Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Book Review: Sleeping With Your Baby

This is a great book for anyone debating where their baby should sleep, or wanting to know how to make bedsharing safest.  It could also be given to family members who are balking at bedsharing or roomsharing.  It's a quick and straightforward read - the meat of the book is less than 100 pages!

Having already bedshared with a baby, I read it mainly because I was interested in whether there was some way to make it safe (or possible...) to nurse Squeak while I snuggle Bean down for a nap, or nurse both boys while I lay down, etc.  No such luck - and one of the safety tips is that you need to be sure an older child won't be able to crawl in bed with you while you're asleep with a baby.

However, I really appreciated the tone of this book.  It wasn't insisting that babies MUST be sleeping in the same bed as their mothers, but saying that bedsharing was a safe option.  It wasn't saying every mother SHOULD want to sleep with her baby, but that those who do could and should follow guidelines to ensure the baby's safety.

Sleeping With Your Baby isn't a book that I think would make anyone defensive who doesn't co-sleep, as McKenna basically says that not being comfortable with it is a reason not to do it.  For that reason (and it's length and straightforwardness), I think it would be a great book to hand to anyone who doubts your decision to sleep with your baby.   If anything, it is a little defensive on the side of the co-sleeper because he talks quite a bit about the indictments of bedsharing by the media and even legal entities.

This book is a manual on how to bedshare safely, and a little bit about how babies and mothers are designed to breastfeed and bedshare.  It is not about how to get better or more sleep, how to get your baby/toddler/child out of your bed, or what bedsharing might look like at various ages.

If you're looking for help getting more sleep for yourself in the family bed, tips and tricks for getting your child our of your bed, or for comfort in the stories of other bedsharing families, I'd recommend Good Nights.

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