“Oh, how there’s nothing like a good night sleep (says no parent of young children ever)!”
While many parents keep their kids in a crib in their nursery, others welcome them into their room, thanks to a concept called co-sleeping. Around for decades, co-sleeping has really picked up in popularity over the last century. Those who condone it believe it has some really positive benefits and effects for their child and family dynamic.
If you’ve ever wondered what co-sleeping entailed and have been interested in adopting the practice, read on to learn about 8 things you need to know before you do it!
1. Co-Sleeping is Not Bed Sharing
Bed sharing is not ok, because in plain and simple terms, it’s just not safe. Why? Parents could roll over on top of their babies while in a deep slumber, smothering them. Babies can also fall out of the bed, causing harm or even death.
Babies should also not be sleeping with loose sheets, comforters, or pillows for at least the first year or so of their life.
Co-sleeping is when your baby sleeps in your room, in close proximity to you. Babies can be placed in a bassinet, a crib, or even a special device that rolls up and connects to your bed, but has walls around it so that the baby can stay safe and sound. Most of these items can be found in a specialty online baby store or baby boutique such as Bitsy Bug Boutique, Sugar Babies, Little Trend Setter, or any one of the other emerging brands.
2. Co-Sleeping Cuts Down on the Risk of SIDS
SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a scary phenomenon that can take the life of an infant and is a risk for the first six months of their life.
However, when your baby shares your room, they are under your immediate supervision and the sounds that you and your partner make while getting in and out of bed (and even when sleeping) stops your newborn from deep sleep cycles and actually encourages movement as they sleep. This is how the SIDS risk decreases by at least 50 percent.
3. Co-Sleeping is Great for Breastfeeding Moms
It’s just easier to have access to your baby in the same room if you’re nursing. When your baby is first born, expect to nurse every couple hours. You can literally pick your baby up out of the bassinet without getting out of bed at all to feed.
4. Co-Sleeping is Ideal for Moms Who Have Had a C-Section
I had a C-section and let me tell you that there was no way I was climbing up the stairs to get to my baby’s nursery the first month of his life. Co-sleeping cuts down on movement and that’s what recovering mommies need.
5. Co-Sleeping Could Cause Later Sleeping Issues
Some parents believe that their child remained in their room too long and resulted in having a more difficult time transitioning them into their own room and bed. Some believe co-sleeping is great for the first six months of your child’s life (at least until the risk of SIDS subsides), but anything after that could cause future sleep issues.
6. Co-Sleeping Cuts Down On Your Own Sleep
As a parent, I can’t say that I’m ever truly resting. I feel that I’m always listening for my son’s sounds and movements (even though he’s four years old). However, when your child is directly in your room, especially into their toddler years, expect to constantly hear every sound and movement (plus your partners, which is bad enough!).
7. Co-Sleeping Builds on a Family Dynamic
Some parents don’t care that their toddler has a hard time staying in their own room once they get older. They like room sharing and the dynamic it creates with their family. Some children grow up feeling safer and have more loving feelings for caregivers that immerse themselves around them at night time since they aren’t together as much during the day. It totally comes down to personal preference.
8. Co-Sleeping Could Cause Relationship Problems
If you constantly have your child in your room at night it could throw a wrench in the intimacy department between you and your partner-think about it. While many parents agree it’s fine to co-sleep temporarily, doing it long term isn’t healthy for everyone all around.
As a parent, you have a lot of decisions to make. One important thing to sort out with your partner before your baby makes its grand debut is the issue of sleeping. Whether you opt to keep your baby in your room for a few months, for a long time, or not at all; consider the eight points made about co-sleeping so you think the concept through and both partners are on board.