Why is it healthy for parents to sleep with their children?
The differences in parenting in different cultures are quite large. Americans, like many other Westerners, put their children to bed in separate places – a different room, a different bed – believing that sleeping with a newborn is too risky. Much of Western parenting philosophy comes from the advice of professionals.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, strongly opposes cohabitation during sleep, warning parents that such practices can increase the risk of suffocation and potential falls. Doctors often advise against cohabitation, often citing similar reasons. Many wonder why their parents would do that. When you look at this situation objectively, it is difficult to answer this question successfully. The most common concerns are perceived risks, in particular the risk of personal injury and the risk of addiction.
First of all, let’s get back to the concerns of many parents – the increased risk of falling or suffocation. The studies looked at sleeping with children in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the rest of the world.
The conclusion? The correlation between sleeping with children and infant mortality is tiny at best. An example is Japan, where infant sleep is an almost universal practice. Japan, like the United States and other developed nations, is a rich and modern country. It also has the lowest infant mortality rate in the world – 2 deaths per 1,000 births. In the United States, there are 5.8 deaths per thousand newborns.
Another concern that comes from American parents is that sleeping with children increases the level of addiction. In other words, sleeping with the baby will turn into the fact that the baby will not want to leave the company of the parents. But this idea was also debated and opposed.
The conclusion often reached by people who study the relationship between addiction and sleeping together is that the actions and behaviors displayed by parents and observed by children are much more important than choosing to sleep together or separately from children.
What are the benefits of sleeping with parents and children?
The bottom line is that the benefits of this practice far outweigh the risks. If sleeping with children is safe, there are many benefits that can be seen not only for children but also for parents.
Of course, safety is absolutely necessary. Experts recommend a few steps to make sure you have a safe and healthy experience.