Half of Co-Sleeping Moms Lie About It -- Because We Know You're Judging Us

cosleeping baby mom
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Do you share the bed with your baby? It's okay to admit if you do; your secret is safe here. Just know you aren't alone. A new study reveals that close to half of new mothers who co-sleep lie about it, in fear of being judged for their decision to snuggle with their baby.

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UK website Gentle Parenting surveyed 600 mothers and discovered that 46 percent of moms who co-sleep have fibbed to their health care provider about getting some shut-eye with their baby. Because of this omission, it's feared that new mothers who practice co-sleeping run the risk of missing out on key advice that would allow them to safely do so with their child.

More from CafeMom: 6 Reasons Parents Lie About Co-Sleeping

With fears of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), it's no wonder why many mothers have a fear of co-sleeping with their precious child -- or even admitting they do in conversation. The American Academy of Pediatrics found most infants who die of SIDS were bed-sharing; that's enough to make any parent take a pause. And yet, there are other resources, like the University of Notre Dame's Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory, that equip moms and dads with safe co-sleeping tips for parents who choose to rest with their baby.

If I'm being honest, I co-sleep with my kiddos -- and it's something I don't really talk about, out of fear of being judged. Granted, I do have a few friends who do it (and couldn't care less), but I hear enough unsolicited advice during the day that I don't want to add another log to that fire. When I was pregnant, I never once thought to myself, Yeah, I'll share a bed with my baby and possibly risk SIDS. I was a worry rat as is, and didn't want to add anything else that would up my anxiety.

It just sorta happened.

More from CafeMom: 9 Safe Co-Sleeping Tips to Help You Stay Out of the News

Sometimes, my 9-month-old will nurse late a night and end up sleeping in our bed. And sometimes, my 2-year-old finds his way into my bed. It's a bonding experience that allows me to get a few more moments with them, before they sprout up and leave me.

Hearing that so many mothers do the same -- and are scared to speak up -- makes me sad. I'm among that number and wish there could be more dialogue about adjustments and alternatives that wouldn't make it such a huge scandal.

More from CafeMom: 10 Things Never to Say to a Co-Sleeping Parent

Hopefully we can get to a point in society where people are no longer shamed for the decisions they make as a parent. Bed-sharing with a child is pretty common, even if those who put LO next to them at night choose not to talk about it. Mommies interested in co-sleeping with their baby should be made to feel comfortable discussing the idea with their health care providers, which will allow them to make the most informed decision -- including any necessary adjustments if and when necessary.

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