The Benefits of Co-sleeping

The Benefits of Co-sleeping

Co-sleeping, also known as the family bed is a controversial topic today, but very quickly it is gaining supporters. Co-sleeping is exactly what it sounds like it might be, sleeping together as a family in one bed, mom, dad and children. Parents choose to co-sleep for a variety of reasons including ease of breastfeeding, a close bond with their children, and to establish a consistent sleeping routine for themselves and their child(ren). There are numerous other reasons as well but it is gaining popularity among parents because they are finding more and more that it works out for all family members.

There are many arguments against co-sleeping, however one could easily find fault with these arguments. Many of the arguments address potential problems, such as not sleeping with your child if you have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not allowing a toddler to sleep next to an infant, and not sleeping with your child if you suffer from sleeping disorders. These obstacles are rare or can be overcome with a little creativity or planning.

Most parents who do choose to co-sleep are very responsible adults who choose to sleep with their children to reap the many positive benefits, such as the bond it creates between a parent and a child, the positive sleep pattern it allows into their lives, the ease of breastfeeding a child in the middle of the night. All of these things paint a wonderful picture of a positive parenting relationship between parent and child.

Co-sleeping is a natural way of taking care of our children that our ancestors did for many years. The mothers of children for many years even carried their children around with them throughout the day, never allowing their infant to even leave the comfort and closeness of their bodies during the daytime, much less during the night. This begs the question, “If it’s not broke, why fix it?” If this process worked for so many years before us, then why do we question it so quickly today?

Co-sleeping might not work for everyone, but it is definitely something that should be considered as a positive parenting technique and as an opportunity for a restful nights sleep to be had by all. If you do decide to co-sleep especially with an infant, there are some precautions to consider. Do not use heavy bedding, as the infant can suffocate. Do not allow the infant to sleep on the outer edge where falls can occur. Investing in bed rails might be a good idea. Make sure your mattress is on the firm side so that the surface your baby sleeps on is as level as possible. This will help everyone get a restful sleep if they are not tossed when the person next to them turns.

After taking the needed precautions and reviewing the benefits, try the co-sleeping arrangement for yourself and see how rewarding it can be for the whole family.

Recommended Reading: Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping