It can sometimes be quite a challenge to resist the urge to have your bundle of joy sleeping next to you. While this closeness may bring warmth to the heart, it can also be a danger for your little one.
What is co-sleeping?
Parenting-focused publication The Bump explains that while co-sleeping is often thought to be synonymous with bed-sharing, it also means putting your baby to sleep in the same room as you but in a separate bed. Health-based publication WebMD lists a few reasons why parents may choose to co-sleep with their child:
- Easier to breastfeed their child at night.
- May help the baby fall back to sleep faster.
- May help the mother to sync sleep cycles with her baby.
The above may seem convenient, however, co-sleeping is not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The potential risks
WebMD states that sleeping with a newborn heightens the risk of entrapment, smothering, suffocation, strangulation, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), sleep issues, and delayed development of your infant’s independence. Regarding a toddler sleeping in the same bed as their parent(s), it is possible for the following to occur:
- The parent can roll over their baby and cause injury during deep sleep.
- The toddler can get trapped between the mattress, headboard, wall, or soft bedding which could lead to death by suffocation.
Verywell Family, a publication dedicated to family life, also shares a few drawbacks of the practice:
- The baby might find co-sleeping as a ‘sleep crutch,’ meaning that they might have trouble falling asleep on their own without their parent’s presence.
- It may require an earlier bedtime than the adults may prefer.
- Parents may be uncomfortable having sex with their child in the room. This may impact the parental relationship.