However, parents will also find some very persuasive arguments against the practice of co-sleeping, including the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP).
What about co-sleeping with multiples? Is a family bed simply too crowded when you have twins? Or is co-sleeping the secret solution for actually getting some shut-eye during the exhausting first year with multiples? Like many parenting issues, there is no clear answer. It's a deeply personal decision that each family will have to make for themselves.
Latest DevelopmentsIn October 2005, the American Academy of Pediatricians revised its recommendations on co-sleeping, encouraging parents to put their babies to sleep in a crib to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). However, in late 2005, rumors that a leading child sleep expert had softened his opposition to co-sleeping in a new book (released March 2006) fueled the controversy. Parents felt vindicated that Dr. Richard Ferber reportedly reversed his stance that co-sleeping was unhealthy.
BackgroundHistorically, co-sleeping with infants was a customary practice. Parents shared their bed with young children, and as the children grew, they slept with siblings. But in modern times, Western society's parenting priorities emphasized a more independent approach to sleep habits. But, a trend towards Attachment Parenting prompted a return to the family bed. However, some medical and parenting experts frowned upon the practice, citing it as a risk for SIDS and claiming that it could generate sleep problems for children as they grew up.
The mixed messges left parents in a conundrum: was co-sleeping beneficial or harmful? The issue was even more complicated for parents of twins and multiples. Although their instinct might draw them towards the idea of co-sleeping, the logistics of managing multiples might make it impractical. Co-sleeping appeals to exhausted parents of multiples, seeking any strategies for getting a few more moments of precious sleep. Yet, with many twins, triplets and other multiples already at risk for SIDS, would co-sleeping present more danger?