When we were kids, no matter if we had two or three siblings, many of us slept in one bed with our brothers or sisters at some point or another. Times have sure changed. A new type of sleeping arrangement has emerged called co-sleeping. Well, it’s not new at all actually, considering many parents have been doing it for years. Co-sleeping is defined as children (usually infants) sleeping in the same bed with their parents.
As soon as a newborn is brought home, you can envision a picture of a mom and her baby sleeping together in mom’s bed. This is just the natural course of events for most moms whose babies tend to fuss and cry at night or need a feeding every few hours. It is non-disruptive to the rest of the family members and keeps mom and baby happy while, at the same time, beginning the process of bonding. There are many health benefits to infants sharing the “family” bed with their parents and we’ll be discussing a few of the main ones in this article.
What are the health benefits of co-sleeping to children? Studies have shown that not only do the children sleep more peacefully (so does mom), but also they feel entirely safe. When a baby or toddler wakes up to a dark and empty room, he can become frightened and begin to cry out.
Feeling safe in the arms of mom promotes security and avoids the necessary attachment to inanimate objects which so many babies cling to; thus the term “security blanket.”
In addition, moms can immediately breastfeed their babies when they begin to cry due to hunger. This process also allows other family members to obtain a good night’s sleep as well.
While studies have determined that co-sleeping may prevents SIDS, there are doctors who suggest that co-sleeping with parents who are overweight can often result in SIDS deaths or suffocation. However, it should be clarified that SIDS is often associated with babies sleeping on their stomachs alone in their cribs and there are no official statistics to suggest that co-sleeping and SIDS are related.
So, there are just a few of the health benefits of co-sleeping with baby. All parents want their young children to feel safe and secure and have a good start to a healthy life and it seems that co-sleeping just might be one way to help accomplish those goals.