Co-Sleeping or Bed-Sharing: What’s the Best Option?
Many people wonder what's best for their baby: bed-sharing or co-sleeping with them. It's a delicate subject because sleep is one of your baby's essential needs and you'll obviously try to satisfy that in the best possible way.
One of the most enjoyable moments to have with your child is to watch him or her sleep. However, a baby’s sleep can be a delicate subject when parents wonder what’s the best option between co-sleeping or bed-sharing.
Some specialists point out the benefits babies can get from these options, others advise against them. Here you’ll read different opinions regarding the subject, so you can decide what’s best for your baby.
Co-sleeping or bed-sharing: a topic of debate
Deciding what’s best between co-sleeping or bed-sharing is a completely personal matter. Specialists have different views on the subject. While some think that co-sleeping can facilitate breastfeeding and give a good rest to both the baby and the mother, others think it can alter the future habits and routines you’ll need to teach your baby.
However, before you decide what to do, you should understand what co-sleeping or bed-sharing mean.
Being in the same room
When parents put the baby’s crib next to their bed to be able to keep an eye on their baby at all times, this is known as bed-sharing. This is the most recommended option to ensure a good rest for both the baby and the parents.
Sharing the same bed
Sharing the same bed as your baby is called co-sleeping. This option entices many different opinions regarding whether it’s beneficial or not. As previously stated, the good thing is the closeness between mother and child, ensuring nightly breastfeeding and better synchronization between you and your baby.
On the other hand, negative effects go from a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome to death by strangulation, with accessories arranged in the bed. This makes babies used to something that they’ll have a hard time giving up to.
Safety measures to take into account
Whatever you choose, you should take safety measures into account to ensure your child’s well-being. If you’d like to share a room, choose a crib that complies with the usual safety standards and that can be placed next to your bed. Thus, the baby will sleep in his own space next to his parents.
If, on the other hand, you’d like to co-sleep, don’t share a bed with your baby until he’s at least 4 months old. Ideally, put him to bed with some light clothing, so he won’t get too hot or entangled with his own clothes.
Also make sure to get rid of any bed accessory he could get entangled in. Avoid using pillows, comforters, quilts, or blankets that could make the baby tangled.
Advantages of co-sleeping or bed-sharing
Co-sleeping or bed-sharing should only be done until the baby turns one year old. This reduces risks like sudden infant death syndrome or suffocation. Other advantages include:
Makes it easier for parents to rest
This is one of the most sought-after benefits parents take into account when choosing how to sleep with their baby, especially first-timers who get up at all times to check if their baby is still breathing and well.
Sleeping as close as possible to the baby can reduce the number of times they get up and the anxiety of taking care of a baby.
Sleeping close to your baby can improve breastfeeding times and habits and makes it comfortable should you move to a different room. Besides, this closeness allows you to be more aware of his needs, especially if he’s hungry.
Helps to establish a better parent-child relationship
Physical contact can stimulate and improve the emotional bond between people. This same bond can make your baby feel loved by his parents.
It also improves communication and connection between parents and children. This feeling of safety can help them develop better self-esteem.
In short, choosing between co-sleeping or bed-sharing is up to you. The scientific community approves of sharing the same space with your baby for the first year of his life. Just make sure that whatever you choose guarantees your baby’s safety.