Bed sharing is a controversial parenting topic. The benefits of co-sleeping far outweigh that entire hullabaloo about SIDS. Why it that a lot of well-meaning doctors are scaring parents with big words such as “infant death” and whatnot? Decades have passed, and yet the clamour about co-sleeping perils has never gone down. Are we not being told the truth? For the benefit of all those confused parents out there, let me share with you why co-sleeping matters.
- Co-sleeping reduces the incidence of SIDS
It was the West that had demonised co-sleeping; and it the same society that had seen increased incidence of childhood obesity, hyperactivity, and higher infant mortality. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) rate is the lowest in cultures where bed sharing is the norm. In countries where mother-infant co-sleeping is common, cases of infant crib death are such rare occasions.
Latest researches have proven that babies who tend to sleep alone in a separate room have increased the risk for SIDS and other health disorders. A mother’s proximity to her child regulates the infant’s sleep state, breathing, arousal, body temperature and even heart rate.
- Co-sleeping is safer than sleeping alone
As a mother, I would rather go and do what I feel is right. Notwithstanding that sore arm in the morning, I can say that my baby and I have slept better when we are together.
Babies are used to the womb’s pulsating rhythm and internal temperature. These newborns naturally crave that snug swaddle and familiar warmth. They are hardwired to fear to sleep alone in a cold room without stimulation. Babies sleep better when they feel secure and safe.
- Co-sleeping improves maternal health
You might say that motherhood is all about sacrifice. But what if there is a better way to parent without losing that much-needed sleep and sanity? Sleepwalking into the nursery in the wee hours of the morning is difficult. It disrupts a mother’s sleep, making her less alert and responsive come daytime.
In the long run, lack of sleep makes mothers scatterbrained. Chronic sleep deficit contributes to maternal weight gain and even postpartum depression. It also gives rise to illnesses because the lack of sleep stresses the big body time.
- Co-sleeping makes kids resilient emotionally and physically
Babies that are left to themselves isolated in a nursery room tend to experience feelings of separation and elevated stress hormones. This nightly assault to an infant’s delicate body and psyche can result in lifelong anxiety. Children are more sensitive to stress brought about by isolation; it can even trigger exacerbation of a preexisting health condition.
In addition to emotional benefits, babies, and mothers who co-sleep tend to thrive better. A child that is enveloped nightly on that familiar warmth and embrace will feel more secured. These kids tend to thrive: getting bigger, being less sickly and develop faster emotionally and intellectually than those babies left to sleep alone.
- Co-sleeping promotes independence
Contrary to popular belief, co-sleeping will not make your child clingy and dependent. With bed sharing, the opposite is true. It is surprising because kids who co-sleep tend to develop independence and confidence earlier than babies who sleep alone. These toddlers are more composed and are less likely to throw a fit or to resort to thumb sucking. They are less likely to get too attached to comfort blankets and security objects.
Children who are raised by comforting parents are more apt to grow as caring and self-sufficient adults. There is no better way into parent-child intimacy than with co-sleeping. No fancy nursery can ever compare to a parent’s warmth. Kids can indeed grow quickly. Tender snuggle moments might not last forever, but at least I know that it will have a positive effect on my children now and even when they had grown older.
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