Dr. Nils Bergman is a well known advocate for kangaroo care, which is best known when you use skin to skin contact to help preemies obtain optimal outcomes due to a rough start in life. I have seen him interviewed many times, typically in videos about early infant care or which promote the right to birth as naturally as possible. He has said many, many lovely supportive things over the years – like that it is never too late to play catch-up and optimize the growth trajectory of your baby, and that anyone can be part of the child’s attachment environment.
Therefore when I read a Daily Mail article which states that he fully believes that “Changes to the brain brought on by stress hormones may make it more difficult to form relationships later on, leading to problems such as promiscuity,” I nearly fell off of my chair.
Say it isn’t so! The cure, the guarantee against this is to bedshare with your baby for the first three to four years of their lives. What the what? I quickly hopped onto the internet to see whether the Daily Mail had quoted him incorrectly. Nope, they got it right.
OH GIVE ME A BREAK!
I agree that co-sleeping can offer many benefits, but how anyone can even say some of the nonsense in this article with a straight face just slays me. Not bed-sharing until three years of age leads to greater promiscuity? Really? So if you don’t bedshare until your child is about ready to enter kindergarten, they will have such a low sense of self-esteem that they will search for approval and love in really inappropriate ways by offering to sleep with absolutely anyone who crosses their path? Apparently, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS…
None of it? JUST bedsharing, or the lack of it will cause promiscuity.
Bedsharing, like babywearing, offers a lot of benefits to be sure. The proximity effect which allows you to respond immediately to your child’s needs, the warmth provided by your body, all of that is important. But so are a lot of other things that you just don’t do in bed, like walking, talking, playing, singing with your baby, being with your partner, with your loved ones. In bed, babies don’t get introduced and interact with people in their community, they don’t get to safely explore their environment, they don’t get to see all the fullness and the emotions that are part of life such as anger, fear, happiness, sadness, joy and so much more. They just mainly sleep, poop, and nurse.
To suggest that you cannot raise healthy secure children if you don’t bedshare is ridiculous. Well attached children are raised everyday in Canada by caring parents who follow a variety of parenting styles because they meet their children’s needs as well as their own. They respond appropriately to their babies when they are crying and are upset, they play with their children, they include them in every aspect of life. They provide a proper framework to help them determine how to move through life, how to explore their environment, provide limits on what you should and should not do in various situations and circumstances.
That includes parents who babywear and don’t bedshare.