Arms Reach® News

A Message from Sharon Forshpan Cosleeping & Baby Sleep Safety

Of the many troubling debates in the world of infant care, few are as constant as whether or not parents should share a bed with an infant.  Bedsharing or family bedding, as it is commonly called, has been practiced for many generations in many cultures all over the world.  Sleeping with your baby can be safe and beneficial for both a parents and baby -- if you do it right.  That's why we invented and patented the Arm's Reach® CO-SLEEPER® brand bassinet.

Despite institutional and social pressures to put babies to sleep by themselves, studies show that at least 50% of all American parents cosleep with their infants at some point.  Research by Dr. James J. McKenna and his team at the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame indicates that not only can cosleeping be done safely, it can actually help reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related problems.

Dr. McKenna reports that cosleeping infants nurse more often, sleep more lightly and have response to mother's arousals more frequently.  "Arousal deficiencies are suspected in some SIDS deaths and long periods in deep sleep may make this problem worse.  Further, cosleeping makes it easier for a mother to know and respond when her child is in trouble.

Even the famous pediatrician, Richard Ferber, M.D. revised his stance on cosleeping when he was confronted with the most recent findings on the subject.

Baby Sleep DOs & DON'Ts

Whether you engage in cosleeping or not, my advice is for new parents to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation to put your baby to sleep on his/her back.  It is the safest sleeping position for young babies, regardless of where they sleep.

Never drink, take drugs or use prescription medications that cause drowsiness if you are cosleeping with your infant.  One of the major benefits of cosleeping is the parents' ability to rouse and respond to the baby.  Alcohol, drugs and some medications will impair your ability to wake up if needed.

Always leave your baby's head uncovered while sleeping. Consider putting him or her in a "sleep sack" rather than using those darling blankets you received as a gift.  Baby may work  the blanket over the baby's head during the night.

Make sure you use the proper bedding and that your mattress fits snugly to the bed frame and headboard.  There should be no gaps into which a baby might slide.  No pillows, comforters, quilts or soft plush toys in the baby's bed.

Never place a baby to sleep in an adult bed alone.
Or on the family couch.  Or in a cushy armchair, when no one is around.

Make sure baby is not placed near draperies or blinds , lamps or wall decorations that can be pulled down or fall down

Make sure you know where a sibling is and do not leave an infant alone with an untended sibling.

Finally -- and most important -- inform yourself.  Don't listen to "old wives' tales."  Remember -- it's what's best for your baby's future that counts.

Recommended Reading:

AMERICAN BABY CBE REPORTER FOR FALL 2007  "WHERE BABIES SLEEP"

PUBLIC MISLEAD:  A STATEMENT FROM DR. BILL SEARS    askdrsears.com

FACTS ABOUT COSLEEPING AND SIDS
Linda Folder Palmer, DC. and Jeanne Ohm, DC  Pathways Magazine #9

SHARED SLEEP AND SAFE SLEEPING
WWW. ATTACHMENT PARENTING. ORG/IDEAL SLEEP.SHTML

PHYSIOLOGIC BENEFITS FOR INFNS FROM CO=sleeping:
Pediatric News - Januar l998

MOTHERING MAGAZINE THE SCIENCE OF SHARING SLEEP   JAN-FEB 2009

NEWSWEEK - MAY 29, 2006  P. 54
IN A NEW EDITION OF HIS BOOK, PEDIATRICIAN, RICHARD FERBER, M.D. REVISES HIS STANCE ON "CO-SLEEPING."

BABY TALK NOV. 2005
IN  HIS CRIB OR IN  YOUR BED?
KINDER, GENTLER SLEEP SOLUTIONS, WILLIAM SEARS, M.D,