In our modern society, most people wouldn’t even consider sleeping in the same bed as their baby, but the practice of co-sleeping has carried on for numerous years in many parts of the world. Co-sleeping with your baby helps you form better bonds and feel closer to them, helps them feel safer, and has even been shown to improve a baby’s self esteem and more satisfaction with life when they grow older. While many organisations claim co-sleeping is unsafe, there are precautions you can take to sleep safely with your baby.
Ways you do it
There are a few options for co-sleeping with your baby. The most common nowadays is to have the baby’s bed in the bedroom with you. While many people do this for convenience, it also does have a number of the added benefits of co-sleeping (though not all ).
The second option, which has the benefits of co-sleeping without some of the safety hazards, is using co-sleepers. This is a place for the baby to sleep that connects to the side of the bed.
Genuine co-sleeping involves putting the baby in the bed with mum and dad. Many people place the baby in bed between mum and dad, but it is usually encouraged to put the baby on the side of mum.
What are the benefits?
The baby is right there next to you, so you don’t have to get up to comfort them when they’re crying. Studies have shown that co-sleeping helps babies get into their biorhythms faster, so they’ll start sleeping through the night earlier.
While lots of people are concerned about the dangers of sleeping in the same bed with your baby, research has actually shown co-sleeping reduces the occurrence of SIDS. Doctors theorise that SIDS is caused by the baby entering too deep a sleep. When a parent is sleeping near, there are noises of breathing and shifting keep the baby from entering too deep a sleep.
One of the biggest safety concerns with co-sleeping is suffocation. Make sure to sleep with your baby on a firm bed. To avoid rollover, do not sleep in the same bed with your baby if you have been drinking or are exhausted.
Another leading cause of death with co-sleeping is the getting caught in the headboard or foot board. Get a headboard or footboard without any spaces, cracks or crevices that your baby can fit into. If unsure about a certain headboard, don’t risk it.
You should also make sure to keep the baby from falling off the bed. You can do this by having the baby sleep between the parents, putting one side of the bed up against the wall, or using a toddler guard rail.
Having more than just one person in a bed also means the temperature will be warmer, take steps to keep your baby from overheating. The most ideal way is to give them a separate blanket. This will also keep them from getting uncovered accidentally in the middle of the night.
If done properly, co-sleeping can be highly beneficial for you and your baby.