Co-Sleeping With Babies | How Long | Benefits And Dangers
Co-sleeping refers to a practice, where babies and young children sleep close to parents, rather than a separate room.
While sleeping with baby one can sense other through smell, taste, touch or noise etc. This is called sensory proximity.
It is also known as bed-sharing in which the babies are made to sleep near the parents. Co-sleeping with newborns is basically sleeping in close proximity to your baby.
It does not necessarily mean that the same bed is to be shared. Many times the baby is crib is attached toward the side of the bed or different beds might be present in the same room.
Only some level of contact is necessary.
Co-Sleeping Pros And Cons:
It is an often practiced process. In it, the baby is made to sleep near or next to the parents.
Various medical associations recommend this but only to an extent. Whereas some associations deny it’s practice, Under the guidelines of SIDS prevention.
It is a controversial debate. Let us look at some of the Sleeping with babies Pros And Cons-:
- Makes The Baby Feel Safe and Secure-: Many a time’s babies are uncomfortable in sleeping alone. So it helps them overcome their anxiety and help them get proper sleep.
- Helps In Comforting And Nurturing Your Baby-: it has been the experience of many parents that their baby feels comfortable and less disturbed.
- Helpful In Breastfeeding-: Mothers who are breastfeeding their baby tend to feel comfortable in breastfeeding.
- Helps In Gaining The Benefits Of Skin To Skin Contact-: skin to skin contact of a baby with mother is good for the babies overall development. It also helps in baby’s brain development.
- Gives Mental and Traumatic Relief to the Mother Too-: Many times the mother suffers from postnatal depression. Co-sleeping with the baby has seen to show positive effects.
- Not Recommended As Increases Chance Of SIDS-: SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) it is a very scary and worrying syndrome. In this due to lack of air the infants die due to suffocation.
- Not Advisable To Make A Baby Co-Sleeping With An Older Child-: An older child might roll or be suffocating the baby. In the case of any disturbance to the baby might not wake up as easily as a parent.
- Alcohol and Co-Sleeping-: When any one of the parents is intoxicated with alcohol. He/she might pay proper to the baby and might be disturbing and suffocating the baby.
- Risky and not advisable for underweight babies and infants
There are various benefits of co-sleeping. It is when your baby sleeps next to you.
But one must keep in mind that there are some disadvantages to it also as it varies from person to person. The benefits are:
- It helps the mother breastfeeding the baby at the right time, which ensures more and sound sleep to the baby.
- It has been found to ensure parents more sleep. As their baby sleeps right next to them. It gives the parents more sense of comfort.
- Breastfeeding at night helps maintain a mother’s milk supply. And as mentioned above breastfeeding while sleeping with the baby makes it more feasible.
- It helps the baby stay away and recover from nighttime separation anxiety.
- It gets easier for the parents to check out the baby when he/she is sleeping just next to them.
It has its own benefits as well as its own drawbacks. Sleeping has been associated with better sleep for the baby, better nutrition for the baby, better for the baby’s overall development.
But it can be dangerous for the baby and many Medical Associations do not recommend it. During co-sleeping, the chances of SIDS as the baby can be suffocated.
He/she may lay head down suffocating through the blankets or getting wedged between the parents. There can be other reasons too.
Many times there are chances of the baby falling from the bed. Babies might get their head struck with the bed’s headboard.
For babies less than the age of 4 months there is a very high risk of SIDS while co-sleeping. Where any of the parents consume alcohol Co-Sleeping is not recommended.
Co-Sleeping How Long?
It is good for your baby’s nutrition and its overall development and it ensures more sleep. But how long Co-sleeping must be done?
Though there is not specified or hard and fast rule for how long should you go sleep. You should always go with your gut feeling and how you feel about it.
Many times the babies are restless and parents tend to get disturbed and sleep deprived. Winter’s you might consider Co-Sleeping as it provides that extra warmth to the baby.
But at the same time, the blankets must be taken care of. Many times to sleeping makes the babies addicted to it. They might not be able to sleep alone after Co-Sleeping for a long time.
Parents ask when to stop Co-Sleeping. You may consider Co-Sleeping with a newborn for six months but gradually try to fade it.
Many times the question arises that at what age till It’s safe to co-sleeping? The answer is – Until the babies 1-year-old co-sleeping is safe and recommended.
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