Carrie Lauth: The American Academy of Pediatrics came out with the statement some time back and it kind of stepped on some toes. What is your answer to that? What have other sleep experts and parenting experts said about their stand against co-sleeping?
Thelma Lager: They finally say in that statement that while they do not recommend bed sharing, they do suggest that a separate co-sleeper bassinet alongside the adult bed is an acceptable alternative. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics says that.
Sharon Forshpan: You know, that brings to mind an article appeared in Newsweek back in May of this year about Dr. Robert. Thelma, would you like to comment on that?
Thelma Lager: Yeah. That was a very strong recommendation in that article. Actually, in the world — the worldwide stance about co-sleeping, we are the only country that does not endorse co-sleeping.
Carrie Lauth: Yes, it is true.
Thelma Lager: But you see the changes come about in this business where you now see a recommendation for the use of pacifiers. For years and years and years, we never used pacifiers. Now, they are recommended. I believe that a change will come about safe co-sleeping which is the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper.
Carrie Lauth: Well, that is interesting that you have mentioned that about the pacifier potentially lowering the SIDS risk. I am not a scientist or a doctor, but I personally feel intuitively that it may be the actual sucking, the act of sucking that keeps the baby stimulated. Of course, a breastfeeding infant who is sleeping near his mother, as you mentioned earlier is going to be suckling more at night, which is something that young infants need. They are not meant to sleep for 8-10 hours without feeding. So, I wonder if down the line as that is researched more, if they find out that it is actually the sucking that is what helpful not the pacifier itself.
Thelma Lager: Another factor in that is by having an infant so close by, autonomic breathing system is not perfect in every infant. Having an infant very close by, a mom catches the breathing and any changes in the breathing and she is there instantly. You have a baby down the hall and you missed all that even with the monitor. It is an added safety feature to having it right there.
Carrie Lauth: Yeah, I definitely believe that because one thing that I have noticed and I have heard other parents say those who practice co-sleeping that oftentimes the mother would just inexplicably wake up and there may be nothing wrong. The baby is not stirring. There is no sign of danger, but just within moments, the baby will wake up and either need a feeding or perhaps even is sick. I know it personally. It has happened to me when my toddler who is still nursing and sleeping nearby, I would wake up and then within seconds, the child would sit up and vomit. I would have time to pick him up and to react appropriately, but there was really no explanation for that other than just being in tune because of sharing that sleep. What about the baby? Does that same benefit translate to the baby? In other words, is the baby more in tune with mommy? How is his breathing affected?
Thelma Lager: Probably, the end result of this… people’s research coming from all such places is that these are better-adjusted adolescents, better adjusted adults. That is what is coming out of this close relationship between a nursing mother and an infant. The Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Bassinet encourages that behavior. In my case, my son had a terrible time in the early stages of teething. I think that is the period when comforting an infant is very, very important. It is very painful. He eventually had to have his gums lanced so it would come out. I think it is the things you observed that the baby is there.
Sharon Forshpan: I just would like to say that on the report either by Dr. Sears or Dr. McKenna that the pleasing synchronization between the infant and the parent or the mother are quite helpful. What they reported is that it is a fact that after a while, the mom and the baby are so synchronized to each other. Perhaps that is what you are talking about, the intuition of the mom?
Carrie Lauth: Yeah.
Sharon Forshpan: There is such closeness and bonding that developed between the two. There is nothing bad to say about co-sleeping in the safe environment such as using the Co-Sleeper Bassinet. Well, again, I am trying not to talk my horn, but from hearing from so many, many parents writing and calling to tell us what a life saving it is for them and for their infants, I just cannot help but trying to tell everybody this is the best thing that you can do for yourself and your child.
Carrie Lauth: Yeah. Well, I have noticed that pregnant parents and new parents are very, very concerned about sleep and this is an alternative for parents who are willing to give it a try. For families that practice co-sleeping, they really seem to enjoy it.
Thelma Lager: Another fact, we should mention our special needs children and we received authored mail from people, children with very definite needs to be near mom. This means that this mother is going to still get some rest and that is very, very important.
Carrie Lauth: Yeah, that is true. I know I had a good friend who had three children and one of her — I think it was her third, the youngest, absolutely did not sleep well near mom. It was a new experience for her because they have been such advocates of co-sleeping and the other two really thrived to being with their mom at night, but this one just did not sleep well near mom. As soon as they put her in a different room, she just slept great.
Thelma Lager: They are all individuals.
Carrie Lauth: Yes, that is right. They like to shake things up. Well, thank you so much, Sharon and Thelma, for sharing this information to our listeners. I really appreciated this. I think it is wonderful that you filled this need for parents.
Sharon Forshpan: Thank you, Carrie, for having us.
Carrie Lauth: Thank you.