Co sleeping: Yes or No?
Co sleeping may help build a bond between parents and kids; but it can also lead to separation anxiety, making your little one dependent on you. Find out the advantages and disadvantages of co-sleeping as well as safety precautions parents should be aware of in this article.
Max and Julia’s, 4-year-old son have been co-sleeping with them since he was born. Now that he has grown up, they are wondering whether he should continue sleeping with them or get his own room.
One reason being they need their own private moments and the second he is a big boy to overcome his sleep anxiety. They got a special car bed exclusively for him in another room, to get him to the idea of sleeping alone.
But every time he slept on his own he would wake up in the middle of the night to sleep with his parents. They are still finding ways to get him to sleep separately.
What is co-sleeping?
Whether it is called co-sleeping, sleep sharing, or the family bed, it is a sleep practice where parents sleep with their babies or kids either in the same bed or same room. Dr. William Sears, a well-known pediatrician and author of many parenting books, defines co-sleeping as sleeping within arm’s reach of the baby.
There is a difference in how well the practice of co-sleeping is accepted across cultures. Western culture largely has frowned on the arrangement, whereas co-sleeping seems to be the norm in other developing countries, be it due to space constraint or other causes.
For the many parents who find it difficult to choose from co-sleeping or not, here are a few pros and cons of co-sleeping listed below.
Why co-sleeping can be beneficial for parents and child
• Parents who co-sleep report feeling better rested. There is no need for you, to get up to calm down baby when she cries. No stumbling in the dark or tripping over objects in half sleepy mode. Plus, there are no arguments as to, who should go to calm the baby.
• Infants who co-sleep go to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. You may actually prevent baby from crying profusely to wake you up, because you are very much in tune with your child next to you. You will be able to soothe or feed them before it gets to that stage.
• It promotes breastfeeding by making night feedings easier. Baby will just nuzzle in when it’s time to feed, making going back to sleep much easier.
• It is very helpful to build a bond between parents and kids.
• No extra bed to fix or sheets to clean as you share the same room, bed and comforter. It saves more time and also energy.
• Parents who co-sleep get more creative when it comes to being romantic with each other. So not being able to get intimate with your partner is not a problem at all.
Why co-sleeping may not be such a good idea for your family
• You may have to be extra careful not to suffocate your baby with the blanket. Safety is the main reason why kids may not be allowed to co-sleep.
• If you have sleep disorders like snoring, co-sleeping may not work for you.
• Co-sleeping though not impossible can be very difficult with more than two kids. If there is an infant and a toddler you have to make sure they are separated in the bed.
• Some experts say, by getting kids co-sleep you are making it more difficult for the kid to sleep alone.
• Co-sleeping in some cases could lead to separation anxiety or other fears of being lonely, making the child dependent.
Sleep safety precautions to abide:
Note that co-sleeping isn’t for every family, and it is imperative that parents follow several safety precautions. Parents who share a bed with their baby:
• Should not be under the influence of alcohol and drugs, including medications that affect their sleep.
• Should not co-sleep if they have sleep disorders.
• Should not co-sleep in a waterbed or with any soft bedding near the baby. Preferably use a queen or king sized mattress.
• Should not share a sleep space with their baby if they are extremely obese.