Huffpost Parents

Co-sleeping Debate: Is Sharing A Family Bed A Good Idea?

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Co-sleeping, or sharing a family bed, is common in other cultures, but highly controversial in the United States. The American Academy of Pediatrics says it increases the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and recommends babies always be put down in a bassinet or crib. Last fall, when the city of Milwaukee discovered that 30 countries had lower infant death rates than theirs, they created scary ads featuring a baby sleeping next to a knife with copy that read: "Your baby sleeping with you is just as dangerous."

However, several trusted authorities say it's perfectly safe. Dr. William Sears is perhaps the most vocal advocate. He coined the term attachment parenting -- a type of childcare rooted in the belief that mothers and fathers must always be sensitive to their baby's needs, including at night. Actress Mayim Bialik is a mother of two who follows Dr. Sears' advice, and has never owned a crib. Here, in HuffPost Parents' first installment of Change My Mind, she presents the benefits of co-sleeping and answers the big elephant-in-the-room question: Where/when do you have sex!?

It's important to note that Bialik and her husband co-sleep with their two boys who are well beyond babyhood -- there is no risk of SIDS now. Opponents to sharing a bed with toddlers and kids, however, include child psychologists, who say co-sleeping is problematic at any age because it inhibits kids' independence, as well as many moms and dads who think having children in the bedroom is not romantic, comfortable or beneficial. Suzanne Brown is one of these moms. She made a choice never to co-sleep with either of her two kids, and explains why that works best for her family.

So, what do you think? Vote on whether you believe sharing a family bed is a good idea or not. Then read on for both moms' opinions and see if they change your mind.

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