Thursday, March 1, 2007

Co-Sleeping Isn't News to Me

Though the NY Times seems to think it's discovered the hippest, craziest thing since sliced bread in the idea of co-sleeping--that is, where parents and children share a family bed, either on occasion or permanently--it's a concept that's as old as time and more common than most people, until recently, were willing to admit. I stand before you as a one adult, at least, who grew up in a family in which sharing beds was more the rule than the exception: I feel almost certain that my brother and I spent more nights sleeping in our grandmother's king sized bed, or our mother's, than we ever spent in the perfectly good beds we had in our very own rooms. And as far as I can tell, we've both turned into perfectly fine, independent people despite (or because of) this fact.

To me, the compelling thing here is the story's rocket-like ascent to the top of the NYT's "Most E-mailed" list, which makes two things absolutely incontrovertible: 1) More people are covertly co-sleeping than we ever allowed ourselves to know before, and 2) The online edition of the NYT is read exclusively by mommies. Regardless, as someone who's had to defend the practice through much of my life, I'm glad to see the conversation starting in the public realm. It's strange how something that was so non-controversial--that was actually a necessity--throughout much of the history of time, has come to have so much stigma attached to it. I'm not sure why people feel so uptight about having (their own) children in their beds, but I'm blaming The Victorians.

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