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[IP] Sleeping with my baby.

Dear Kim,

I was disappointed by your reply to my question (regarding concerns that my
baby may get tangled in my insulin pump tubing while sleeping with me).  To
begin with, I did not ask for your opinion on co-sleeping, I asked for your
help with my insulin pump.

Your scare tactics, regarding supposed deaths caused by parents overlying
their babies, were infuriating.  This kind of misinformation frightens
parents and removes their freedom to chose what sleeping arrangements best
suit their family's needs.  I am confident that if you research these deaths
in Ohio, they will turn out to be urban myths or a case of an intoxicated
parent who is not aware of his baby's presence in the bed.  Co-sleeping is
not only safe (unless on a waterbed or while intoxicated), but in fact, more
and more research is showing that it plays a role in preventing SIDS.  In
his book about SIDS, Dr. William Sears says, "All the elements of natural
mothering, especially breastfeeding and sharing sleep, benefit the infant's
breathing control and increase the mutual awareness between mother and
infant so that their arousability is increased and the risk of SIDS is
decreased."  In his book about discipline, he comments, "In looking at the
nighttime parenting practices of families we've encountered during our
twenty-two years in pediatric practice, we've made a number of observations:
. . . we have found that in general, separate sleepers tend to have more
behaviour problems than babies who share sleep with their parents."

La Leche League International, the world's leading authority on
breastfeeding, recommends the following: "When your baby wakes at night,
just tuck him into bed with you, start nursing him, and the two of you can
drop off to sleep again together.  It is quite safe -- we've all done it,
and so have mothers all over the world for centuries.  The babies love the
warmth and closeness, and mothers say that they quickly develop a sixth
sense about allowing room for the baby."  So as you can see, there is no
need to congratulate me for the impending arrival of no sleep.  I intend on
getting plenty with my baby at my side.

According to Mothering Magazine's November/December 1998 issue, "The US
consistently stands out as the only society in which babies are routinely
placed in their own beds and in their own rooms. . . . What these
well-meaning parents do not realize is that they might also be putting their
babies unnecessarily at risk."

I can go on and on quoting scientific research and giving reasons why
sharing sleep with your children is not only safe and natural, but
beneficial in many ways.  If you would like to educate yourself on this
topic, I highly recommend Tine Thevenin's book, "The Family Bed".  It
discusses anthropological studies and the real-life experiences of modern
families who sleep together.

In the future, I would recommend that you work with people's questions and
and not judge their personal lifestyles and decisions, nor give out dangerous
advice on topics with which you are not familiar.

Tara Dufour

Insulin Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/
for mail subscription assistance, contact: HELP@insulin-pumpers.org