Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

This is not as good an idea as it sounds

The New York Times reports about co-sleeping -- which is the tend where parents take their babies into their own beds, instead of having them sleep in cribs. One of the leading sleep experts, Richard Ferber, who used to be entirely against co-sleeping, has said that maybe it's okay. People are taking that idea and running with it. The two big oppositions to co-sleeping have always been the risk to the baby's body (that it might be squished by a sleeping parent) and the risk to the baby's psyche (that it might not adequately separate from the parent). Those risks seem to be less than thought, and it certainly is easier to get a baby to sleep in Mommy's arms than alone. What the article fails to mention is that, as the babies gets older, that's when the problems really develop. They stop being cute little ten pound things that snuggle, and become big toddlers who kick you to pieces during the night. And what about when babies two or three come along? Does baby one get kicked out of the bed, which will create a nice case of sibling rivalry? Or do Mom and Dad just spend the night being pummeled violently by busy little feet? This is one of those things that sounds good -- and is good at the beginning -- but creates huge problems down the line. And by the way, I sort of stumbled into co-sleeping. I never did it with my first. However, when my second came along, I was so tired, I simply fell asleep with number 2 by my side -- even though that was not my intention. Of course, number 1 got jealous, so I ended up with both in my bed. They slept well; I became terribly sleep deprived. That was bad enough, but even worse was training them to sleep in their own beds again. Fortunately, the training worked -- my kids sleep alone and well, but it was a bad experience.