Co-Sharing: Should you Do It?
The focus of parents concern about co-sleeping with their baby is usually caused by the information given around Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The risk of SIDS does increase when a baby sleeps in the same bed as their parents, but can also be done safely and is even encouraged by some medical associations. The safest way of co-sleeping with your little one is not necessarily having them in your bed, but instead opting for a moses basket or crib which is next to your bed, something that has to be done for the first 6 months anyway.
Newborns do sleep a lot but their sleep stretches are brief, and they also need to develop their concept of day and night, therefore, it’s inevitable that they will wake you up at late hours of the night quite consistently for the first three months of their life. Once your baby is around the age of 4 months, it’s likely that the amount they sleep will begin to increase and they won’t wake up as often during the night. Even though, every baby is very different; some sleep well and others don’t.
Sharing the room with your little one adds the obvious convenience that you can easily attend to your little one without the need to cross hallways, something that none of us want to do when we’re sleep deprived. Having your baby near to you in the first 6 months is not only the safest way for them to sleep, but also gives you peace of mind knowing they are close.
More than being practical, it’s all about creating a safe sleeping environment for your baby and the NHS suggests that your baby should share your room but not sleep in your bed. There are many parents our there who practice co-sleeping in the same bed, and do so safely, but the NHS suggest considering the following aspects:
- Do not co-share if one of you are smokers
- Avoid co-sleeping if one of your has drunk alcohol
- Do not co-sleep if you have taken drugs or medication
- Don’t practice sharing if your baby was premature or had a low birth weight
There are downsides to co-sleeping in a room, and one of these is dependency. It is understandable to be worried about your baby developing a habit of needing to sleep in your room to sleep, but there are factors that need to be considered too. Your baby feeds on any kind of interaction, and is receptive to your voice, gestures, smells and movements. Allowing your baby these interactions from you will help to boost and develop their emotional wellbeing.
Since newborns spend most of their first months sleeping (even though it rarely feels like it), putting them in a separate room might reduce the bonding and connection. Another solution could be a simple modification to your room, you could try adding a translucid curtain for a subtle room division - this way your baby won’t rely on seeing you before and after they sleep but still get to hear you and feel close. This method has been used as a transition when you need to move your baby into their own room. While curtains can help your baby, they don’t bring true privacy… but just because you have a little and lovely invader in your room doesn’t mean you have to give up on your sex life! You can actually take advantage of the circumstances by trying different places in the house by getting a little creative.
After looking at the benefits and safety concerns on what’s suggested for co-sharing, we would only favour towards co-sharing. We encourage you to create a safe sleeping space in your room, where baby can sleep in their crib but still next to their parents.
Please let us know on Instagram @babymoriuk your advice or experiences.
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