Have you recently heard of co-sleeping but weren’t exactly sure what that meant? Well, then, it certainly seems that you are not alone. Today, co-sleeping is commonly defined as when a child and parent sleep in close proximity to each other.
While there are several arrangements considered co-sleeping, such as an attached side care for a newborn or when parents sleep with the bed of their child in the same room as theirs. Most commonly, though, co-sleeping takes on the form of bed-sharing, which is where parent and child sleep in the same bed. Although co-sleeping has technically been a thing since humans began as it increased our chances of survival, the modern day form of co-sleeping has recently grown in popularity among many households across the USA.
According to recent data, co-sleeping rates have grown to around 25% of parents, a number that has risen over 20 percent in around 15 years. Other reports have shown that nearly 45% of babies aged 2-9 months are co-sleeping with their parents.
Though it may be too early to tell, other experts are speculating that the recent events related to the COVID-19 pandemic may have even driven that number higher as more parents are looking for ways to connect with their children. This comes as no surprise, while many of us are all trying to learn how to perform our daily activities from home. As it so happens, the quarantine may be one of the reasons why co-sleeping has recently begun to catch on.
Let's take a look at some of the benefits that come with co-sleeping with your newborn or as a family.
- It encourages breastfeeding. This can make getting through the night with a newborn much easier for both mother and baby as she is not having to get up and down all night to breastfeed. It can also make it easier to breastfeed for babies who have a hard time.
- Sleeping with your newborn can also sync the sleeping schedules of the mother and the baby, making it easier to get the most sleep as a new mother possibly can.
- Co-sleeping helps children fall asleep faster. Some children have a hard time falling asleep, this can be especially so for newborns. Sleeping together in the same bad can help them fall asleep much faster, giving both parent and child much needed rest. This is especially helpful in the middle of the night when children wake up and have a hard time falling back asleep.
- According to research, sleeping with your child can increase the chance of being able to intervene in situations and help prevent death. Sleeping next to your children gives you the best chance of being woken by their sounds in the middle of the night.
- Any sort of night time danger is increasingly reduced by sleeping in the same room. This can severely cut back on danger and increase reaction time to situations like a fire, burglary, or other dangerous events.
- A deeper sense of love and trust develop between parents, siblings, and children who sleep in the same room or the same bed together. Research has also shown that children who co-sleep with their family are able to develop deeper personal connections in their lives.
- Children often feel safer when they are sleeping in the same room as their parents. This can lead to a greater sense of self-esteem and confidence as they are more secure in their surroundings.
- Mothers and fathers who co-sleep with their family report feeling more well-rested on nights their children sleep with them. This has a lot to do with not having to get in and out of bed and children falling asleep faster.
Many westernized societies will tell you that co-sleeping has some drawbacks, and there are certainly some associated with it, but research suggests that it is actually a more natural mode of sleeping. However, aside from the long historical precedence, there are some things that are worth mentioning if you do plan on trying to co-sleep with your newborn or other children.
The possible dangers of co-sleeping
- Never co-sleep with your children on nights where you have consumed any alcohol as this may create an unsafe sleeping condition.
- While some research suggests that co-sleeping helps prevent fatal deaths, some research suggests that it actually increases the likelihood of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome.
- It is recommended to not allow older children to co-sleep with a newborn. Children are much deeper sleepers than their biologically programmed parents, so this can create an accident prone situation.
- There is potential for a newborn to overheat if the parents are sleeping with too many blankets. This can combine with other factors to create an increased risk of SIDS as well.
- It may make sleeping in their own room more difficult later on in life.
It is best to do as much research as possible in order to make the best decision for you and your family, whether that is co-sleeping or not. If you do plan to co-sleep, then experts suggest to never leave your baby in bed alone and to keep them warm with clothes, not blankets. It is also wise to fill in any gaps there might be between the mattress and the wall just to make sure that nobody slips in during the night, especially important for those rambunctious sleepers. There are plenty of ways to ensure safe co-sleeping for you and the entire family!
If you are already a co-sleeper and you are finding that your bed is running out of room, then it may be time to consider investing in a bigger mattress. The Taylor & Wells Family Bed is the perfect choice for you and your growing family! This is also a great option for someone who is thinking about trying to co-sleep with their family but isn’t sure if they have enough space. Well, with this bed, that will never be an issue! Call, visit us online, or stop in at any one of our 9 locations. Any one of our helpful staff will be happy to help you select your brand new bed, perfect to fit your mattress needs!