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October 20, 2003



Thanks for a great post. One hotly debated discussion point around providing a high-touch environment for a baby/toddler is co-sleeping. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts about it especially in light of the recently released research showing higher rates of death in co-sleeping infants. (Unfortunately the study -- or at least the press around the study didn't define the co-sleeping situations that resulted in the deaths. For example, was a parent under the influence? Did the parent(s) follow the guidelines for safe co-sleeping?

robert paterson

Hi Gwen - the bottom line is that I do not have a handle on the stats.

What is clear is that touch is the key to attachment with infants for both mother and child. Attachment is the key to a good life.

So what are the risks of not having a high touch environment? Do we keep the stats on that.? SIDS is a mystery and only happens when babies are alone. I think we could endlessly debate this and find that the real differences in opinion are probably not provable by the use of statistics but are cultural where we support our point of view with the statistics that we find fits the best.

There are some who feel that having a close physical relationship with a baby is "wrong" and will go a long way to keep on that message and will use whatever means is available

robert paterson

A friend sent some useful info on co-sleeping after your comment.

Please see yhe post above


I stumbled across your blog while I was doing some online research. It is fascinating to study other societies and see how their child rearing practices and beliefs differ from our own, yet are highly successful. We truly should learn from these cultures, not condemn them as old fashioned or ignorant.

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