By now, you might be weary and tired of the co-sleeping debate but I want to share my thoughts on the CNN fiasco.

Recently my friend Alexandria Durrell tweeted out that CNN was doing a feature about co-sleeping and needed some families to be interviewed.  Long story short, it worked out with our schedules that CNN would come to my house and interview me for the piece.

The segment ended up being called “Extreme Parenting”.  I didn’t know this would be the title of the piece at first, so when I saw it, I had a problem with it.  Perhaps to some, co-sleeping is ‘extreme’ but to me, and many parents, it is absolutely normal.

The report showed three families who co-sleep for various reasons but the bottom line is that it works for them.  However, the expert in the story, Dr. Shapiro, stated that children after two years of age should be in their own beds so they can learn autonomy.

Unfortunately the segment was too short and did not present any of the benefits of co-sleeping.  The expert didn’t offer any real expertise either.  The commentary at the end with Kyra Phillips was also disheartening.  Although she herself is expecting twins, she already has said no to the possibility of co-sleeping.  The reporter, Stephanie Elam, has a seven-month-old daughter seemed to be the only one who was sort of understanding and non-judgmental.

I know CNN was attempting to go the route of “extreme parenting” for ratings but still, it would’ve been nice to show a doctor who would have presented the positive aspects of co-sleeping.

In my house, co-sleeping or bed sharing sort of happens.  The kids usually fall asleep in their own beds but either wake up and come to our room, or one of us goes to theirs.  Often we’ll wake up in the morning and won’t remember how we got there.  It’s a fun game of musical beds and as long as we’re all getting sleep, it doesn’t matter to us.

As for intimacy between me and my husband?  To put it bluntly – we still have it and often!  Do people only have sex right before bed and IN bed?  If so, this is news to me!  When you have kids, you sorta need to get creative! Spontaneity is probably the only way some couples can get any.

Are my kids autonomous?  Heck ya!  They are strong-willed, independent boys who happen to enjoy snuggles.  If my child wakes up and wants mommy or daddy, how can I possibly deprive them of that?

In no time, my boys will be teenagers and I will miss this stage and all the hugs and cuddles.  So I’m enjoying every moment of it while I can.

Read Part One Here

 

Author

Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of amotherworld.com, a leading lifestyle blog for women.

10 Comments

  1. I wish I could have spoken directly with Kyra Phillips. It isn’t that I want to convince her of the benefits of cosleeping, it’s that her attitude was just so judgmental and dripping with holier-than-thou’ness.

    What I loved about doing the interview and discussing it after the fact is that we’re so far from alone. 🙂

  2. Pam @writewrds Reply

    Maria

    I didn’t get the whole co-sleeping debate until now. When I was growing up and when my boys were smaller, I didn’t even think about it. I just did it. My kids needed comfort and, as a child, so did I. We played shared-the-bed and musical beds for a few years. It was simply a routine part of family life.
    I can still vividly remember the comfort and sense of security I got as a little girl — over 45 years ago — in my parents’ bed. It’s a closeness I still cherish today and I’m grateful to have shared so many cuddles with my own children.

  3. Deborah / Mom2Michael Reply

    Thank you both for posting these responses to the CNN piece. I never thought I’d co-sleep until M (now 5) came along. Then life kind of happened and co-sleeping worked. He did move into his crib once he no longer needed so many nighttime feedings, and he does have his own bed where he begins most nights now. So we’re not true co-sleepers, but we are bed hoppers. He’ll come in with us, or one of us will end up in with him. Or, many nights, one or the other of us will decide to sleep with him from the get-go.

    Hubs was recently away for 3 weeks and M slept the entire time with me. We both loved it and slept better than ever!

    The snuggles and closeness and security, for all of us, are immeasurably positive!

  4. Well said. The segment was very one sided and very much edited. I wish more people would talk about the benefits of co-sleeping.

    • Thanks you all so much for your comments. I truly appreciate the honesty in everyone’s responses. I know a few people, who are close to me, who shun this practice so it’s wonderful to know there are so many parents out there do who enjoy bed sharing. ~Maria

  5. I generally don’t have a problem with co-sleeping, I co-slept with all my kids at different ages and stages. My last baby was in my bed at some point through the night until she was about 4.

    In your interview you state that you’d rather have your boys in your bed so they can sleep 7 or 8 hours straight each night. My question is, at 4 and 6 years old, why wouldn’t they be sleeping for an 8 hour stretch at night?

    I suppose that while I say I am pro co-sleeping, I do agree with the psychologist that it should start ending around age 2. I was happy with my daugther out of our bed at 4.

    I do agree with you that it should not be considered extreme parenting!

  6. When my DD was younger we never thought anything of “bed hopping” . DD was not a good sleeper and I just felt that if my DD fell asleep faster and was comforted by my being there then I would be. Many of my family and some friends felt it was crazy that I would “bed hop” and that she would join us in the mornings in bed.
    What is right for one family is not necessarily right for another, even though it was right for us. Plus, I loved the snuggles!
    There are times even now when she is sick that I will lay down with her for a while because she asks me too. I don’t mind that.

  7. It makes me so crazy, this backlash against what is normal and natural.
    At the end of the day we’re MAMMALS and, as far as I’ve seen, most dogs/cats/horses/cows do not get their own rooms at two years of age.
    Also, do any of these ‘reporters’ ever make even one tiny reference to what people in the rest of the world do? Nope, because we are Westerners and we are the only ones who have things right.
    I could rant about this for days, but I’ll spare you and your readership.
    Co-sleeping is what humans are designed to do, whether people chose to do it or not is no one’s business but their own.

  8. I would love to know why age 2 is the threshold. I hope Laura comes back and reads my comment. I’d like to read some evidence that shows detriment to development.

    I highly doubt there is any, though.

    I would again like to point out that ADULTS sleep together. It’s the norm. Why? Purely for sexual reasons? I doubt it.

  9. I love love LOVE this post. Co-sleeping has been fabulous for us. It is the natural, intuitive way to ease your baby into a lifetime of good sleep habits. It’s sad that CNN skewed their report towards the negative. What happened to good journalism?

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