There’s good news and bad news when it comes to the parental decision on co-sleeping. Though co-sleeping comes with a set of advantages and disadvantages, it’s up to the parents to choose one over the other or what really works for them and their baby/infant.
Co-sleeping can help build mom-baby bonding, especially in the initial weeks and months. It’s both convenient and functional. Breastfeeding in the middle of the night or moms catching up with sleep along with their newborn/infant is easier when one is closeby at arms-length. Culturally speaking, we Indians are a lot more given to pamper and cultivate a parental bonding with a sense of touch and physical cuddling. And a mothers’ sense of touch and physical bonding is both healing and therapeutic to both mom and the baby.
That said, there are also disadvantages to co-sleeping. Let’s say where, both the mom and the baby are sleeping on the same bed/sharing the same mattress. Following are some of the dangers of co-sleeping when done in the wrong way, that is sleeping on the same bed, on a sofa or an easychair:
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Issues affecting Sleep
- Parental dependence / delay in your infant’s initiative to sleep without intervention
Newborns are vulnerable to the above mentioned dangers when a parent co-sleeps on the same bed or when the baby is left to doze off with pillows, blankets or toys.
There’s another, better way to co-sleeping. Sharing the same room sleeping in close vicinity. While the baby sleeps in a crib /cradle within arms length. Convenient to reach out even in the middle of the night, whether it’s for breastfeeding or to settle an awakened baby back to sleep. That is the perfect way to co-sleep that all seem to agree on.
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