Perhaps one of the most debated topics in the parenting world is co-sleeping. Some people tend to be all for it, others are immensely against it. When it comes down to it, there really is no right or wrong answer. It all depends on your research, confidence, and general safety.
Many people will often say that sleeping with your baby poses an incredibly large threat of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as well as other sleep-related problems. Suffocation is also high on the list for possible causes of death while co-sleeping. According to recent data from the NPR, a low-risk baby has a 1 in 16,400 chance of dying from SIDS in a parent’s bed whereas a baby sleeping in a crib in the parent’s room decreases the risk to around 1 in 46,000.
Despite all of this relevant evidence, parents still choose to sleep with their children in their bed. Parents, especially Moms, tend to enjoy co-sleeping because of the bond you will develop as well as the convenience of being able to night feed. On top of this, they also like simply being close to their baby because it makes both parties sleep far easier.
Let’s dive in and take a closer look into what you really need to know about co-sleeping.
The truth is, where you co-sleep with a baby makes a big difference on how dangerous or not dangerous it is. In fact, the bed is one of the least dangerous places to co-sleep with a baby. The worst place for a newborn to sleep, and for a parent to co-sleep, is actually the couch, armchair, or any lumpy and soft surfaces.
Anything that may develop air pockets could easily affect how your baby breathes. This becomes an even bigger risk during night fees when mom and baby could both be tired. If you believe there is even a tiny chance of you falling asleep while feeding, you are far better off feeding on the bed as opposed to a cushioned chair.
There are many co-sleeping safety guidelines for people to follow to make co-sleeping more safe. Infants should always sleep on their back with only a sheet to cover the mattress. On top of that, you should ensure that you have a safe mattress that has not surpassed its expiration date.
The benefits associated with co-sleeping are all very obvious, but also sometimes crucial to a child’s development. Not only will the parents be close by to assist if anything is to happen, but it also creates a closer and more loving bond between the parents and infant. Co-sleeping also makes it easier for mom to breastfeed during the night without having to go to a separate room.
As long as it is done properly following the co-sleeping guidelines, you will be absolutely fine. If you’re ever unsure, contact a professional.
While some parents may choose to co-sleep, others may never consider it. Based on self-reported 2013 data, around 13% of parents do some form of co-sleeping. Parents who do not co-sleep may find they, and baby, sleep better when appart, or they may sleep better knowing their baby is safely away in a bassinet or crib. Finally, some parents may have other kids, pets, or sleep schedules that do not allow co-sleeping.
Overall, every family needs to determine what sleeping situation they are most comfortable with. Understanding the data and the safest way to co-sleep may encourage more parents to experience the closeness of co-sleeping, while other families may value space, sleep, and safety. Additionally, sleeping needs change as babies learn to sleep longer and grow and so sleeping needs and setups should be reevaluated on a regular basis.