Bed sharing or co-sleeping with your baby has for a long time been a controversial topic for parents and experts alike. There is conflicting information about the benefits as well as some worrying information about sleeping with your baby on the same bed.
These pros and cons will help you make an informed decision on whether to try co-sleeping with your little one and see if that can change your sleeping habits for the better.
It is easier for breastfeeding
Breastfeeding tends to be easier while co-sleeping because you are able to respond to you baby more quickly. The baby will be able to feed without both of you waking up fully thus helping you get back to sleep faster. You are more likely to breastfeed longer too.
Comforts and nurtures baby
Many parents who co-sleep say it helps their baby develop and leads to less crying or distressed behaviour from their newborn. It also can reduce the baby’s anxiety, which in turn will lead to a better quality of sleep and less disruptive sleep patterns.
Baby feels safer
Some children show signs of separation anxiety as early as around six months old. You might find they scream when you leave the room, co-sleeping is often a way to reassure a baby through the night that the parents have not left them forever.
Better night’s sleep
Even if you’re not breastfeeding, you would still be woken through the night by your child who needs a diaper change, milk or just a cuddle and some comfort.
By co-sleeping, you are right there and don’t need to get up to walk into another room and pick up your child. The baby’s first cries and murmurs will wake you so before they descend into a full-blown cry, you are there to give them whatever they need.
Helps with bonding
You can’t always afford to give up work and stay with your newborn. This means that you could find yourself going back to work and being out of the house for even 12 hours a day. Co-sleeping can be a way for your baby to feel close to you even though you are both sleeping. This extra time with your little one can be invaluable.
On the flip side, some of the cons of co-sleeping is the increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Also, if your baby gets used to falling asleep next to you, she may have trouble sleeping when you are away.
Making the eventual transition from your bed to her own bed can be a long, drawn-out process. A lot depends on how old your child is and how long she has been sleeping with you.