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To Co-Sleep or Not To Co-Sleep

PostedSeptember 29, 2016

Congratulations! You’ve brought your newborn home and you are prepared for absolutely everything, including your little angel’s sleeping arrangements. But, your family have been playing musical beds in the crazy first few weeks since his arrival, and you are exhausted!

If you were a baby, where would you like to sleep? In a crib alone in a dark room behind bars, or close to your favourite person, secure, warm and right there? Easy one, right?  So, should you consider co-sleeping?

The American Academy of Paediatrics says never, ever while the World Health Organization gives the thumbs up. So, who should we believe? All major research agree that room sharing arrangements are beneficial and may even reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by half, but there is no consensus when it comes to bed sharing though.

Co-sleeping essentially means sleeping in close proximity to your baby. It may be in the same bed, a sidecar arrangement, or different beds in the same room. When it comes to sharing a room – or a bed – with your baby there are many opinions, so let’s look at the pros and cons of co-sleeping:

Pros:

  • You get more sleep. #Awesome! However, there is a trade-off; you will be in a lighter state of sleep than if you were sleeping alone. The same goes for your baby – this however is considered physiologically safer for babies, because it is easier to terminate sleep apnea when baby is not in a deep sleep. Co-sleeping decreases the risk of Infant Death Syndrome by as much as 50% by preventing an infant from entering into sleep states that are too deep.
  • Makes breastfeeding easier. Bed sharing babies nurse about twice as often as those who sleep alone, which is beneficial for helping mamas maintain their milk supply, suppressing ovulation and helping a baby who’s on the small side to gain weight.
  • Helps babies fall asleep more easily and go to sleep more quickly when they wake up during the night.
  • Helps parents who don’t see their baby much during the day to regain a sense of intimacy with their child.

Cons:

  • Less whoopee. A baby in your bed will reduce your levels of intimacy dramatically.
  • Once a baby is use to assistance sleeping at night, daytime sleep assistance might become necessary as well.
  • Potential problems later on. While some experts argue that seep-sharing promotes independence by making baby feel secure, others say that the longer you wait to move baby out of your room, the tougher the adjustment will be later.
  • Infants tossing and turning as well as the fear of rolling onto your baby could hamper parents’ sleep.

The bottom line is that many parents sleep with their babies. In fact, it is the cultural norm for 90% of the world’s population. The question shouldn’t be “Is it safe to sleep with my baby?” but rather “How can I sleep with my baby safely?”

For parents, the decision to co-sleep or to bed-share with a child is a personal one. Ultimately put safety first and decide what works best for your family’s needs and structure.

Whatever you choose, hope you have a good night’s sleep!

Source: community.babycenter.com, www.livescience.com, www.todaysparent.com, www.thebump.com, www.sheknows.com, www.parent24.com, minnesota.cbslocal.com, www.goodtherapy.org, www.whattoexpect.com, blogmountainbaby.com, www.foxnews.com, www.lavenderandmacarons.com, obfsaleblog.com, blog.nurtery.com, www.mommypotamus.com, kellymom.com

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.