Co-sleep, If you’re a new parent, or a parent-to-be, this topic has no doubt come up in conversation and come up for debate.
Before taking the decision to co-sleep with your baby, in the same bed, or allow them to sleep in an independent space of their own, here are a few factors to keep in mind.
Does it have potential risks?
Studies have revealed that infants who co-sleep with their parents can suffer from SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Although this is rare, it has happened in a small percentage of cases where the parent unknowingly rolls over the infant, or the infant gets caught in excessive bedding.
If you’re a light sleeper, and are aware of your baby’s movements and needs, it maybe okay to co-sleep. Otherwise, it is best to use a separate crib, place the baby on its back, and use a firm mattress and a fitted sheet.
Does it foster closeness?
Parents and infants or toddlers who sleep in the same bed, feel closer because of the shared space while sleeping. Kids are confident, feel safer and well-loved, say counselors and experts.
This increased feeling of security can foster closeness to the parents; as well as an open-door policy that extends to late in life.
Is it inconvenient?
Yes and no. The conveniences are that it’s easy to breastfeed; since you don’t have to go to another room to fetch the baby and feed.
It is also a cheaper option, since you don’t need to invest in a crib; or a baby monitor, or any other paraphernalia.
The inconveniences include a lack of sex life (just not possible with a baby in the room!) and lesser restful sleep, since you’re always mindful of the infant next to you.
So weigh the pros and cons, and see what works best for you.
How can I meet halfway?
Parents who don’t want to co-sleep with their infants in the same bed, but at the same time don’t want to put them in a separate room on their own, can often reach a happy compromise by getting a crib and placing it in their room, right next to their bed.
This way, you’re close enough to see what your child is upto, without the potential risks and inconveniences associated with co-sleeping.
Until what age can I co-sleep?
If you’ve chosen to go down this route, you can co-sleep with your child until he or she shows natural tendencies towards wanting to sleep alone.
Experts have pegged this age as around 7 or 8, although in some cases it could be even 10.
Use your common sense and follow your instinct though, as every child is different, and every situation is different too.