TribLIVE

| Lifestyles


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Parenting in a Nutshell: Family bed — bonding or bad idea?

Tip from the parenting trenches

Remember that infants need a hard-surface mattress to sleep on with no pillows and never on a waterbed. If you want to sleep in a family bed with your infant, check with your baby's doctor first for safety's sake.

By Doreen Nagle
Saturday, July 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Sharing your bed with your young children is known as having a “family bed.” European families have been using the family bed for centuries without serious downside; but in the United States, the practice brings up questions. Is it a bonding opportunity or a bad idea?

Points to consider:

• Some pediatricians feel that a young child may be more secure sleeping next to Mommy and Daddy, seeking their warmth and comfort. If the child should waken during the night, a parent's reassuring hand to hold or arm to be wrapped in may ease him back to sleep.

• If the family isn't getting enough daytime together, waking up in the same bed — or sharing nighttime “pillow talk” — can mean time to bond, laugh and get to know each other better.

• If the child is still being breastfed, sleeping in the same bed as mommy may be a blessing for both. Mom can get more rest if she doesn't have to get out of bed for middle-of-the-night feedings or other nocturnal baby needs. Often, baby mimics the mother's sleeping patterns when the two share a bed.

• Some pediatricians share a small concern that children who sleep with their parents may have some difficulty in learning how to soothe themselves to sleep when they move to their own beds.

• Not every child has the temperament or need to sleep with his parents. If this describes your child, take it as happy sign that your child has a wonderfully independent spirit.

• Parents lose their privacy and intimacy when their young child is in their bed. Parents may also worry about rolling over on their child (Note: do not put a newborn in bed with you). Also, there is a matter of loss of sleep: A restless child can wiggle the night away, flaying arms and legs during sleep.

Ways to compromise

• Place the infant's crib next to your bed versus in another room, so the infant can be checked on, fed, etc., during the night.

• Allow your child to fall asleep in your bed and then move him to his bed as you are ready to fall asleep. This technique is good to use as you transition your child to his room when the time comes.

• Make the family bed a special-occasion night — for family sleepovers, when you are staying in a hotel or other fun occasions.

Email doreennagle@hotmail.com.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Ferrante trial: Doctor couldn’t figure out what made Klein so sick
  2. Pennsylvania chips in $2.5M for $38M boutique hotel in Pittsburgh
  3. Counterfeit credit card ring falls for failure to remember birth date on fake ID
  4. Predators winger Neal caught ‘blindsided’ by trade from Penguins
  5. Port Authority steps closer to linking Oakland and Downtown, makes switch from Highmark to Aetna
  6. Rossi: Middling Steelers must make a statement
  7. Arrest made in connection with Rostraver home invasion
  8. Steelers free safety Mitchell is still settling into role on defense
  9. Monsour hospital properties sold at free-and-clear sale
  10. Steelers’ Adams delivers in pinch against Texans
  11. Primanti Bros. to mail sandwiches nationwide
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.