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Statistics and Prevalence: – In India, 93% of children bed-share, while in the U.S., 15% of infants and toddlers do so. – A study in […]

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Statistics and Prevalence:
– In India, 93% of children bed-share, while in the U.S., 15% of infants and toddlers do so.
– A study in Northeast England showed that 65% of families bed-shared, with 95% involving both parents.
– National Center for Health Statistics survey found that 25% always bed-shared, 42% sometimes, and 32% never.
– Cultural factors influence acceptance of co-sleeping, with Asian, African, and Latin American countries widely practicing it compared to European and North American countries.
– Housing and unemployment crises impact co-sleeping practices in regions like China.

Health and Safety Concerns:
– Disagreement among health professionals on bed-sharing safety.
– UNICEF outlines hazards of unsafe bed-sharing.
– Certain behaviors increase SIDS risk, and parents with specific traits pose threats to infants.
– Co-sleeping raises suffocation and strangulation risks.
– Safe guidelines are available from organizations like Lullaby Trust to reduce risks.

Association with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS):
– Co-sleeping’s association with SIDS is debated.
– Research shows conflicting opinions on SIDS risk.
– Safe bed-sharing practices can reduce SIDS risk, with examples of safe practices saving infant lives.
– The Pacific Islands Families study found no SIDS cases with safe bed-sharing.

Benefits and Risks of Co-sleeping:
– Co-sleeping benefits mothers’ sleep and breastfeeding.
– Parents experience less exhaustion with co-sleeping.
– Lower stress hormones in mothers and babies who co-sleep.
– Co-sleeping has evolved over millions of years.
– Co-sleeping infants show stable physiology and growth hormone levels.
– Studies show mixed results on the impact of co-sleeping on child independence and development.

Cultural and Socioeconomic Factors:
– Socioeconomic factors like income influence co-sleeping practices.
– Cultural preferences influence the prevalence of co-sleeping globally.
– Cultural norms shape co-sleeping arrangements, with variations seen across different cultures.
– Factors like housing conditions and unemployment can impact co-sleeping decisions.
– Cross-cultural differences exist in co-sleeping habits and traditions.

Co-sleeping (Wikipedia)

Co-sleeping or bed sharing is a practice in which babies and young children sleep close to one or both parents, as opposed to in a separate room. Co-sleeping individuals sleep in sensory proximity to one another, where the individual senses the presence of others. This sensory proximity can either be triggered by touch, smell, taste, or noise. Therefore, the individuals can be a few centimeters away or on the other side of the room and still have an effect on the other. It is standard practice in many parts of the world, and is practiced by a significant minority in countries where cribs are also used.

Bed-sharing, a practice in which babies and young children sleep in the same bed with one or both parents, is a subset of co-sleeping. Co-bedding refers to infants (typically twins or higher-order multiples) sharing the same bed.

Whether cosleeping or using another sleep surface, it is considered important for the baby to be in the same room as an adult, committed caregiver for all sleeps — day and night — in early life. This is known to reduce the risk of SIDS by 50 per cent. Some organisations such as Red Nose Australia recommend this for the first 12 months of life and others such as the NHS recommend it for the first 6 months.

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