Co-sleeping and Bed-sharing What is co-sleeping?
Co-sleeping essentially means sleeping in close proximity to your child. It may be in the same bed or just in the same room. Some ways of co-sleeping that different families use are: Parent s sleep in the same bed with the child. Different beds in the same room: Advantages of co-sleeping Our sponsor, The Fourth Trimester: A holistic guide and essential book for the postpartum period. Co-sleeping is not the best fit for every family, but it can have many advantages: Parents often get more sleep.
Babies often get more sleep. Baby stirs and almost wakes up when she needs to nurse, but since she is right beside mom, mom can breastfeed or soothe her back to sleep before she fully wakes up.
Breastfeeding during the night is easier when baby is nearby. Breastfeeding at night helps to maintain your milk supply. Night nursing also tends to prolong the child-spacing effects of breastfeeding. No nighttime separation anxiety. Baby should be placed on his back to sleep. The sleep surface should be firm. Do not put a baby on a waterbed mattress, pillow, beanbag, sheepskin or any other soft surface to sleep. Bedding should be tight fitting to the mattress.
The mattress should be tight fitting to the headboard and footboard or sides of the crib. There should not be any space between the bed and adjoining wall where the baby could roll and become trapped. Bed-sharing Safety Bed-sharing is just one of the ways that a family might co-sleep, but it is frequently practiced by breastfeeding mothers. One of the biggest issues when it comes to bed-sharing is safety. There is currently not enough evidence to support routine recommendations against co-sleeping.
Parents should be educated about risks and benefits of co-sleeping and unsafe co-sleeping practices and should be allowed to make their own informed decision.
Sometimes people fall asleep with their babies accidentally or without meaning to. In sum, overwhelmingly, bedsharing deaths are associated with at least one independent risk factor associated with an infant dying.
General Safety Guidelines for Bed-sharing If baby is sharing sleep with another person: Very small premature or low birth-weight babies appear to be at greater risk when bed-sharing, but benefit greatly from co-sleeping nearby but on a separate surface more.
More info here for non-breastfeeding parents Older siblings or other children should not sleep with babies under a year old.
You will wake up several times per night for the first dozen weeks, and particularly walking up and down the stairs really should be out of the question. Place your baby to sleep on his back on a firm, flat surface.
Do not swaddle your baby when bed-sharing. Baby may overheat which is a risk factor for SIDS and a swaddled baby is not able to effectively move covers from the face or use arms and legs to alert an adult who is too close more.
Some authorities specifically recommend co-sleeping without bed-sharing, since they feel that not bed-sharing is the easiest way to eliminate any risks of bed-sharing. You might hear that breastfeeding your baby in a lying down position will cause ear infections.
Research indicates that this is not true. Also, keep in mind that with most nursing positions, baby is lying down while nursing anyway — whether mom is or not! Can co-sleeping cause psychological problems in my child? James McKenna counters these suggestions: In part, this view represents a personal and arbitrary judgment that anyone is entitled to make as long as it is not passed on as scientific fact.
Such judgments are based on Western values favoring the perception of how individualism and infant autonomy are best promoted and obtained.
No study has shown, however, that the goals for separateness and independence or happiness, for that matter are obtained in the individual by, among other things, separate sleeping arrangements for parents and children, nor do any studies demonstrate negative consequences for children or parents who choose to cosleep for ideological or emotional purposes, except when cosleeping is part of a larger psychologically disordered set of family relationships or when cosleeping occurs under dangerous social or physical circumstances.
The only studies of the psychological or social effects of cosleeping reveal not negative but positive consequences. One study among military families revealed that cosleeping children receive higher evaluations of their comportment from their teachers than do solitary sleeping children and are under-represented among psychiatric populations, when compared with children who do not cosleep [Forbes JF, Weiss DS: The cosleeping habits of military children.
Mil Med ; Lewis and Janda found that college-age students who coslept as children were better adjusted and more satisfied with their sexual identities and behavior than college-age students who did not cosleep [Lewis RJ, Janda H: The relationship between adult sexual adjustment and childhood experience regarding exposure to nudity, sleeping in the parental bed, and parental attitudes towards sexuality.
Arch Sex Behav ; Clearly, we need to change our conceptualization concerning what constitutes a normal or healthy childhood sleep pattern!
Stein MT, et al. Cosleeping Bedsharing Among Infants and Toddlers. Pediatrics Apr; 4 ; Dr.
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