Every family has its own unique lifestyle. No one way is better than the other. Whatever falls naturally in harmony with your family’s daily routine is what you should follow.
In the primitive era, and even now in the majority of non-Western cultures, babies often slept with their parents – if not in the same bed, then at least in the same room. Babies sleeping in the same bed as their parents is known as “co-sleeping”, while sleeping in the same room is known as “room sleeping”.
In these cultures, babies do not need their own rooms and cribs because it is expected that they should stay close to their mothers after birth – after all, they only just came out of the warm, cocooned environment of their mother’s womb!
Having explored the different ways that different cultures follow in terms of planning for sleeping arrangements, there is not any right or wrong way to choose.
However to make it more simple for expecting parents to decide, I have outlined below the advantages and disadvantages of co-sleeping.
Studies have shown that mothers enjoy more sleep in a co-sleeping arrangement. Breastfeeding is much easier therefore mothers get more rest time.
Parents get more rest and experience less exhaustion with such ease of feeding.
Parents are able to comfort their baby instantly by having him/her within their arm’s reach. This increases the responsiveness to their baby’s needs.
Stress hormones are much lower in both mothers and babies in this type of sleeping arrangement.
The physiology of co-sleeping ensures stability, i.e. a more stable temperature for the baby, steadier heart rhythms and fewer longer pauses in breathing pattern.
Co-sleeping may also promote long term positive emotional health. In long term studies, it has been observed that co-sleeping infants grew up to be happier, less anxious, less likely to be afraid of sleep and had higher self esteem.
Some parents may pose a threat to infants due to their behavior, such as smoking and drinking heavily, taking drugs, a history of skin infections, obesity or any other risky traits.
Co-sleeping also increases the risk of suffocation and strangulation. Parents might roll over during their sleep, leading to undesirable consequences.
There is also the risk of baby becoming wedged between the bed and the wall or headboard.
There again may be the risk of baby falling onto a hard floor.
The presence of the child in the parent’s bedroom also raises the concern of a lack of privacy for the parents that may result in reduced intimacy and increased tension.
Follow your own instinct and choose your way
There is no need to be influenced by other people’s opinions. At the end of the day, your problems are for you to solve.
You can think about your priorities and come to your own conclusion.
I have explained more in detail about this topic in my book if you would like to know more.
I shall also follow with more posts on this topic in the near future.
Thank you for visiting!