Co-sleeping is when parents sleep in close proximity to their baby, often in the same bed. The debate surrounding co-sleeping is a sensitive one, with many believing that co-sleeping is unsafe. However, both arguments – for and against – make valid points regarding the physical and emotional wellbeing of baby and parents.
Here, we unpick the pros and cons of co-sleeping and bed-sharing and discuss the benefits of co-sleeper cots.
Co-Sleeping is responsible for more SIDS
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), co-sleeping is responsible for more SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) than isolated sleeping, and other medical institutions and specialists such as the NHS and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) agree that it is dangerous.
This is because it is believed that when parent and baby co-sleep – whether the parent is lying down next to their baby in bed or sat upright cradling the baby on their lap – it is possible for the parent to accidentally drop or squash the baby, or for the baby to fall from a height, to overheat or become suffocated.
However, it should be noted that SIDS, in general, are rare.
Your baby’s safety
While is it generally recognized that sharing a bed with your baby is unsafe, there are great benefits. It has been discovered that babies who sleep close to their mothers have more stable temperatures, breathing patterns and regular heart rhythms than babies who sleep alone. This is because they enjoy ‘protective arousal’ meaning they are likely to awaken when they experience health difficulties, letting their parent know something is wrong.
Your physical and emotional wellbeing
Co-sleeping in close proximity has been known to allow mums to get more sleep, simply because they don’t have to get up out of bed to check on the baby or to breastfeed them – they can do it right where they are.
However, this is slightly misleading, as although the mum may get more sleep, the quality of sleep isn’t necessarily better – both mum and baby sleep more lightly as they are subconsciously aware of each other’s breathing patterns. Therefore, sleeping closely can actually be counterproductive for you and your baby’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
The solution: co-sleeper cots
Bed-sharing may seem incredibly tempting with its physiological benefits, especially for new mums with newborns. Yet, despite the benefits mentioned above, the safety of your baby is still in question, which is where co-sleeper cots come into play.
Co-sleeper cots are the revolutionary invention that offers the best of both worlds – close proximity and safety. Simply attach the co-sleeper cot to the side of your bed, so your baby is still in reaching distance, but sleep easy knowing they’re safer on their own separate sleeping surface.
The benefits of co-sleeper cots
Co-sleeper cots have been designed to adhere to guidelines created by childcare and medical specialists such as the NHS, and they have a wealth of benefits:
- Co-sleeper cots allow you to be close enough to your baby but still at a safe distance to know when they need something. For example, breastfeeding becomes easier because you’ll become attuned to their hunger.
- Placing your baby in a co-sleeper cot overnight will strengthen the mother-baby connection, while encouraging the baby to get used to sleeping alone, meaning that, before long, your baby will sleep through the night undisturbed.
- With your baby getting a good night’s sleep, so will you. Knowing your baby is safe next to you will mean you get that much-needed quality shut-eye.
- Though bed-sharing is unadvised for safety reasons, co-sleeping is considered vital for the mother-baby bond. Experts and specialists found that babies form connections to their parents when they sleep in the same room as them, whereas babies who sleep isolated in a room alone will form attachments to objects instead.
Bottom line: co-sleeping is great, but only when it’s safe. To ensure you are making the right choice with it comes to your baby’s night’s sleep, check out the best co-sleeper cots at http://www.cosleepercots.co.uk/. You and your baby will create an unbreakable bond whilst staying as safe as possible.