Here is the video of my IGTV chat with Cayla, the sleep specialist of Sleeping Beauties. If you submitted a question to me on Twitter, it was answered here. Please find Cayla’s contact info linked on her website or instagram @officialsleepingbeauties.
*Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes only. The information on this blog should not be used as a substitute to medical advice or medical treatment. As always, your Primary Care Provider, a doctor, or another health professional is your best resource for specific questions and medical advice. If you believe you or a loved one are experiencing a medical emergency, please contact 911.*
I just want to make a special comment about safe sleep. I mentioned in this video that I think it’s important to have open dialogue about how and where your baby sleeps. I like when people are realistic about this conversation – it’s easy as someone who has never had a child to raise to say “never sleep with your baby”, but harder when you are in fact in the position of being a parent with a baby that is not sleeping (easier said than done, as they say)! I can attest to this.
There are, without a doubt, certainly many risks and horror stories behind bed-sharing/co-sleeping in the same bed – but I know that people do do it, and it’s realistic to meet people where they are, provide information, and do what we can to help them without judgment.
As always – I recommend a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider about sleeping if you are struggling with it. There are ways they can support you to have baby sleep safely in a crib, bassinet, etc.
Read this article here – I found it very informative about why and how the conversation can be had about how baby sleep.
I could go on and on about this because, honestly, I am very torn and conflicted on the subject. I read a lot of horror stories, but also a lot of mixed result studies. I’ll be very transparent and honest here: I tried very hard to never have my baby sleep with me, but I’d be lying to myself and others if I said I never did it.
Research is also very conflicted on this topic – there are benefits and there are certainly risks and dangers. There is also a lot of criteria for the benefits to apply– this is important to keep in mind. We discussed in the video how, for example, it is never safe to have a baby sleep with you if you smoke, or have been using drugs/consuming alcohol.
What is important for healthcare providers I think, on this subject, is to be open to having the discussion. Parents are scared to mention it because they don’t want to face judgment for their decisions. The New Zealand approach may be a good one – if we are being realistic about what is happening despite the recommendations. It’s also very important to consider, when caring for patients, that sharing the bed with your child may be a cultural norm.
What’s important for parents & providers I think is to have the conversation about sleep. Don’t be afraid to speak up, parents; and try not to pass judgment but offer advice and recommendations in a caring/respectful way, providers. There are ways to talk about safe sleep that are non-judgmental, and don’t cause more distress for mothers (and parents) who are likely already feeling some form of ‘mom guilt’ or ‘parent guilt’ over something else.