Co-sleeping: mothers weigh-in on shut eye

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Not all moms agree. Bringing a small child into bed with its parents can be seen as a risk and a form of bonding.
"We disagree with co-sleeping for the safety of our children's sake," said Karla Donlon, mother of two.

"It's not gonna harm the child at all," said Beth Porter, mother of one. "It actually helps to bring a bond together."

It's the battle of the mothers. To sleep or not to sleep with your child. It's called co-sleeping and it killed 82 children across the state of Indiana. Pediatricians don't always recommend it.


"It's okay to have your child in your room but not in your bed,"said Dr. Charisse Johnson, pediatrician, Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Johnson says she follows the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation and suggests placing the crib in the room to comfort the child.

"The concern is this: will a kid be rolled over on, will a kid get smothered, will a kid for example that's starting to scoot--scoot and get themselves in a position where they're trapped," said Dr. Johnson.

But one Elkhart mom says her beds big enough and she's never had an issue.

"Needless, scared, waking up in the middle of the night crying and me having to go comfort him and put him down. just to have it happen a couple hours later," said Porter.

Her son Isaac was born with club feet. He will sleep wearing a wide brace on his feet until his three years old.

"When he turns over in his sleep  he'll actually hit the railing on the crib and he'll wake himself up and he'll be scared," said Porter.

She plans to sleep alongside him until he no longer wants to and plans to get him his own twin bed in time.

But one mother says there's no good excuse for co-sleeping and she'd rather be exhausted than develop bad habits with her child.

"Its like a pacifier or using a bottle too long," said Karla Donlon, mother of two. "The longer you do it the harder it becomes and it can also wear on your relationship."

Dr. Johnson says always consult your pediatrician and work out a sleeping situation that is best for you. She adds it's important to point out that co-sleeping risks are for children under three-years- old. Those at highest risk of death are those one-year-old and younger.


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