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Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Cosleeping Paperback – January 1, 2007
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From the Publisher
We coslept with our next four infants - one at a time - until weaning. As a young pediatrician with no medical training in where babies should sleep I was fascinated by the restful synchrony that I saw between the nursing pair. Martha would partially awaken just before Hayden would. Martha would nurse or comfort her back to sleep and neither member of the nursing pair completely awakened. Wow! Something good is happening here, I thought. If only I could wire up mother and baby and scientifically prove that something healthful is going on between them when they share a bed, then I could quiet the separate sleeping crowd who warned us of the "bad habit," saying "she'll never get out of your bed," and the unwarranted fears of terminal dependency. The prevailing nighttime mindset of the time was fostering selfsoothing and early independence.
Then, in 1981, I met Dr. McKenna whose interest and passion was to scientifically study mothers and babies in various sleeping arrangements and to document the physiological differences between cosleepers and separate sleepers. I still remember at our lunch meeting saying, "Jim, I'm going to follow your studies very carefully, since I'm certain a lot of good things occur while mother and baby sleep close to each other, I just can't prove it." My medical motto has always been "show me the science." Childrearing is too valuable to be left to opinions alone. Besides, I was then dubbed, "The daring doctor who recommends mothers sleep with their babies."
Twenty-five years and many scientific articles later, Dr. McKenna has proved what intuitive parents have long suspected: something healthful happens to mother and baby when they cosleep. In this book, Dr. McKenna shows us the science. Readers can trust that Dr. McKenna's sleep laboratory monitoring sleep-sharing pairs, and he relates his observations in easy-to-read language and captivating conclusions.
In nighttime parenting our eight children, we learned a valuable lesson in deciding where babies should sleep: get behind the eyes of your baby and ask yourself, "If I were my baby, where would I want to sleep?" Would your baby want to sleep alone in a separate room, behind bars, with a high risk of experiencing nighttime anxiety, or would your baby rather be nestled next to their favorite person in the whole wide world and enjoy nighttime restfulness?
In this book you will find trusted advice from the world's authority on sleeping with your baby.
-William Sears, M.D.
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Top Customer Reviews
Back when I was writing my own sleep book a year ago -- Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-Worry Approach for Each Age and Stage (Mother of All Solutions) -- I noted that what co-sleeping parents really needed was some sort of guide to safe -- or safer -- co-sleeping: a book that summarized all the best evidence on safe sleeping (as applied to various co-sleeping arrangments) and presented this information in a clear and practical way. In writing Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Cosleeping, McKenna has written just such a book.
Providing photos that clearly illustrate the dangers of entrapment and that caution parents against other situations that would make bedsharing a poor choice (e.g.Read more ›
Three years ago I read everything I could get my hands on by Dr. McKenna. His website and various articles and letters gave me alot of confidence that what I was doing was perfectly normal and natural (I was only making the mistake of telling everyone what I was doing Ha!)
I am very happy that he has put this book out. Co-sleeping when done with forethought to the safety of the environment, and done by a healthy, sober, rational mother is very safe. It also helps the breastfeeding mother rest and continue the breastfeeding relationship.
Thank you again!
Up until now parents have been confused as to whether or not they could or should sleep with their babies. Is it safe? Is it dangerous psychologically? Will you create a "bad habit" by doing so? The well-meaning comments of family and friends, as well as the confusing information in newspapers and the media about this topic have only made parents feel guilty if they do cosleep.
Dr. McKenna is a leading researcher in the field of maternal-infant sleep. But don't let that scare you---this is not a dry science book. It is written with wit, warmth, kindness and is straight to the point: all sleeping must be done safely, whether done in a crib or a parent's bed. He explains the biological need of human beings to be close at night and helps us to understand how we can integrate this into our own lives. And he does so with science supporting his stance and without judgment regarding the choices of parents.
Thank you, Dr. McKenna, for this gift! I will be recommending this book to new parents and I will be giving it to expectant families. I have a feeling parents everywhere will sleep a little easier after reading your lovely, intelligent and helpful book. And I'll sleep a little easier knowing that I have shared it with them.
This book is an incredibly easy read. I believe it's about ninety pages long, so even a sleep-deprived parent or a recalcitrant partner can read it quickly. Within those pages is a huge amount of information. Rather than expousing his pet theories, McKenna brings in the research, and lots of it. Nevertheless, he keeps his book accessible and easy to read. I was never overwhelmed by the technobabble that occasionally accompanies quotations of scientific research. McKenna doesn't tell you what is best for your baby. He doesn't tell you where your child has to sleep. He offers many different options and leaves it to each family to decide what works best for them. For each option, he also offers information about when it would not be safe. After reading this book, I felt validated in most of the sleeping choices our family has made. I also realized that one of them was extrememly dangerous - falling asleep with our baby on the couch. Finally, Dr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is very smart, evidence based and informative. If you intuitively feel "the cry it out method" goes against your natural disposition on your child rearing,... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Angela Jackson
Great book for any parent to read! The media and medical professionals are so hard on bed sharing I think it's only fair too hear the other side of the issue and from a man who... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Showman
Excellent advice and some background into our history as humans. Good read. Not to long.Published 15 days ago by Ella M.
This book really opened my eyes to the benefits and normality of co sleeping. The only thing that I wished he emphasized, however, is the safety concern of bedsharing when the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Honey Rowold
This book is brief, clear, informational, and historically reflective. I'm glad the important points are repeated as I am a sleep deprived mama in need of some info. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Anneliese Smith
This book was very easy to read, informative, and based on hard scientific data, rather than popular opinion or cultural fashion. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Atlreviewer