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Co-Sleeping with Baby

 

In our modern culture, many people wouldn’t even consider sleeping in the same bed as their baby, but the practice of co-sleeping has gone on for thousands of years in many parts of the world. Co-sleeping with your child helps you form better bonds and feel closer to them, helps them feel safer, and has even been shown to improve a child’s self esteem and more satisfaction with life when they get older. While many organizations claim co-sleeping is unsafe, there are precautions you can take to sleep safely with your child.

How you do it

There are a few options for co-sleeping with your baby. The most common nowadays is to have the baby’s bed in the bedroom with you. While most people do this for convenience, it also does have some of the added benefits of co-sleeping (but not all).

The second option, which has the benefits of co-sleeping without some of the safety hazards, is co-sleepers. This is a place for the baby to sleep that attaches to the side of the bed.

True co-sleeping, involves putting the baby in the bed with mom and dad. Many people place the baby in bed between mom and dad, but it is usually recommended to put the baby on the side of mom.

What are the benefits?

In addition to the benefits listed above, co-sleeping can help you get more sleep. The baby is right there next to you, so you don’t have to get up to comfort them when they’re crying. It’s also much more convenient for nighttime feedings. Studies have shown that co-sleeping helps babies get into their biorhythms faster, so they’ll start sleeping through the night earlier.

While many people are concerned about the dangers of sleeping in the same bed with your child, research has actually shown co-sleeping reduces the occurrence of SIDS. Doctors theorize that SIDS is caused by the baby entering too deep a sleep. When a parent is sleeping near, there are noises of breathing and shifting keep the child from entering too deep a sleep.

Safety Precautions

One of the biggest safety concerns with co-sleeping is suffocation. Many parents worry

that they will roll over on their child. Actually, while suffocation deaths do occur with co sleeping, it is usually due to improper bedding. Make sure to sleep with your child on a firm bed. Do not provide pillows or blankets that are too soft. Also, never leave your infant unattended in and adult bed. To avoid rollover, do not sleep in the same bed with your child if you have been drinking or are exhausted.

Another leading cause of death with co sleeping is the getting caught in the headboard or foot board. Get a headboard or footboard with no spaces cracks or crevices that your baby can fit into. If unsure about a certain headboard, don’t risk it.

You should also take care to keep the baby from falling off the bed. You can do this by having the baby sleep between the parents, putting one side of the bed up against the wall, or using a toddler guard rail.

Having more than one person in a bed also means the temperature will be warmer, take steps to keep your baby from overheating. The best way is to give them a separate blanket. This will also keep them from getting uncovered accidentally in the middle of the night.

If done properly, co-sleeping can be highly beneficial for you and your child.



 


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