Cosleeping can be defined as children sleeping in the same bed with their parents (especially mothers) or siblings in early childhood. The practice of cosleeping/bed sharing is not necessarily related to the cultural beliefs or socioeconomic status of the family; it is, however, a major developmental experience for most children across the world. It is widely believed that cosleeping promotes and maintains mother–infant physical closeness, which is biologically a normal practice and not inherently unsafe. This entry presents the history of cosleeping; an account of the controversy surrounding the practice; types of cosleeping; and the risks, benefits, and possible future of cosleeping.

Historical Overview

In 1930, anthropologist Margaret Mead published her groundbreaking research on the indigenous people of Papua New Guinea and introduced to readers the ancient ...

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