The scenario we are debating is a parent's request for their child not to sleep at an early childhood setting and what issues are created when a parent makes this request. How does this affect the educators, the child and other children? There are many cultural variations and theories to consider concerning children’s sleep from the age of the child, to sleeping routines, where the child sleeps and from a safety point of view.
At three months of age, it is recommended that babies sleep in their own room. If the infant is still sleeping in their parent’s room at six months they may become dependent on the arrangement and would make it more difficult in future endeavors to change this prearrangement. In most cultures, children have a bedtime ritual or routine before they go to sleep e.g. Brushing their teeth, praying, a story, a lullaby or goodnight cuddles.
Cultural values within different societies are based on collectivism and individualism. In industrial western society like North America, parent’s impose individualism to instill early independence and in non-industrial societies like Southeastern Mexico, parents believe collectivism builds the bond between them and their child and helps their child learn the ways of the people around them (Morelli, cited in Berk 2012, p.173).
Cosleeping is a popular variant amongst 90% of the world. Parent – infant cosleeping is typical throughout diverse cultures. The baby lies next to their parent from infancy to early childhood and many continue to do so until adolescence with the parent or family member (Takahash, cited in Berk 2012, p. 173). Over the past two decades cosleeping has increased in western society. Cosleeping is believed to help infants sleep better, it is more convenient for breastfeeding and it is also a time of bonding, especially for working mothers (McKenna & Volpe, cited in Berk 2012, p. 173). Studies suggest that cosleeping can cause dependency problems and emotional distress, but other studies also verify there is no deviation in any aspects of adjustment (Weisner & Olmstead, cited in Berk 2012, p. 173).
Some cultures and religions believe that cosleeping can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). However, there is evidence that sharing a sleep surface with a baby increases the danger of SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents in some circumstances. SIDS and Kids recommend sleeping a baby in a cot next to the parents’ bed for the first six to twelve months of life as this has been shown to lower the risk of SIDS and sleeping accidents. There appears to be no increased risk of SIDS whilst sharing a sleep surface with a baby during feeding, cuddling and playing providing that the baby is returned to a cot or a safe sleeping surface before the parent goes to sleep (Sidskids, 2007).
Cosleeping is practiced in a variety of ways around the world. In Latin America, the Philippines, and Vietnam, some parents sleep with their baby in a hammock next to the bed. Others...