little something.

Wednesday, February 4


I love co-sleeping, even though its not for everyone. . .

The physiological effects of sleep-sharing are finally being studied in sleep laboratories that are set up to mimic, as much as possible, the home bedroom. Over the past few years, nearly a million dollars of government research money has been devoted to sleep-sharing research. These studies have all been done on mothers and infants ranging from two to five months in age. Here are the preliminary findings based on mother-infant pairs studied in the sleep-sharing arrangement versus the solitary-sleeping arrangement (Elias 1986, McKenna 1993, Fleming 1994; Mosko 1994):

1. Sleep-sharing pairs showed more synchronous arousals than when sleeping separately. When one member of the pair stirred, coughed, or changed sleeping stages, the other member also changed, often without awakening.

2. Each member of the pair tended to often, but not always, be in the same stage of sleep for longer periods if they slept together.

3. Sleep-sharing babies spent less time in each cycle of deep sleep. Lest mothers worry they will get less deep sleep; preliminary studies showed that sleep-sharing mothers didn't get less total deep sleep.

4. Sleep-sharing infants aroused more often and spent more time breastfeeding than solitary sleepers, yet the sleep-sharing mothers did not report awakening more frequently.

5. Sleep-sharing infants tended to sleep more often on their backs or sides and less often on their tummies, a factor that could itself lower the SIDS risk.

6. A lot of mutual touch and interaction occurs between the sleep-sharers. What one does affects the nighttime behavior of the other.

7. The American Academy of Pediatrics and UNICEF both recommend cosleeping because it supports breastfeeding and bonding in the first six months of life and beyond -- both very important for baby's physical and emotional health. Attachment Parenting International supports sleeping arrangements that enable parents to be emotionally responsive to their infant while protecting baby's physical safety.

Even though these studies are being conducted in sleep laboratories instead of the natural home environment, it's likely that within a few years enough mother-infant pairs will be studied to scientifically validate what insightful mothers have long known: something good and healthful occurs when mothers and babies share sleep.

some good websites:


Charmed, I'm Sure said...

Clyde's paci looks MASSIVE in his tiny li'l mouth! How things change...

Elsha said...

When Kalena was brand new and it was sleep with her in the bed or don't sleep at all? I was SO GLAD I hadn't said I would never co-sleep. Because I would have been eating those words for SURE.

Kari and Jonathan said...

I'm ok with it but we might have a little convicing of the husband ahead of us.

salem said...

yeah, Andrew was like NO way. And now when Clyde scoots over to him in the middle of the night to snuggle, he's like "awwww" and I can just feel his cold little heart melt a little :)