Gathering in the family bed is by no means a new idea, but recently it has become something of a hot issue among parents. What works for one family may not fit with another "ÃÂ while many feel a "family bed"ÃÂ encourages closeness, others just as persistently believe that allowing a child to share his or her parents' bed promotes dependence. According to the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), co-sleeping, or sharing a bed with an infant, claims the lives of 64 children under age 2 each year. This organization cautions parents against sharing beds with their babies, but supporters of co-sleeping believe that a parent's bed is just where an infant belongs.
The concept of a "family bed"ÃÂ has a long historical tradition and is enjoyed by many cultures around the world. It is common in Japan, for example, where they emphasize the nurturing aspects of family life.
In many cultures, the "family bed"ÃÂ is and always has been a way of life.
But in the United States, most children have separate bedrooms starting in infancy. The United States is one of the few countries that have a cultural bias against parents sharing a bed with their children. It was a common tradition in the U.S. until the twentieth century when child- care experts began warning parents that they must teach their children to sleep alone or create psychological scars. Today, as we find everything old is again new, the "family bed"ÃÂ is enjoying a new popularity among the parents of the 2000's. Although the image of a baby and parent dozing off together is not an uncommon one, the practice of co-sleeping remains controversial in the United States.
If you share your bed with your children, you are not alone. Surveys show that 25 to 30 percent...