One of the most touted mantras among mothers is “Nobody knows what’s best for your child more than you.” Meaning, everyone else can keep their opinions to themselves. But when it comes to the controversial issue of co-sleeping — in this context, the act of sharing a bed with their infants — it seems that some moms greatly fear the judgement of others. As reported by The Telegraph, a new study shows that nearly half of British mothers have lied to a medical professional about co-sleeping with their child.
The survey, which included hundreds of mothers across England, was conducted by child care website Gentle Parenting and published in the new book “Why Your Baby’s Sleep Matters” by Sarah Ockwell-Smith. Specifically, 46 percent of surveyed moms said they have lied to a midwife, health visitor or general practitioner about co-sleeping.
What do they have to be embarrassed about? Well, critics might point out that co-sleeping puts babies at risk of accidentally being crushed or smothered by their mothers. A recent study that analyzed data on more than 8,000 infant deaths between 2004 and 2012 found that nearly percent of those deaths involved a bed-sharing situation. The American Academy of Pediatrics is also not a fan; the organization recommends that parents keep babies in the bedroom with them, but not in the same bed.
Proponents of co-sleeping, meanwhile, say that the act helps their babies sleep better, and creates a sense of intimacy between mother and child.
As the debate rages on, one thing is definitely certain: it's worth the discussion.