22 Jan 2014

The Truth About Co Sleeping with your Baby – Blog 39

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Dear Friends,

Welcome to my new blog.

I was just doing the usual quick scoot over Facebook (as you do… the most fun distraction from doing what you’re supposed to do!) and I noticed several posts about advice given to women from midwives, health visitors and doctors about how to care for their babies. I am becoming more and more concerned about the kind of information women are receiving from these so called ‘experts’… experts on what exactly? I always thought the priority of mother and baby was nurturing and supporting their bond and yet women are increasingly advised to go against what they feel is natural. This incites guilt because it makes them feel like they are doing it wrong or being negligent which increases anxiety.

As you probably know by now I am very passionate about women taking back the baton of power and living from their own intuitive perspective, not constantly referring to these so called ‘experts’ for the answer (whether from medical professionals or in books). As soon as a woman is pregnant there is someone telling her ‘what we should or shouldn’t do’ which doesn’t allow her to develop her own intuition. Babies have been born for thousands of years and although there may have been a higher rate of infant/maternal mortality due to poorer sanitary conditions and complications that sometimes occur, it seems that nowadays a woman cannot have her own opinion about the process of pregnancy, birth and child rearing without feeling like she is rebelling against the ‘correct’ system.

The particular issue that caught my eye on Facebook was about the dangers of ‘co sleeping’ with your baby. The mother was trying to justify that she only did this during teething and that her child slept in her cot for most of the time. There is absolutely NO evidence that co sleeping is dangerous for your baby unless you have a drink/drugs problem which diminishes your awareness. Why midwives and health visitors think this is a bad thing beggars belief!

In Bali, where I lived for some time and have been visiting for the past 15 years, ALL parents co sleep with their babies and children for most of their childhood. It is seen as normal, natural and SAFE! No one has ever died of co sleeping that I am aware of in Bali in over a decade. I too slept with my child from birth to whenever he was ready to move into his own space. He was never harmed and he slept much better in my room. It is often the best remedy for babies/children who find it difficult to sleep at night in their own room. Put them in your bed or room and this problem will decrease, literally overnight!

Some of the other urban myths that emerge is that you will never be able to get your child out of your room and be able to have sex with your partner as a result. There are plenty of ways to have sex that are not in the bedroom if your child is sleeping in your bed. You can also put another bed next to your bed so you have more room. The problem is more about trying to make our babies independent as soon as possible and get back to our own life than it is about ensuring your infant has the most gentle, loving start in life. You can rest assured that a teenager will not want to co sleep with you! If you have more than one child then they will probably be as happy to sleep with their sibling as they are with you but the main thing to remember is that ALL BABIES/CHILDREN ARE DIFFERENT and therefore tune into THEIR needs rather than consulting the NHS oracle! YOU ARE THE ORACLE…

That’s it for today folks… Hope this vignette was helpful and you have a peaceful week.

Warm wishes,
Alex xx

Sleeping Peacefully

Sleeping Peacefully

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