By Fredrica Syren
Being a mom for over six years, I thought I had it all figured out. And then kid number 3 is born, and he comes with a whole new personality and new ways of doing things. When it comes to methods of raising our children, my husband and I pretty much agree on everything except sleeping arrangements. He was an independent baby and slept in his own bed from the get-go, while I co-slept with my mom. I think in my culture (Swedish), co-sleeping is more common than here in the U.S.
I don’t judge one way or another, but rather have gone with the flow concerning what my children needed at the time. All three of my kids have co-slept with us for a short time in their lives. All three of my kids have shared our room until we and the baby were ready to move baby out. In my case, it’s been more like when this bleeding heart mom was ready. Our new little one, Liam, has shown signs of needing more skin-to-skin attention and likes to be close to me, so we have been co-sleeping on and off.
Co-sleeping (or bed sharing) is a controversial issue and will bring up so many arguments, pros and cons, from all kinds of people. It can be dangerous if certain precautions aren’t taken but, if done the right way, it also appears to have a host of benefits.
A few benefits of co-sleeping are as follows:
- Easier for mom to breastfeed
- Better sleep for mom and baby (I will argue that it depends on the child because my older son would wake up more often, wanting to use me as a human pacifier, while my daughter slept much better.)
- Stable physiology — According to studies, infants who sleep near parents have more stable temperatures, regular heart rhythms and fewer pauses in breathing compared to babies who sleep alone.
If you are going to co-sleep, make sure your baby will not sleep on soft bedding, pillows or waterbeds. Suffocation is one of the most serious dangers to sleeping infants, whether they are sleeping with their parents or in their own cribs. Make sure there are no holes that baby can get stuck in, and do not let siblings sleep next to baby. Baby should sleep next to a non-smoking and sober adult only. Consider investing in a co-sleeper bed that can be put in your bed or attached to its side.
To learn more about co-sleeping go here: