Co-sleeping is sharing your bed with the infant. This has been a parental practice of in Western cultures but in the United States, advocacies against co-sleeping safety were brought up.
There are a lot of things contributory to the risks or safety of co-sleeping including the kinds of bed, beddings and mattresses. There is actually no problem with seeing the parents sleeping with the baby but there has to be time set to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of co-sleeping with baby in a bed.
Pros of Co-sleeping with Baby:
- Makes breastfeeding easier and more convenient for the mother especially during nighttime. Mothers do not have to stand up and reach for the baby’s crib or bed for feeding.
- Encourages the baby and the mother to sleep in synch such that mothers will refrain from sleep-deprivation since baby is within reach.
- Waking up in the middle of the night would no longer be difficult for the mother and the baby. Shorter feeds will be avoided as the baby can feed even when dozing off with the mother.
- Working parents during the day could still have time to spend with their baby at night when they co-sleep.
- Babies learn to imitate healthy breathing patterns from adults they sleep with.
- Studies have shown that children who sleep with their parents are more independent. These children are expected to perform better in school and have almost no health problems.
Cons of Co-sleeping with Baby:
- A portion of infant deaths has been attributed to parents or siblings rolling over on top or against the baby when they co-sleep.
- May also lead to infant suffocation when he gets trapped or wrapped between the mattress and the headboard.
- May prevent the parents from getting a good night’s sleep since the infant may depend highly on his or her closeness with the parents.
- May hinder the couple to have enough time for each other since baby will be sleeping with them and may prevent them from moments of romance.
Ways to Enjoy Co-sleeping:
- Take a king-sized bed. Include in your plans the space intended for the baby.
- Stretch sheets flat and tight on the bed. Avoid loose sheets.
- Lower the height of the bed while baby is too young.
- Rooms with hard floors should be covered with some rags to cushion possible accidents.
Co-sleeping with baby could be both boon and bane depending on the parents and the child. Find the sleeping pattern and system which can bring about favourable results to the whole family.
Also read more on Crib-Sleeping vs Co-Sleeping: Which is Better?