Co Sleeping

Topics: Sleep, Sudden infant death syndrome, Sleep apnea Pages: 5 (1441 words) Published: September 22, 2014
Kamy Snodgras
English 10:45 Tues.& Thurs.
Stephen Dufrechou

Benefits of co-sleeping with your infant for the first six months
For as long as we can remember we are always told to never sleep with your baby that you could suffocate them by rolling over on them or what not. In a study by Davies, he found that prior to the 1700's co-sleeping was a normal thing around the world. It was not until the 1800's when the western society moved away from co-sleeping to an independent sleeping arrangement claiming the child will be too attached and have security problems; you will never get the child to sleep in their own bed; the child will not learn independence; or, the child could suffocate in various ways. Well, I agree with James McKenna, a world-renowned expert on sudden infant death, when he said, “ The danger is not in bed-sharing itself but in how it is practiced-an important distinction that must be made.” When co-sleeping goes wrong the details of the episode are never talked about and how the prevention of such a unfaithful accident could have been prevented. Many of time the parent was sleeping on a couch which pins the child to the back of it preventing oxygen flow, while others may have been under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, these are obviouse No-No's but many of times parents become over exhausted and sleeping with an infant is very dangerous as for the body sleeps heavier losing aware of the small bed partner.

Studies by Anthropologist over the decades have studied the sleeping habits of mother and infant in animals species and humans found that the mother and child who do practice safe co sleeping have a “secure attachment relationship”.( Bowlby, 1953 cited in Davies, 1995). The anthropologist believe from their observation that the emotional security of the infant benefits from the skin-to-skin contact during the night. (Davies, 1995). In a study of an infant sleeping independently has an attachment issue to a specific object known as a security object and is more likely disturbed if it goes missing as opposed to the co-sleeper. ( Hayes, Robert & Stowe, 1996). In more studies co-sleeping protect some babies from sudden infant death (SIDS), co-sleeping babies tend to nurse more often, sleep lightly, and have more practice at responding to maternal arousal. Arousal deficiencies have been linked to some sudden infant death and long periods of deep sleep for the infant could complicate the matters more. In 1997, anthropologist James Mckenna and his colleagues conducted a study in a sleep laboratory at the University of California's Irvine School of Medicine. The study was to observed thirty-five nursing mother- infant pair sleeping together as well as apart for three consecutive nights. The infants were between eleven to fifteen weeks old. Twenty of the infants had been co sleeping since birth and the other fifteen had been independent sleepers. To observe they used many tools such as polygraph to record mother and infants heart rate, breathing rhythms, body temperature, the nursing cycles and even monitored their brain waves all of this along with watching their test subjects simultaneously on an infrared video monitor. What they found was quite unique, the infant and mother were highly responsive to each other and their movements. The infant and mother changed position of sleeping to face each other. They wake more frequently to nurse, and about twice as much as an independent sleeper and nurse three times longer but still get more sleep co sleeping than independent sleepers, and they stayed in lighter stages of sleep.

For the psychosocial help of the infant, sleeping with the mother provided the infant security just by her presence with touch, smell, warmth and movement. They even believe that this type of stimuli can compensate for the neurological immaturity at birth.

A study was performed in Barcelona on low birth weight babies and found that the low...
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