Co-sleeping is one of those subjects that divides opinion. Now a new study claims bed sharing with babies is implicated in about half of cot deaths.
This comes as quite a shock to me given that my health visitor tried to persuade me several times to try co-sleeping.
My baby has always been a bad sleeper. For the first few nights after we got home from the hospital, she wouldn't go in her cot at all. Her father and I took it in turns, doing four-hour shifts, holding her while she slept.
Gradually she got better, so that you could put her down for an hour or two at night. But my husband had gone back to work and I was exhausted. The health visitor kept suggesting co-sleeping.
But I couldn't get my head round it. I was worried I would squash her, or smother her.
I looked up the Unicef advice but didn't find any tips on how to make it work – just dire warnings about what NOT to do.
In the end I got a bedside cot, one with a drop-down side where the mattress lines up with my own bed, as a compromise. It feels safe, touch wood, and although my daughter still wakes up every hour or two, she is at least in her cot more often than out of it during the night.
Reading this latest study, I'm quite relieved that I stuck to my instincts. One of the baby books I've been reading puts it quite well – it says to think about how you would feel if you did co-sleep and something awful happened to your baby. Would you be able to forgive yourself? I know I wouldn't.
But what do you think about co-sleeping? I'd love to hear from someone who makes it work for them. If you do it, what do you think about this latest study?
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