Many of my parents would like to sleep with their infant but have concerns about safety. Some end up sleeping with their baby anyway, some choose a crib and some choose the hybrid co-sleeper arrangement. I am a believer in figuring out what works best for your family; in other words, what way allows everyone the best sleep. Sleep is of vital importance for all of you. New mothers need sleep to be able to keep up their milk supply and their sanity. New dads need sleep to meet the demands of keeping up at work and doing a new shift at home. Babies need sleep to grow and thrive. No one benefits from being cranky!
For many families "family bed" is the way they all get the most sleep. Babies were meant to breastfeed 24 hours a day but at night they float up out of a deep sleep to a light sleep and, if mom is within snuggle, latch on and feed without ever coming fully awake. Moms too can learn to drift awake pull the baby in to nurse and fall off to sleep again during nursing with as little disturbance to their sleep pattern as possible. Dads may not even be aware that mom and baby are nursing because there was no loud crying to waken them. So for all the parents who are thinking they would like to try family bed here is a great article dissecting the relative risks of sleeping with your baby or not sleeping with your baby by Dr. Mercola. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/12/08/Newborn-Babies-Were-NOT-Designed-to-Sleep-Alone.aspx
Some things to remember:
No parenting decision is set in stone.
What worked today meeting everyone's needs may not work tomorrow.
Listen to your parenting heart it will rarely lead you astray.
What the experts say will change from year to year.
I have been involved with "family bed" families for twenty years and I DON'T KNOW ANY TWENTY YEAR OLDS WHO ARE STILL SLEEPING WITH THEIR PARENTS!!!!
Thanks to Marilyn Lund from Arroyo Grande for forwarding Dr. Mercola's article to me!