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To Co-sleep or Not?

For years, mothers have been co-sleeping with their babies. However, recently safe infant sleeping has been a very controversial topic. Previously, the goal for parents was just to get their babies to sleep at a decent hour and not wake up too often at night. At least that’s what I remember, although I could be wrong… There are so many stories from some to the top doctors about how people used to go to extremes to get their kids to sleep. Anything from putting an extra scoop of formula to adding a spoon of rice cereal to putting a few drops of whiskey into a baby’s bottle!

Although some of the milder things do still happen, it’s not as common as “Safe sleep” has become the main goal. You have been told how and where to let their baby sleep. So let’s get into the pros & cons of each.

Co-Sleeping

What is it exactly?

Co-sleeping is allowing your baby to sleep with you in the bed. Some of us don’t have a choice in the matter because of space. That being said, there are some benefits for you and baby. Co-sleeping makes night time feedings easier, especially for breastfeeding.

However, research has shown that there are far more cons to sharing a bed/ co-sleeping with your baby. Studies have shown that kids who have co-slept with their parents often display negative traits. They tend to develop issues such as anxiety, depression, social withdrawal. It also makes it harder for kids to transition into sleeping in their own rooms later on as they develop a “sleep crutch”. This means that then require comforts such as patting or back scratching to be able to sleep

Early childhood co-sleeping is associated with increased risk in multiple preadolescent behavioral problems, including anxiety, depression, withdrawal, attention, and affective problems, even after controlling for individual differences in early childhood behavioral problems. Avoidance of co-sleeping during early childhood may help reduce later behavioral problems.

https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/41/suppl_1/A305/4988870

The other issue that humans need different amounts of sleep at different stages of life. Co-sleeping makes it difficult for parents as it often causes lower sleep quality in adults because children are often active sleepers.

Another big issue is that co-sleeping has been shown to increase the risk of SIDS and suffocation.

Are there safer ways to do it?

Yes! You could use something like a Baby nest. This will protect the baby in case you roll over or pull the blankets too high. Another option is to use a bedside crib or bassinet like this one. Or maybe you want to avoid sleeping with baby all together and would rather have them in their own bed. After all, most pediatricians recommend room sharing because it gives everyone peace of mind and better quality sleep. Placing baby in a separate crib like this one in your room is the safest and simplest option of all!

Let me know your thoughts and opinions below!

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