Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Family Bed

Don't piss me off, L.A. Times...
Parents warned about sleeping with infants
L.A. County officials says the increasingly popular practice known as 'co-sleeping' can have tragic consequences.
By Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer | April 24, 2008

[link] Los Angeles County officials Wednesday urged parents to avoid the increasingly popular practice of sleeping in the same bed as their infant children, calling the practice a "potentially lethal act."

County statistics released Wednesday show that 44 infants died after they slept next to an adult in 2006, a 76% increase over the previous year. It was the county's highest number of deaths ever associated with "co-sleeping," the practice of sleeping in the same bed, couch or chair with an infant.

And of course there's always the tragic example given...
Patricia Ploehn, director of the county Department of Children and Family Services, recalled a case in 2006 in which a father sitting on a chair fell asleep with his infant child sleeping on his chest; he awoke to find that the infant had slipped in between the armrest and seat cushion and died.

Waitasec—that's not "co-sleeping." That's a dad falling asleep in a chair and dropping his baby. Claiming that's "co-sleeping" like saying a guy who falls asleep smoking and lights his chair on fire and burns to death was "smoke-sleeping."

We co-sleep. Carefully. Mrs F sleeps with Baby on a mattress on the floor, with minimal extra pillows, etc. I sleep in the guest room because I'm too sound of a sleeper and would be a potential threat to a newborn—but mostly because I snore.

Kid often hops into my bed during the night and so does the dog. I think it's great. There's not a dependence—Kid can sleep completely through the night in any bed, and falls asleep on her own. There's a parent/child affection and bond I enjoy and value, and so does she.

The fact that this is so fucking "controversial" is an uptight, cultural issue in this country. It's totally natural, and common everywhere else in the world.

What is not mentioned in those statistics is any kind of specifics—how many involved drugs or alcohol? Unsafe practices? Falls? Those numbers collect every infant/toddler death that occured with a sleeping adult, of which proper co-sleeping is probably a small percentage, and the death, while tragic, was likely unrelated.

This is bullshit journalism, and just a variation of the amber alert parent paranoia-inducing garbage filling the media.


Mrs Furious said...

What is also not mentioned is that the # of kids who die sleeping in cribs (be it suffocation or SIDS) is vastly more.

This is fucking ridiculous.

You know what country has the lowest "SIDS" death rate? Japan.
You know what percentage of parents "co-sleep" in Japan? Over 90%

You know what country has the highest "SIDS" death rate? New Zealand.
You know what percentage of parents put their babies to sleep in cribs? Over 90%.

Here's the damn deal. Some babies die of unknown causes. It is horrible. When a baby dies of an unknown cause in a crib it is called "SIDS" when they die of an unknown cause in a bed (or apparently chair!?!... which is by the way called a fucking accident not co-sleeping) it is ruled death by smothering.

Grow the fuck up USA. We are the only fucking country that has this retarded belief about sharing sleep with your children.

No one ever mentions that all the "studies" done on how dangerous "co-sleeping" is are funded by the crib manufacturing companies. And the stats of crib deaths are conveniently left out every damn time. Babies die of SIDS in cribs and babies die of suffocation in cribs.

There have actually been fantastic studies done at Notre Dame that show that co-sleeping babies are at an actual decreased risk of SIDS AND smothering.

SIDS aside. If we didn't co-sleep I wouldn't have been there when Kid spiked her 105 temp & had to be rushed to the ER. I wouldn't have had Kid in my bed before her seizure. I wouldn't have been right there when they needed to puke, or whatever. I wouldn't have been there when they needed me most. That is why we co-sleep. Not because we're fucking lazy.

The dependency shit is just shit anyway. When we meet our children's needs they go away.
We were just reading an article (Wondertime magazine) that stated that:
69% of kids ages 10 & under have sleep problems several nights a week.
14% of school-age kids who still wake up nightly needing attention.

Well Kid has been sleeping on her own and through the night with absolutely no wakings for 2 years (she is 5.5). Did I have 3 years of co-sleeping w/child who woke up multiple times... Yes. But she now has a comfortable relationship with sleep. She learned that her needs would be met and now doesn't have any sleep anxieties.

Mr F's thing about her climbing into bed with him is misleading.
For the last couple months he has been putting her to bed in his bed... because he likes it. Not because she needs it.

Jennifer said...

Honestly, I still co-sleep with my son. He is 8. No kidding. He slept with us until he was about 3 and then he went in his own room until he started school. When he started school ... something changed. lol. He was almost 6 at that point. He has slept with me ever since. He actually had started to sleep in his own room before the divorce, but when daddy left ... in he came. I don't mind it at all. He goes to bed on his own, I don't go in until much later, so he has no issues falling asleep on his own. When friends sleep over they sleep in his room. He just says he gets lonely. lol.

I figure he will get to the point where he doesn't want to sleep with me anymore when he is ready and then I will be sad. But obviously, we never had any trouble. And like Mrs. F stated, there have been many nights that quick attention was needed. Bloody noses, stomach bugs, fevers .. gum in the hair .. don't even ask. lol.