Co-Sleeping With Baby: Pros and Cons

Finding your way around parenthood is definitely challenging. As a new parent, the amount of information and advice that you receive can be intimidating and overwhelming.
In the first few months of your baby’s life, you’ll be responsible for making many decisions. One of the most overwhelming decisions is whether or not to co-sleep with your baby.
A good deal of scientific evidence warns parents from co-sleeping with their babies. Yet, most parents will find it more convenient to sleep next to their newborn.
In this article, we’ll talk all about the pros and cons of co-sleeping with a baby, so stick around.

Is It Safe to Co-Sleep With a Baby?

Regardless of how intimate you think co-sleeping is, studies proved that its risks will out-weight its benefits.
It also proved that there’s an association between co-sleeping and the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, along with other sleeping accidents.
The opposed risk includes suffocation by the bedding, getting stuck between the bed and the wall, and the parent rolling over the baby.
Other less common accidents involve the newborn falling off the bed.

Why Do Parents Co-sleep With Their Newborns?

Parents only want the best for their kids. So, most of the time, parents who co-sleep have valid reasons for it, which include:

Making the Baby Feels Safe

The infant-caregiver relationship depends massively on physical contact.
Newborn babies depend on touching as a way of reassurance and security. For that reason, babies need to be held and snuggled.
Many parents will overlook the potential risks to provide that feeling of safety for their newborn.

More Convenient for Breastfeeding

Mothers who breastfeed will find it more convenient to share the same bed with their infants.
Note, however, that when a baby wakes up at night, it’s rarely due to hunger. Big chance the baby just needs the mother’s attention or reassurance.
That being said, such babies might grow to be highly attached to their mothers.

Fewer Sleep Interruptions

Trying to thrive in your day-to-day life on only a couple of hours of sleep is challenging in so many ways!
Parents with newborn babies will find it easier to calm their babies at night if they’re already in bed with them.
Some parents won’t even have to open their eyes; they’ll just cuddle the baby back to sleep.

The Full Side of the Co-Sleeping Glass

Aside from all the risks, co-sleeping holds significant benefits for your baby.
When a parent sleeps next to their newborn, this aids in the regulation of the baby’s heart rate and breath.
Studies also proved that on-demand breastfeeding results in kids with higher cognitive behavior. It’ll be easier for moms to provide on-demand breastfeeding while co-sleeping.
Additionally, parents who sleep next to an infant will have a lighter sleep. The benefit here is the ability to answer the baby's needs easier and faster.

How to Co-Sleep Safely

If you decide to co-sleep with your newborn, you need to take some precautions to ensure your baby’s safety.

The Baby’s Position

The way you put your baby in bed is crucial for their safety!
For the first six months, the safest position for your baby is lying flat on their back. Naturally, because your baby's head is heavier than his body, it will turn to the side.
Despite how tempting it might be to hold the baby between parents, it’s better to lay the infant next to one parent only. This way, you’ll protect the infant from being slept on by the parents or overheating.

The Bed Height

Co-sleeping might have worked for ages, yet modern beds aren’t so convenient for co-sleeping.
Nowadays, beds are many inches high from the ground, which then poses the risk of your baby rolling off and falling to the ground.
If your newborn rolls much in their sleep, our advice is to place the mattress directly on the floor.

The Bedding

Bedding is an issue only when it’s loose. As the infant rolls and moves during the night, loose bedding might wrap around the baby’s face or neck and cause suffocation.
The best thing you could do is use tight mattress covers. Also, you should put any extra duvets aside.

When Should You Avoid Co-Sleeping?

In some cases, the parents better avoid co-sleeping altogether for their baby’s safety. These situations involve:

Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol will make you light-headed, less focused, and a heavy sleeper. Sleeping next to a baby while you’re unaware will compromise the baby’s safety.

Using Sedating Medications

Not all parents can cope with the stress of a new baby, so doctors might prescribe them anxiolytics and sedatives. These medications aim to relieve stress.
Unfortunately, such drugs will alter the parent’s awareness. This might increase the risk of sleep-related accidents.

Illness

If either the parent or the infant is ill, they shouldn’t share the same bed, as the chances of infection transmission will be higher if you co-sleep.

Conclusion

Cracking the codes of parenthood isn’t an effortless task! Parents have a million questions popping into their heads daily, and one of them is, is co-sleeping with a baby favorable?
Co-sleeping is controversial, which is why you need to take its pros and cons into consideration. The pros of co-sleeping include meeting the baby’s needs faster, breastfeeding on-demand, and regulating the infant’s breathing.
Sadly, the pitfalls of co-sleeping can be fatal, like SIDS and sleeping accidents. However, co-sleeping can be safer by using tight bedding, sleeping closer to the floor, and laying your baby on his back.
In case you drank alcohol or used any sedating medications, you must avoid sleeping next to your baby.
We hope you’re now able to take a safe, well-guided decision that you feel confident about.