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Mother's Insta Post Sparks Child Co-Sleeping Debate

A mum-of-three has shared a snap of her co-sleeping with all her children on Instagram and it ignited a huge debate among parents.

In the photo Peta Tuck, a Doula from Brisbane can be seen sharing her bed with her three children aged three, five and six.

Tuck began co-sleeping with her eldest daughter when she was five months old and hasn't turned back -- the 31-year-old said it means the whole family gets more sleep and there's less pressure around bedtime.

"My baby girl was waking for a reason, she was communicating to me. So I FINALLY listened to my instincts & not everyone around me telling me what I should be doing. I started bringing her into bed with us, it was the best decision for us. We both got sleep!" she wrote on Instagram.

Photo: Instagram/petatuckbrisbanedoula

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Tuck went on to call out "mainstream media" for suggesting that the practice has negative implications such as decreasing children's' "ability to self soothe, increase tantrums & childhood obesity."

Commenters have come out in support of Tuck's view on co-sleeping, with one saying; "Totally agree... I was always told the same and in the end, we decided against sleep training and all that. She now sleeps in her own room (16 months) and sleeps in our bed from about 2am. Sometimes she gets too excited and wants to party with us, but mostly we all just get the rest we need and sleepingn [sic] next to her is the best thing ever..! "

Another said; "Men wrote that. Pretty damn sure of it. Because they put themselves before the needs of their children. They want more sex or coddling or attention or something to pacify their man-sized insecurities and mom can’t do that when she’s nurturing and bonding with her children in this incredibly beautiful way that takes up a too small portion of our lives. "

Red Nose Australia's manager of health and advocacy and chief midwife Jane Wiggill told 10 daily that, on face value,  the picture Tuck shared "doesn't look to be a safe situation."

The safest place for a baby to sleep is in their own safe place according to experts. Image: Getty.

"The safest place for a baby to sleep is in their own safe place -- such as a cot -- in the same room as their parent or caregiver for the first six to twelve months of life as this has been shown to lower the risk of SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy)," Wiggill told 10 daily.

In reality, it's now as cut and dry as that.

Co-sleeping is a complex issue -- it's a common and culturally valued practice in many families so it's more about adopting a harm minimisation approach.

Red Nose's acknowledges that co-sleeping does happen and instead aims to educate parents on the facts she explained.

Co-sleeping, for instance, can increase the risk of SIDS and the risks are much greater when the person who is sleeping with the infant has had alcohol, medication or drugs or is overtired.

The risks are higher when the baby is under three months old or was born prematurely or very small. Once the child reaches 12 months old the risk of SUDI drops off.

Extra bedding and pillows can increase the risk of SUDI. Image: Getty.

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If you are going to co-sleep Red Nose has suggestions to reduce the risks such as avoiding having extra bedding or pillows in the bed and not positioning the infant in between the adults as this increases the risk of the infant overheating or being smothered by bedding or an adult.

Simone,  a mother nine-month-old Leila, shared her experience with co-sleeping with 10 daily.

"Leila was a bad sleeper from day one. She constantly cried and was up all hours of the day and night, and it broke my heart (and spirit)," she said.

We tried everything, from her bassinet to co-sleeping to damn near hanging her upside down (jokes). In the end, she simply got better as time went on. I don't think there's one foolproof solution, so parents should try everything and do what makes mum and bub happy.

Annually, 3,200 Australian families experience the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or child.

Feature image: Getty