Saturday, January 24, 2015

Let's Spend the Night Together

Cosleeping and Independence 

"Let's spend the night together", the title of this post, has a very appropriate second line... "now I need you more than ever". This is a classic Rolling Stones song but those two lines apply to every newborn baby's plea to their parents upon being brought out of the safety of the womb.

It's time parents get the correct message about cosleeping with their children. Dire warnings against infant bed sharing backfired. Many young parents have obeyed the unfounded warnings of infant bed sharing for much too long. Untrusting of their innate ability, and of their child's "motives" in giving perfectly clear signals (crying), parents have been misguided into forcing their newborns and infants to sleep alone.

I will become independent with your love

Granted, there have been common sense professional pediatrics (Dr. Sears Bed Sharing Guidelines) who get it. These have done much good to the lucky families under their guide. Cosleeping has been given a reprieve when it should always have been the norm. Basically, the current data now states that 'risks are greater when parents force their babies, against their will, to sleep by themselves. When parents don’t bring babies to bed, they tend to sit up with them and feed them on a sofa or in a chair which carries with it a very high risk of injury or death as babies get stuck in sofa cushions or dropped on the floor by sleepy parents.  Discouraging bed-sharing has also had the inadvertent effect of making extended nursing more difficult which carries with it an increased risk of SIDS and other health problems'. 

Papa and I are bonded for life

I am a staunch believer in a parenting philosophy known as Attachment Parenting. It is founded on what Jean Liedloff called The Continuum Conceptthe simple desire to allow human nature to work successfully. Our intellectual abilities have gotten us into the short sighted trend of contradicting millions of years of evolution. The infant, like the guru on the mountain side, lives in the eternal now. Interestingly, yoga has been having a surge in popularity with it's meditative premise of being in the moment. This promising surge in self-consciusness helps to bring one into a proper frame of mindfulness, and try to be like the infant in-arms, living in a state of bliss.

In-arms phase - The time between birth and the voluntary commencement of crawling 

Cool continuum dad's, indeed

In the womb, the embryo grows, literally, with the mother at every step. Developing while listening to her heart beating, voices conversing, laughing, singing, sudden movements, jostling, and is undisturbed. This is normal adaptation for the Homo sapiens prenatal development, and is precisely why a new born child should be kept with a parent at every possible moment until they have reached the first stage of independence... crawling.

 Be a parent with a working continuum. Respond to your child's signals, follow your instincts and take your child with you wherever you go... including to bed.

... and this little toe had many friends

Long-term effects of toddler bed sharing is self-reliance, the opposite of what critics warn (including the 'cry-it-out' pundits). The links I have included in this article go into many of the details.


Many childrearing norms in today's culture have developed from an intellect that is not in the best interest of their child. A lack of understanding of the human continuum in our society emanates against raising infants with a natural closeness and vibrant love of life itself. It is our imperative to assume the role of positive example setters. As parents and educators, we must not conform to customs that are anti-continuum, like separating infants from their parents during the in-arms phase, placing them in cribs, playpens and carriages. It is every human child's very nature to be in the midst of life, not left alone in a room boxed in. Infant bed sharing is one step in giving yourself and your child every chance to grow up confident, caring, curious and cheerful. You will thank yourself.

Time for a nap, Papa Green Bean

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