Co-sleeping is also known as sleep sharing or bed-sharing with your child. It is a parenting practice in which the baby sleeps within arm’s reach of the parents.
Co-sleeping with your baby might be a confusing discussion for you and your partner. There are countless articles you can find online that are in favor of co-sleeping and the same number exists for the ones that are against it.
If you are a new parent or you are going to be one soon, you might be wondering what the pros and cons of co-sleeping with your baby are and whether sleeping with your newborn can be beneficial or harmful for your little bundle of joy.
Mostly parents of the modern world follow the concept of personal space and they let their newborn sleep in a separate room. But bed-sharing might be safer for newborns as they will feel more connected by sleeping next to their parents or in a cot near your bed.
In this article, we are going to discuss some pros and cons of co-sleeping with your baby.
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Arrangements of co-sleeping
The following are some of the arrangements you can make to sleep with your baby:
- You can sleep in the same bed with your baby.
- You can place the baby’s bed in the same room where you are going to sleep.
- You can arrange your baby’s crib right next to your bed. In this arrangement, the outer three sides of the crib have the railing while the side opposing the parent’s bed is open.
Let’s now take a look about some Pros and Cons of Co-sleeping with baby :
The Pros and Cons of Co-sleeping With Baby
Pros of Co-sleeping with your baby
Parents believe that co-sleeping with newborns provides a more safe and protected environment for them. The close body contact with their baby is even satisfying for parents and they feel more connected.
Mothers who sleep with their babies reportedly have a better sleep cycle. Another research shows that co-sleeping with your baby develops a strong bond with parents and the babies have strong emotional relationships with other people.
Bed-sharing with parents also allows the infants to sleep faster and longer than the babies who sleep in a separate room.
Here are some other benefits that let you decide if you want to share a bed with your baby or not:
Co-sleeping soothes your baby
It is the best way to comfort and soothes your baby because babies can feel your presence. Babies who are sleeping alone often get panic when they couldn’t find their parents around. If your infant or toddler awakes a lot at night, you must consider bed-sharing
Baby feels safe around parents
During the development ages, some children develop separation anxiety. At around six or seven months old babies start realizing that people do exist even if they are not with them. If their parents sleep with them in the same room it becomes easier for them to understand that their parents are still there and have not left them forever.
Co-sleeping and breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is not an easy task as you have to get up four to five times every night to nurse your baby. Co-sleeping with your baby is quite practical as you can easily breastfeed your infant during night time. It further promotes night breastfeeding and makes the process practical and easier.
For a developing baby physical contact with mother or father is very important. It helps your child in brain development and prevents hypoglycemia. The brains of newborn babies crave sensory stimulation, thus skin-to-skin contact helps them to develop emotionally and socially.
Bed-sharing also helps the mother to recover faster
Many new moms suffer from post-depression and sharing a bed with their baby can help them to recover from this trauma easily. Baby sleeping in another room causes you to walk a lot more resulting in fatigue or pulling your stitches. If your baby is sleeping next to you, it can reduce your activity allowing you to rest.
Cons of Co-sleeping with your baby
Co-sleeping with an infant can sometimes be associated with some risks :
Increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
SIDS refers to a sudden baby’s death that cannot be explained. The main reason behind this syndrome is fatal sleeping accidents in some cases. Factors increasing the risks of sudden infant death include:
- You are not feeling well or you are extremely exhausted.
- One or both of the parents are smokers.
- Parents who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, or any other type of medication that can put them in deep sleep.
Older children should not sleep with newborns
If you already have children, it is not a good idea to let your newborn sleep with them. Your old child might roll over the newborn causing physical injuries.
Hair and threads can be a problem for your baby
Your hair might get tangled with the toes or fingers of the baby, cutting off the blood supply. Tying back your long strands of hair is also essential while sleeping with your baby. If your baby is crying a lot during the night, it is highly recommended to check their toes and fingers
Sleep Safety precautions
Co-sleeping is not considered safe in many families. If you want to share the bed with your baby, you can take precautionary measures to avoid any health or life risks to your baby.
The following are some of the precautions you can take to reduce the risk of fatal sleeping accidents in order to have a safe co-sleeping experience :
- Don’t put your baby on their tummy or side.
Make sure the mattress you are using is firm and tidy.
- If you are co-sleeping with your baby then swaddling or wrapping your baby might not be a good idea.
- Never use a heavy quilt for your baby as it can cause suffocation.
- If you have a sleeping disorder, it is highly recommended to avoid sleeping with your baby.
- The idea of co-sleeping with your baby on a waterbed can be dangerous. You must use a queen size or king size mattress.
- You must avoid sleeping with your baby if you are extremely obese.
If you are not sure about co-sleeping with your baby, you can consider all the points mentioned in this article. These facts will surely help you to make the best decision that suits you and your baby.