Is co sleeping really dangerous?
There are different opinions regarding co-sleeping with your newborn. Parents, on one hand, say that failing to co-sleep with a newborn is to miss out on an important bonding experience.
Pediatricians, on the other hand, say that co-sleeping with your baby increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.
So, who is saying the truth?
For many people, co-sleeping means bed sharing where you let the baby sleep in the same bed as you. However, co-sleeping also refers to putting your baby to sleep in the same room as you but placing them on a separate bed. The latter is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics’.
Myths about co-sleeping
- It is always dangerous: sharing the same bed with your baby places them at risk of SIDS. The best way to co-sleep with your baby without putting them at risk is to place them on a separate bed but in the same room. As per AAP recommendations, you should spend at least the first six months with your baby in the same room.
- Bed-sharing is okay if you are a light-sleeper: while you may think that you are a light sleep, being a mom can be really exhausting. When you get the time to sleep, you need to get all the rest you can without worrying about rolling over your baby.
- A tragedy can’t happen: it doesn’t matter whether you try co-sleeping once or only for a few minutes. That’s enough time for a tragedy to strike. 69% of all infant deaths are a result of co-sleeping with the baby. Anything could happen. It could be asphyxiation or suffocation.
The truth about co-sleeping
- It is common for many moms. Every mom in your circle is highly likely to be co-sleeping with their baby
- Co-sleeping can help boost your baby’s development. This is because it helps their sense develop. The development of sensory signals like smells, movements, sounds, and touches can only happen when your baby is around you and not when they are put alone in a closed room.
- Co-sleeping does not kill the romance between you and your spouse. As you take care of your baby, you will need more sleep than sex. But having your baby in the room does not hinder intimacy. You can always find other creative ways and moments to be romantic. The more creative you get, the more you realize that co-sleeping with your baby is actually making your relationship with your spouse more interesting.
The benefits of Co-Sleeping with your newborn
Many moms have attested to the benefits of sharing a room with their babies but placing them in crib or cot. It helped them bond more and they even got to sleep better. There are confidence and security you have when your baby is sleeping near you. You’ll be sure they are okay even when an issue comes up because you will be around to help them.
Here are the benefits of co-sleeping with your newborn baby:
- It helps babies to naturally fall into a day and night pattern.
- It helps you meet your baby’s needs – feeding, soothing and changing might turn to be much easier.
- The baby might experience less nighttime crying.
- You and your baby get more sleep.
- Breastfeeding during the night is easier when the baby is nearby and it helps to maintain a high milk supply.
- By sleeping with your baby in the same room, you can reduce the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%.
Bed Sharing and co-sleeping Safety – Rules to follow:
As I mentioned before, there is a difference between co-sleeping and bed sharing. Bed sharing is a type of co-sleeping, means you are sharing the same sleep space with your baby. And co-sleeping is sleeping in the same vicinity as your infant, meaning sharing the same room with your baby.
No matter which way you choose to co-sleep with your baby, there are a few rules you must follow to keep it safe:
- Place your baby on his back to sleep during the night time.
- Make sure to use a firm sleep surface.
- Remove and keep away from the baby all the toys and other soft objects while sleeping.
- Make sure your baby’s head is uncovered during sleep.
- Never drink or take drugs/medicines that make you sleepy and sleep with your baby.
- When sharing a bed with your baby, make sure it is big enough, so the baby will not rollover.
- Be aware of the temperature – make sure it is not too hot or cold.
- Breastfeeding is possible. To ensure the safety of your baby, you can use these awesome bassinets: an infant co-sleeper which is perfect for bed sharing and this co-sleeper bedside crib for the baby.
- Keep the sleep environment smoke-free.
- Get off the couch. Never sleep with your baby on a couch/chair, which is extremely unsafe!
- Avoid placing the baby between you and your partner. Fathers and especially older siblings generally don’t have the same sensitivity to a new baby in bed.
- If your baby is formula-fed baby, avoid bed-sharing since formula-fed babies tend to sleep more deeply and wake less often, which might decrease your awareness.
Don’t shy away from co-sleeping with your baby. Sleep in the same room where you are on separate beds and follow the rules in case of sharing a bed with your baby. In due time, you will begin to appreciate the benefits.