Benefits of co-sleeping with baby
Benefits of co-sleeping with baby
Are there any benefits of co-sleeping with baby? Yes, of course! Co-sleeping has a positive impact on a whole family not just on the baby. But, is co-sleeping for everyone? No, it is not, and no-one shouldn’t be forced into it. And last, but not least, is co-sleeping safe for my baby? More or less, depends on what kind of co-sleeping you practice.
The benefits of co-sleeping with baby include more sleep for you and your baby, an easier breastfeeding experience and, of course, the bonding that comes with all-night snuggles and skin to skin contact.
Baby specialists recommend co-sleeping without sharing the bed. Bed-sharing slightly increases the risk for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). But, sleeping in the same room, without sharing the same bed is recommended. There is evidence that this arrangement actually decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%!
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So there are more ways I can co-sleep with my baby? Yes, there are!
If you ask people what co-sleeping means, they usually answer the same. It is sharing the bed with your baby. But many will not know that co-sleeping actually means sharing the same room, not only the bed. There are more ways to co-sleep with your baby, and some are safer than others. So, think through what suits your family the most.
let’s look what are your options
1. Sharing the same bed
A lot of parents still practice this form of co-sleeping, although sharing the same bed it is not the safest option you can pick. If you decide for bed sharing, you need to precisely follow the safety precaution to minimize the risk as much as you can.
The best place for a baby is not between parents, but beside mom, opposite the father’s side. Just make sure your baby can’t fall from the bed! The best and the cheapest solution is to push the bed up to the wall and put the baby on the wall side. But there shouldn’t be any gap between the bed and the wall, as baby can be trapped in it. Another solution is purchasing a toddler bed guardrail and place it on the side of the family bed.
You can read other useful safety tips for co-sleeping with your baby below.
- bonding with your baby
- all night snuggles
- easy breastfeeding
- no additional bed
- the cheapest solution
- if you do not follow the safety precaution strictly, accidents could happen
- the riskiest form of co-sleeping
2. Baby snuggle nest
Baby snuggle nest is a safer solution for bed sharing as it creates separate sleeping space for co-sleeping babies in the adult bed. Snuggle nest is also convenient for use as a travel bed or daytime napper because you can fold it up and take it with you.
Walls of the nest separate baby from adult and help prevent rollover. Baby will sleep next to you, without safety risks, as walls will prevent parents to roll onto the nest, and the baby won’t roll out of it.
Snuggle nests are a great solution for shared beds, but they are suitable only for the first six months to one year.
- sharing a bed without safety risks
- you can’t roll onto your baby
- additional features, like playing lullabies
- bonding with your baby
- suitable only for the first months of baby’s life
3. Co-sleeper (side sleeping crib or bassinet)
Co-sleepers are recommended by baby experts as one of the safest options for co-sleeping you can choose. Co-sleepers have removable side and the attachment for the fixation onto the adult bed. You can adjust their mattress to the same height as the height of your bed, and because of the attachment, it can’t shift away.
Co-sleepers can be used as a side crib, stand-alone crib or even as a travel crib.
The biggest plus of co-sleepers is the ability to have your own space for sleep, with no obstructions between baby and you.
- fewer safety risks
- you can’t roll onto your baby
- own space on the bed
- baby is learning to sleep in her own bed
- several uses: co-sleeper or side crib, travel crib, stand-alone crib
- more expensive than standard cribs
4. Stand-alone crib or bassinet in your bedroom
- baby sleep in her own bed
- baby is close to you but safe and secure in her own bed
- no need to walk in another room
- you have enough space in your bed
- having your baby close to you for the first months prevents sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- you can later use the same crib in the nursery
- the baby immediately starts learning to sleep in her own bed
- you have to get up, to take a baby out of a crib
- no all-night snuggles
- a little less bonding than with other forms of co-sleeping
benefits of co-sleeping with baby
Research has shown that nursing moms who share their bed with the baby get the most rest. There is no need to get up all the time, as they are already together. Most of the time baby and mom are not even fully awake, so they can immediately fall back to sleep. Parents can immediately respond to the baby needs. Also, the parents’ presence calms the baby and gives him a sense of security.
Benefits of co-sleep for breastfeed babies
- longer sleep
- lower stress levels
- more milk for baby – with night breastfeeding, the baby encourages the mother’s body to produce more milk
- longer and frequently breastfeeding ensures that baby gets enough calories and gain weight well
- a bigger sense of security
- temperature control – baby is warmer, also mother detect the baby’s temperature and respond properly with a cover or uncover the baby
- more susceptibility to communication
The benefits of co-sleeping with the baby for nursing moms
- bigger milk supply
- lower risk of breast and womb cancer
- faster weight loss
- a closer bond with the baby
- more and longer sleep
- lower stress: frequent nighttime breastfeeding increases secretion of oxytocin, which soothes and relaxes
Benefits of co-sleeping for bottle-feed babies
Regardless of the form of feeding, all babies have both emotional and mental benefits from contact with their parents, as closeness gives them a sense of security. The same applies to parents.
Many studies have shown that cuddling deepens attachment and maternal susceptibility to baby’s needs.
Co-sleeping with dad
Many fathers afraid for their intimate life, as they think the baby in the same bed or the same room will keep them from being intimate with their partner. Well, regardless of where the baby is sleeping, intimacy is less spontaneous as before. Despite the baby in the bed, they can still talk, touch, massage and enjoy the relationship.
Of course, you won’t practice “adult” activities with your baby on the bed, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Put the baby to sleep elsewhere and bring her to bed later, there are other places, not just bedroom, find a time during the day, etc. Be creative and everything will be OK.
If both parents agree, sleeping in a family bed or in the same room can be a great opportunity for the father to spend time with the baby, talk to him, and (if he sleeps in a family bed) enjoys in a skin contact. If dad is most of a day separated from a baby, sleeping in a family bed can be an opportunity to maintain an emotional bond with his baby as well.
When sleeping together, it is important that all family members get a good night’s sleep. But the most important is the safety of your baby!
- never sleep with your baby on a sofa, armchair, waterbed or any soft surface
- the mattress should be tight-fitting to the bed frame
- the bed must be firm, without any loose sheets
- use light bedding, without any additional cushions, long strips or cord
- there should be no toys or animals in the bed
- ensure that the baby can’t fall from the bed
Additional Safety Guidelines for Bed-sharing
- not sleep in the same bed with your baby, if you are a smoker
- not sleep in the same bed with premature or low birth-weight babies
- not share the bed with your baby, if you are overtired
- do not sleep in the same bed as your baby if you have ingested alcohol, sedatives or drugs
- older siblings should not sleep with babies under a year old
- longer hair can wrap around baby’s neck: make a ponytail if you have long hair
- if some of the parents is a deep sleeper you might think of other forms of co-sleeping
- if some of the parents are extremely obese you might use other forms of co-sleeping
How long should you co-sleep with your baby
The family should sleep together until it suits everyone. If parents maintain a healthy relationship and everyone involved in co-sleeping enjoys, there is no need to end it, because one day it will come about by itself.
The night is only a reflection of the day. If the relationships between partners is good during the day, it will be the same at night, regardless co-sleeping or not.
There will be always controversy about co-sleeping. For those who practice it, it’s normal and healthy. For those who don’t, it’s dangerous and irresponsible. Of course, this relates primarily to sleeping in the same bed. Regardless what option will you pick, follow the safety precautions and everything should be all right!
And remember, co-sleeping is never a good solution if all involved family members do not feel comfortable with it. If someone does not want it, you should not force him into it.
I am the founder of Baby’s Little Place. I’m a mom to the one-year-old daughter and I know how overwhelming could be when you are looking things and tips for a new baby, especially if you are a first-time parent. That’s why I set up this site…because I want to do something I am passionate about, as well as I want to help new parents and parents to be.
I hope you enjoyed reading my article! If you have any question or comment, please leave them down below. I will be happy discuss it with you!
Have a wonderful day!