Cereal In Baby Bottle To Help Sleep
What is Co-sleeping?
In some societies babies are not expected to sleep alone. This difference has a lot to do with how different cultures see the role of parenting. In Britain most parents see their job as helping their baby to become a separate individual. Most mums feel that at birth their baby is tied to them and that their role as a parent is to help their baby to develop, slowly and progressively, a sense of autonomy and separateness. Giving the baby his own bed and his own sleep space recognizes his individuality and will help to promote his independence. Every child needs to learn to be independent to survive in British society, so the theory goes, and therefore sleeping alone is in the child’s best interests.
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In other countries there is a very different set of assumptions based on what will help the child best adapt to the society into which he is born. The Japanese, for example, have a wonderfully evocative word for the utter dependency of the new-born baby. They call it amae. Amae means the baby’s need to be protected and enveloped by his mother’s unconditional love. Feeling the need to be protected and receiving this complete protection will have lasting effects on the baby. He will learn that we are all interdependent and that he has to harmonize with the group. A Japanese mother sees her new-born baby as separate, vulnerable and unprotected; her goal is to encourage her baby to become totally dependent on her. So Japanese babies sleep in company usually with their parents, sometimes with siblings or grandparents.
Most Japanese children sleep with their parents. About a quarter sleep on a mat beside the futon, the others lie between their parents. The Japanese have a word for the baby lying between his parents -kawa. Kawa is the Japanese character for a river flowing between two banks. The child is seen as flowing between the two supportive parents. The imagery is powerful. What is a river bank without the river, and what becomes of the river without the banks?