The pleasure of being a parent is unbeatable. Your child hugs you like you are the world, the way they make you feel special, the way they put their tiny hands on you when they are half asleep and make sure you are by their side – all these small things awakens the parental love in you.
For a majority of mothers and babies around the globe, co-sleeping is an unquestioned practice. Especially we, Indians, are accustomed to it. Though co-sleeping with the baby could be beneficial, there are a handful of myths revolving around it.
It makes you love them more, cuddle them more and give them the best. But co-sleeping with your baby, how far is it good? Is it nurturing or harming the baby? In this article, let us reveal the truths and bust the myths around co-sleeping.
Myth 01: Co-sleeping is always dangerous.
Fact: A video footage from baby sleep labs at Durham University, UK, shows that breastfeeding and bedsharing mothers usually create a protective space around their babies by lying on their side. This makes sure neither mother nor her partner could roll towards the baby.
As a matter of fact, Co-sleeping could actually be lifesaving. By co-sleeping, the mother could grasp the cues and signals of babies and respond quickly. This also promotes stable breathing in babies.
Everything comes with positives and negatives and so is Co-sleeping. Accidents might occur sometimes. But there is no scientific validation to prove that co-sleeping is bad.
Myth 02: Co-sleeping makes the baby over dependent.
Fact: Dependency always comes before becoming independent. Babies can neither talk nor walk nor express their emotions. They depend on you for everything. So, it becomes your responsibility to introduce independence in your baby’s life at a slow pace than pushing the baby away. Research shows that if the dependency is met appropriately and consistently during the infancy, they develop into a confident toddler, child or an adult.
Myth 03: Co-slept babies are spoilt.
Fact: Co-sleeping doesn’t lead to bringing up a spoilt brat. Actually, co-sleeping or just holding the baby helps the babies to settle down quickly. Babies’ brain is designed this way and it is important for their development.
Myth 04: Co-sleeping may lead to SIDS.
Fact: One of the main reasons why benefits of co-sleeping are doubted is because of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). But the fact is it is always safer for a baby to be in close proximity to its mother. This reduces chances of death due to infant apnoea. Research showed that chances of infant death due to infant apnoea decreased by up to 60% when babies are near to someone breathing.
Myth 05: Co-sleeping disturbs your relationships.
Fact: Co-sleeping disturbs the sleep pattern of the parents. Stress and exhaustion of handling a non-sleeping baby could affect the marriage. But it is not the case always. Most of the marriages fall apart due to lack of communication. If parents have a discussion and decide on parenting strategy and communicate with each other clearly, co-sleeping could be of no harm to anyone.
Having sex, after having a baby, at night on your bed could be difficult. But if you are thoughtful and creative enough, co-sleeping with your baby could not harm your relationships.
Myth 06: Babies need to sleep alone to get good night’s sleep.
Fact: It is a common thought that a silent and dark room will lead to good night’s sleep. But for the baby, it is not true. Your baby might need sensory distinctions such as hear, listen, react. This promotes sleep in the baby. For example, your baby sleeps faster if there is recurring tune in the background compared to a quiet room.
Although co-sleeping doesn’t work for everyone, it is still chosen by parents for many reasons. It lowers the stress in the babies. It makes breastfeeding easier. It helps the baby and you to get long hours of good night’s sleep. But, it is your call to co-sleep or not with your baby.
But one of the important reasons which unite all the benefits of co-sleeping is: Bonding with the baby and nurturing him to be a confident being.