New Baby Co-Sleeping in India

I always find it interesting hearing about other cultures and how they raise their new born babies. A lady called Minnie Gupta from West Bengal, India, describes what happens when a new infant arrives and  how an Indian family safely co-sleeps.

Minnie says, “ we make special ‘beds’ just for the infants using special pillows which is then put right next to where Mom sleeps (sometimes in between both the parents). The ‘bed’ has thick pillows on the side, and below, and a heavy oil cloth goes over these so that the pillows don’t move, making a snuggly cave like area of the kid. This ensures that the kid does not get too much room to move around while asleep. Then we put a very heavy blanket on top, securing it with another heavy pillow specially made for this. The head pillow is made of mustard seeds – if the baby ever turns over then the seeds redistribute themselves and baby has no chance to suffocate. It also helps in moulding the baby’s head in the early stages. Has to be better than the moulded foam that parents in the West buy to help a child with a mishapen head.

Although India is highly populated, they rarely have seen a case of SID. ( something she had not heard of before arriving inthe US). Culturally, it is considered offensive to have the infant sleep in a different room or even a different bed at night. Wow that would upset a few parents on this side of the globe!

Many parents in the UK don’t like the idea of their children sleeping in the same bed as themselves.  Parents are keen to have a child sleep in their own room as soon as they are a few months old. Co-sleeping is not widely practiced and only occurs when parents feel exhausted and use it more as a last resort to get a bit more sleep in the middle of the night.

What methods do you use and what does your child prefer?