I read an interesting opinion piece in the LA Times titled Why Do We Make Children Sleep Alone. In case you don’t get a chance to read it, the basic premise is this:
“For all the tenacity with which we cling to the ideal of solitary childhood sleep, it’s a historical anomaly. This system of sleeping — adults in one room, each child walled off in another — was common practice exactly nowhere before the late 19th century, when it took hold in Europe and North America. ” And, “Our sleep, in other words, has a large carbon footprint. Far from being a backward practice, co-sleeping, or at least sleeping in close proximity, may be a more enlightened, sustainable use of space and natural resources.”
The article struck me, because though I’ve had many conversations over the years about co-sleeping — how long we preferred to keep babies in the same room/same bed, and how we handle siblings sharing a room — I’ve never thought about the history of sleep or considered that there are modern cultures where still today, family members all sleep in one room.