Small child

The parent has a dilemma, or research that will confirm or cross out everything


When you read newspapers for parents and many portals for future mothers or fathers, you can have the impression that everyone is saying something different, there is no one coherent vision, and the arguments of one side contradict the arguments of the other. You don't need to look a lot to find many examples of research that confirm two opposing judgments. We have collected several of them.

Sleeping with the child together

Do you sleep with your child? If we made our decision dependent on the "wise conclusions" of scientists and experts, we would have a serious problem.

Research for yes

Interestingly, studies on the sleep of infants who are breastfed and sleep with their mother or separately indicate that the sleep pattern in both cases is different. One 1997 study suggests that children sleeping with mothers spend 28-99% of the night in constant contact with the parent, while children sleeping separately experience such contact only for 2-14% of the night. Research also confirms what parents notice quickly. Namely, that children sleeping with mothers eat twice as often and three times longer than children sleeping alone.

Is sleeping, however, dangerous? One study tries to prove that it does not because when sleeping in one bed with the parent the probability of laying a baby on her tummy is reduced, the baby usually lies on its side, facing the parent. Mothers are arranged in a similar way: face to the child, additionally at night they control the position of the baby, cover with a blanket or quilt, they are much faster able to react to the sounds made by the baby. In this way, they can quickly protect the baby from possible danger.

Children sleeping with their parents often wake up from deep sleep, they sleep in shallow sleep longer, which is to reduce the risk of SIDS and give a better chance of survival. In addition, in a society where sleeping together is the norm, the percentage of SIDS is much lower than in societies that sleep separately.

Examination for them

First, briefly about the recommendations.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sleeping separately, but in such a way that the baby's cot is near the mother's bed. In the United States and the Netherlands, it is strongly recommended that you do not sleep with your child for the first three months. In Great Britain a similar recommendation applies to smokers.

research London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine published this year aroused a lot of emotions. The researchers argue that sharing a bed with a child increases the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome fivefold, even if parents do not smoke or are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

This study is based on analyzing 1472 cases of cot death and nearly 5,000 control cases from five major studies. There was a five-fold increase in the risk of death of a breastfed infant before three months of age compared to children sleeping in one room with their parents, but in separate beds.

Researchers go a step further: According to them, as much as 81% of all deaths in children under 3 months of age could be avoided if the babies did not sleep in the same bed with their parents. The peak risk of sudden cot death is 7-10 weeks of age.