The Family Bed

by Tine Thevenin

(Avery Publishing, New York, 1987)


This is the kind of warm and inspiring book that makes you want to have a child, if not several. The book caused quite a stir when it was first published, because it advocates parents sleeping in the same bed with their children (until about age four), after which brothers and sisters usually prefer sleeping together in their own bed. Growing suspicion that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) might be related to bed sharing has since led to many studies trying to find a statistical correlation, but the most recent research - a meta-analysis of 40 comparable studies - found no link between bed sharing and SIDS among non-smokers. In any case, the risk of SIDS declines dramatically after 13 weeks of age, and the benefits of bed sharing to both parents and children (e.g. no sleeping problems and closer relationships between siblings) are enormous.