There are a lot of mixed feelings and opinions out there when it comes to the subject of co-sleeping. This topic has always been a controversial one and has perhaps become more so in recent years.
From parents to pediatricians, the opinions vary significantly across the board. We’re here to take a look at both sides of the story and check out the pros and cons of co-sleeping. You will see studies that cite that co-sleeping leads to increased SIDS risk or other issues. On the same note, others see co-sleeping as a resource for bonding, safety, and even convenience.
Ultimately, the decision is yours to make, but it’s best if you can be fully informed before you do.
Understanding Safe Baby Sleep
You will find that there are mixed opinions even in the medical field when it comes to the idea of co-sleeping. A large percentage focuses primarily on where the infant is sleeping as opposed to how people are sleeping.
From safety to independence, there is a lot to be said on both sides of this argument. Parents need to build those bonds and attachments and let’s face it, nighttime feedings can undoubtedly wear a parent down quickly.
In reality, there are far worse places that your child can sleep than in your bed, but that doesn’t leave co-sleeping without its risks still.
In the end, the decisions should be made with safe sleeping in mind. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies sleep in their own beds or if you fall asleep with them, move them when you do wake. Also, they suggest that newborns sleep on their backs with no items like toys or blankets nearby that could cause harm.
Pros of Co-Sleeping
Let’s take a look first at the pros of co-sleeping. These pros are all pretty logical and straightforward because you can think about sharing a bed and how it simplifies many things.
One of the most common pros of co-sleeping is the ability to handle nighttime feedings far easier. Whether you are a breastfeeding mom or a bottle-feeding mom, you are most likely tired and worn out in the middle of the night when duty calls. Having the baby in bed with you makes those feedings that much easier.
Additionally, many parents see the benefit of having the baby right there with them, so they are aware of the baby and they are right there should something happen.
Mothers instinctively need to be close to their babies, which is another pro of co-sleeping. It gives the mom a sense of closeness and fulfills that instinct. There is something intimate about the setup and reassuring as well. The closeness can be reassuring to both mom and baby, particularly if mom has to be away for work during the day.
Biologically speaking, co-parenting is actually quite normal for any age and not just infants. If you’re concerned about your child not being able to sleep independently, this is a trait that most children develop and hone over time.
Cons of Co-Sleeping
As with just about anything in life, there are also cons to co-sleeping. Often, co-sleeping can actually become a problem and cause children to struggle more to sleep independently. It might also cause a rift between spouses and significant others because of the disruption in the bedroom.
Children can develop a crutch because of co-sleeping that will make your child dependent on having you in bed with them to go to sleep. You will be able to work through this, but it will take time and patience.
You might find that co-sleeping negatively affects your sleep because you will be more aware of every little movement or action from your children. In addition, you might not be as comfortable either.
Co-sleeping statistically does heighten the risk of SIDS or suffocation as parents or objects in the bed can roll onto the child and not realize it. Pillows and blankets can also move without you being aware.
Your Decision to Make
Ultimately, it’s your decision as a parent as to whether you will co-sleep or not. Ensure that you are looking out for the best interests of the entire household, including the children. Understand the safety risks and potential adjustments that will be required as well.
Infant Sleep Trainer in Singapore
Louise at Petite Dreamers is here to talk with you about the sleep challenges you are facing with your new baby. Consult the Singapore paediatric sleep consultant at Petite Dreamers. Louise will set you up with a free 15-minute discovery call to learn more about the challenges you are facing.