Co-sleeping is one of those hard to talk about topics that seems to make a lot of people uncomfortable. But to be honest there are a lot of people I know (often times doctors or nurses who have admitted to me) that co-sleeping can be done safely and effectively.
From my personal experience in intuitively parenting I felt that sleeping next to my child was the only thing I wanted to do. I felt I could better tend to them when they needed me and if something was wrong or I needed to check on them I would be right there for them if they needed. Of course when my little was only a few months old they slept in the crib next to us, but until he reached the age of at least 6-7 months he started to come into the bed with us as I then felt a little more comfortable. This is called “bed sharing” which is also another form of co-sleeping.
My main reason for bringing him into the bed with us was for the convenience of breastfeeding. Both of us got more sleep and I always had a breast easily accessible for him to eat when he needed. This also helped him become a better eater and helped my milk production stay consistent. But there is a lot more info out there on the benefits of co-sleeping then what I just have to say from my experiences.
Facts about Co-sleeping:
- Studies show that physiologically, infants who sleep near parents have more stable temperatures, regular heart rhythms and fewer long pauses in breathing then those that sleep alone and further research shows that carbon dioxide exhaled by a parent actually works to stimulate the baby’s breathing. (SIDS book, page 227, #162)
- Same room sleeping can reduce risk of SIDS by up to 50%
- Children/infants who co-slept are shown to have less anxiety, higher self-esteem and become more independent much sooner.
- Studies also show that infants who co-slept have shown to be more comfortable with affection and are statistically at a lower risk of developing psychiatric problems.
More Positive Points:
- Parents and children get better sleep through the night
- You can better tend to your baby because your more likely to hear them crying during the night when they are hungry or need to be changed
- More accessible breastfeeding
- Better milk production
- Baby feeds better through the night/sometimes with more feeds
There are a lot of parents who are afraid to co-sleep with their children out of fear of rolling over on them or worse, but there are ways that you must make co-sleeping safer if your going to practice. If your uncomfortable with them in the bed you can always practice co-sleeping by having them in the crib next to you or even just in the same room.
Practice Safe Co-sleeping:
- Do not go to bed with baby if you have been using drugs or alcohol
- Do not sleep with baby if you know you tend to be a very heavy sleeper and or may have a sleeping disorder
- Do not sleep with baby if you are taking medication for sleeping problems or if you have taken any narcotics for pain relief
- If you must, use a co-sleeping bed. There are many out there on the market, and one I could recommend is called the “Snuggle me organic Lounger”. You can often find them on amazon or on other co-sleeping websites. organic snuggle me organic lounger
Where ever you stand with co-sleeping, don’t be afraid of it, whether you would like to practice in-bed sleeping or same room sleeping they are both great and effective ways to be attentive to your children. Its great to consider the fact that our babies were in our womb for 9 months, living so closely kept right next to us 24/7. Why is it that we would think they might feel comfortable in a completely different room then us where they can no longer hear us breath or hear/feel our heartbeats. Babies rely on their instincts and feelings, and us as parents should too.