In many families baby co-sleeping is a normal thing. In others it is totally unacceptable. Sleeping in his own bed separately from the very first weeks of life teaches the child that he can not be with his parents all the time. On the other hand, children sleeping with their parents feel safe. This way falling asleep does not imply the inevitable separation from their parents. There are pros and cons about this controversial issue.
Baby co-sleeping – pros
Baby co-sleeping allows the child to feel safe from the first weeks of life. A child sleeping with parents does not experience the anxiety associated with falling asleep, which often occur with children sleeping in their beds. Thanks to this, the fall asleep quicker and have less sleep problems. Because of the safety feeling caused by the closeness to the mother, the child able to quietly fall asleep himself, when he wakes up at night for no apparent reason.
Baby co-sleeping makes the night breastfeeding easier for mom. It takes less effort to feed the baby when he is lying next to, when mom do not have to get up to go to another room. Besides, then the child have to be laid back. When a child sleeps with his parents, night feeding not only becomes less discomfort, but also takes much less time.
Also, supporters believe that the mother sleeping with the child knows how the child breathes and what his temperature is. So she always know whether something is wrong.
No less important is the fact that such closeness to mom strengthens the emotional connection between mother and child.
Baby co-sleeping – cons
The downside, of course, is that sooner or later you will have to wean the baby from sleeping with you. And it can be a very difficult process.
Also, young parents some time after the birth of a child need a little more intimacy and personal space. That becomes a difficult condition if the child sleeps in the parents’ bed.
Sleeping with the baby, especially if it’s still tiny, can be dangerous. Unless the second year of life, the child sleeping with his parents is in danger of suffocation. A parent can accidentally crush a child with his body weight.
In addition, the parents’ bed can be dangerous because of its design and features of materials it is made of. They differ from a baby cot’s. The child may suffocate lying face down on a very soft bed or waterbed. Soft pillows, zippers and buttons on the bed linen are an additional threat to the child. Faintly tucked bedsheets can envelop the child, pinch or strangle.
Therefore, many specialists do not recommend to sleep with the baby until he reaches the age of two. All this applies to cases where the baby sleeps with older brothers and sisters, that can be dangerous for the same reasons.
Should parents put the baby to sleep in their bed
The decision whether the baby co-sleeping is allowed or not should be made after all the pros and cons have been analyzed. If the advantages of baby co-sleeping are seem obvious, then the disadvantages are better to be reread. And parents should understand what adverse effects may occur in the near future.
How to stop baby co-sleeping and get the kid accustomed to sleep in his own bed
Somewhen comes the time and parents decide to get the kid accustomed to sleep independently in his own bed. The reasons may be different, but it is important to choose the best time.
The child should be healthy first of all at this time. The disease, recent vaccination or teething are quite big difficulties for a baby. They deliver a lot of unpleasant experiences and parents should not add new ones.
We should not make such a “revolution in the bedroom” when the mother decides to return to work. The baby’s already missing her.
Teaching a child to sleep in his bed can be a bad idea when there is another ‘new” child at home going to appear.
Studies have shown that children who sleep in their own beds , become independent quickly, they can fall asleep themselves and easier to calm down, because parents do not draw attention. It is also was found out that up to 6 months the safest place for a child to sleep is a child’s cradle. In the end baby’s bed can be placed in the parents’ room.
Safe baby co-sleeping
If you are already sleeping in the same bed with a child, you must comply with the safety rules:
- Do not take the child to bed when have alcohol (or drug) effect, and if you have taken strong medications.
- Give up the idea of baby co-sleeping if parents are heavy smokers, even if they do not smoke at home.
- Parents must not sleep with a premature baby, a low birth weight newborn(less than 2.5 kg at birth) and a baby under 3 months.
- Baby should be put to sleep on his back.
- Do not leave the child alone in an parents’ bed.
- Give up down pillows, blankets and other soft things while baby co-sleeping.
It is better to stop sleeping together before it becomes a big problem for the whole family. If the parents did not teach the baby to sleep in his own bed, he get used to sleep with parents, and it will be difficult to change it.