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Tennessee Moms Relax: Expert says Keep Baby Close At Night

December 10, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - One question many new parents ask is whether it is safe for mothers and their babies to sleep in the same bed. A recent Time magazine article questioned the safety of the practice.

Barbara Nicholson, co-founder and president of Attachment Parenting International, Nashville, wants to clear up some of the confusion. She says the article didn't talk much about the positives, such as relieving the baby’s anxiety and promoting its neurological health by sleeping in the same bed, or near, its mother. If the baby suffers from sleep apnea, sleeping with mother can help keep the infant breathing regularly, she adds.

"Sleeping in close proximity is even recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, because they've seen that the baby needs to be near the mother so the mother can have a protective environment for the baby."

Although co-sleeping offers many benefits, Nicholson says there are situations when it's not safe to slumber with infants.

"If you are a parent who is on medication, for example, or if you have drug or alcohol issues, or your partner does, then of course, the baby should not be sharing the bed with the parent."

For safety, she warns parents also to avoid soft pillows, fluffy bedding and waterbeds.

More information about recommended practices for babies sleeping with mothers is available at www.atachmentparenting.org.


Randy O'Brien, Public News Service - TN