7 Reasons Why You Should Co-Sleep With Babies
For a long time, Western culture has encouraged parents to let their children sleep separately. Medical authorities argue that there are several risks if parents sleep in the same bed with their babies. These threats might come from adults who are smokers or abuse alcohol and drugs.
However, the fact that Western countries have a relatively higher rate of infant death than other nations, where it is more common for parents to co-sleep with their babies, raises a controversial topic.
On the other hand, there are many benefits of bed-sharing being pointed out by other researchers.
It sounds quite confusing, isn’t it? The problem is people often mistake the term “bed-sharing” and “co-sleeping”. The former should be understood as a baby who sleeps in the adult bed with an adult, normally his/her mother.
The latter comprises bed-sharing, but also includes other places such as newborns and parents sleeping together in the same rooms, sofas, or armchairs.
Having correctly interpreted these terms, experts reveal that “bed-sharing” is likely to cause risks but “co-sleeping” is not.
To support that argument, in this post, I will tell you seven indisputable reasons why you should practice co-sleeping with your children.
1. Co-sleeping Enables Breastfeeding
This is obviously a huge benefit as breastfeeding is proven to have several health advantages for both newborns and mothers. It is even supported by the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. Being close to their babies, the mommies can easily feed them at night whenever they feel hungry, so that obviously enables breastfeeding on a more regular basis.
2. Lessens the Risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
This is considered the primary advantage of co-sleeping which is confirmed by many researchers. SIDS is explained as the unexpected death of babies, who are less than one year old, mostly while they are asleep. In many countries where infants independently sleep in the nursery rooms, the case crib-deaths occur more often.
Scientifically speaking, the proximity of the mothers stabilizes the children’s breath, body temperature, arousal, and even their heart rate. Therefore, it significantly contributes to reducing the SIDS rate.
3. Enhances the Quality of the Sleep
I am sure, most mothers have experienced the baby’s sleep regression issue. I know this is very annoying as neither the mommies nor the babies can have deep sleep. One of the reasons for that problem is the sleeping environment. If the babies are offered safe and secure surroundings, they are more likely to sleep sounder. Co-sleeping is believed to reduce that regression situation as the closeness of the mothers brings infants warmth and security.
In addition, the newborns are used to the environment of the internal temperature which is rather warm and cozy. While sleeping together with their mothers, they definitely feel more protected, which is essential for deep sleep.
4. Co-sleeping Reduces the Sleeping Fights
It is common that during their sleep, babies sometimes fight. This is definitely not good for the sleep quality of both mommies and babies. If you are wondering what are the babies’ sleeping fights, you might want to closely take a look at an article that I find very informative – Why do babies fight sleep?. Co-sleeping is said to create an ideal environment where babies feel comfortable and consequently, reduce their sleeping fights.
5. Co-sleeping Improves the Mother’s Health
This sounded unconvincing to me at first, but it is true. When the babies sleep in nursery rooms you must wake up many times during the night to go to that room and feed them. That definitely interrupts your sleep and reduces the quality.
The deficit of sleep may lead to many related problems such as uncontrollable weight gain situations, stress, and depression. Additionally, sleeping with their own babies will emotionally benefit the mothers since they feel happier.
6. Supports an Infant’s Emotional Health in the Long Run
Unlike the common beliefs saying that co-sleeping makes the children less independent, infants who are left alone in the nursery rooms often feel insecure and uncertain. In the long-term, that might cause stress and chronic fears.
On the other hand, when the children can deeply sleep in warm and safe places with their parents, they tend to be more emotionally stable and intelligent. Furthermore, they are more independent and confident than babies who have to sleep in nursery rooms.
7. Co-sleeping Regulate Daytime and Nighttime Pattern
One annoying problem that many mothers have undergone is their babies often wake up too early. That interrupts not only the sleep of the parents but also the infants’ daytime and nighttime pattern. There are also situations where children sleep more during the day and stay awake at night.
By sleeping next to your children, parents can somehow control their sleeping habits. As a result, it is easier to regulate their daytime and nighttime patterns.
In a Nutshell
In a nutshell, distinguishing between bed-sharing and co-sleeping is very important. Medical authorities recommend mothers co-sleep with their babies but not share beds with them. Having thoroughly understood that problem, there are many mommies who choose to sleep with their babies but not in the same bed.
I have myself a co-sleeper which is very convenient and helpful. If you are considering having one, you might want to look at this blog to learn how to choose the best co-sleeper. This will for sure benefit you and your lovely newborn.
I hope this post might give you some helpful information. And for more parenting advice, check out our article – 13 Best Advice for New Parents.
Please leave a comment to tell me what you think about this topic!
Our super author here at Famous Parenting and an absolute wealth of knowledge. She has studied many topics including creative writing, psychology and journalism but her real passion lies in raising her 3 children. Between working from home, homeschooling her youngest 2 children and navigating the world of teenagers she is a guru for parents.