Sharing a bed with a baby is probably something that every parent has tried at some point. Who wouldn’t want to keep their bundle of joy next to them at all times? However, while sharing a bed or a room with their baby is a nightly habit for some parents, others would argue about the safety of this practice.
Granted, there are some dangers when it comes to bedsharing. You may roll over the child. His/her body temperature may become too high if you are too close, arising several health problems.
Moreover, if the baby ends up tangled in the sheets, they wouldn’t be able to release themselves and breathe on their own. So you must understand the concept fully and follow the best practices.
Many people around you advise that co-sleeping is dangerous. Yes, it is dangerous if the baby is not ready for bed-sharing.
Co-sleeping is more common than you think.
Co-sleeping can help boost a baby’s development
What is Co-Sleeping or Bed Sharing?
Co-sleeping is sleeping close to your baby, regardless if it’s in the same bed or the same room. This type of proximity sleeping can also be of different types:
Co-sleeping, also referred to as sleep-sharing, which means sharing a bed with your child. In simple words, co-sleeping is a newborn, baby, or child sleeping with one or both parents. The different ways of co-sleeping are:
1. Family bed or bed-sharing: Where one or both the parents sleep with the child in the same bed.
2. Different beds same room: Here, the baby sleeps in a crib or bassinet, or in the same room an arm’s away from the parents’ reach.
3. Sidecar arrangement: The crib is attached to one side of the bed, next to the mother. This side can be removed or lowered so that it is easy to breastfeed the baby. You will also get commercial sidebar or co-sleeper cribs in the market.
4. Baby welcomed when needed: occasionally: The child is made to sleep in her bedroom and is taken when needed. Parents usually welcome their babies followed by a night waking.
Co-sleeping with sidecar arrangement:
· The child will end up getting more sleep. Since most children almost wake up when they are hungry, the mother can soothe the baby right away or breastfeed him/her before she wakes up completely.
· Since the child gets more sleep, the parent will also get more sleep.
· It’s easier to feed the baby if he or she is nearby.
· Studies show that if you allow the baby to sleep in the same room with you, the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is reduced by 50%.
· Since the baby is in the same room, he/she will not go through any nighttime anxiety.
· Parents have fewer bedtime hassles to deal with.
What Can Go Wrong With bedsharing?
· If a child requires your full attention while they sleep, they will start requiring 100% involvement throughout the day. It means that nannies will no longer do the trick.
· Once your baby starts sleeping in your bed, it will be much harder for you to make them sleep in their bed. Once the child is used to sleeping in the parental bed, it may take them up to five years to leave it.
Also, if you are a heavy sleeper or very tired, you may also want to avoid sharing a bed with your baby. If anything goes wrong, you wouldn’t be able to wake up before a disaster happens.
Do not put toys next to them when babies sleep.
Adults body temperature may not suit your baby and he or she might not get comfortable sleep.
Older siblings should avoid sleeping with their brothers or sisters if they are under 12 months since they are also developing their sleeping habits.
· Use a safe barrier to prevent the child from falling off the bed.
· Always make sure that your baby is sleeping on his/her back, with his/her face uncovered.
· There should never be two parents sharing a bed with the infant. It is recommended that only mothers practice this and that fathers avoid bed-sharing altogether.
· Co-sleeping is the safest as the baby gets older. The older a child gets, the safer co-sleeping becomes.
· The reason for this is simple – older children have the physical ability to extricate themselves from possible entrapment or even suffocation.
It all depends on what works for your family best! Every baby is different, and every family’s circumstances are different,