There are innumerable decisions that parents must make throughout their child’s life, and so many of them before their little one even arrives.
Baby names, nursery colours, vaccinations, and more. Sadly, even deciding on the sleeping arrangements for your new baby can cause stress and anxiety. Do you decide to have your baby sleep in the room with you or not? Conflicting evidence and arguments over co-sleeping have left some parents indecisive on what to do.
If you’re one of these confused parents, keep reading on for all the things you should know before deciding to co-sleep with your baby.
What Is Categorised as Co-Sleeping?
Basically co-sleeping is practiced by keeping your baby near you while sleeping. It is still co-sleeping if they are in your bed or in their own bed. Studies have shown that SIDS is more likely to occur when a parent or guardian sleeps with their baby in their bed with them.
Other studies have shown that co-sleeping, especially when the baby is not actually in the parents’ bed, can be absolutely necessary for an infant. Research shows that contact with their parent or caretaker while sleeping can assist in forming a baby’s emotional security, seriously decreasing sleep problems, and can even help them develop healthy breathing and heart rates.
Co- Sleeping Is not a New Practice
Although disagreements over the matter are still new and show no sign of slowing down, co-sleeping is not a new practice.
Historical studies have shown that co-sleeping has been around for centuries and continues to be widely practiced throughout the world. Western cultures are more likely to practice isolating children from their parents while sleeping. The reason for this is due to a larger amount of safety warnings as well as cultural mindset.
Due to the rejection of co-sleeping, some people have accepted the idea of letting the baby cry until they are trained to comfort themselves. Some doctors disagree with this method, explaining that babies cry when there is something wrong or when they need something. When these cries are ignored, this leads to what is referred to as anxious crying.
It is to no surprise that these same experts and doctors believe in room-sharing. Some believe that sleep training does more harm than good and can lead to developmental issues within babies.
Co-Sleeping Is Natural
It is so important to remember that co-sleeping is a natural phenomenon. Babies are not able to take care of themselves. Their cries are indications to their parents that they are in need of something, whether it be comfort, food, or a diaper change, there is always a reason for their cries. This is especially true for newborns through the age of 6-8 months.
What About SIDS?
It should be acknowledged that cultures that practice co-sleeping have extremely low rates of SIDS or have no instances of it at all.
Studies have shown that infants that are sleep trained within their first few weeks of life have an increased risk of developing SIDS later on. In retrospect, studies have also shown that bed-sharing with an infant increases the risk of the infant developing SIDS.
The question is: what is the middle ground?
Parents and caretakers should sleep in the same room as their baby. The key is that they should be on separate surfaces.
This leads us to the co-sleeping cot, which allows parents to avoid SIDS, but also lets them and their baby enjoy the positive benefits of co-sleeping.
What’s so Great about a Co-Sleeping Cot?
A co-sleeping cot is a bed that attached to the side of a parent’s bed. Its three-walled structure and design ensures the baby’s comfort and safety. Parents will sleep well at night knowing that their child is near them, within arm’s reach, while babies will sleep through the night sensing that they are in the best care, yet not be in danger of the risks caused by actually being in their parent’s bed.
The reasons for co-sleeping being viewed as dangerous are due to the modern way in which we sleep now. Ultra soft mattress pads, scratchy pillows, lots of heavy blankets, and uniquely designed headboard have all contributed to infant deaths and cases of SIDS. This type of bedding is prone to suffocating a baby or allowing a parent to roll over on their baby in their sleep without waking up.
Furthermore, co-sleeping is also a bad idea, and has earned a bad reputation, when a parent or caretaker is a chronic smoker or is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which makes them even more prone to rolling on or accidentally suffocating their baby in their sleep.
Co-sleeping is great and so very vital to your newborn’s health. Putting your newborn directly in your bed with you and your partner, however, can be an increased risk. If you are interested in pursuing co-sleeping, remember the option of co-sleep cots or even the benefits of having the baby in a bassinet or rocker by your bedside.
Co-sleeping cots are the safe middle ground and benefit both parents and babies. To find out more information go the ultimate co-sleeper cots guide.