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Is there really a controversy over co-sleeping?

Published on: December 30, 2013

funnybaby"The issue that's turning mom against mom" sez Jezebel. "Moms are raging over the latest parenting trend: co-sleeping," screams (not surprisingly) the New York Post.

Despite their eye-catching headlines, both articles are a relatively reasonable look at a trend that's ramped up in recent years. I grow infinitely tired of seeing families' parenting choices framed in the media as (a) a fight!!!1111! between "moms" (and it's always moms, because moms are responsible for everything and touchy and bitchy besides, dontcha know) and (b) something that parents MUST DO or else, or something that parents MUST NOT do or else. The Big Bads -- neglect, abuse -- harm kids in the long run. Most other parenting choices likely will not (I'm excluding infant co-sleeping deaths that have occurred when parents are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, of course).

Jezebel commenter OliphantsWillRule put it best:

The co-sleeping controversy is just another symptom of the collective delusion that there exists a perfect parenting formula that will result in perfect children. We all need to stop relating to children as projects that will either succeed or fail and rediscover them as people who are liable to be just as f*cked up as all human beings in the history of the world have been. Despite the nonsense perpetuated by Freud, parents are not all powerful in shaping their progeny's personality. Co-sleeping or not co-sleeping with your children is most likely irrelevant to their general development.

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