Co-sleeping is becoming an increasingly popular practice among parents and infants, and it’s easy to understand why. Both babies and their parents have a natural desire to be close to one another, and feeling each other’s presence can provide a sense of comfort.
But co-sleeping is considered somewhat controversial among some.
On the one hand, having your new little bundle sleeping next to you might seem like a great idea. You’re right next to your baby and readily available for feeding, diaper changing, and consoling. At the same time, you’re harnessing that coveted connection between baby and mother.
But is co-sleeping with your baby safe? And will it make things more difficult for both of you when the time comes to finally part and sleep in separate beds?
Benefits of Co-Sleeping
Nighttime feedings are easier. With your baby right beside you, nighttime feedings are much more manageable and require little sleep interruption for everyone.
Children feel more at ease. Your baby may feel some increase to their comfort level being close to you and sensing your presence, which can be a source of solace in the middle of the night.
Extra bonding time. There may not be as much time and opportunity to spend time and bond with your baby during the day. And if you must go back to work within weeks after your baby is born, your time away can be longer than you’d like. Co-sleeping can offer both you and your baby the opportunity to bond, even if you are both asleep.
Cons of Co-Sleeping
Potentially dangerous. Co-sleeping doesn’t necessarily mean sleeping in the same bed. It can simply mean sleeping in the same room within proximity, But if you plan to sleep with your baby in the same bed, there is the potential for your child to get hurt. The odds of suffocation may be more significant, particularly if you accidentally roll on top of your baby or if she gets caught up in all the bedding. Further, there’s always the chance that your baby may roll off the bed if precautions aren’t in place to prevent such a scenario.
Lack of intimacy between you and your partner. For many couples with babies, nighttime is typically the only alone time they get. Having a baby sleeping in the same room or bed can intrude on their levels of intimacy.
Compromised sleep quality. Babies can easily interrupt their parents’ sleep with every sound and movement made. Dealing with this night after night can disrupt your sleep patterns and leave you feeling exhausted every day.
More difficulty separating. Depending on how long you practice co-sleeping, you could make it more difficult for your child to eventually separate from you. Ultimately, your child may be unable to fall asleep without your presence.
Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of co-sleeping with your baby before taking this route.
Image source: Stephanie Pratt from Pixabay