Advantages and Disadvantages of Co-Sleeping
In this article we’ll point out some of the main advantages and disadvantages of co-sleeping. Its recent increase in popularity has produced a great debate. Public opinion is currently divided on whether it’s healthy or not for parents and children.
The practice of the “family bed” has its pros and cons. This method of family coexistence should first be observed from the baby’s point of view. Does co-sleeping have any benefit for the smallest one in the household?
Advantage: co-sleeping facilitates breastfeeding and general care
For many mothers, sleeping with the baby nearby makes breastfeeding more comfortable at night. It isn’t the same to have the baby next to you and take care of him, as having to go to a separate room to do it.
This is very useful especially during the first few months and it’s logical that many women prefer this dynamic in order to get a little more rest. A better rest for both the baby and the mother is always desirable.
Disadvantage: children may become more dependent on their parents
A child who grows up sleeping next to his parents feels more secure and protected. However, this could create difficulties for children in later years, when they have to sleep alone in their own room.
From this perspective, children may feel overprotected and dependent. This may cause the child problems when trying to face their fears or adapt to their own space. Whatever the case, parents should think about how to work through this situation.
Some experts say that co-sleeping can make it difficult for children to fall asleep. Not only because they take longer to get to sleep, but also because they’ll often sleep less and wake up many times throughout the night.
Advantage: the family bed has great benefits for the health of the baby and the mother
Experts believe that children who sleep next to their mothers breastfeed three times more than those who sleep in separate rooms. What’s more, the closeness will allow the mother to fall asleep more easily after each nightly awakening.
With regard to the influence of co-sleeping on the child’s rest, there are still no conclusive results. However, experts think that co-sleeping helps a child reach the stage of REM sleep more easily.
Being able to quickly attend to the child will allow them to fall back asleep more quickly.
Disadvantage: sleeping with a baby in bed can pose risks for the baby
One of the problems of the so-called “family bed” is that children are placed in the middle of the mattress. If this is so, there will always be some risk of crushing or suffocation with the sheets. If the parents sleep heavily, the danger is even greater.
When the child grows, there is less space in the bed. Kicking can be unpleasant for parents and muscle pain can occur due to a poor sleeping positions. Everything will depend on the sleeping habits of each family member.
Advantage: connection and family affection is stimulated
In most cases, practicing co-sleeping has a positive impact on the emotional level within families. The warmth and contact are two elements that characterize this method of family coexistence at night.
The skin contact becomes constant and this forms a greater bond between parent and child. The child feels cared for and feels like an integral part of the family.
This facilitates a closer bond between them. The family unit almost always benefits when the whole family sleeps together.
Disadvantage: couples lose intimacy and sexual contact
Under the current dynamic, where the parents work hard throughout the day, night is the time when they spend time together. If you sleep with a baby between you, it’s normal that sexual activity is reduced, at least temporarily.
According to those against the “family bed,” this situation of lack of sexual intimacy generates a distancing that can sometimes lead to divorce.
If this is so, then this method wouldn’t be a good idea for encouraging the family unity. The reduction in intimate sexual relations in a couple is one of the strongest objections to co-sleeping.