BT: But parents who do choose to co-sleep believe it helps make their babies feel more secure.
RF: And some babies do need that extra security. Taking a child who is frightened and has separation anxiety, often around 9 or 10 months, and putting him in a dark room by himself may not be the best idea. It's not an ideal time to work on self-soothing if you haven't already done so. I encourage parents to choose whatever sleeping arrangement works best for them. But I do think parents who choose to co-sleep need to go into it with a plan. Will you all go to bed at the same time? How and when will you stop co-sleeping? The idea that it will stop naturally on its own is incorrect -- transitioning the child to his or her own bed is a process that takes work. And, of course, I want parents to understand the potential dangers [bed sharing has been linked to a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome] and take the necessary safety precautions.
BT: If you could tell parents only one thing about their child's sleep habits, what would it be?
RF: That almost all children have the potential to sleep well. Once you understand the causes of your child's sleep problems, you can make the changes necessary to allow a better sleep pattern to emerge.