do it to because their baby simply will [...]

[...] hence why I had to sign a CO-SLEEPING waiver Cosleeping and Your Baby The Benefits of Co-Sleeping Benefits of Co-Sleeping | PhD in Parenting Google "what is co sleeping" and it's the same as bed sharing... I actually have never [...]

we co-slept with a bassinet beside us until four months, then she was in our bed. She wakes up to nurse every 2hrs around the clock. Getting up to nurse was to much for me so now I just roll over every two hours and give her a breast. She is now 8 months old and still waking up to nurse every 2 hours. I am so exhausted. Will she ever sleep for more than hours? We want another baby soon and plan on stopping nursing in four months. How in the world are we going to be able to that without turning her world upsidedown? She nurses to sleeep throughout the day and night too. What to do. Please help.

Exhausted Zombie.

March 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFiona

[...] Benefits of co-sleeping [...]

We've always co-slept. All 3 kids. I tried to get my babies in their cribs due to the pressure to do what was "normal" but it never felt right. With my baby right next to me I know his needs are met and that he's safe.

March 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather B

I, too have been exhausted from co-sleeping and 2 hour nursing around the clock- zombified is my new state of being when I can't or won't prioritize some restoration (or when my daughter gets sick).

First, when I'm feeling near my breaking point, I express some milk and have my partner (or any other trusted adult that both I and my baby feel comfortable with) hold her asleep (or take her for a walk, out of hearing range if she's awake) while I put in earplugs, lower the blinds and get at least 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I need some restoration. If your daughter won't take a bottle, try having her take a long walk with your partner in a sling or baby carrier- that often helps mine stretch the time between feedings.

I find that early evening works well for us. I nurse my daughter to sleep and then gently pass her to her papa. He has a bottle on standby and feeds her before she's fully awake and crying. She also often skips one feeding when he holds her, though he has to stand up and hum in the bathroom with the exhaust fan on a bit. And if he gives her a bottle before putting her in our bed, she sometimes stretches her nursing to every 3 hours (I've been told that that's the length of time it takes an adult to complete a sleep cycle, but it feels good regardless of my dubious second-hand science).

Second, I read The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley (and I read the post on gentle sleep tips on this blog). That helped a lot until we all caught stomach bug. Now we're getting back in our routine again and hoping the length of time between feedings stretches out again.

Oh, and I go to bed by 9 most nights.

Take heart- no baby continues to wake every 2 hours forever. Talking with co-sleeping friends with older babies has given me strength.

Good luck,
Anne

March 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

[...] ample research to dispel cosleeping myths and the proven benefits, the American Academy of Pediatrics still advises against cosleeping rather than acknowledging it [...]

In June 2009 we bought home a perfect newborn baby that slept for a 6 hour block every night until she (Sophie) was about 4 to 5 months old. At that time she suddenly started waking up during the night. First once, then twice and for a time there only a few months ago, every 2 to 3 hours. I have always breastfed her to sleep which I don't regret, I loved it (love it still !) and it still feels the right thing to do for my baby. When she wakes up at night crying I go into her room, pick her up out of her cot and take her into a day-bed with me which we have in her room. I then breastfeed her back to sleep and within 20 minutes (as long as I don't fall asleep) she is back in her cot. Normally she will only wake up once more during the night and I go through the same routine.

I have noticed though, that on the nights that I fall asleep on that first wake up, and sleep with her until morning in the day-bed, she doesn't wake up again. This has led me to think that co-sleeping may be a solution to the problem of Sophie waking during the night at all. We have tried controlled crying (which I just couldn't cope with and will never try on another baby), grow-bags, a strict bed routine and modifying her solids intake all to no avail.

So my husband and I are going to try this. We are going to pack our bed frame away and take our queen sized mattress and put it in the corner of our room on the floor. Then we're going to take the single bed mattress of the day-bed and push that up against the queen sized bed mattress in our room. We're going to put Sophie between the wall and me, I will be in the middle and my husband will be on the end on the single mattress.

If anyone else has embarked on co-sleeping trials with their 1 year old after other efforts have not worked then please let me know how you went. Will keep you updated on how we do... fingers crossed!l

June 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca Apel

Co-sleeping became a lifesaver for us, particularly during those months where it was clear our baby was "extra needy" (teething, sick, clingy, transition times).

We waited until at least 5 or 6 months old when he was big enough that it didn't feel like we were going to roll over on him, and he was old enough to roll over, sit up (sort of), and voice distress if needed. Those first few nights were pretty funny watching a spread eagle baby take up an entire queen sized bed, in between his 2 terrified, blanket-less parents squeezing themselves on a tiny strip of the edge of the bed - as far away from the baby as possible and without pillows. Eventually, we all calmed down and learned "our space".

Now, at 16 months, we all love co-sleeping so much...our baby even snuggles and self-soothes by touching us. But it is clear our growing toddler needs his own space. And we aren't getting as much sleep as we used to. Now we have the difficult task of [gulp] transitioning. Not sure who it will be more difficult for!

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbdogmama

When I brought my baby home it felt very weird to not have him sleep near me. I couldn't wrap my mind around putting him in a totally different room and closing the door, and so we brought him into our room and in a bassinet next to the bed.

We would have marathon night time breastfeeding sessions and we soon ended up co-sleeping. The thing is, even thought it was way easier and soothing I never slept well. I had aches and pain from sleeping on my side and a baby that would want to be right next to me. So, I sucked it up for a year and we co-slept. My husband moved out to the couch to let us be that breastfeeding team and so we could take over the queen size bed. The house was quiet all night long, people slept (albeit with neck aches from me).

When I have another baby, I will start right away with the bassinet right next to our bed. No question. It's just so easy peasy for night feeds and keeps me feeling comfortable. If the baby comes into our bed, oh well! I will enjoy it and the quietness in the house!

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMama in the City

It is comforting and gives a sense of quite joy and peace with our bundle of joy beside us. It has been quite sometime now and it has never given us any problems. Contrary to popular belief we are not the very least bothered by being awakened at intervals in our sleep. No, not at all and added to that happiness we always get a warm hug and that certain kind of kiss that most kids give when they go to sleep and wake up the next day. You will always start and end the day with that smile and contentment. One day she'll ask for her room and it is ready when she asks for it but for the meantime we are enjoying all the embrace and kissing. I know one day it will be different but the moment is ours to enjoy for now.

September 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVy06

[...] to be able to all snuggle in the morning and I think we all got the best sleep possible. A good read on the benefits of [...]

I know this is an older post, but I went back to it today because of a particular situation, and if anyone's reading this and has some advice, I'd be grateful. My partner's mother is a very well-intentioned woman who loves her grandson deeply and tries not to be too pushy (she's mildly intimidated by me, I think, which I alternately think is funny and feel a little guilty about). But she also is very energetic and tends to insert herself into situations to "help" (she's that person at Thanksgiving at your house, for example, who just might EXPLODE if she doesn't get to actively bustle about the kitchen. I have come home from work during visits from them to discover that the cat hair has carefully been brushed off of all my curtains...in the entire house).

So...she's taking care of my son today, and based on the conversation I had with her this morning, I knew that she was going to try to get him to sleep in his crib for naps today. We started him at birth in a bassinet by our bed, moved him at two months to sleeping in his crib for 5-6 hours at a time and then in our bed the rest of the night, and then at about four months moved him into our bed fulltime because he just wouldn't stay asleep for more than an hour anywhere else. She thinks this is awful for our relationship and will make him too dependent on us. Whatever. I told her to knock herself out today, as long as she did NOT use Cry It Out in any way, shape, or form. And I just heard from my partner that our son refused to nap all morning and slept on top of his grandmother for about 90 minutes this afternoon. I called twice today to check on them, and I've not gotten a return call, but she did talk with her son.

I'm writing this because I know what's about to happen: a whisper campaign is about to be launched throughout my partner's family about how I'm "spoiling" our son (and yes, it will be blamed on me, because they don't understand the concept that we could be equal parents. Mothers raise children in their paradigm). I'm shoring up good evidence that co-sleeping is not only normal but HEALTHY and does NOT cause neediness or emotional problems in children. This is a good start, as are the McKenna links. Anything else that I can put into my little pamphlet? They're not going to read a book, so I'm actually planning to develop a little 5-10 page handout I can carrying with me to family gatherings.

And my last question: how do you handle this kind of criticism without alienating people who are otherwise fairly lovely folks? It's old-fashioned ideas mixed with the loving desire to "help," and not bitchiness, that motivates here. I just need to deflect it with confidence and concision in a way that will keep the relationship intact. I'm eager for ideas!

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Very nice article and compilation. I like it.

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersoegi

[...] Annie, PhD in Parenting – Benefits of Co-Sleeping [...]

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCo-Sleeping & Bed Sharing

[...] require some adjustments. Hang in there, you guys will work it out. The Benefits of Co-Sleeping Benefits of Co-Sleeping | PhD in Parenting __________________ To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. [...]

Hi would you mind letting me know which webhost you're working with? I've loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a fair price? Cheers, I appreciate it!

March 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterchiropractor

[...] Benefits of CoSleeping (Her website is a gem for evidence based research) (phdinparenting.com) [...]

[...] din prima sa doarma cu mine, cu noi… dar nu-i nimic, si-au revenit in timp si acum profita de co-sleeping si de beneficiile lui cu varf si indesat. Si eu la [...]

[...] For additional reading about these benefits, visit peaceful parenting, Natural Parents Network, and PhD in Parenting. [...]

[...] Benefits of CoSleeping (Her website is a gem for evidence based research) (phdinparenting.com) [...]

I'm not sure the answer to your question - but checking out the websites above can be helpful. One thing Dr Sears' says in his books is basically, "feel free to use me as your pediatrician when talking to in-laws, say 'My dr told me to'!" And I know I used that with my in-laws. On the plus side, my FIL used to leave the room when I was nursing, was totally against cosleeping, and thought I wasn't a great parent. Now, he touts BF to anyone who will listen and was disappointed to the core at Christmas that our daughter could not sleep in their bed as he had just returned from lung surgery. They can change! Be positive about your own parenting, talk up in front of them how great and well-adjusted your child is, and keep smiling - even if they don't change, you will become more solid in your mothering!

All that said, I read a great MIL quote, that Estee Lauder told her daughter-in-law when she became a MIL: "Keep your pocketbook open and your mouth shut." If only! Good luck and we will all be pulling for you!

January 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScholasticaMama

[...] with mama, not separated. That’s exactly the reason most babies cry when they are left alone. Promise, you will all get way more sleep when you put baby next to you. Yes, it is safe. At least as safe (if not actually safer) than [...]

[...] at peaceful parenting, Five Benefits to Cosleeping Past Infancy at Natural Parents Network, and Benefits of Co-Sleeping from PhD in [...]

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