Our second daughter has never been a good sleeper but when she was 10 months old she woke up almost every hour. It was a nightmare. Even with the significant help of my husband I felt extremely sleep-deprived. After reading a couple of studies about baby sleep, I strictly refuse any advice like “let the baby cry to sleep” and decided to move my little one to our bed.
What a surprise!! It works. My daughter just needs to be close to her mummy 🙂
That’s why I decided to compile a list of co-sleeping benefits, which convinced me to try this “sleeping method”.
First of all, let’s define “Co-sleeping” itself. Co-sleeping (or bed sharing or having a family bed) is the practice of having your infant in your bed with you while sleeping. It is the healthiest and most natural way to sleep with your baby.
Benefits of Co-sleeping
It is much easier to pacify a baby sleeping just next to you. Baby’s cry indicates the need of some care. Mama that co-sleeps can notice earlier signs of hunger and necessity to be changed.
Also, prolonged crying is stressful to all family members. The sooner the baby’s needs are met, the more rest your baby and the family get, and the more energy they will have for the next day.
2) Decreases risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
Many studies suggest that co-sleeping along with breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS by promoting infant arousal, increasing maternal responsivity, regulating infant temperature and encouraging favorable infant position during sleep.
Co-sleeping is much more comfortable way of sleep not only for babies but also for mums. Most babies need to be fed, soothed and changed at night. If the baby is close to you, you can do all of these things while in the bed and remain in a restful state. Being able to meet baby’s needs by simply rolling over can help you and your baby get more rest.
4) Happy Bedtimes
You will enjoy so many unforgettable moments and lots and lots of cuddles during a night. I love our night time cuddles and sweet mornings 🙂 It is a very important and wonderful part of our mama-daughter relationship.
Contrary to a popular belief, co-sleeping babies are more independent. If you take care of your baby during the night as well as the day, you give them constant reassurance of love and support. Again, these babies feel secure and are willing to do more things independently (stay in “play corner”, play without your assistance, etc.)
6) Less Anxiety
It is typical for all little ones in nature, to sleep with their mothers. Separation can cause undue stress to your baby and to you as well. Babies sleep much better when they feel secure. Parents can also feel anxious when they cannot see their child.
It is much easier to nurse your baby when co-sleeping. You don’t have to fully wake up and can continue to get the important rest you need. The most exhausting thing for new moms is to get up from bed, take the baby from the crib, sit in the chair and breastfeed, and then put their baby back to the crib. Thus co-sleeping encourages mothers to continue breastfeeding.
8) It is free
You don’t have to buy a moses basket, crib or cot, and all the paraphernalia that goes with it.
I have to admit, that we use a crib in the evening until I go to the bed. I just wanted to be sure that she doesn’t hurt herself. But it is also possible to put bed rails on your family bed to prevent falls.
At the same time we also use Baby Monitor 3G app to be sure she doesn’t wake up and need my care.
Are there any dangers of co-sleeping?
1) There are some potential dangers associated with modern co-sleeping surfaces such as waterbeds and loose bedding.
2) Co-sleeping under the influence of drugs and alcohol also poses a danger to the infant, as the parent will not have the same alertness and responsiveness as usual.
3) Parents who smoke should not co-sleep with their infants, as studies show an increased risk of SIDS with co-sleeping smokers.