Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Losing Sleep Over It

Nothing compares to cuddling your child in bed, but sleep-sharing comes with its own set of dangers
To some parents, it's the most natural thing in the world. To others, it is an intimacy killer. Bed sharing is a Western debate that seems to have piqued interest in India. With changing lifestyles and plenty of global parenting information available, most Indian parents feel caught between culture and change.Recently, a sensitive survey on parents sharing their bed with children was conducted by parenting website Born Smart in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Jaipur and Pune. Almost 68 per cent of the families in the survey were nuclear and lived in houses with two or more bedrooms. In 78 per cent of the cases, kids shared beds with their parents. This underlines the fact that space alone is not the reason for co-sleeping.
Most (75 per cent) agreed that co-sleeping had affected their physical relationship as a couple.Maximum mothers felt that the bond with their husbands had suffered. They confessed that their children and spouses were bearing the brunt of their frustration. About 24 per cent parents admitted that they refrained from sex once the baby was born. To curb frustration, many husbands said they had taken to clubbing and drinking.“Parents must never for get that they are husband and wife first.When couples give less importance to their relationship, the stress and trauma is felt by all concerned, including the children,“ says educational activist and parenting guru Swati Popat Vats.
Parents who have no intention of sleep sharing often end up doing so when they find that it's the only way their baby will snooze.“Much research shows the benefits of babies being close to their parents, especially their mother. In the womb, they will have synchronised their heart beat, breathing and sleeping patterns with them, so once in the big wide world outside, this needs to continue for some time in order for them to feel safe, and extend to the father, too,“ says the UK based Jane Evans, author and trauma parenting and child behaviour specialist.
A majority of parents didn't want their child to sleep separately as they feared the kid would choke, fall or cry.
Ironically, the American Academy of Paediatrics recom mends against sleep-sharing due to SIDS and possible cot death. Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands show that there is an association between toddlers who share a bed with their parents at the age of two years and wheezing and asthma in later childhood.
THE DARKER SIDE
In her 31 years of research in early childhood, Vats has come across many cases where children were found `playing' with other peoples' genitals or `playing dirty games', and in many cases it was an imitation of what they had seen.“Parents feel that children are sleeping when they indulge in the physical act. Many children are light sleepers and those images seen in half sleep can have a long-term impact on the child. Previously, the culprit was the joint family, but now with more nuclear families, this shouldn't be the case. Maybe our culture still does not accept that a mother can make a child sleep separately,“ says Vats. The parenting guru believes that if parents receive the right guidance on how to wean off their children, then many couples would be able to rediscover intimacy. This would also result in less parenting stress.
“If co-sleeping is a family decision, parents must discuss and set themselves some clear boundaries and expectations around their intimacy as a couple and what they expose their child to. They must be made aware that this will have an impact on the child's development,“ says Evans.
THE RIGHT TIME
Parents should know that they can love and cherish their child without co-sleeping with them. For infants, moving into a crib that is kept near the bed or in the same room helps the weaning process. This way, breast feeding or rocking the child to sleep is easy. Once the baby outgrows the crib, move them to their own bed with devices such as baby monitors to keep a watch. Sonali Gupta, clinical psychologist at Chembur's Sushrut Hospital, believes we must wean off kids between the ages of two-and-a-half and three. “Start with afternoon naps and slowly transition to night sleeps but if the child is not emotionally ready, don't force it on him or her. It could have a negative impact,“ she says. Some educational organisations in Mumbai organise sleepovers for kindergarten students at school with food and fun exercises to help initiate the process of sleeping away from parents.“Kids are smart at picking up anxiety, so if either of you is anxious about letting them sleep alone, they will latch on to co-sleeping,“ warns Gupta. However, if children experience nightmares after they start sleeping on their own, the issue must be dealt with professionally.

22 comments:

PJK Wagholi said...

Dear Swati Madam,Thank you for this informative blog.I am sure this will help me and my teachers team along with parents to understand the importance of having a good sleep for the children and maintaining a good relationship among couples.This article will surely highlight to our parents on 4th July 2015/Saturday for bring up the good relationship and understanding the importance of personal space to be developed in every family.

Sonali Karmakar said...

Indeed a very good article ma:am... Thank you Ma'am for sharing the same... Parents must change their view after reading this blog...

Ramola Menezes said...

Thank you Swati Maa'm for sharing this blog with us. It will really be helpful for many parents who must be going through such problems.

Sunita Gandhi said...

This is an awesome post.
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Kalpita Bhirud said...

Thank you ma'am for sharing such an awesome article. It's so true that every parent must give importance to their relationship as husband and wife first and also making children sleep on their own in another room.

Tanvi Mody said...

I Ms.Tanvi Mody teacher of PJK Plus vile parle would like to thank you ma'am for sharing this article with us.Indeed its important for parents to train their kids to sleep alone in another room.

Deepali Wilson said...

A sensitive issue addressed so beautifully. In India to raise a child and to play our role as wife is like walking on egg shells...
Thank you Ma'am,it will be lot easier now.

janice gomes said...

I Ms. Janice Gomes teacher at PJK Plus Vile Parle, thank you ma'am for sharing such an article. This article will surely help parents in their parenting. Indeed there would be spousal intimacy as well as it will help parents to help kids sleep on their own, and avoiding any types of sickness.

Asma Khan said...

I Miss Syed Assma a teacher at podar jumbo kids parbhani,I first hv to thank Swati ma'am for giving us such important information which is very helpful in upbringing our children.which is explained very beautifuly. I as a parent surely going to implement the above points which ma'am has shared in my lifestyle.which r very essential fr me as a parent Thanks a lot.....ma'am

Asma Khan said...

I Miss Syed Assma a teacher at podar jumbo kids parbhani,I first hv to thank Swati ma'am for giving us such important information which is very helpful in upbringing our children.which is explained very beautifuly. I as a parent surely going to implement the above points which ma'am has shared in my lifestyle.which r very essential fr me as a parent Thanks a lot.....ma'am

Kalpana Mahalwar said...

Excellent guidance for the young parents ,who are just struggling with the parental issues.If parents receive the right guidance on how to wean off their children, then many couples would be able to rediscover intimacy and there will be less parenting stress.There will also be a positive atmosphere at home.Thanks for an excellent article.

PJK Vadgaon said...

Thank-you mam for sharing such an informative article as in India most parents feel shy to ask all these issues, this will defiantly help them .

Bhosari Pjk said...

Thank you mam for sharing such a wonderful article with us.We as an Indian hesitate to speak on such topic or express our view on the same. This blog is definitely going to help all of us.

Poonam Borade said...

I Ms. Poonam Borade Teacher of PJK Plus Vile Parle thank you ma’am for sharing this blog. It will help us to make our kids independent.

Leela Chamaria said...

I Ms Leela Chamaria teacher of PJK Plus Vile Parle thank you for sharing this informative blog.This will help most of our parents in upbringing of their children in a right way.

Rajul Nishar said...

I am RAJUL NISHAR a teacher from PJK PLUS VILE PARLE.....would like to thank you for Sharing this blog with us.....this information wil help the parents allot in their life.

shabbi shah said...

I Ms Sabina Shah teacher at PJK Plus Vile Parle thank you Ma'am for sharing such an awesome article with us.This article will be really helpful for many parents and also making their children sleep on their own in another room.

Ms.Manisha HM-PJK Bhusawal said...

Ma'am thank you for sharing a blog which most of the people feel awkward and embarrassed to talk about. This blog has lots of information which will surely create awareness in parents..regarding the importance of a relationship as husband and wife and how to wean off kids from co-sleeping.

Hema Mittal said...

Thank you Ma'am for the parenting tip. This blog will certainly help a lot of parents to bring the spark back in their lives as a couple and also guide them in bringing up their children in an healthy environment as independent individuals.

PJK Koradi said...

Thank you Ma'am, Indeed a very sensitive topic but very informative to make the parent alert and aware, also will help them in maintaining healthy atmosphere at home. Surely after this parent will change their views.

PJK Vadgaonsheri 2 said...

Thank you ma'am for addressing such sensitive issue in a most informative way. I am sure that this will definitely help many couples to maintain health relationship and also help to bring up their child in positive way.

shruti ramani said...

I Mrs Shruti Ramani . teacher at pjk vileparle, guiding the right and bringing the child up is a very sensitive issue, In this blog you have given guidance to the indian parents how to bring up their child and make them independent. its a very big thankyou for changing my views on parenting