Co-sleeping, also known as bed sharing, is quite common in many places. Although in the United States, families choose to have a separate room for their babies and kids, there are regions and cultures that support the parents who have their kids in the same bed as them.
Back in early years, our predecessors opted to have their infants with them while they slept. Of course, there were no cradles or cribs back then.
Today, even though it is a widespread practice to let the child have his or her own room in the house, experts believe it would do the younger ones a favor if they are with the parents.
Reasons Why Co-Sleeping Should Be Practiced
There is one study that supports parents who choose to have their kids by their side as they sleep. Among the reasons for this include the following:
- More Sleep: Mothers who breastfeed their baby can enjoy a much more peaceful and longer sleep with this sleeping arrangement. This is actually contrary to other claims that co-sleeping leads to insomnia and exhaustion. In fact, parents become less tired because it is much easier to feed and comfort their baby since the infant is within their reach.
- Better Response: Co-sleeping boosts responsiveness of the parents when it comes to providing their child’s needs. When the baby cries at night, the mother can easily and quickly provide milk or cradle the child if needed.
- Lower Stress Levels: According to another study, the stress hormones in mothers and babies who sleep in one bed are much lower than those who have separate rooms. This is because cortisol or the stress hormone remains in check, allowing the mother to rest while the baby grows healthy.
- Improved Emotional Health: Co-sleeping, based on the reports from experts, could promote emotional health benefits for the long term. In comparison to the children who sleep alone, those who stay with their mom or dad or both are much happier, with higher self-esteem, and are less anxious. They are also unafraid of sleep, especially when they grow up and they rarely develop behavioral problems.
- Independence: This one is another reason that opposes the explanations why parents shouldn’t sleep with their children in the same bed. Co-sleeping actually promotes independence as the children become adults. It is quite ironic that those who sleep in another room are those who tend to be dependent of their parents or other people around them.
Perhaps the biggest reason why parents in Western cultures choose not to share their beds with children is because they want to avoid sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). This is often a result of strangulation or suffocation. However, experts believe that through knowledge about co-sleeping safety dangers related to SIDS can be greatly reduced.