The following article is an interview recorded with Sharon Forshpan and Thelma Lager of Arm’s Reach Concepts, a company that specializes in providing a safe and secure system so that a breastfeeding mother is able to remain in her bed during the night and at not get up for feeding baby. They focus on a selection of patented products that accomplish that, including the Arms Reach Co Sleeper, which is a safer way to co sleep with your baby.
Carrie Lauth: I know a lot of our listeners are probably familiar with the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper, and we are going to be talking a little bit more about co-sleeping. You guys have some pretty well-known and respected advocates. I know Dr. William Sears is an outspoken advocate of your product and of co-sleeping, but there is a lot of misinformation out there about co-sleeping.
Thelma Lager: That is true. Dr. James McKenna who is head of the Sleep Laboratory at Notre Dame University believes that co-sleeping is the only natural way for a mom to take care of her infant. He has written a great deal on this subject because there are many scientific papers on this subject. Actually, McKenna ends up saying it is not natural to place the baby down the hall in a separate crib from the mother.
Carrie Lauth: Yes. You know I have observed that co-sleeping is something that people do when they do not know better. It is just an instinctive type of behavior. I have been trying to get Dr. McKenna on the show for months and he is a very busy man.
Thelma Lager: Yes. There is a difference between bed sharing and co-sleeping. Even McKenna cautioned about bed sharing where you might get an overlay – a parent putting an arm or leg over an infant. That is not what co-sleeping does. It places an infant alongside the adult bed not in the adult bed. That is the big difference.
Carrie Lauth: What are some of the biggest benefits of co-sleeping?
Thelma Lager: Obviously, breastfeeding becomes much, much easier. Incidence of breastfeeding for co-sleepers is way, way up. It is over 75%. The other obvious benefit is mom gets a great deal more rest. It is the time of her life when she really needs to sleep. Those are the big benefits.
Carrie Lauth: Yeah, definitely. I once heard a wise mother say that the best place for the baby to sleep is the place where everybody in the family gets the most sleep.
Thelma Lager: That is right. More and more hospitals are beginning to have arrangements so that the infant is in the room with mother rather than down the hall in an incubator. So you see more and more hospitals providing that service.
Carrie Lauth: Well, what do you think are the main objections that some parents have with co-sleeping? If you read any mainstream parenting magazines, they have nothing good to say about co-sleeping and that is kind of a reflection of how the general society feels about it. What are those main objections?
Thelma Lager: Well, overlay which is one of the great fears, but the incidence is very low. The other one is lack of privacy, but that infant is not going to remain in an adult bedroom for the first 14 years of his life. Our co-sleepers, they normally will stay until the baby is able to sit up or stand up and then they move them down to a separate nursery, a separate room.
Sharon Forshpan: I would also like to address that issue. I think we may talk about co-sleeping mainly when we are talking about bed sharing and the co-sleeper bassinet made by Arm’s Reach provides the best solution for the two worlds. It is not bed sharing and so there is no danger to the baby, but it is still close enough to the parent. The baby is sleeping in the co-sleeper bassinet safely, securely. A mother or caretaker or the father can scoop the baby out of the co-sleeper bassinet easily at night for comforting, for feeding, for diaper changing without waking everybody up. The baby sleeps more soundly without having to be moved around, picking up after, the crib, so they do not have to be fully awake to be cared for and to return to sleep much easier. It is all reported both in Dr. Sears’ and Dr. McKenna’s report.
Continued in Part Two: Cosleeping with infant