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Parents, Children, and Musical Beds

Susan D. Stewart

Co-sleeping—parents and children sharing a bed—can be a fraught topic for parents. Some experts recommend parents never bring children into bed with them, while other experts extol the benefits of parents and children sharing a sleep space. Given the importance of sleep to our well-being, the topic can generate such strong feelings and controversy that parents can be afraid to share their experiences.

Co-Sleeping takes readers inside the reality of co-sleeping for a diverse range of families in America, with varying family structures, races, incomes, and education levels, and with children from infants to teens. Drawing on original research and extensive interviews with real parents—both fathers and mothers—author Susan Stewart goes beyond the fads and vehement arguments for or against co-sleeping to look at what actually happens, and the impact of co-sleeping on families—for better or worse.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 184Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/2
978-1-4422-4905-9 • Hardback • March 2017 • $35.00 • (£23.95)
978-1-4422-4906-6 • eBook • March 2017 • $34.99 • (£23.95)
Susan D. Stewart is professor of sociology at Iowa State University. She is the author of Brave New Stepfamilies and coauthor of Marriages, Families, and Relationships. Her research focuses on gender, family, demography, and child and adult well-being. She has published in leading peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Marriage and Family, Pediatrics, and Demography, and her research has been funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and more.
  1. Co-Sleeping in the United States: Why Are We So Different?
  2. Co-Sleeping Logistics: Who, When, Where, and How Families Sleep
  3. Parents' Perspectives on Co-Sleeping
  4. Co-Sleeping, Relationships, and Intimacy
  5. Openness, Secrecy, and Reactions from Others
  6. The Future of Co-Sleeping in the United States
Susan Stewart’s book is an important contribution to the understanding of couples, parenting, and families. With rich interview material carefully analyzed, and with astute reviewing of diverse writings on the topic, this book adds a great deal to our knowledge about what parents do about co-sleeping, why they do it, and how co-sleeping affects couple relationships, quality of life, and much else. It is a real contribution to the sociology of families and of everyday life. It provides an informed and balanced perspective that many readers, including parents and health practitioners, will find very helpful.
Paul C. Rosenblatt, University of Minnesota, author of Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing

Until recently, sleep scientists and clinicians have largely viewed sleep as an individual behavior devoid of its social context. Susan Stewart’s book provides an insightful and evidence-based review of the challenges, quandaries, and debates surrounding the social nature of sleep for couples and families. Ultimately, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach for families when it comes to sleep. This book’s comprehensive analysis will help parents and providers make informed decisions about the best strategy to promote healthy sleep for their families.
Wendy Troxel, senior behavioral and social scientist, RAND Corporation; Certified Behavioral Sleep Medicine Specialist

In Susan Stewart’s nicely researched study, she celebrates the diversity of pediatric sleep, and demonstrates how it is embedded in a social and family context.
Lauren Hale, Stony Brook University School of Medicine

Goes beyond the headlines to examine how parents and children really sleep in America

Original research highlights both benefits and challenges to co-sleeping for children from infancy to teen

Shares the voices of a diverse range of parents—both single and married—on how their families sleep