Benefits of Co-Sleeping with your child

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Co-Sleeping Benefits for your child is a debatable topic and a lot of people have got different views about it. You grow a tiny baby inside you and after 9 months when your baby is in your arms you can feel the love and strength of motherhood. Parenthood gets you into tough spots and you have to make a lot of decisions in your life for your baby initially.

It was one of the most stressing questions for us when our second daughter was born was figuring out how to do sleeping arrangements. We had bought a crib to make the baby sleep in the crib however, I was somehow not convinced that I would want that to happen.

I have always been a huge prosecutor of Co-Sleeping that the questions of putting her to sleep in a different bed were really stressful for me. Many of you may ask the reasons or the benefits of Co-Sleeping with your baby. Read on to know some Benefits of Co-Sleeping.

How Co-Sleeping Benefits in a Good Night Sleep

What is Co-Sleeping?

Co-Sleeping is the kind of sleeping arrangement where the kids and parents sleep in close proximity. For some co-sleeping only means sleeping in the same bed. But actually, it can be sleeping on the same bed or in the same room itself.

Babies need a lot of attention and lot of sensory experiences for development. When small kids, babies sleep in a separate room there are chances that they get anxious due to the fear of not being able to hear their parent’s voice, or not seeing them for long, for very small babies even smell or touch their parents. When you sleep with your child, you are eliminating this fear and anxiety.

Co-sleeping I feel is one of the best ways to stay close to your baby, monitor them, and make them feel comfortable and protected through their sleep.

Different ways of Co-Sleeping

Co-Sleeping does not always mean your baby sleeping between you and your partner. There are different ways you can make arrangements for co-sleeping.

Bed-sharing

This is where the baby and the parents sleep in the same bed. This way babies have much more access to their parents touch, smell and feel. This also helps to ease out breastfeeding in the night for very small babies.

Sleeping close to a bedside  

Putting a bassinet, a crib close to the bed which is easily accessible. Usually done at the side where the mother sleeps.  This kind of arrangement is preferred by parents who feel they are deep sleepers and might harm the baby in their sleep.

Room-sharing

This is a very simple arrangement, and is good when the baby is a little older, where baby’s crib or bed is in the same room as the parent’s bed just a few steps away from the parent’s bed.

Open door policy

Though this may work for many of you, we have not been able to reach this stage.  This is when you have your childrens co-sleep when they feel like. This is for slightly older kids who would sleep in a different room but with the doors open in the night for the kids to come and sleep with parents if they want.

Choose the kind of co-sleeping arrangement that works best for you and your baby. The selection can depend on many factors.

Benefits of Co-Sleeping

Co-sleeping is one controversial subject. However, its benefits have been told in our Indian society for hundreds of years.

Nighttime breastfeeding becomes easier

For the first six months of age it is extremely important that your baby is exclusively breastfed. Co-Sleeping with your child makes it easier. If you are in the same room or bed it gives your baby easiest access for breastfeeding and your sleep is not disturbed.

With being in the same room or bed, the frequency of feeding the kid increases as well.

We all know that until a certain age, babies definitely need night time feed. Co-Sleeping makes it much easier for you to wake up in the night and feed your baby. If the baby is in a separate room this would mean you may be feeding a baby who is already super hungry and cranky.

Co-Sleeping eliminates the hassle of waking up and going to another room and console a crying baby to feed and sleep. Co-sleeping also decreases the time gap between feeding. We all know that new babies should ideally be fed every 2-3 hours

One main Benefit of Co-Sleeping is that breastfeeding at nighttime becomes much easier for the new mothers.

Tired parents get more sleep

We all know about how new parents miss sleeping through the night in the initial days after the baby is born.  Not been able to sleep through the night is a known part of parenting , what we do not know is that even the quality of sleep is hampered. That happens because the parent wakes ups during the night to a crying baby.

Another benefit of Co-sleeping with your baby is better sleep of the parents in duration as well as quality. Co-Sleeping doesn’t mean that you or your baby would not wake up at night at all. But this will help as your baby is closer to you and whenever he/she needs your attention it can be provided easily and faster.

Babies sleep better

Infants need to sleep close to 17 hours per day. It is important for the growth of the baby. When a baby is tired due to lack of sleep he/she is more cranky and fussy. Thus, it is very important that the baby gets proper sleep.

Co-sleeping is great way of achieving better sleep for babies. When you baby co-sleeps with you they fall asleep for longer time like their mothers and wakeup with them. Hence, this way it get really easy to manage the baby as she is getting better sleep. Co-sleeping helps in setting up a routine for the baby to sleep during the night time.

A well slept baby is a happy baby.

Decreases nighttime separation anxiety

Notice that babies start crying when the parents put them to bed for sleeping. This is mostly due to separation anxiety.

Very small babies who cannot speak usually communicate with crying. Other ways of communicating their discomfort and anxiety of separation are:

  • Crying when you leave them in a room
  • Clinging on to you  
  • Resisting taking nap
  • Tantrums during bedtime
  • Waking up more frequently in night
  • Resistance to unknown faces

So what do you do in this difficult situation? Leave the baby crying or comfort them ?

Kids who sleep with parents in the same bed or the same room have less separation anxiety issues. The concept of co-sleeping is really comforting and reassuring for babies.

They feel less anxiety when they sleep near their parents as compared to when they sleep alone in a different room

Bed sharing helps kids to have better mental strength

Increases intimacy between parents and babies

Co-sleeping helps family bonding to grow stronger.  As a working mom, I love the extra time I get with my kids when we snuggle and sleep in the same bed. The early morning hugs and kisses are the best way to start my day.

Co-sleeping definitely helps in strengthening the bond between kids and parents. It gives the moments you would want to cherish which would not have been possible if your child has his/her own room.

Co-sleeping is definitely a more fulfilling experience as you feel your baby so close to you. It gives immense peace of mind knowing that your baby is very close to you.

Ever heard of attachment parenting? Attachment parenting encourages physical and emotional closeness of kids and parents.  In attachment parenting style it is believed that co-sleeping helps in nurturing the baby in very small age and help in building a secure relationship when the child grows up.

Babies feel safe and Secure

When a baby arrives to the world, they have a very different perspective of things around. We have learnt understood our surroundings, social situations and emotions. We can communicate what we are feeling.

However, for our babies this is not the case. The world is totally a new place for them.  The only place the baby feels safe is close to her mother or father.

When babies sleep with their mothers, they can touch, feel, smell their mother’s presence close to them which comforts them to a large extent.

Fathers bond better

Yes, there is no bond like a mother-child bond. Mother carries the baby in womb for 9 months, breastfeeds the baby and stays with the baby for most of the time.

But fathers play a very important role in a child’s life. New born babies are continuously developing relationship with their parents. With help of Co-sleeping one can positively help in strengthening the bond between father and the child.

For most of the fathers night time is the only time for creating a bond with their kids as they are usually out of the house for most of the time for work. Co-Sleeping gives that added opportunity to develop the bonding.

Benefits of Co-sleeping in babies’ Growth and Development

Yes, there are psychological Benefits of Co-Sleeping for babies as well. When the babies co-sleep they are less anxious and hence their stress hormone.

When child sleeps better the child grows better.

Safety Tips Co-Sleeping and Bed-Sharing

Many parents do not opt for co-sleeping due to the safety issues it may come with. Hence, I found it useful to list down some safety guidelines for co-sleeping.

Many of these guidelines are regular sleeping guidelines which we usually take care of regarding the sleeping surface.

  • Infants should sleep on the back always. Sleeping on the stomach or sides is not the correct position.
  • The sleeping area should be firm and clean. The sheet you put should be pulled and fixed properly.
  • Do not cover the baby’s head while sleeping.
  • The mattress should fully cover the bed. No gaps between mattress and bed’s frame.
  • Never put babies to sleep on a couch, sofa, or chair. Co-sleeping should be in a bed, a crib, or a baby cot in your room.
  • Since you are going to be close to the baby never drink smoke or drug before co-sleeping with your baby.
  • Infants and elder kids should not co-sleep.
  • Tie your hair when you sleep.

Should You Practice Co-Sleeping?

The answer to this question lies with you.  Parenting is a unique journey for each parent and there are few decisions that the parents need to take themselves. I have listed down quite a few Benefits of Co-Sleeping here and leave this question for you to decide.

However, I would love to know what is your standpoint on Co-Sleeping? Do leave your comments below and let me know how you practice safe co-sleeping.

You may also want to read :

How to make your child sleep early

10 Benefits of early Bedtime

I am learning how to grow my blog with Neha from BloggingMadeEasier.com. In case you are interested in joining the next batch, you can register for the Grow Your Blog Challenge here.

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