chapter  16
11 Pages

Co-sleeping: An ecological parenting practice

BySALLY BADDOCK

One of the most significant areas that midwives are positioned to influence is that of infant sleep practices. Co-sleeping may be part of a framework for a self-sufficient or sustainable parenting style. Infant-parent co-sleeping (or bedsharing) is an integral part of a traditional parenting style in many cultures and it is increasingly a parenting style of choice in Western societies (Arnestad et al. 2001; Ateah et al. 2008). It encourages a parenting style that is less dependent on consumer commodities such as cot mobiles, sleep aids, bottle feeding, etc., to care for the baby (Okami et al. 2002). Parents look to their own resources instead of to external solutions. The close contact of the mother is the tool for settling baby and breastfeeding provides nutrition.