Where babies sleep is a hot topic. Many modern day parents are set on their babies sleeping in their own beds and own rooms ASAP. Others, especially breastfeeding moms, would love to co-sleep with their babies but are scared of the risks involved. What is safe practice and what isn’t? The truth is there is no right or wrong answer here but there are safe and unsafe ways of sleeping.
The fact is most families in the world co-sleep. This has a lot to do with the majority of families not being able to afford more than one room but its also been the way our parents and babies have slept for 99% of human history. Early baby-parent separation is not something seen in any other carrying species of mammal like us. Every baby is different and even though a few babies may be able to handle sleeping without the co-regulation of a parent nearby, most babies find it much easier in the presence of a caregiver.
To be clear – Co-sleeping doesn’t always mean ‘in the same bed’. Shared surface or shared room sleeping are both types of co-sleeping. Small babies tend to sleep better in a shared environment because having parents nearby is familiar and regulating to them.
What are the pros of co sleeping?
Despite the obvious saving of time spent getting up and down to baby’s room and back, studies show that most breastfeeding moms who share a sleep surface with their baby instinctively move into a curled position which stops babies from rolling onto their tummy’s and keeps pillows and partners at bay. Being close to mom regulates baby’s heart and breathing rates as well as temperature. Moms who breastfeed and share a sleep surface with baby routinely, have been shown to feel less tired despite being more easily and often wakened during the night. Bed sharing moms show more responsiveness to their baby’s cues. [Read more]
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