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

cosleeping baby mom

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.


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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