Co-sleeping with your baby refers to sleeping in sensory proximity to your baby, may or may not be in the same bed. Having baby crib in your room or attaching her crib just next to your bed is also considered as co-sleeping. Co-sleeping is a norm in certain countries and it generates a sense of security in the baby and has several benefits on her physical and mental well-being. It also gives the peace of mind to the mother because she can reach out to her baby easily as and when needed. Here we will list out 5 amazing benefits of co-sleeping with your baby:
5 Amazing Benefits Of Co-Sleeping With Your Baby
- Peaceful Sleep For The Baby & Mother: Your baby goes through a sleep cycle where she goes to light sleep then deep sleep and dream sleep (Rapid Eye Movement ) after that. She comes back to light sleep and has a small period of waking up at night after which she again goes through the same cycle. This cycle is about an hour long in newly born babies. Co sleeping promotes better sleep for the baby because when she wakes up, your presence makes her easy to fall back to sleep and helps her sleep better.
There would be no night time separation anxiety in the baby so it will be easier for the mother to put her to sleep. Not only baby, mothers also sleep better when the baby is sleeping right next to them. They can attend to the baby at a squirm and need not get out of the bed. Both will drift back to the deep sleep faster. When the baby wakes up to find himself away from you he can cry loudly and even start wailing. This can disturb his sleep as well as the mother’s sleep
- Lower risk Of SIDS: New Research shows that co-sleeping with your baby can reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) by 50%. When the babies are co-sleeping, they sleep in a physiological harmony with the mother. Newly born babies cannot control their body temperature and co-sleeping makes their body temperature stable because you and your baby become a thermostatic unit when co-sleeping. That means that when your baby heats up, you cool down and vice versa. Also when an infant has breathing pauses, your breathing sound and exhalation stimulates the baby’s breathing. It hints him to join in your breathing pattern
- Nursing is easier: Co-sleeping makes breastfeeding easier at night. The mother doesn’t have to get out of the bed to breastfeed the child. Some babies who like to sleep at the mother’s breast don’t have to get separated from their mothers. Sometimes the mother won’t even wake up as the baby can see you around and find her way to the breast. The mother’s sleep cycle comes in sync with the baby when they sleep next to each other. Many mothers say that they would automatically wake up seconds before the baby when it’s time to breastfeed
- Promotes bonding between mother & baby: Co-sleeping babies are emotionally more connected with their parents. It gives the babies more of your time, more of your touch and warmth and when you spend more time together you both feel more connected to each other. You understand each cry and cue given by the baby and baby responds well and develops close bonds with the mother
- Promotes mental and physical well-being for the baby: Research shows that the babies who co-sleep have more stable physiology. They have more stable temperatures, few long pauses in breathing and regular heart rhythms compared to the babies who sleep alone. Babies rarely startle when sleeping next to the mother and cry less during night. Long crying spells can lead to long term sleep anxiety as it releases adrenaline, increases blood pressure and heart rate and disturbs the restful sleep. Co-sleeping babies become independent sooner and have higher self-esteem
It’s a long debated topic in parenting. However the positive of co-sleeping out-weighs the negatives. New parents might worry that co-sleeping with baby will make him never want to leave their bed. However the babies as they grow up learn to become independent; like they wean off from breast, learn to go to toilet, they will also learn to sleep on their own. It is a good time to create memories with the child and for the family to connect. It might be a very short time in the lifetime of your baby but the memories of love last a lifetime.
Read more on Baby Sleep And Rest here.